JAMES V. NEEL, M.D.
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For something over 500,000 years there have existed on this earth species of man with a cranial capacity approaching that of modern man. For at least 99% of that time span the generation-to-generation rate of cultural change has been, viewed from our current vantage point, almost unbelievably slow. By cultural change I mean nothing more profound than changes in the circumstances of day-to-day living. It took something like 75,000 years for the rough Chellean hand-axe to be replaced by the more even, symmetric Acheulian hand-axe in Western Europe during the Pleistocene. Then, starting with the Agricultural Revolution, and accelerating with
NEEL JV. MEDICINE'S GENETIC HORIZONS*. Ann Intern Med. 1958;49:472–476. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-49-2-472
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1958;49(2):472-476.
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