Childhood and Human Evolution
Friedrich Kipp proposes that a prolonged childhood - where the child is protected and nurtured - has been, and continues to be, a necessary part of human evolution. Kipp's comparative study of the juvenile stage in animals and humans also sheds surprising new light on the process of human evolution, and our relation to animal primates. Some juvenile animals, especially primates, display characteristics remarkably reminiscent of human children. These are lost as the animals adapt to their specific ecological conditions, but the early similarities suggest that the main trunk of the evolutionary tree is closely connected with human evolution. In the rapid change of our contemporary society, the temptation is strong to accelerate development and rush children into adulthood. This study offers a compelling antidote to such pressures.