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Have Darwinian Anthropologists Learnt Their Lessons?

Chris Stringer, writing for the BBC News, talked about “Piltdown’s lessons for modern science.”  After telling the history of the famous “missing link” fraud, he discussed four “lessons learnt” by one of the most notorious hoaxes in science history.  For one, “we mustn’t let preconceived ideas run away with us.”  For another, “specimens have to […]

Early Hunters Evolved Into Marathoners

Why are humans so good at endurance running?  According to Dan Lieberman of Harvard, “our body shape evolved to allow our ancestors to run long distances, and reach animal carcasses before other scavengers.”  He figured that “chasing animals until they collapse from exhaustion yields more meat per hunt than hunting with spears or a bow […]

More Scientists Claim “Hobbit Man” Was Fully Human

It was not a primitive form of Homo erectus that shrunk to a small stature because of being isolated on an island: it was one of us.  That’s what more scientists are saying about Homo floresiensis, the small-skulled pygmy skeletons found in Liang Bua cave on the island of Flores in Indonesia (10/27/2004)  The new […]

Should Elephants and Lions Be Reintroduced to North America?

Believe it or not, some scientists think large mammals that existed in North America in prehistoric times should be brought back.  This is called “rewilding,” in hopes of healing some of the ecological disruption caused when early humans “played a significant role in their demise 13,000 years ago.”  A dozen scientists provided a detailed proposal […]

Was Baby Lucy Someone Else’s Kid?

Jeffrey Schwartz (U of Pittsburgh) thinks the “child” skeleton nicknamed “Lucy’s baby” celebrated in the news media last month (09/20/2006) was probably not the same species as Lucy.  In fact, he’s not sure if anyone knows what species the skeleton found in Hadar, Ethiopia is.  According to a press release on EurekAlert, without exposed teeth […]

The Trouble with Neanderthals

If nothing else, the scientific investigation of Neanderthal Man is valuable for illustrating how fluid scientific opinion can be.  Since we found out Sept. 1 that Neanderthal genes may be lurking among us, two more unexpected claims have been made about these wrestler-build members of genus Homo. Hideouts and Holdouts:  Some Neanderthals may have lived […]

Express Your Inner Alley Oop

There’s a little Neanderthal in a lot of us, claims The Telegraph.  This is bad news and good news: People who have large noses, a stocky build and a beetle brow may indeed be a little Neanderthal, according to a genetic study.  But the good news is that other research concludes that Neanderthals were much […]

Upset Update: Globular Clusters, Atmospheric Methane Tear Up Textbooks

Here are a couple of updates to stories we reported earlier in the category “Everything we thought was wrong.” Globular cluster ages:  Our 10/05/2003 entry reported that beliefs about globular cluster ages were undergoing a radical revision.  You can almost feel the rumblings in a related story on News@Nature; “In a complex Universe, astronomers thought […]

Chimp-Human Genes Evolved Much Faster Than Expected

It’s been all over the news lately – human DNA shows surprisingly divergent regions from chimpanzee counterparts.  The Houston Chronicle, for instance, summarizes the find: Searching across the four genomes, the team looked for regions of DNA about 100 letters long that had made the biggest leaps. One, they found, had changed nearly twice as […]

Team Claims “Hobbit Man” Is Fully Human

The bones of Homo floresiensis that caused such a stir two years ago (10/27/2004) are human ancestors of the current population of pygmies living on the island today, not a new species, according to a press release from Penn State.  The individual with the small skull (LB1) suffered from microcephaly and the rest of the […]

Human Heads Are Shrinking

There’s no correlation between brain size and intelligence, and if anything, brains today have gotten smaller since the days of our Pleistocene ancestors.  That’s the gist of a report on ABC News Australia based on research at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research: “The genes that are thought to have helped humans evolve big brains […]

Neanderthal: Am I My Sequencer’s Brother?

Associated Press reported a two-year initiative to sequence the Neanderthal genome (see MSNBC News, and also a separate report on News@Nature).  A progressive creationist society headed by Dr. Hugh Ross, Reasons to Believe, is predicting the results “will show Neanderthals did not evolve into modern humans.” RTB has long contended that Neanderthal Man had nothing […]

The Evolution of Immaturity

[Guest Article]  Blame evolution for your teen’s immaturity.  The Discovery Channel has published a review of an upcoming paper by Bruce Charlton, professor of biology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  Charlton is a promoter of Evolutionary Psychology, a developing field of Psychology that attempts to explain all human characteristics in light of […]

When Evolutionist Rebukes Evolutionist, Watch Out

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend,” Solomon said.  Sometimes comrades need to rein in their own when they stray too far.  Kenneth M. Weiss and Anne V. Buchanan (Dept. of Anthropology, Penn State) had some stern rebukes for Nicholas Wade, who was just trying to praise Darwin in his new book Before the Dawn: […]

Hobbit Man, Neanderthal Man Further Scrutinized

The positions of two alleged human ancestors in the family tree is becoming clearer, or murkier, depending on whom you ask.  This illustrates the uncertainty and disparity of opinions in this field. Hobbit workshop:  Regarding the diminutive skeletons dubbed Homo floresiensis found in Indonesia, opinions seems to be condensing around the idea they were true […]
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