Recent Posts

Sexual dimorphism in A. afarensis, again

4 minute read

The Journal of Human Evolution early access section has a paper by J. Michael Plavcan and colleagues that critically examines the case for low sexual dimorp...

The probability of parallel evolution

2 minute read

Orr (2005) considers the likelihood of the same mutants being fixed in two populations as a function of parallel selection, compared to drift. The model use...

Omo Kibish redating

5 minute read

The news stories (nature.com) are focusing on the idea that the “earliest” modern humans are now 35,000 years earlier than they had been. This is the amount ...

Mayr on speciation

2 minute read

OK, that headline looks like the title to a dissertation, which this isn't. But in honor of Mayr's recent death, I was looking through some of the things he...

Can somebody find these hobbits a mommy?

4 minute read

More on the evolving story of the hobbit remains in this story (smh.com.au). Like most custody battles, the fight over these little guys is burning a lot o...

Brain expansion in A. boisei

12 minute read

Elton and colleagues (2001) examined the record of brain size in early Homo with the following question in mind: we know that brain size increased in this l...

Did they do it?

less than 1 minute read

John Noble Wilford has an article in today's New York Times on the Neandertal conference. He focuses on Jim Ahern's (University of Wyoming) talk, which ask...

Patents and human chimeras

2 minute read

This article in the Boston Globe (Feb. 13, 2005) summarizes a recent US patent office ruling on whether an application for a human-animal chimera could be a...

Lifting all boats

16 minute read

James R. Flynn is a social scientist at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Beginning in 1981, Flynn performed a series of statistical analyses on the res...

Taming the domestic frontier

1 minute read

An opinion column in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer by Vincent G. Barnes (Friday, Feb. 11, 2005) makes an interesting argument about the uses of genetic en...

Neandertal mtDNA from El Sidrón, Spain

2 minute read

Lalueza-Fox and colleagues (2005) report on the recovery of endogenous mtDNA from a Neandertal specimen from El Sidrón cave, in northern Spain. The f...

Earliest hominids :: thoughts and roundup

6 minute read

Today I lectured on the earliest hominid samples for my graduate course on australopithecines. This is the first time I have been able to give a full lectur...

Killer chimpanzees and human warfare

5 minute read

This article from World Science Net popped into my inbox today. It's basically a short news story on an upcoming research presentation by David Watts (Yale ...

Speciation

16 minute read

Speciation is the cessation of interbreeding between one animal population and all other populations with which it formerly exchanged genes. When interbreed...

Species concepts

10 minute read

A new population that results from a speciation event is called a species. But although species result from a simple process, recognizing species in nature ...

Phylogenies

3 minute read

Defining and identifying species is one major area of research into the evolutionary process. Equally important is the study of how different species are re...