Sunday Music

From It’s a Beautiful Day…

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Muffler Falls Off Ford Pinto: Luskin on Dmanisi

I’ve been wondering what the creationist response to the new Dmanisi article in Nature would be. The Discovery Institute’s decrepit Ford Pinto gets pushed to the podium (sans muffler, a few wheels and a bumper or two). I say decrepit because Luskin’s post is, to put it charitably, pitiful. Finds at Dmanisi have been cropping up since sometime in the early 1990’s. The site itself dates to around 1.77 MYA based on 40Ar-39Ar dating as well as geomagnetic polarity studies. The site contains stone tools similar to the Oldowan core and flake industry found in East Africa. Skeletal material from a number of hominins have also been found there.

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What Seals Can Tell Us About Past Climates

Seals can be rather interesting creatures. Northern fur seals are even more interesting. A recent article in The Holocene combines zooarchaeology and knowledge of seal behavior to reconstruct the spread of Bering Sea ice expansion during the Neoglacial.

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Facebook Sucks Used Kitty Litter, As Does Wesley Clark

See here for why Facebook sucks.
For why Clark sucks see this

Oh Fudge! Information Overload, Brain Melting

Yup, it’s been one of those weeks. I had planned on writing about quadrupedalism in primates. Then, I got word of a fascinating new zooarchaeological study on northern fur seals. Then the FOXP2 story about bat echolocation came out, then the Dmanisi paper, and now I hear that there is going to be an article in Science on Homo floresiensis. While I try to defrag my brain you might want to read the following:
Is a lack of fossils the problem with early Homo?
Dmanisi’s Paleoanthropological Importance
Flores Hobbits real deal with wrists
‘Hobbit’ May Be Extinct Species

FOXP2 and Echolocation

The FOXP2 gene has been been implicated in evolution of human language and now, according to Science Daily, the gene has a role in echolocation as well. The research is being published in PLOS One (I haven’t had a chance to read it yet so I am relying on Science Daily). According to Science Daily:

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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.

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