Archive for Anthropology

“Ida” Hype

Posted in Science with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2009 by neandergal

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It is unfortunate to have such a magnificent discovery like the 47 million year old fossil “Ida” or Darwinius masillae marred by the mass media that interject misleading statements such as the “missing link” and “how it will change everything” in regard to human evolution.

New Scientist explains that the discussion is on where Ida split off in the evolutionary tree and not whether she is the “missing link”.

New Scientist interviews the palaeontologist, Jørn Hurum at the University of Oslo in Norway who sets the fossil record straight in regard to recent hype.

On the one hand he applauds that the media coverage encourages public discussion on primate evolution, but on the other hand negates this progress because creationists use the misinformation by the media against evolutionary biologists.

Inaccurate and hasty reporting inadvertently discredits science. Creationists like Creation Ministries International hijack the hype of Ida and use it to further discredit science in the eyes of the public.

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More sex please! We’re religious conservatives.

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , on February 28, 2009 by neandergal

A recent survey shows hypocrisy at its best. An article in New Scientist, Porn in the USA, reports on a study by Harvard Business School that shows conservative and religious states are the biggest consumers of online pornography.

Apparently, 5.47 per 1000 consumers of online pornography in Utah regularly exchange bashing their Bible, or Book of Mormon for bashing their Bishop — except on Sundays. It turns out that a 0.1% drop in subscriptions correlates with a 1% increase in post code church attendance. Residents who most agreed with the statement, “I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage,” bought 3.6 per 1000 more subscriptions than those who disagreed with the statement.

It makes one wonder if even the believers really believe. Well, may be on Sundays.

Monkeys Hate Others’ Bonuses, Too

Posted in Science with tags , , , , on February 17, 2009 by neandergal

A report in Scientific American tells how primatologist Frans de Waal during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science explains that even monkeys know when they are being screwed.

It’s a shame the rest of us do not seem to know until it’s too late… Welcome to “Cucumberland.”

The Future of Man–How Will Evolution Change Humans?

Posted in Science with tags , , , on January 8, 2009 by neandergal

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-future-of-man

Peter Ward’s article, Future of Man – How Will Evolution Change Humans? in Scientific American Magazine discusses how we may have and continue to shape our evolution through changing the environment through technology. A study of genetic markers from 270 people showed that humans underwent some evolution as little as 5,000 years ago. In another study, large data sets of genetic variation showed how changes to the genome increased survival chances through increased resistance to diseases like Lasser fever and malaria and may explain differences in peoples’ ability to digest milk in different regions of the world.

Whatever the future holds for human evolution, it makes for interesting speculation and food for thought…for the time being.