Cave Bear DNA and Homo floresiensis

Cave Bear Skull  In a previous post I mentioned that a large segment of the Cave bear genome had been sequenced. I also mentioned that the researchers responsible for sequencing the cave bear DNA were planning on trying the same techniques on neanderthal DNA. Well, there is a new wrinkle:Homo floresiensis  Another possibility is to […]

Cave Bears an Neanderthals

As mentioned several posts ago, scientists have succeeded in sequencing the nuclear DNA of cave bears. It is estimated that the DNA in question was approximately 40,000 years old. The possibility was raised the the technique could be used to sequence Neanderthal nuclear DNA. Previous attempts to sequence Neanderthal DNA focussed on mitochondrial DNA (a […]

Stupid Creationist Quote of the Week

Today we have comments by two commenters at UD. First up is a commenter named Barb. Barb left a rather lengthy comment talking about Lucy. The part that earned her a “stupid creationist quote” award is this: The paucity of fossil evidence makes knowing all of human evolutionary history impossible. The best evidence for Lucy […]

Note to DaveScot: Hominin Fossils Would Fill a Coffin Many Times Over

Over at UD DaveScot makes a claim profoundly at odds with reality (no surprise there, eh). Specifically, in the thread that about MacCallum’s PLOS article Davescot says: All the hominid fossils we have wouldn’t fill a single coffin. I guess DaveScot doesn’t know that over 400 Neanderthal fossils have been discovered. Many such as at […]

Book Review: The Origin of Races by Carleton Coon

Awhile back Kambiz wrote a post about a recent paper by Mark Stoneking, during the course of which, Carleton Coon’s book got mentioned. When first published The Origin of Races created considerable controversy and Coon was roundly vilified by a number of physical anthropologists. About 12 years ago, while in college, I happened to buy […]

Homo floresiensis: How Did This Dreck Get Published?

One of my readers (thanks Sabine) tracked the article down, so I have had a chance to read it. All I can say is “Wow!” There is certainly a lot of questionable material in it, to the point that I have to wonder how the paper made it through peer-review. Think I’m exaggerating? Here is […]

Casey Luskin and Selam

Casey Luskin has a misleading piece about Selam – the juvenile Australopithecus afarensis specimen that has been in the news recently. The Luskin piece is over at Evolution News and Views – the propaganda arm for the DI. Lets take a look at how accurate Luskin is…

SARS Linked to Bats

To the left are Horseshoe bats. They come from China, Australia, Wales and Wales respectively. In a paper to be published in PNAS, researchers have discovered a genetic relative of the SARS virus in Horeshoe bats. From The Globe and Mail: Scientists from State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the University of Hong […]

Neanderthals and Skeletal Biology

Back in April I wrote this post on skeltal biolgy. The post was about how several different techniques, such as stable isotope analysis, could reveal a lot about skeletal material. In that post I talked about how stable isotope anlysis helped document slavery in South Africa. Here is another, admittedly old, example. There has been […]

The Peopling of America: Clovis and The Pre-Projectile Point Horizon

One of the main goals of Americanist archaeology is to elucidate the cultural history of North America. Perhaps, the biggest problem concerns how and when North America was first settled. Recent finds at the Topper site in North Carolina may provide an answer to the when. Before I can discuss that, however, a little background […]