Category Archives: anthropology

Will humans become two subspecies?

UPDATE: I’ve heard from Dr. Curry about this piece; he’s appalled that it was published and explains the situation: I’m sorry that you had to waste some of your valuable time dealing with the old news story about the future of human evolution. The story purports to be about my ‘research’ on the future of […]

Jane Goodall apparently guilty of plagiarism and sloppy science writing

Jane Goodall’s observations of the chimps at Gombe is perhaps the most famous work in primatology in the 20th century, and she’s rightly famous for her meticulous observations, her absolute dedication to her fieldwork, her discovery of many traits in our closest relatives that were thought unique to humans, and her tireless work on biological […]

E. O. Wilson mistakenly touts group selection (again) as a key factor in human evolution

As most of you know, Edward O. Wilson is one of the world’s most famous and accomplished biologists.  He was the founder of evolutionary psychology (known as “sociobiology” back then), author of two Pulitzer-Prize-winning books, one of the world’s great experts on ants, an ardent advocate for biological conservation, and a great natural historian. His […]

The Piltdown Hoax at 100

by Greg Mayer The Geological Society (London) is having a special meeting today to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Piltdown  hoax. There will also be a tour of a new special exhibit at the Natural History Museum (which also has a nice Piltdown website). It was exactly 100 years ago today that Charles Dawson, […]

Creationist #3: One error after another

In the last ten days or so I’ve featured posts by two creationists trying to promulgate their misguided biology on my site. This is the last one, who goes by the name “Synapticcohesion.” As always, I’m proffering this for educational and sociological reasons: to display the mindset and tactics of those who reject modern biology […]

Ancient sacrificed children studied for infection

In the past 500 years, humanity has come a long distance in the way we treat children, women, animals, those of other faiths, and members of other cultures; see Steve Pinker’s superb new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, for the documentation.  A graphic example of this progress comes from a new paper in […]

The peopling of the Americas

by Greg Mayer The Americas were the last continents to be inhabited, and there has long been controversy about how and when it occurred. There is a general consensus that the earliest Americans arrived from northeastern Asia in the late Quaternary, but the exact peoples involved, the routes taken, when they arrived, and the modes […]

RIP Philip Tobias

If you haven’t heard of Philip Tobias—and you should if you know a bit about human evolution—you will have heard of the Sterkfontein Caves, a World Heritage Site excavated by Tobias, a paleoanthropologist who spent most of his career at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tobias died Saturday June 7 at age 86. […]

A book to anticipate—with a bit of trepidation

Reader Phil called my attention to a new book by primatologist Frans de Waal that will be published next year, The Bonobo and the Atheist  (March 2013, W. W. Norton, though Amazon says Feb. 25). The Norton description sounds intriguing: Drawing on his landmark research, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal traces the biological roots of […]

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