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Tibetans Evolved Altitude Tolerance in 3,000 Years

Tibetans and other peoples who live at high altitudes possess a remarkable tolerance to the thin atmosphere.  Now, scientists at UC Berkeley have identified some 30 genes related to oxygen regulation that differ in Tibetans from Han Chinese.  Since those tribes are thought to have diverged 3,000 years ago, natural selection for these changes must […]

Lucy Gets a Date with Big Man

Another specimen of Australopithecus afarensis has been announced from Ethiopia.  This one supposedly preceded Lucy by 400,000 years, and according to its discoverers, belonged to a group of primates that shows they “were almost as proficient as we are walking on two legs, and that the elongation of our legs came earlier in our evolution […]

Fossils Without Evolution

New fossils continue to turn up around the world.  Many of them have an amazing characteristic in common: they look almost exactly like their living counterparts, despite being millions of years old, according to the evolutionary timescale.  It’s interesting sometimes to hear how the evolutionists explain the remarkable lack of evolution in all that time. […]

Darwin’s Sweatshop: Why Ethiopia Made People Hairless

Five scientists think they have figured out why people walk upright and don’t have fur like other mammals.  They had to evolve in Ethiopia, where it is hot.  This led to the loss of body hair, and the evolution of sweat glands and other adaptations to deal with the heat.     It’s not that […]

Humans and Neanderthals Are One

If Neanderthals bred with modern humans, they are one and the same species.  That must be the case according to the most widely-accepted definition of a species: those who can breed and produce fertile offspring.  The news media are abuzz with Science magazine’s cover story this week, “The Neanderthal Genome.”1  Most anthropologists are now accepting […]

Another Fossil “Human Ancestor” Claimed

Meet Australopithecus sediba – or is it Homo something?  Scientists are arguing over how to classify new fossils found in a cave at Malapa, South Africa.  Announced today in Science,1 the fossils, alleged to be just under 2 million years old, are producing a strange mixture of hopeful headlines and cautionary counsels from experts.   […]

Early City Uncovered in Syria

A complex, stratified society with industry appears to have burst on the scene 4000 to 6000 years ago in northern Syria.  Science Daily reported, “The mound of Tell Zeidan in the Euphrates River Valley near Raqqa, Syria, which had not been built upon or excavated for 6,000 years, is revealing a society rich in trade, […]

How Much Can One Bone Say?

Two fossil discoveries are generating a lot of news from a single bone.  The first is a dinosaur hip.  The second is a human finger.  How much weight can a single bone carry? Australian tyrannosaur:  The tyrannosaurid dinosaurs had a distinctive hip bone.  Live Science cast any doubt on the claims: “it’s still a hypothesis […]

Laetoli Footprints Fully Modern Too Early

Science Daily has reported a bombshell announcement from the University of Arizona School of Anthropology: the famous Laetoli footprints in Africa said to be 3.6 million years old are identical to modern human prints. “Based on previous analyses of the skeletons of Australopithecus afarensis, we expected that the Laetoli footprints would resemble those of someone […]

Ida Not a Human Ancestor

If Ida known then what I know now: the media-frenzied presentation of Ida (Darwinius masillae) as a distant relative of human beings last year has been debunked.  “Many lines of evidence indicate that Darwinius has nothing at all to do with human evolution,” said Chris Kirk (U of Texas) in an article on Science Daily.  […]

Evolutionary Inferences: Are They Incontrovertible?

No matter what is found in plants or animals, it finds its way into an evolutionary explanation eventually.  Are these explanations driven by the data, or forced into a belief system?  Are other explanations possible?  Some recent reports might inform these questions. Your inner plant:  Get in touch with your inner plant with a report […]

Flabbergast: “Primitive” Human Ancestors Were Sailors

Could the headline be any more shocking if it read, “iPod found in King Tut’s tomb”?  Heather Pringle began a report in National Geographic News with, “It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.”  Stone tools alleged to be up to 130,000 years old have been found on the island of Crete.     Since Crete […]

The Evolution of Religion – or Vice Versa?

A Harvard professor has evolutionized religion again.  Marc Hauser, the one who trains his little boy to adore Darwin (07/03/2007) and wrote a book on how natural selection created morality (10/27/2006), is now saying that religion is a by-product of our evolution.  “These findings suggest that religion evolved from pre-existing cognitive functions,” he wrote in […]

Small Hobbit Brain Means Little

Central in the debate whether Homo floresiensis (nicknamed hobbits) were human is the matter of their small brains.  Could diminutive human-like skeletons really be human with such small skulls? (cf. 03/04/2005).     Scientists at the University of Cambridge conducted a detailed analysis of brain size vs. body size for a number of primates.  They […]

Barefoot Is Better

Who do we wear shoes?  It seems obvious; we expect that they help us avoid injuries and provide comfort.  Maybe we should think of the injuries we are getting by wearing them.     The image of the barefoot person is usually of someone poor, deprived, lower-class, hick, unclean, redneck or something else unattractive.  Shoes […]
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