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Over the last 11,700 years - an epoch that geologists call the Holocene - climate has remained remarkably stable. This allowed humans to plan ahead, inventing agriculture, cities, communication networks and new forms of energy. Some geologists now believe that human activity has so irrevocably altered our planet that we have entered a new geological age.

2011-05-10

 geology environment human sustainability Anthropocene climate
When in difficulty, human cultures, however elevated, are predisposed to default to institutions (or classes) which in turn are predisposed to default to tribes, which in turn so easily default to cliques, which in turn default to single leaders. The last are the equivalent of daddies of the original family-sized groups in which we and our predecessors lived, and in which our genes have been shaped, for millions of years. The default tends...

2011-06-21

 evolution society tribe leadership conflict hierarchy culture anthropology history human social
Not so very long ago, we shared this planet with several other species of human, all of them clever, resourceful and excellent hunters, so why did only Homo sapiens survive?

2011-06-23

 Homo sapiens Homo ergaster Homo erectus human evolution evolution migration human species anthropology biology history
A light-sensitive protein in the human eye has been shown to act as a "compass" in a magnetic field, when it is present in flies' eyes. The study in Nature Communications showed that without their natural "magnetoreception" protein, the flies did not respond to a magnetic field - but replacing the protein with the human version restored the ability. Despite much controversy, no conclusive evidence exists that...

2011-06-21

 magnet eye human animal navigation migration protein cryptochrome
The brains of our closest relatives, unlike our own, do not shrink with age. The findings suggest that humans are more vulnerable than chimpanzees to age-related diseases because we live relatively longer.

2011-07-26

 brain human ape chimpanzee age longevity health dementia Alzheimer's
From feral child to "human pet" at court in Georgian England, Peter the Wild Boy caused a sensation. And new analysis of his portraits may have solved the mystery of his unusual characteristics. No-one knows if his name was really Peter - he couldn't talk. Nor did he walk, preferring to scamper on all fours, picking the pockets of courtiers and stealing kisses. Peter had been found living alone and naked in a German forest...

2011-08-08

 genetics child freak wild disorder health history human soul speech
Bats and dolphins bounce sound waves off their surroundings and by listening to the echoes can "see" the world around them. Some blind humans have also trained themselves to do this, allowing them to explore cities, cycle and play sports.

2011-05-26

 navigation blind bat echolocation brain sight hearing human neuroscience vision
It is likely communal living was adopted to protect against day time predators.

2011-11-10

 social primate animal group human evolution protection
Neanderthals were already on the verge of extinction in Europe by the time modern humans arrived on the scene, a study suggests. DNA analysis suggests most Neanderthals in western Europe died out as early as 50,000 years ago - thousands of years before our own species appeared. A small group of Neanderthals then recolonised parts of Europe, surviving for 10,000 years before vanishing.

2012-02-27

 Neanderthal evolution human extinction species Homo sapiens

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