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Learn to Speak: Toss a Spear

Human language evolved after our ancestors learned to throw a spear, according to William H. Calvin, in his new book A Brief History of the Mind: From Apes to Intellect and Beyond (Oxford, 2003).  Robin Dunbar is not too sure about this, in a book review in the Feb. 26 issue of Nature.1  Although he […]

Early Man Studies: Start Over

Anthropologist Leslea J. Hlusko (U. of Illinois) had some stern advice for her paleoanthropologist colleagues in PNAS1 recently.  Noting that “Competing interpretations of human origins and evolution have recently proliferated despite the accelerated pace of fossil discovery,” she thinks an approach is needed that integrates genetics and development with the search for bones.  She takes […]

Evolutionists Publish Racist Book

“Disturbing” is how Robert N. Proctor (Penn State) describes a new book by two prominent evolutionists in the Feb. 5 issue of Nature.1  The book is Race: The Reality of Human Differences by Vincent Sarich and Frank Miele (Westview, 2004), and Proctor has a lot of politically correct diatribe to heap on it, though reluctantly: […]

Why Darwin Is Like Yoda, and Darwinism Like Marxism

Homage for the master is palpable in John Vandermeer’s review (Science, Jan. 23)1 of a thick new book entitled Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution by Odling-Smee, Laland and Feldman (Princeton, 2004).  Vandermeer seems almost worshipful in his opening lines: The nascent germ of many novel ideas in biology can be traced directly or […]

The New Phrenology Ostracizes Neanderthals

Scientists contrasted different points on Neanderthal skulls to modern human skulls, and concluded Neanderthals were a separate species.  The New York Times report by John Noble Wilford says that not all scientists are convinced, however, by the analysis published by Katerina Harvati et al. in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1 Jan. 26 […]

Line Between Neanderthals and Modern Humans Blurs

There seems to have been an intergradation between big-boned Neanderthals and modern humans, according to the BBC News.  “Newly identified remains from Vindija in Croatia, which date to between 42,000 and 28,000 years ago, are more delicate than ‘classic’ Neanderthals,” writes Paul Rincon.  Not only that, stone tools found nearby look like those of modern […]

Art Evolution Is Backwards

Early art has again been shown to be the work of advanced intellect and culture (see Apr. 22 headline and embedded links).  Carved animal figurines found in Germany1 estimated to be 30,000 to 33,000 years old, display a level of craftsmanship not expected among primitive humans.  In the Dec. 18 issue of Nature2, Anthony Sinclair […]

Human-Ape Gap Quadruples

Remember that old truism that humans and chimpanzees share 98.5% of their genes?  Try 94% instead.  That’s a new estimate by Matthew Hahn (Indiana U) and a team who published in a new online journal, PLoS One.1  J.R. Minkel, writing for Scientific American, said “The 6 percent difference is considerably larger than the commonly cited […]

Cooking Up Human Evolution, Or a Crock?

51; What’s cooking in human evolution stories?  “Cooking is what made us human,” announced zoologist Richard Wrangham on New Scientist.  “Cooking food allowed our ancestors to evolve our big brains, the zoologist argues, and created the gender roles still observed by most people.”  The reporter apparently did not catch the embedded Lamarckism in that sentence.  […]

Intelligent Design Put to Good Scientific Use

51; Evolutionists try to portray intelligent design as something outside of science that threatens science.  Actually, the techniques of intelligent design are hard at work within science, and have been for some time.  Examples are not hard to find on a variety of fronts. Archaeology:  “The ability to tell the difference between crystals that formed […]

Evolutionists Reduce Human Ideals to Molecules

Two recent stories illustrate the attempt by some evolutionary biologists to reduce complex human behaviors to chance events among molecules. You Are What You Get High On:  Michael Balter in ScienceNow asked, “Did endorphins make us more human?”  Pondering that question is a photo of a chimp and a naked ape (i.e., man) facing opposite […]

Out-of-Africa Theory Becomes More Convoluted

The old simple story that early modern humans migrated out of Africa 40,000 years ago and took over Europe from brutish Neanderthals just got more complicated.  A new theory mentioned in National Geographic News now proposes that they took a side trip to India first, 70,000 years ago.  After knocking off Heidelberg Man there, they […]

Rooting for Human Evolution

Can you squeeze human blood out of a turnip?  A new story floating around for how humans began their long divergence away from apes in the jungle was that they developed a taste for roots.  EurekAlert reported a story coming out of U of Minnesota: “About five to seven million years ago, when the lineage […]

Press Goes Ape Over Baby Lucy

The news media, especially National Geographic, BBC News, and Associated Press (see Fox News) have new fodder for human-evolution stories and artwork, now that a partial skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis has been reported in Nature.1  The teeth, cranium, shoulder blades, fingers, inner ear, hyoid bone and other well-preserved parts match “typical African ape morphology.”  This […]

Dmanisi Homo erectus Fossil Count Grows

More bones matching the skulls from the purported Eurasian Homo erectus skulls in Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia have been found (for background, see 08/31/2005 bullet 5, 03/20/2005, 08/01/2002, 11/29/2002).  The find was reported in Nature1 with commentary by Daniel Lieberman in the same issue.2     The bones, including ribs, leg bones and arm bones, […]
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