Origin of Modern Humans

Category archives for Origin of Modern Humans

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.

Neanderthals at the end of their days

What was Neanderthal-Modern Human interaction really like? Fifty four teeth (some of which are fragments) and nine other bones dating to about 40-43,000 years ago represent the “most recent, and largest, sample of southern Iberian late Neanderthals currently known.” These and some closely related remains may indicate that these Middle Paleolithic holdouts were kissing cousins…

Allen’s Rule. One of those things you learn in graduate school along with Bergmann’s Rule and Cope’s Rule. It is all about body size. Cope’s Rule … which is a rule of thumb and not an absolute … says that over time the species in a given lineage tend to be larger and larger. Bergmann’s…

New Hominid Fossil from Tanzania

One of the most important evolutionary transitions in human prehistory was the rise of modern humans (Homo sapiens) from earlier hominids. A newly reported fossil from Tanzania provides an important new data point necessary to understand this transition.

It almost seems like there are two separate research project under way regarding the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens. One focuses on recent humans, tends to use DNA as a major source of information, and from this base projects back into the past. This approach tends to confirm the idea that humans share an African…

Evolution: The Mind’s Big Bang

Evolution: The Mind’s Big Bang I’ve known Shea for years … since before grad school. Going out drinking with this guy was a little dangerous. Almost as dangerous as going out drinking with me.

Last night, the Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists club (C.A.S.H.) presented a debate between PZ Myers and Loyal Rue on the question: Can religion and science co-exist? I witnessed this event and would like to tell you what happened.

 Did humans wipe out the Pleistocene megafauna? This is a question that can be asked separately for each area of the world colonized by Homo sapiens. It is also a question that engenders sometimes heated debate. A new paper coming out in the Journal of Human Evolution concludes that many Pleistocene megafauna managed to…

Pumice is rock that is ejected from a volcano, and has so much gas trapped in it that it can float. So when a pumice-ejecting volcano (not all volcanoes produce pumice) goes off near a body of water, you can get a raft of rock floating around for quite some time. By and by, water…

Homo floresiensis more widely known as the “Hobbit,” may have had arms that were very different from those of modern humans. A paper in the current issue of the Journal of Human Evolution explores the anatomy of H. floresiensis. To explore this we first have to understand the concept of “Humeral torsion.” Humeral torsion is…