Anthropology

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Category archives for Anthropology

Announcing Australopithecus Sediba

If you’re reading a science story today, chances are you’re going to see the name Australopithecus sediba in it. That’s the designation of the hominid fossil discovered in South Africa in 2008, which is making its debut in tomorrow’s edition of Science. And now that the embargo has been lifted, you’re also likely to see…

Living This Way

When it comes to human nature, everyone’s an expert—so let’s argue about it, shall we? On Cognitive Daily, Dave Munger reviews an investigation into the truly fairer sex which suggests that “men are more tolerant of their friends’ failings than women.” Not convinced? Then counter your intuition on The Frontal Cortex, where Jonah Lehrer writes…

The Buzz: Believe It or Not

Humans believe a lot of things, for a lot of reasons. Confronted by a student who had learned lions’ manes are an expression of their testosterone level–and not just a bit of claw-catching fluff–Greg Laden observes that when someone finds you wrong on one count, they will assume you are wrong about everything. He calls…

The Buzz: The Ardi Bandwagon

On October 1, 2009 paleontologists announced the discovery of the oldest known primitive hominid fossil, Ardipithecus ramidus dubbed “Ardi,” after 17 years of quietly studying its significance. Nearly a month after its grand unveiling to the media, biologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary anthropologists are still atwitter as scores of articles continue to be published around Ardi.…

The Buzz: Scientists’ Fall Movie Favs

Labor Day marks the traditional transition into fall. It also boasts some of the busiest days for moviegoers, and ScienceBloggers have early reviews of two of the season’s films. The Primate Diaries takes a critical look at Peter Jackson’s blockbuster film District 9 through the eyes of an anthropologist, citing its “eerily familiar” messages about…

Human nature is often cited as an explanation for behavior—not a result. But as Eric Michael Johnson of The Primate Diaries explains, human nature is as much a product of individual actions as it is a driving force. And knowing how social structures arise out of individual patterns of behavior may help us adapt to…

In the course of anthropological history, several developments served to set humans apart from other mammals: Tools, language, and domestication all played an instrumental role in shaping our evolution. Now, Razib of Gene Expression reviews a recently published book, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, that argues that the ability to extract maximum energy…