If we ignore our close emotional attachment to the ocean, then the future is dire for our species and for our planet.
This is the view of a world-renowned oceans expert at The University of Western Australia who will give a free public lecture at UWA this month.
Winthrop Professor Carlos Duarte, Director of the UWA Oceans Institute, contends that the view that humans evolved in the African savannah does not explain the major deviations in morphology, anatomy and physiology between us and other terrestrial mammals, including closely related apes.
The alternative hypothesis, supported by Professor Duarte, is that humans evolved in coastal environments. This is consistent with the positions of the oldest human dwellings and evidence of seafood in early human diets, he believes.
"Our fascination with the ocean can be best explained through the long evolutionary history of the relationship between humans and the sea," he said. "But the rupture of this relationship has important consequences for our health. Whereas our emotional and psychological attachment to the oceans is strong enough to provide the impetus to initiate a returning pathway, this pathway will be most effective if illuminated by scientific knowledge."
The lecture is presented by UWA's Institute of Advanced Studies as part of the "Ocean Solutions for Humanity's Grand Challenges" series.
WHAT: Free public lecture, The Role of the Ocean in Human Evolution, History and Future.