Habitats kept changing because climates kept changing. Centuries of drought, for example, would shift to centuries of monsoons, over and over. Which raises a question, Potts says: "Not how did humans become adapted to a specific ancestral environment, but how did we become adaptable?" Extraordinarily adaptable to so many different environments.
"And that's a totally new question," he says, "one that Darwin never really addressed."
Potts is one of the authors of the National Academy of Sciences report, and proposes that it was flip-flopping climate that sparked some of our biggest evolutionary adaptations — the invention of better tools, for example, or a bigger brain.
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