Category: Human evolution

The Scientist and New Scientist have their say on “hard to make sense of” new human origins find from 400,000-yr-old DNA

We must be getting somewhere. It sounds like a soap opera now. In short, maybe we’ll never know but at least we’ll have a really detailed explanation of why we don’t. more

BBC on baffling new human origins find from 400,000-yr-old DNA

Remember this incident? “Complete skull of an adult male Homo erectus creates shock waves” Three is a trend, two is a coincidence, one is a fossil that creates shock waves. more

Baffling new human origins find from 400,000-yr-old DNA

Says researcher, That’s not what I would have expected; that’s not what anyone would have expected … more

Neanderthals organized their living spaces by task

But why was there “this idea” that Neanderthals would “just throw their stuff everywhere” anyway? If Neanderthals didn’t know how to be organized, they would not have survived as separate groups of humans as long as they did. more

Humans originated as a pig-chimp hybrid? Story making the rounds once more.

The Daily Mail writer finds the evidence “compelling.” And Dr. McCarthy professes to esteem pigs. Guess the dream never dies. more

When did humans begin to act modern?

There is actually a discipline that studies this (theoretical anthropogeny) but it doesn’t seem to have come to any conclusions. more

Neanderthal virus turns up in modern humans with cancer

Take home point: Humans today can differ significantly in the non-coding areas of their genomes. Maybe we know too little to know so much? more

Mystery human species unearthed from genome map of early humans?

“Species” interbreeding as readily as this? Conveniently, there are many definitions of “species” so the term can be flung around with abandon, provided one has the right credentials. more

No known hominin is a common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans?

As it happens, in the present state of the art, there seems to be no reliable human family tree. So schemes need neither be ignored nor reconciled. They can be advanced post-modernly, oblivious to each other. more

Reviewer: Less technologically developed peoples today are NOT our Stone Age ancestors!

Human evolution: Anthropologist takes Jared diamond’s latest book to task for this all-too-common false assumption. more

Were fast-evolving stretches of DNA crucial to human evolution?

These people could possibly be on to something (whatever it turns out to be). more

Neanderthals used string?

It would be interesting to know how they secured the string. A pendant that is worn close to the throat must be secured by a knot that can be tied and untied, or else by a clasp. more

Spears found from 280,000 years ago? Whose are they? Human family tree threatened?

As for the existing human family tree, aw, don’t worry about it. It’s already taken a huge hit from the recent Dmanisi find. more

Trimming the human evolutionary tree into a telephone pole?

Geologist Marcus Ross: From five species down to one. Neat trick, and would be fine by me. more

Did the prehistoric Denisovans cross Wallace’s Line?

Might explain some things. (But also, note the key terminology switch from “newly discovered human species” to “ancient human relatives.”) more

Does the herpes virus show that humans migrated out of Africa?

Either there was one mother of a green navy a long time ago, or there might be something in the Africa theory. Or something else. Let’s revisit this next year. more

It’s now disgust’s turn to have shaped human evolution

The thesis seems to be that the people who knew better than to behave this way were naturally selected for survival and thus shaped evolution more

Is the tidy picture of human and chimpanzee co-evolution turning into a collage?

“Some of these patterns of mRNA regulation have previously been thought of as evidence of natural selection for important genes in humans, but this can no longer be assumed,” Gilad said. more

Complete skull of an adult male Homo erectus creates shock waves

The level of variation between the skull remains at Dmanisi, supposedly different species, could well be matched among modern humans waiting for the bus in a multicultural city. more

Language evolved from chimp-like call signals, not hand gestures?

But it is not clear why such a system would develop into a language. more

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