New Scientist Instant Expert: Human Evolution Abstract: We tend to imagine our distant evolutionary past as a time of harsh competition and invulnerability. Surely our ancestors would never have “made it” if they showed signs of physical or emotional weakness? However a close look at the archaeological record suggests an entirely different story. Our sensitivity to others distress, our emotional vulnerability and our need to find comfort in people, pets and even precious objects around us may have been the surprising key to what made human communities work in entirely new ways. What we’ve always thought of as weaknesses, might just be our most significant strengths.