September 29th, 2014 · No Comments
Ancient human genome from southern Africa throws light on our origins
September 29, 2014
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
The skeleton of a man who lived 2,330 years ago in the southernmost tip of Africa tells us about ourselves as humans, and throws some light on our earliest common genetic ancestry. The man’s genome was sequenced and shown to be one of the ‘earliest diverged’ — oldest in genetic terms — found to-date in a region where modern humans are believed to have originated roughly 200,000 years ago.
he skeleton of a man who lived 2,330 years ago in the southernmost tip of Africa tells us about ourselves as humans, and throws some light on our earliest common genetic ancestry.
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September 23rd, 2014 · No Comments
Firelight talk of the Kalahari Bushmen: Did tales told over fires aid our social and cultural evolution?
September 22, 2014
University of Utah
A study of Africa’s Kalahari Bushmen suggests that stories told over firelight helped human culture and thought evolve by reinforcing social traditions, promoting harmony and equality, and sparking the imagination to envision a broad sense of community, both with distant people and the spirit world.
!Kung Kalahari Bushmen in Africa sit in camp. A University
of Utah study of nighttime gatherings around fires by these
hunter-gatherers suggests that human cultural development
was advanced when human ancestors started telling stories
around the fire at night to reinforce social traditions,
promote harmony and spark the imagination.
A Relentless March to War
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” Defames Bonobos
by Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
As Dawn of the Planet of the Apes leaps and bounds onto humanity’s big screens, captivating audiences with its 3D “motion capture” CGI and eye-popping FX, putting us in touch with our inner ape and making a ton of cash for its producers (debuting at a whopping $73 million), it is dangerously misleading about bonobos.
What’s the big deal about bonobos? The rare and marvelous “Make-Love-Not-War” great apes, bonobos are, like common chimpanzees, incredibly close to us; in fact, they are almost 99% genetically similar to humans. Unlike common chimps, humans and all other Great Apes, bonobos have never been seen killing each other in the wild or captivity. Their remarkable, mostly matriarchal culture seems to use sex, erotic play and physical affection to prevent murder and war. This may sound fantastical enough to be science fiction, but it is primatological fact.
How A Troublesome Inheritance Gets Human Genetics Wrong
Time and again, data that refutes Nicholas Wade’s arguments in A Troublesome Inheritance is not only available and widely cited in the population genetics literature—it is often in the text of the papers listed in his endnotes.
The Molecular Ecologist
May 29, 2014