12 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 Humans as Self-Domesticating Animals

at the end of the Pleistocene, certain human groups and their animal associates began progressively to show parallel reductions in size and stature, cranial gracilization, changes in post-cranial robusticity, shortening of the face and jaws, tooth crowding and malocclusion, and tooth-size reduction and simplification. There has been no recent attempt to explain the parallelism, although numerous explanations exist for the changes as they affect one or other of the parties. Some of the explana...
  1  notes

Restrictive environments, artificially constructed give us many of the traits shared with the animals we domesticate.

18 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Human Self-Domestication

...the hypothesis of human self-domestication has recently been revived as a possible explanation of changes of human physical traits since the late Pleistocene. These changes include the reduction of body size and decrease in skeletal robusticity, modifications in cranial and dental features including reduction in cranial capacity, shortening of the facial region of the skull and maleruption of teeth, and reduction in sexual dimorphism. In contrast to earlier biological writings, other domes...
  1  notes
 
09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 Did Lower Testosterone Help Civilize Humanity?

A new study appearing Aug. 1 in the journal Current Anthropology finds that human skulls changed in ways that indicate a lowering of testosterone levels at around the same time that culture was blossoming. “The modern human behaviors of technological innovation, making art and rapid cultural exchange probably came at the same time that we developed a more cooperative temperament,” said lead author Robert Cieri, a biology graduate student at the University of Utah who began this work as a...
  1  notes
 
26 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 Evidence of Sexual Selection in Humans

By primate standards, humans look strange, even after we step out of our sport utility vehicles. Compared with other apes, we have less hair on our bodies, more on our heads, whiter eyes, longer noses, fuller lips, more expressive faces, and more dextrous hands. In most species, sexual ornaments like long head hair, hairless skin, and full lips would have evolved only in males, because females would have been the choosy sex. Males have few incentives to reject any female mates. The fact that ...
  1  notes

Many characteristics of our bodies which differentiate us from other primates, are probably the result of mating preferences of our ancestors.

28 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 Beginnings of Speciation in Romantic Paintings

She wandered on her own, looking at the portraits. The big crowd scenes were too much for her, like epic movies all jammed into a single frame. The subjects of the portraits, on the other hand, looked at her with expressions she recognized immediately. “I am always me, I am always new, I am always me”—for eight centuries they had been saying it. Nothing but women and men. One woman had her left nipple exposed, just under the curve of a necklace; in most periods that would have been tran...
  1  notes

Character walking around an art museum.

03 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 A lot happens in 100k Years of Evolution

Inside my skull is a brain that was designed to exploit the conditions of an African savanna between 3 million and 100,000 years ago. When my ancestors moved into Europe (I am a white European by descent) about 100,000 years ago, they quickly evolved a set of physiological features to suit the sunless climate of northern latitudes: pale skin to prevent rickets, male beards, and a circulation relatively resistant to frostbite. But little else changed: Skull size, body proportions, and teeth ar...
Folksonomies: evolution human evolution
Folksonomies: evolution human evolution
  1  notes

A brief descriptions of the characteristics acquired in 100,000 years of human history.

03 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Genetic Similarity Among All Humans

Every human being has two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents, and so on. A mere thirty generations back—in, roughly, A.D. 1066—you had more than a billion direct ancestors in the same generation (2 to the power of 30), Since there were fewer than a billion people alive at that time in the whole world, many of them were your ancestors two or three times over. If, like me, you are of British descent, the chances are that most all of the fe...
Folksonomies: human evolution genetics
Folksonomies: human evolution genetics
  1  notes

The genetic differences between those with the same geographic background exceeds the difference between those of different "races."

01 JAN 2010 by ideonexus

 Symbols: Shorthand For Ideas

Your 3-year-old has declared that he and the closet are going to Asia. Asia, like America, is a concept that depends on our ability to think symbolically. America exists only because a group of people got together more than 200 years ago and decided that this great mass of land directly to the south of Canada should bear that name. California wasn't America, and then it was. It became America because a group of people decided
  1  notes
This is something important to consider in developing artificial intelligence, how symbolic thought works. When we consider "China", the word evokes an understanding of an abstract concept: a geographic location, an ethnicity of people, language, fashion, culture, population, etc. All the details of what "China" is are really abstracted away, we accept an immense amount of ambiguity in our understanding of the concept.