Human Evolution

Category archives for Human Evolution

Two New Books on Human Evolution

The Fossil Chronicles: How Two Controversial Discoveries Changed Our View of Human Evolution and Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life are two very recent books on human evolution, both of which I recommend, depending on your interests. The first is by Dean Falk, who has studied brain endocasts for the…

A Tutorial in Human Behavioral Biology

If you read only one book this holiday season, make it all of the following twenty or so! But seriously … I’d like to do something today that I’ve been meaning to do, quite literally, for years. I want to run down a selection of readings that would provide any inquisitive person with a solid…

When Humans met Neandertals

Check out this video my friend Lynn made:

Behaviors are not caused by genes. There is not a gene that causes you to be good, or to be bad, or to be smart, or good at accounting, or to like bananas. There are, however, drives. “Drives” is a nicely vague term that we can all understand the meaning of. Thirst and hunger are…

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…

Richard Tokumei has written a book that is so bad he is ashamed to put his own name on it. “Richard Tokumei” is the pen name of a ‘writer/editor in Southern California [with] degrees in Humanities and Phychology from the University of California Berkeley” and he has produced a book designed to anger everyone who…

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…

Falsehoods: Human Universals

There are human universals. There, I said it. Now give me about a half hour to explain why this is both correct and a Falsehood. But first, some background and definition.

Human infants require more care than they should, if we form our expectations based on closely related species (apes, and more generally, Old World simian primates). It has been said that humans are born three months early. This is not accurate. It was thought that our body size predicted a 12 month gestation, and some…

A recent paper provides the groundwork to establish a way for exercise to diminish appetite. Or, more likely, for sedentary behavior to increase appetite.