Neither do I, that would be my guess as well. I would have guessed anywhere between a few dozen as typical size and a little over 100 for larger tribes.
Clearly humans migrated so not everyone stayed put in a single place either.
I'm sure there was some division of labor among the sexes, and probably some free trade among neighboring tribes.
However, I sincerely doubt that there were certain people who had certain full-time professions like "cop" and "teacher" and "doctor". Yeah, there may have been a medicine man, but that was probably someone who was also an elder and had already spent a lifetime of hunting. Schooling was probably just a boy going through rites of passage to become a man. And there was no way in hell there were cops in prehistoric times. Disputes were handled the old fashioned way. Like that one between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.
I'm sure for larger tribes, if you are hunting big game, you need coordination and everyone participating. The idea that there were men doing full-time professions as young adults other than hunting seems unlikely to me. The idea of having policemen, and teachers and other "social workers" in prehistoric tribal times seems like a far-fetched fantasy of an anarcho-communist who has a dream that the natural way of things is the "socialist man" who lives from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.
I think it is far more likely, that if you were a man, you were a hunter. And if you couldn't hunt, you probably didn't live to become a man.
Last edited by Grok; 06-22-2012 at 10:41 PM.
I disagree on that last notion though. I think there were multiple places for men and women in these tribes. Even you state there was probably some division of labor. I think you should stop arguing with me over minor details, contradicting yourself, and maybe be open to the possibility that some of these people had something that worked better than what we have now. Not because it was advanced, but because it was refined by evolution of millions of years.
Last edited by wiltondeportes; 06-22-2012 at 10:52 PM.
I think the human mind, whether focusing on theology or science, will always interpret data in a way that fits our belief system and makes sense to us. It's just what we do, finding patterns and links where there are none. A perfect example of that is the monkey face on the moon or, more recently, Mickey Mouse on Mercury.
I think it happens in many religions (coincidence or unknown natural cause interpreted as a miracle) but also in science. Think how high cholesterol levels were tied in to heart attacks, even though the relationship just isn't there.
In other words, I think we all make leaps of faith when it comes to dealing with our lives. Some of them are reasonable and some are pretty ridiculous. But I don't think it's exclusive to the religious community.
Last edited by RitaRose; 06-23-2012 at 06:58 AM.
For division of labor, I surmise that labor was chiefly divided among four different groups: children, elders, able-bodied men and able-bodied women. A further more refined division of labor would occur within the women and children as they performed most of the work.
Let's assume an average tribe size was fifty people and half of those are male. Now, let's assume roughly 10% of the males are considered "elders" and perform other duties besides hunting. We can also assume a certain percentage of the males are going to be children who are too young to hunt. So let's assume we have twenty-five males, three of which are elders and five of which are young children. And for the sake of argument, let's assume one able-bodied male is sick or incapacitated in some way who is left to guard the women with the elders while the rest are hunting. That leaves sixteen able-bodied men to gather enough protein for fifty tribesmen each day.
Since not all hunting is going to be successful, the sixteen lean men divide themselves into four groups of four men who head off in different directions to gather protein while the fatty women gather carbohydrate. One group heads to the river for fishing, one group sets traps and checks traps for small game and the other two groups look for larger game. At the end of the day a dozen fish were caught, a couple of rabbits were trapped, and a porcupine was speared. One group was unsuccessful at catching anything.
Now, let's consider an anarco-communist perspective of the same tribe. Of the sixteen able-bodied men left to hunt the protein for the rest of the tribe, one decides he doesn't want to hunt and wants to become a social worker instead. So he decides he will become the socialist cook. The others, thinking that hunting could be harmful to their health think this is a good idea, and so one becomes the socialist story teller who entertains the tribe and tells the story of the day's hunt. Another decides he wants to become the socialist central planner. His job is to evenly divide the meat for the day to ensure that the elderly and sick and foodless people of the tribe get a fair share. Then yet another decides that he wants to be a socialist fire keeper. His job is to collect wood and start the fires and make sure there is always fire available for the tribe. Then another decides he wants to become the socialist teacher. His job is to educate the children about how to be a good socialist man when they grow up. Then another decides he wants to be a socialist artist. His job is to paint pictures on cave walls of the hunt to entertain the villagers. And so on, and so on until there is only one man left who couldn't think of something to do besides the dangerous job of hunting.
So in this fantasy-land anarcho-socialist tribe the last remaining able-bodied independent productive male is left to do all the dangerous hunting for all the totally unproductive socialists in the tribe. After one day of this they are all starving and start blaming the single hunter for not doing is job well enough. The single hunter decides he doesn't like doing all the hunting for everyone else so he protests. Then the socialist central planner gets the socialist cop to enforce the socialist plan and uses force and violence to force the single hunter to hunt. All socialist societies result in force in violence because of course nobody wants to do the dangerous work.
So the next day, the hunter goes off and never returns to his socialist tribe which is no longer an anarchy and is now ruled by violent socialist dictators who are starving to death. And socialism, tyranny, oppression, and totalitarianism will have to wait another 25,000 years...
Last edited by Grok; 06-23-2012 at 08:24 AM.
Female, age 51, 5' 9"
SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.
Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
2013 goals are to get fit and strong!