Human Evolution

Category archives for Human Evolution

How Dogs Won The World

Years ago I proposed a theory (not anywhere in print, just in seminars and talks) that went roughly like this. Humans hunt. Dogs hunt. Prey animals get hunted. Each species (or set of species) has a number of characteristics such as the ability to stalk, track, kill, run away, form herds, etc. Now imagine a…

A few days ago the UN agency in charge of keeping track of cancer risks listed meat and processed meats as to some degree or another likely to cause an increase in cancer risks. I wrote about that here. More recently. I was interviewed by Joshua Holland on the Politics and Reality Radio show about…

There is a new paper in Science linking genetic variation in people living in Greenland with long term selection for managing a marine-oriented diet, affecting stature, weight, and probably, physiological processing of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The vast majority of the variation we seen in stature (height) among humans is not genetic. That is…

Tales of the Ex-Apes

Jonathan Marks’ new book is called “Tales of the Ex-Apes: How We Think about Human Evolution” I’ve got to tell you that when I first saw the title of this book, the letters played in my head a bit. Tails of the Ex-Apes. That would be funny because apes don’t have tails. Or Tales of…

A new early human fossil has been reported, recovered from the seabed near Taiwan. We are calling it Penghu 1. Simply put, it is the lower right jaw of a hominid (hominine) that most resembles either a form of Homo erectus or Archaic Homo sapiens (kin to, but not, Neanderthal). Teeth are fairly useful for…

Over 600 (as of this writing) neuroscientists from around the world, but with a very large proportion representing Europe, have written an open letter expressing concern with the Human Brain Project (HBP) and its cousin the U.S. BRAIN Initiative. It appears that the neuroscience community regards these projects as of relatively low value, while at…

I’m thinking it will be the food you eat that gets you. Here’s why. Humans eat a wide variety of foods; as a species, the diversity of species we eat is greater than any other animal by a very large margin, with the only quirky exception being the animals that we take along with us,…

How to find a Leprechaun

Nature editor and author Henry Gee has produced his Christmas list in which he describes his three wishes as an editor at a scientific journal; he enumerates the scientific discoveries that sit at the top of his professional “bucket list.” I started to write a comment on Henry’s blog post, here, but it turned into…

Catching Fire. The other one.

Catching Fire is apparently a very popular book and/or movie that everyone is very excited about. But Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human is a different a book about some interesting research I was involved in about the origin of our genus, Homo. You can pick up a copy of our paper on this…

Meat’ing future food demands

My friend and colleague Emily Cassidy gave this TED talk! Her research is some of the most important work being done. Have a look: