April 28th, 2009
An inconclusive meeting was held April 21-23, 2009 at Stony Brook, New York that shed very little new light on the puzzling fossils nicknamed “Hobbit” and formally named Homo floresiensis. The fossils were discovered in a cave on the island of Flores in Indonesia, southeast of Java, in 2003. Researchers were puzzled from the start by the diminutive stature (three feet tall), small br
April 20th, 2009
The always fascinating Neanderthals were the subject of two studies announced in recent weeks. The first revealed at least three and possibly four genetically distinct subgroups of Homo neanderthalensis, while the second disputed the contention Neanderthals were cannibals at a Croatian site.
March 26th, 2009
BecomingHuman.org, launched in 2000 and upgraded earlier this year, alerts visitors to expect a timeline and associated material to appear within a few months. The site is developing this new module, according to webmaster Jay Greene, to fill a clear need: teachers, students and others interested in human origins can see on one page all the species that make up the human evolutionary tree.
March 12th, 2009
A new dating method indicates the stone tools found at Zhoukoudian in China are considerably older than first believed, according to a paper published in the journal Nature this week. Zhoukoudian, not far from Beijing, then called Peking in the West, is the site of a cave first excavated by Franz Weidenreich starting in the late Twenties and during the decade of the Thirties. Fossili
March 4th, 2009
Human footprints, whether encountered on a beach or after the snow has stopped falling, have an effable quality. Bones and human artifacts, after examination by specialists, can tell us much about how life was lived in earlier times but footprints are full of wonder for us. They may have been made yesterday or, as occurs so rarely, a million years ago and we feel a connection with the unknown
January 27th, 2009
In our occasional series, How Science Is Done, we attempt to show how real scientists, working on real questions, find answers - if not final answers, then suggestive answers that expand our knowledge into hitherto murky areas.
May 7th, 2008
"Lucy" is the three million year old fossil discovered in the Afar region of Ethiopia in 1974 by Don Johanson. For more than three decades this remarkable find, which has told us so much about out origins, has been the subject of controversy.
April 19th, 2008
Science is done in many ways.
January 10th, 2008
A trail of footprints left in volcanic ash nearly four million years ago, corroborating the contention that Lucy was a biped, is threatened by both man made and natural damage in Tanzania, it was declared recently at a scientific symposium in South Korea.
December 12th, 2007
By examining patterns of DNA variation in the genome for different human populations, we can determine how much of our evolutionary history was influenced by simple demographic change or, alternatively, by spurts of natural selection.