The New York Times and Human Evolution

The New York Times has an interesting article about human evolution. The article, called Lost in a Million-Year Gap, Solid Clues to Human Origins, discusses some of the issues raised by the recent discoveries at Ileret and, unlike most of the other media coverage, actually manages to do a good job. One of the more interesting aspects of the article was the mention of a new paper on the Dmanisi material coming out in this week’s Nature.

In other news…
Aargh! Ye be a daft bugger sailing six points off o’ the beam, if ye be not talking like a pirate today. It’ll be Davy Jones’ locker fer ye son’s o’ squid that spout off like lubbers!

4 Responses

  1. OK, since you mentioned it:
    why are pirate ships well-insulated?
    For the arrrrrrgh-value.
    [/obligatory pirate talk]
    fusilier, who actually owns a cannon, a tricorne hat, and a boarding hatchet
    James 2:24

  2. I noticed an all too typical mistake people make about evolution. The assumption that once a replacement species shows up, the predecessor must go extinct. The mistake here is the idea that a younger species in any way takes the place of the older, parent species. The new may displace the old, but it can’t be said to replace it.
    The lack of field research in Central Eurasia and paleoanthropology’s fixation on Homo erectus doesn’t help matters any. The auto-identification of the earliest Dmanisi specimens with erectus is one example of this trend towards cramming everything into the Homo erectus tent.
    The problem lies with the unfortunate lack of material from the gap. I suspect that there is a lot to be discovered from that horizon, as well as from sites in and around Central Eurasia and Southern Asia itself. Paleontological literature from Iran and Pakista may reveal a wealth of information on early hominids.
    So much to learn, so little data to work with.

  3. Here’s a great headline on a Reuters article:
    Human ancestor had mix of primitive, modern traits
    Do you think so?

  4. I just finished reading the nature article and am working on the supplementary material. At this point I would say that I do agree – it’s a very interesting mix.

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