Daily Archives: March 9, 2008

Evidence for an ancient lineage of modern humans

ResearchBlogging.orgIt almost seems like there are two separate research project under way regarding the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens. One focuses on recent humans, tends to use DNA as a major source of information, and from this base projects back into the past. This approach tends to confirm the idea that humans share an African origin with a subsequent spread from Africa, with various degrees of complexity in that series of historical events. The other focuses on early human remains, sometimes including remains that would be placed by some in a separate species or sub species. This sort of approach typically results in a similar conclusion regarding the African origin.But the two populations … modern or recent humans and humans several tens of thousands of years old do not necessarily share a history that has been coherently assembled by researchers. Of course, they shared an actual history, but do the lines linked together to make reconstructed phylogentic trees from these two data sources match up or integrate in any sensible way? Not really.A new paper coming out in the Journal of Human Evolution shares some light on how we might connect these similar but unintegrated reconstructions. Continue reading Evidence for an ancient lineage of modern humans

The Loonacy Must Stop

i-fe19751e660f79998f254d2ff51bf483-loon2.jpgLoons are the fish eating canaries of secluded northern lakes. Actually, over the last several decades, loons seem to have gotten more used to people then they used to be, but are still not really big on development.My personal belief (based on anecdotal observation) is that loons can identify, to at least some degree, individuals. When I am alone with the loons, at the lake, strange things happen that don’t happen to others or when others are around. Continue reading The Loonacy Must Stop

Icons of Evolution

There are two books called “Icons of Evolution.” One is by Jonathan Wells. The best way to learn about Well’s Icons of Evolution is to watch Randy Olson’s Flock of Dodos. It is an anti science piece of dreck.The other is a more recently published is Icons of Evolution [Two Volumes]: An Encyclopedia of People, Evidence, and Controversies (Greenwood Icons), and it is an entirely different book. I have heard about this book, but not read it. Since it came up in a comment I thought I’d give you a direct link and a little bit of information. Info from the publisher:

Students and the general public are frequently confronted with contradictory and confusing claims about the people, ideas, and artifacts that were essential in the development of the science of evolution. Where can they find accurate and understandable information on these important concepts? Icons of Evolution comprises twenty-four in-depth essays on the most famous ideas, artifacts, people and places of evolutionary biology. Dinosaurs, Neanderthals, Charles Darwin, peppered moths, carbon dating, the fossil record, and more, are explained by some of the most respected scientists, historians, and philosophers of evolution in the world. Icons of Evolution dispels some of the myths and confusion about evolution and answers questions like:i-5dbc99f62455bf02583988df1d8466a5-icons.jpgWhat do all those horse fossils mean? Was Archaeopteryx the first bird?What is a missing link and is it missing?Did Peking Man really disappear?Where did the word fossil come from?What does ‘survival of the fittest’ really mean?Why does the idea of evolution seem to scare people so much? While written by technical experts, Icons of Evolution uses non-technical language that explains these icons for readers new to the field and for those seeking more depth. Taken together these icons tell a story that is sometimes fascinating, sometimes puzzling, always thought provoking. It is a story billions of years in the making, and one that everyone needs to know.

Icons of Evolution is listd at $175.00. Ouch.