From Bookforum's Omnivore blog, this collection of links looks at current thinking in the world of evolutionary theory.
One addition from today's news: 300,000-Year-Old Hearth Uncovered in Israel, via Live Science.
It's not entirely clear who was cooking at Qesem Cave. A study published about three years ago in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology described teeth found in the cave dating to between 400,000 and 200,000 years ago. The authors speculated the teeth might have belonged to modern humans (Homo sapiens), Neanderthals or perhaps a different species, though they noted they couldn't draw a solid conclusion from their evidence.Cool . . . .
The current state of evolutionary theory
Jan 27 2014
- Richard Bankoff (Penn State): The Current State of Evolutionary Theory: A Historical Perspective.
- From the new Princeton Guide to Evolution, here are samples entries “What is Evolution”, “Human Evolution”, “Evolutionary Limits and Constraints”, and “Ancient DNA”.
- DNA from a 400,000-year-old fossil in Spain most closely matches another extinct human lineage, Denisovans, whose remains have been found thousands of miles away in Siberia.
- This skull may have just rewritten the book on human evolution.
- Razib Khan on the long First Age of mankind.
- Light skin in Europeans stems from one 10,000-year-old ancestor who lived between India and the Middle East, claims study.
- Research suggests natural selection can favor “irrational” behavior.
- Does modern life make us less rational? Isolated hunter-gatherers act more rational than western consumer.
- Annalee Newitz on how evolution is steered by aggressive competition between females.
- A new study finds Finnish men who suffered long periods of unemployment were more likely to possess a genetic marker indicating premature aging.
- Are we still evolving? Yep, but there's a catch: Our identities might be too fluid for any advantageous mutations to take hold.
- There’s a gene for that: Pankaj Mehta on how history is littered with horrifying examples of the misuse of evolutionary theory to justify power and inequality — welcome to a new age of biological determinism.
- Kristi McGuire interviews Henry Gee, author of The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Evolution.
- Karl W. Gibers on how 2013 was a terrible year for evolution.