Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Mo Better Bush!

Remember my little rant of a few weeks back? Where I got indignant 'bout the state of Science reporting?

Well, thanks to this li'l article, I think I'm in love with teh Dr. Meredith Small. :)

Human Family Tree Now a Tangled, Messy Bush
By Meredith F. Small, LiveScience's Human Nature Columnist

For anthropology students 30 years ago, learning human evolution was a breeze. It went from Australopithecus to Homo habilis to Homo erectus to various Homo sapiens. It was a straight shot that one could learn in a few minutes late at night while cramming for an exam.

--snip--

The straight line has blossomed into a spreading, rather uncontrolled bush and we don’t like it. We want our history to be nice and neat, but the fossils keep messing us up.

This summer, scientists announced the discovery of two human fossils found in Kenya in 2000. One is a 1.44 million-year-old Homo habilis, the first member of our genus, and the other is a 1.55 million-year-old Homo erectus, a larger brained, much more sophisticated kind of human.

Although paleoanthropologsts have assumed that habilis evolved into erectus, it looks like these creatures spent time together on the shores of Lake Tanganika.

The big news, then, is that these very different fossils are being hung on the human family tree on separate branches but at the same height. And once again, we have to reconsider the path of human evolution.

But should we be all that surprised?

[G'head. Get Surprise! Surprise! Surprised! :-}]


If I have one complaint about this particular story, it's that it's simply too damn short. Still, I know that's integral to capturing folks attention with information that should be common knowledge, but might as well be hocus pocus for all that the average ape descendant understands it. Worse yet, studies show they're unlikely to retain the gist of the facts they've just read, even just a short time later.

But not yous guys!!!

Well, no worries. You know you can always (considerately) slap me down if I start to gettin' all pedantic on y'all. I do to be appreciatin' it, eh. After all, we are all, simply (LOL!!!) silly humans.

{-'

9 comments:

  1. Less like a tree and more like a ground cover -- or an invasive species like kudzu, being pesty and choking other species out.

    :::I wish I could swing through trees::: It's a lost art for us Homo Sapiens.

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  2. we're all just a bunch of afraid monkies trying to get some peace and quiet. but, this clip says it well regardless of all the chronological puzzle solving. however, this clip made my very existence seem most meaningful.

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  3. Check out this article titled Post Mortem America:

    Post Mortem America

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  4. I have Internet at home and can post here again! Hoorayyy.

    I would agree that we need more science in our lives. I keep suggesting this to UC in the hopes he'll post but you know--he's an arrogant scientist.

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  5. Hi!" Yap "Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it. ~Albert Einstein (he knew what he was talking about)He!He!He!.
    Wish you all the best :)

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  6. Can I just post again how happy I am to be able to not only read, but leave comments here again!!!

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  7. LOL! Why, Yes. Yes you may! :)))

    Can I just say how happy I am for you that You've Got Teh Internets @ Home Again?!!! Is good to have ya back, AG.

    Arrogant UC, indeed! Hoarding all that knowledge to himself! *harrumph* Why can't he be more like that nice Al Einstein boy? Only w/o the crazy hair thing he had going on. What? He couldn't afford a hairbrush on a Scientist's salary?

    Oy!

    ;-)

    (Thx for the help on that one, ZingT!)

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  8. UC and arrogant. Yep, that pretty much tells you AG's life!

    New post please!!!

    :)

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  9. Guess that's why I thought it was so cool when dude actually left a comment here a way ways back! d'oh!

    But AG, d'ya mean those 2 or 3 posts I saved to draft don't count??? dang it all..! ;-}

    Gonna try an' make the most recently saved one comprehensible. It makes sense to me, but I link to teh Heritage Foundation, for a point on poverty in the United States, and I'm afraid of not being able to make this point, one I think is integral to progress towards sane government in this country, and I keep findin' m'self strugglin' with feelings of pedantry. Is a buggaboo I'm a feared I'll be shakin' off for the rest o' my life. {sigh}

    Oh, and speaking of "Progress"... New post, comin' up!

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