Monthly Archives: November 2011

Bouncing Off the Bottom

Actually going extinct would seem to be a bad thing,  but a close call can, in principle, be a good thing. Pathogens can be a heavy burden on a species, worse than a 50-lb sack of cement.   Lifting that burden … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

First-Mover Advantage

Increasingly, it looks as if the hunter-gatherers who lived in Europe at the end of the ice age have been largely replaced.   Judging from all those U5 mtdna results from ancient skeletons, I’d say that the hunters don’t account for … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Six Black Russians

Every now and then, I notice someone, often an anthropologist,  saying that human cognitive capability just has to be the same in all populations.  According to Loring Brace, “Human cognitive capacity , founded on the ability to learn a language, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 45 Comments

Surfing the Wave

Cane toads, to general dismay, have been spreading rapidly in Australia. And in the course of that spread, they have evolved.  This is particularly true at the front of the wave of toads.  Those leading-edge toads have longer legs, are … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | 3 Comments

Back to the trees

There is still doubt, but there seems to be a good chance that the Flores Hobbit was a member of a distinct hominid species, rather than some homo sap with a nasty case of microcephalic dwarfism.   If this is the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments