Origin of Modern Humans

Category archives for Origin of Modern Humans

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…

Masters of the Planet

Yesterday I wrote about Chris Stringer’s modified version of human evolution. Today, let’s have a look at Ian Tattersall’s new book, Masters of the Planet: The Search for Our Human Origins (Macsci). Tatersall’s boo, like Sringer’s, is a good overview of the newer evidence in the constantly changing field, but he goes back earlier and…

The Evolution of Modern Humans

Chris Stringer’s new book, Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth, attempts to reconcile the age-old conflict between the “Multiregional” and “Out of Africa” hypotheses of Modern Human origins. Stringer has long been identified with the “Out of Africa” hypothesis, and his criticism of the Multiregional model pretty much still…

When Humans met Neandertals

Check out this video my friend Lynn made:

My interest is in developing a plausible evidence-based story of how modern humans emerged from ancestral species. This means guessing at what features of humans make us “human” and attempting to see the emergence of each of these features in the fossilized record of our bodies (bones) and behaviors (artifacts and archaeological sites). This question…

It is generally thought that life expectancy in the past was less that it is today for our species as a whole and in the case of industrialized countries in particular. However, this belief counts as a falsehood not because it is untrue (it is, in fact, true) but because many people get this idea…

Sex at Dawn

From Skeptically Speaking: We talk to author Christopher Ryan about his new book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. We’ll discuss the most recent science and theories, and how social norms compare to our biological impulses. This Friday. Details here. I may have to read this book.

The first part of this documentary, including the preface and the first several minutes of the main body of the work, should be deleted. The writers and producers who put that part together should be captured, gutted, eviscerated, and their dried and salted remains staked to the front entrance of the Public Broadcasting System as…

Sometimes people walk around with only half a brain, or a large portion of their brain disconnected, or simply having never developed, or an extra large brain, and we usually take little notice. But when there is a five or ten or twenty percent difference between two groups of people we are quickly willing to…

Musings on the Aquatic Ape Theory

The Aquatic Ape Theory is being discussed over at Pharyngula. As PZ points out, an excellent resource on this idea is Moore’s site on the topic. Here, I just want to make a few remarks about it.