Human Resource Development Essay - Paper Topics
Some human innovations have dealt with the fate ofenergy channeled through metabolic processes. The development ofweapons, for example, made it possible to focus somatic energy soas to obtain high-energy foods with much greater efficiency. Manbecame a hunter. This may have been the innovation that let prosper and permitted his species to radiateout of the African cradle, pursuing game throughout the tropicsof the Old World (Binford, 1981, p. 296). Similarly, the use ofclothes brought about a conservation of bodily energy that helpedmake possible the conquest of more temperate regions.
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A has challenged The Expensive-Tissue Hypothesis, at least as far as robbing energy from the digestive system to fuel the brain. The study compared brain and intestinal size in mammals and found no strong correlation, but there was an inverse correlation between brain size and body fat. But since human fat does not impede our locomotion much, humans have combined both strategies for reducing the risk of starvation. Whales have bucked the trend, also because being fatter does not impede their locomotion and provides energy-conserving insulation. A human infant’s brain uses about 75% of its energy, and baby fat seems to be brain protection, so that it does not easily run out of fuel. However, the rapid evolutionary growth of an energy-demanding organ like the human brain seems unique or nearly so in the history of life on Earth, and comparative anatomy studies may have limited explanatory utility. There are great debates today on how fast the human brain grew, what coevolutionary constraints may have limited the brain’s development (, , ), and scientific investigations are in their early days.
Animals can quickly adapt to changing environmental conditions that impact their food supply. For example, in recent studies of Galapagos finches during a severe drought, small-beaked finches largely died out, because large and hard seeds became dominant. The surviving finch population had measurably larger beaks in one year. It took 15 years of normal conditions for finch beaks to return to their pre-drought length. Wrangham argued that the biological changes attending cooked food would have been immediately evident, and anatomy presented the most dramatic changes seen in the human line. The only other plausible candidate would have been , but it was only a more robust version of .
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A shortage of resources also cripples public healthsystems, while a dense population encourages the spread ofcontagious diseases. Throughout human history, the development oflarge, dense populations has led to the appearance of contagiousdiseases that evolved to exploit them. Smallpox and measles wereapparently unknown until the second and third centuries AD, whenthey devastated the population of the Mediterranean basin(McNeill, 1976, p. 105). In the fourteenth century, a yet largerand denser population in both Europe and China provided ahospitable niche for the Black Death. Today, with extremely densepopulation and all parts of the world linked by air travel, newdiseases such as AIDS spread rapidly-and a virus as deadly asAIDS but more easily transmissible could appear at any time.
Introduction to Human Development Essay - 2518 Words
Localized episodes of such cultural elaborationhave always been associated with rapid population growth. Reasonsfor the abundance of resources that promoted this growth varyfrom one case to another. In some instances, a population movedinto a new region with previously untapped resources; in otherinstances the development or adoption of new crops, newtechnologies, or new social strategies enhanced production. Butthe Sumerians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Mayas, and even theEaster Islanders all experienced a surge of creative activity astheir populations grew rapidly.