The intermixing of modern humans and Neanderthals is back in the news: BBC News - DNA yields secrets of human pioneer. DNA analysis of a 45,000-year-old human has helped scientists pinpoint when our ancestors interbred with Neanderthals. The genome sequence from a thigh bone found in Siberia shows the first episode of mixing occurred between 50,000 … Continue reading Maybe we’ve found Neanderthals, and they are us.
The extinction and competition hypotheses for the demise of the Neanderthals, notably suggested by interdisciplinary scientist and author Jared Diamond, hinge on the idea that humans were more advanced than Neanderthals. Commonly claimed are the following: that humans had more communicative abilities, were more efficient hunters, had superior weaponry, ate a broader diet, and had … Continue reading When It Comes to Neanderthals, Humans May Be the Borg
Neanderthals thrived in a large swath of Europe and Asia between about 350,000 and 40,000 years ago. They disappeared after our ancestors, a group referred to as “anatomically modern humans,” crossed into Europe from Africa. In the past, some researchers have tried to explain the demise of the Neanderthals by suggesting that the newcomers were … Continue reading Neanderthals were not inferior to modern humans, says CU-Boulder study
Early humans may have evolved black skin to protect against a very high risk of dying from ultraviolet light-induced skin cancer, a new analysis concludes. Skin cancer has usually been rejected as the most likely selective pressure for the development of black skin because of a belief that it is only rarely fatal at ages … Continue reading Skin cancer risk may have driven evolution of black skin — ScienceDaily
“This suggests that when ancient humans met and mixed with Neanderthals, the two species were at the edge of biological incompatibility,” said Reich, who is also a senior associate member of the Broad Institute and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Present-day human populations, which can be separated from one another by as … Continue reading Neanderthals’ Genetic Legacy | HMS
All instances of a gene mutation that contributes to light skin color in Europeans came from the same chromosome of one person who most likely lived at least 10,000 years ago, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. via Studies of a skin color gene across global populations reveal shared origins | Penn State … Continue reading Studies of a skin color gene across global populations reveal shared origins | Penn State University
In February 1971, Lunar Module pilot Edgar Mitchell was on his way back from the Moon when he had an epiphany. Staring out the window at the stars, he realized that everything is connected. The experience was so \"puzzling and powerful,\" he told me, that upon touchdown he launched a quest into what it was … Continue reading Awe Increases Religious Belief | Matthew Hutson
An interesting article at io9: 8 Incredible Facts You May Not Know About Human Evolution. For most of the time that modern humans have existed on the planet, we've been hunter gatherers. It's not until about 10,000 or so years ago that people started settling down and farming, with civilization cranking up around 5000 years ago. … Continue reading 8 Incredible Facts You May Not Know About Human Evolution