Human Evolution

Category archives for Human Evolution

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 is also 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 page. We call it “The Cooking…

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:

There is now a video and a transcript of the Evolutionary Psychology Panel at CONvergence 2013. Many of you, when you watch this, will become enraged at things said by the panelists. Rumors of what was said had already been spread around on the internet and as I understand it Jerry Coyne and Stephen Pinker…

There are bacteria that use Iron (and other elements) to make tiny magnets that they carry around so they don’t get lost. (I anthropomorphize slightly.) There are isotopes of Iron that are not of the Earth, but are found only elsewhere in the universe. Suppose an event happened elsewhere and spewed some of that cosmic…

Common misconceptions and unproven assumptions about the aquatic ape theory A Guest Post by Marc Verhaegen *2013 m_verhaegen@skynet.be It is often assumed that Alister Hardy’s and Elaine Morgan’s aquatic ape theory (AAT) suggests that more than 5 Ma (million years ago) there was a semi-aquatic phase in our past (explaining e.g. human fur loss, fatness…

Fighting Over Hobbit

The Hobbit is a book by JRR Tolkien, a just released blockbuster movie, and a hominid from Indonesia. Here, we are speaking about the hominid from Indonesia. A while back I wrote a review of a book by Dean Falk, for American Scientist. You can find that review here, and you can find a different…

People who do a lot of field work end up with interesting stories to tell, especially if the fieldwork is diverse and the conditions are adverse. Often, the sort of thing people want to know about is very different from the repertoire of available stories, but as long as the expectations of the audience is…