Great Ape Language

Great Ape Language There has been continuous great ape language research for the past few decades.  What has this research told us about language in our closest relatives?  What can future research reveal about the origins of language and communication throughout the animal kingdom?  Cadell Last and Travis Steffens discuss. Full Podcast: Great Ape Language … Continue reading Great Ape Language


The Human Neocortex

The Human Neocortex In How To Create A Mind by Ray Kurzweil, the importance of the human neocortex is explored.  What is important about the human neocortex?  How did it evolve in our species?  The answer to these questions can shed light on one of the most important evolutionary developments in the history of life on Earth. … Continue reading The Human Neocortex

What Is More of a Threat to Science: Scientific Racism or Unscientific Creationism?

As an evolutionary anthropologist, I am uniquely situated within science to encounter racist and/or creationist thought.  Evolutionary anthropology produces the authoritative story of who we are and where we came from.  As such, it is impossible to de-politicize the subject.  It is also impossible to achieve complete objectivity.  The narrative evolutionary anthropologists construct of our … Continue reading What Is More of a Threat to Science: Scientific Racism or Unscientific Creationism?

Singularity Failure

Singularity Failure I recently read an article by computer scientist Vernor Vinge titled “What If the Singularity Does NOT Happen.”  I have become so accustomed to thinking about our future in the context of a technological singularity that a future without one seems strange.  What would it mean for our species in the long-term? Full … Continue reading Singularity Failure

Writing for Scientific American

Hi everyone,I plan on using this blog as a personal outlet, as opposed to the writing I do for The Advanced Apes in The Ratchet, which is specifically focused on big history and evolutionary studies.Over the past few months I have been trying to improve my abilities as a science writer through my website.  However, … Continue reading Writing for Scientific American

Building The Genetic Bridge

Building The Genetic Bridge Scientists have discovered a gene that is unique to humans and plays a significant role in language and speech.  This may be one of the first functional genes identified that makes us different from the great apes.  However, we should expect to find other genes that play a critical role in … Continue reading Building The Genetic Bridge

The Sixth Mass Extinction

The Sixth Mass Extinction Humans have been reorganizing the global ecosystem ever since we first migrated out of Africa.  This has led to world organized around one species of megafauna, instead of a world organized around several megafauna.  As a consequence, we may be living through a mass extinction event 80,000 years in the making. … Continue reading The Sixth Mass Extinction

Communicating With Bonobos

Communicating With Bonobos Panbanisha (Nov 17, 1985-Nov 6, 2012) died recently from a cold at The Great Ape Trust.  Her entire life was a linguistic experiment that taught us a great deal about the linguistic capabilities of apes, and also what separates our species from the great apes.  Future research into the origins of language, … Continue reading Communicating With Bonobos

Shoulders of Giants

Shoulders of Giants Everyone is influenced by the accomplishments, thoughts and beliefs of the generations that preceded them.  As Sir Isaac Newton stated “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.  The following is a list of the top 10 modern scientists who have influenced my perceptions, ideas and … Continue reading Shoulders of Giants

An Evolutionary Success!

An Evolutionary Success! Evolutionary biologists have recently revealed a phylogenetic tree which depicts the evolutionary relatedness of all birds.  Specifically it also reveals information about the tempo of bird evolution as well as the geographic locations of important diversification events.  These findings have important relevance, not only to understand the natural history of life, but … Continue reading An Evolutionary Success!