THE number of people living to old age more than quadrupled at around 30,000BC, giving modern humans an advantage in their evolution, according to a study in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.
A longer lifespan has allowed adults to strengthen social and familial relationships.
Increased longevity in the early Upper Paleolithic Period may have contributed to cultural advancements because having more older people helped spread information between generations, Ms Rachel Caspari, a co-author of the study, said in an interview.
A longer lifespan allowed adults to have more children and strengthened social and familial relationships as grandparents could educate and contribute more to families, the study said.
There is an interesting article in Foreign Affairs Magazine about the Baby Bust that notes that peace is much more likely as the population ages. Fewer and fewer people are having kids and I wonder if it's due to the fact that we're now able to more clearly see the wacky state of affairs that we risk bringing some poor kid into. If we finally become smart enough to realize that we're only slightly smarter than chimps and that we're slowly destroying the planet with industry does that mean we're going to fade away as a species? If we develop a species self esteem issue due to the fact that we're not blissfully ignorant wouldn't reproductive rates decline like we're currently seeing? Is celibacy just a multigenerational painless suicide?