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Cleistheknees t1_jadx5yb wrote

> I disagree about how emphatic this is. I think there’s ample support for its occurrence, of course, and I do believe it, but the primary source for it in modern humans comes from a single author (I don’t recall his name, but it might be Liebenberg) writing about the San, who are very much a removed population operating outside their indigenous cultural norms.

Louis Liebenberg did the most detailed ethnography, but he’s certainly not the only source. As a grad student I personally interviewed people in East Tanzania who hunt local ungulates in a way we categorize as persistence hunting, but absent the endurance running aspect, which is something Liebenberg discusses as a limitation. Like, they jog of course, but it’s more of a 4-5 hour jog-track-jog-track etc.

You’re probably thinking of Pickering and Bunn’s critical response to him a couple years after that first paper, and while I don’t want to speak for other people, I would confidently say most people agree their retort stepped way over the bounds of what is reasonable. Louis was never making causal claims that endurance running and PH were the bundles of selection pressure that causally produced the capabilities related to endurance running, because this is a circular and nonsensical “just so”, and certainly not a mistake a staff associate at Harvard would make. His work is really more about tracking than endurance running, and it was before the wave of very clarifying research came out in the 2010’s which illuminated much of the transitionary period between Australopiths and early Homo, a lot of which was morphological, a lot out of Olduvai, etc.

Very important to delineate the version of persistence hunting in the capital-H hypothesis, with the actual anthropological definition, which in colloquial language would basically just be extended tracking at a pace the animal cannot maintain for a number of hours. Running a marathon chasing after a gazelle is a fantasy introduced by McDougall.