Posts tagged with ‘evolution

Tibetans got their amazing high altitude genes from long extinct Denisovans

Genetic research has already discovered that early humans in Europe mingled genes (bumped uglies) with Neanderthals, now it looks like Tibetans’ unique tolerance for extremely high altitudes can directly be traced to genes from another long extinct hominid race, the Denisovans. Denisovans were one of many ancient human species that lived at the same time as early Homo sapiens. The genes that Tibetans inherited allow for a better use of blood oxygen at higher altitudes that would make lesser mortals’ blood thicken above 15,000 feet to deadly levels.

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Teaching Creationism as science is now illegal in all UK classrooms

Seeing the craziness that has consumed parts of the US with religious groups trying to infiltrate Christianity into public school science classrooms with religion very poorly disguised as “science”, Great Britain recently made teaching Creationism in public schools a crime. As it should be.

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Human male faces may have evolved to take a beating

For a long time, it’s mainly been thought that the big difference in facial structure between men and women was a product of ancient aesthetic selection and due to the introduction to tougher to eat foods. But a new study theorizes that men’s larger brows, cheeks and jaws evolved through combat with other men. This theory seems to be controversial, though I’m not exactly sure why— it’s not like most males through mammals, birds, reptiles and even dinosaurs evolved some sort of physical adaptation to be able to deal with brawls amongst males of their same species. Obviously, we’ve also had pointy tools for a long, long time that do pretty well at cutting a bitch up instead of fists, which is why we haven’t evolved super jaws, but certainly one could imagine that among very early humans, men with fragile little girly jaws that couldn’t take a simple punch probably weren’t getting a whole lot of cavewoman pussy.

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Are you alone in the universe or are we connected?

To answer this question we have to take a look what “you” are first. What are you made of and where you stand in this universe. Are you your body? Your atoms? And how are your parts connected to the big picture?

Afternoon science: The difference between evolution and natural selection

A lot of people use the terms “evolution” and “natural selection” interchangeably, but before you make that mistake again, watch this video from Minute Earth.

Forty eight percent of Republicans don’t believe in evolution

A new Pew Research study finds that 48 percent of Republicans continue to believe that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time,” while 27 percent of Democrats continue to deny that species change and adapt.

via http://gawker.com/a-new-pew-research-study-finds-that-48-percent-of-repub-1492245345

http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/30/publics-views-on-human-evolution/

One-third of adults are complete fucking morons.  Happy fucking new year.

What happened to the hominid species that was way smarter than humans?

Over the past several decades, the number of hominid species early Homo sapiens lives alongside has exploded from Neanderthals plus a few pockets of dying, small stupid apelike hominids to a whole range of humanoids that might resemble something out of Tolkien— big ones, small ones, slight ones, hairy footed ones etc. But most of these species were either about our intelligence level to somewhat less. Yay, we’re the smart ones, we survived. But a new find in South Africa brings to light a new hominid species— one that probably had an average IQ of 150, which is considered genius level for us lowly Homo sapiens. Average. That means that the top half of the population would have made Einstein look like kind of a window-licking moron. So we’re not the smartest, just the most adaptable. But what happened to these super smarty pants hominids?

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Hard-carved javelin spear tips pre-date the origins of humans by 80,000. Probably aliens.

image

The oldest known stone-tipped projectiles have been found in Ethiopia, clocking in at around 280,000 years old. That’s about 88,000 years older than Homo sapiens. We know that we were not the only intelligent, tool building hominids— there were ones that came before us and existed at the same time as us, and this new find confirms that the rise of abstract intelligence was a long, slow process that occurred through many different hominid species over time. We weren’t the first, and we probably won’t be the last either.

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Afternoon animation: “Sticky”

A short animated documentary telling the astonishing story of the stick insects from Lord Howe Island and the scientists who brought them back from the brink of extinction. A love song to evolution, uniqueness, life and the little creatures underfoot. 

Life on Mars could have developed more quickly than here on Earth

Despite some people’s ideas that Earth is the little blue gem from which all life sprouts, new evidence suggests that not only may have Mars developed life much quicker and sooner than Earth, but the seeds of life on our planet may have come from the red planet before it was “the red planet”.

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How throwing became humanity’s best evolutionary weapon

As human beings, it seems like we’re outgunned in terms of evolutionary advantages. Okay, so we’ve got big brains that allow us to think abstractly, plan ahead, pass on knowledge and culture, and paired with deft hands, we can make powerful tools. But we don’t have claws or body armor or ferocious teeth or venom. We can’t run all that fast and we can’t jump very high. But what we do do very, very well… better than anything else, is throw stuff. 

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