O “guisado” humano

LONDRES – O que define o Homem moderno? A resposta biológica é simples: membro da espécie Homo sapiens que se caracteriza por certas particularidades, tais como um cérebro relativamente grande, localizado numa caixa craniana globular, pequenas sobrancelhas compridas e estreitas acima dos olhos, um rosto pequeno retraído, um queixo na mandíbula inferior e um esqueleto leve na sua constituição. Muitos dos traços biológicos do Homem moderno - pelo menos os que podem ser preservados em fósseis - já estavam presentes em África e em Israel há mais de 100 mil anos.

Mas outros factores - tais como as sociedades complexas, as cerimónias, as crenças espirituais, a arte, a música, a tecnologia e a língua - também caracterizam as populações humanas modernas. Que características são cruciais para a definição do “Homem moderno” e até que época se pode recuar para a classificação aplicada ser válida?

Dado que as características morfológicas e comportamentais dos seres humanos evoluem a ritmos diferentes, esta questão é uma fonte de controvérsia. Na verdade, os paleontólogos que estudam as origens físicas do Homo sapiens irão, inevitavelmente, discordar dos arqueólogos no que diz respeito à reconstrução do comportamento antigo que caracteriza os primeiros seres humanos modernos.

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