12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 The Power of Fire

A signi
Folksonomies: history evolution tool use
Folksonomies: history evolution tool use
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Dilemma of Human Diversity Across the Cosmos

When life spreads out and diversifies in the universe, adapting itself to a spectrum of environments far wider than any one planet can encompass, the human species will one day find itself faced with the most momentous choice that we have had to make since the days when our ancestors came down from the trees in Africa and left their cousins the chimpanzees behind. We will have to choose, either to remain one species united by a common bodily shape as well as by a common history, or to let our...
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24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Conversation is the Nemesis of Scientific Thinking

The archenemy of scientific thinking is conversation, as in typical human conversational discourse, much of which is BS. I have become rather fed up with talking to people. Seriously, it is something of a problem. Fact is, folks are prone to getting pet opinions into their heads and thinking they’re true to the point of obstinacy, even when they have little or no idea of what they’re talking about in the first place. We all do it. It’s part of how the sloppy mind-generating piece of mea...
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Gregory Paul on how conversations are prone to falshoods and equating opinions with facts.

30 MAY 2012 by RadioGuy

 Humans share 98.5% of our genes with chimpanzees

The genome is not a blueprint for constructing a body; it is a recipe for baking a body. As the hox story illustrates, DNA promoters express themselves in the fourth dimension; their timing is all. A chimp has a different head from a human being not because it has a different blueprint for the head, but because it grows the jaws for longer and the cranium for less long than a human being. The difference is all timing. The startling new truth that has emerged from the human genome - that...
Folksonomies: genetics
Folksonomies: genetics
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Even the difference between human and mouse blueprints are minor. Our variation comes from the schedules that manage the expression of genes, and these are controlled by the chemicals and enzymes in our environments.

07 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Aliens to Humans as Humans to Chimpanzees

know what you're thinking: we're smarter than bacteria. No doubt about it, we're smarter than every other living creature that ever walked, crawled, or slithered on Earth. But how smart is that? We cook our food. We compose poetry and music. We do art and science. We're good at math. Even if you're bad at math, you're probably much better at it than the smartest chimpanzee, whose genetic identity varies in only trifling ways from ours. Try as they might, primatologists will never get a chim...
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If small genetic differences separate us from our closest evolutionary relative, then alien brains could easily be vastly superior to ours

15 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 Washoe the Chimpanzee Demonstrates Sympathy

People who should be there for her and aren't are often given the cold shoulder--her way of informing them that she's miffed at them. Washoe greeted Kat [the caretaker] in just this way when she finally returned to work with the chimps. Kat made her apologies to Washoe, then decided to tell her the truth, signing "MY BABY DIED". Washoe stared at her, then looked down. She finally peered into Kat's eyes again and carefully signed "CRY", touching her cheek and drawing her finger down the path a...
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Story of Washoe the Chimpanzee when one of her caretakers missed work for awhile after having a miscarriage.

14 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 Denuciation of the Paleodiet

One of the commonest dietary superstitions of the day is a belief in instinct as a guide to dietary excellence ... with a corollary that the diets of primitive people are superior to diets approved by science ... [and even] that light might be thrown on the problems of human nutrition by study of what chimpanzees eat in their native forests. ... Such notions are derivative of the eighteenth-century fiction of the happy and noble savage.
Folksonomies: nutrition diet paleodiet
Folksonomies: nutrition diet paleodiet
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Wallace Ruddell (W.R.) Aykroyd compares it to the idea of the noble savage in this 1835 quote.

19 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 The Term "Higher Animals"

So glibly do the phrases 'higher animals' and 'lower animals' trip off our tongues that it comes as a shock to realize that, far from effortlessly slotting into evolutionary thinking as one might suppose, they were - and are - deeply antithetical to it. We think we know that chimpanzees are higher animals and earthworms are lower, we think we've always known what that means, and we think evolution makes it even clearer. But it doesn't. It is by no means clear that it means anything at all. Or...
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Is meaningless and confuses people.