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 Curiosity Announcement

The Curiosity Announcement When Dr. John Grotzinger told NPR that the Mars rover had made a discovery “for the history books” everyone overreacted, including me.  Unfortunately, Curiosity did not discover microbial life, but they did discovery complex chemical compounds (e.g., carbon, chlorine).  This discovery, although still disappointing for many, raises a few very interesting questions.  … Continue reading The Curiosity Announcement

Did Curiosity Discover Life On Mars?

Did Curiosity Discover Life On Mars? John Grotzinger, Curiosity’s chief scientist, recently revealed to NPR that the Mars rover has made a discovery “for the history books.”  Is it life?  There are several lines of evidence indicating that it is.  This would be the biggest scientific discovery of our generation.  If Curiosity did discover life, … Continue reading Did Curiosity Discover Life On Mars?

A Great Crisis

A Great Crisis Social scientists have established that humans experience a U-shaped happiness curve throughout their life.  Middle-aged individuals seem to be less happy than other individuals regardless of socio-cultural or economic factors.  A recent study has revealed that this may be a shared pattern with great apes.  Over 508 captive chimpanzees and orangutans were … Continue reading A Great Crisis

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

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!

A World With More Than One Human Species

A World With More Than One Human Species For most of our species existence we shared this planet with other humans (i.e., Neaderthals, Denisova).  They co-existed in many regions throughout Eurasia for tens of thousands of years.  What was their relationship like?  And what would our world look like today if there were more than … Continue reading A World With More Than One Human Species

Evolution and the Public

Evolution and the Public Evolution is frequently discussed in major media outlets like TV, newspaper and online.  However, the people who write about evolutionary news and research are frequently unqualified to do so.  This leads to the public becoming more and more misinformed about what evolution is and what is factual.  In the future, major … Continue reading Evolution and the Public

The Discontinuous Mind

The Discontinuous Mind Humans are programmed to think discontinuously.  As a result we have trouble conceptualizing anything that does not have a clear and easily defined start and end.  Evolutionary educators must understand that this is a fundamental reason why evolutionary thought and the theory for evolution in general meet so much skepticism and incredulity. … Continue reading The Discontinuous Mind