Human Evolution

Category archives for Human Evolution

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…

I just want to say that Huxley is pretty bad at swimming. I quickly add, for a 3 year old human, he’s pretty darn good at it. Amanda’s family is very aquatic, as tends to happen when everyone spends several weeks per year (or longer) on the edge of a lake. They can all ski…

Following on discussion arising from this post, here is a revised discussion of throwing in human evolution. The question of diversity in science, and more specifically, success for women, is often discussed in relation to bench or lab oriented fields. If you read the blogs that cover this sort of topic, they are very often…

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…

A large scale model of a human brain has been created by a team of scientists at the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience, University of Waterloo, Ontario. This is a virtual model, inside a computer, that involves 2,5 million virtual neurons structures in a pattern resembling the overall human brain’s anatomy, including cortical regions, motor control…