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Science  15 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5558, pp. 1225
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5558.1225

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Summary

Most anthropologists think that advanced human cognition was no evolutionary accident but an adaptation to a challenging environment. Experts have suggested that a series of wild global climate swings, which were especially intense beginning about 250,000 years ago, forced hominid species to adapt or go extinct.