Monthly Archives: January 2008

Are We In The Anthropocene? No.

ResearchBlogging.orgProposals to give the latter part of the present geological period (the Holocene) a new name … the Anthropocene … are misguided, scientifically invalid, and obnoxious. However, there is a use for a term that is closely related to “Anthropocene” and I propose that we adopt that term instead. Continue reading Are We In The Anthropocene? No.

Human Evolution on Trial – Species – by Terry Toohill

This is a very interesting guest post at Remote Central:

All species vary through time and space. You don’t necessarily look the same as any one of your ancestors. Therefore “like begets like” but each individual can be a bit different. It is impossible for a sperm whale to evolve from a bowl of petunias, or a duck from a dandelion, as some creationist and Intelligent Design supporters accuse evolutionists of believing. But over time it is possible for a cow to evolve from something like a camel, or a human to evolve from something like an ape. Evolution doesn’t proceed in a straight line though, especially not a straight line with a human at the end.

Read it all here.

Paola Antonelli: Treating design as art

Paola Antonelli, design curator at New York’s MOMA, wants to spread an appreciation of design, in all shapes and forms — and to remove any stigma of it being considered mere decoration. She takes the TED2007 audience on a whistlestop tour of some design exhibitions she has organized, including “Mutant Materials,” “Workspheres” and “Safe.” Continue reading Paola Antonelli: Treating design as art

Biology of Color Preference

ResearchBlogging.orgColor is funny. Anthropologists have long known that different cultures have different relationships, linguistically and in day to day practice, to the color spectrum. For example, the Efe Pygmy Hunter-Gatherers of the Ituri Forest describe things as white, black, or red, and that’s it. They live in a world of green. Going with the model for “Eskimos” having a hundred words for snow because snow is so important in their environment, one would expect that the Efe would have a hundred words for green. On the other hand, the Efe Hunter-Gatherers must have a fairly primitive culture, compared, say, to those of us living in Coon Rapids Minnesota, that of course they have fewer words for different colors. Continue reading Biology of Color Preference