Monday, October 21, 2013

Skull of Homo Erectus Throws Story of Human Evolution Into Disarray. By Ian Sample.

Skull of Homo erectus throws story of human evolution into disarray. By Ian Sample. The Guardian, October 17, 2013.

Stunning Skull Gives a Fresh Portrait of Early Humans. By Ann Gibbons. Science, Vol. 342, No. 6156 (October 18, 2013).

A Complete Skull from Dmanisi, Georgia, and the Evolutionary Biology of Early Homo. By David Lordkipanidze et al. Science, Vol. 342, No. 6156 (October 18, 2013). Supplementary Materials.


The site of Dmanisi, Georgia, has yielded an impressive sample of hominid cranial and postcranial remains, documenting the presence of Homo outside Africa around 1.8 million years ago. Here we report on a new cranium from Dmanisi (D4500) that, together with its mandible (D2600), represents the world's first completely preserved adult hominid skull from the early Pleistocene. D4500/D2600 combines a small braincase (546 cubic centimeters) with a large prognathic face and exhibits close morphological affinities with the earliest known Homo fossils from Africa. The Dmanisi sample, which now comprises five crania, provides direct evidence for wide morphological variation within and among early Homo paleodemes. This implies the existence of a single evolving lineage of early Homo, with phylogeographic continuity across continents.

COVER Photo of a 1.77-million-year-old complete adult skull (braincase volume: 546 cubic centimeters)
of early Homo from the site of Dmanisi, Georgia. Together with the fossilized bones of four additional individuals
discovered in close proximity, the skull indicates that populations of early Homo comprised a wider range
of morphological variation than traditionally assumed, which implies a single evolving lineage with continuity
across continents. See pages 297 and 326. Photo: © Guram Bumbiashvili/Georgian National Museum

Is This the Stomach-Turning Truth About What the Neanderthals Ate? By Robin McKee.

Is this the stomach-turning truth about what the Neanderthals ate? By Robin McKee. The Observer, October 19, 2013.

Having the stomach for it: a contribution to Neanderthal diets? By Laura T. Buck, and Chris B. Stringer. Quaternary Science Reviews, published online September 29, 2013.


Due to the central position of diet in determining ecology and behaviour, much research has been devoted to uncovering Neanderthal subsistence strategies. This has included indirect studies inferring diet from habitat reconstruction, ethnographic analogy, or faunal assemblages, and direct methods, such as dental wear and isotope analyses. Recently, studies of dental calculus have provided another rich source of dietary evidence, with much potential. One of the most interesting results to come out of calculus analyses so far is the suggestion that Neanderthals may have been eating non-nutritionally valuable plants for medicinal reasons. Here we offer an alternative hypothesis for the occurrence of non-food plants in Neanderthal calculus based on the modern human ethnographic literature: the consumption of herbivore stomach contents.

Why Have Young People in Japan Stopped Having Sex? By Abigail Haworth.

Why have young people in Japan stopped having sex? By Abigail Haworth. The Observer, October 19, 2013.

Young People in Japan Have Given Up on Sex. By Katy Waldman. Slate, October 22, 2013.

No, Japanese People Haven’t Given Up on Sex. By Joshua Keating. Slate, October 23, 2013.

D.C.’s “Corrupt Bastards Club.” By Sarah Palin.

D.C.’s “Corrupt Bastards Club.” By Sarah Palin. Breitbart, October 20, 2013.

Racism Is Central to U.S. Conservatism. By Gary Younge.

Race is central to the fear and angst of the US right. By Gary Younge. The Guardian, October 20, 2013.

The shrinking white base of the Republican party cannot accept the country in which it now lives – so it shut it down.

More left-wing, gentry-liberal, malarkey. Another example of the progressive calumny against Jacksonian America as racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, bitter clingers.

Age of the Alpha Woman. By Margaret Wente.

Age of the alpha woman. By Margaret Wente. The Globe and Mail, October 19, 2013.

Why Israelis Are Leaving Israel. By Guy Rolnik.

Reluctant migrants: It isn’t anti-Zionism that’s causing Israelis to leave. By Guy Rolnik. Haaretz, October 20, 2013. Also here.

Is Antisemitism Back in Europe? By John Allen Gay.

Is Antisemitism Back in Europe? By John Allen Gay. The National Interest, October 18, 2013.

Hiding Judaism in Copenhagen. By Michael Moynihan. Tablet, March 28, 2013.

God, Israel, and the Jews. By Walter Russell Mead.

God, Israel, and the Jews. By Walter Russell Mead. Via Meadia, October 21, 2013.

More white evangelicals than American Jews say God gave Israel to the Jewish people. By Michael Lipka. Pew Research Center, October 3, 2013.

Hillel on the Golden Rule. From the Babylonian Talmud.

Hillel on the Golden Rule. The Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbath, Folio 31a. Translated and Edited by Rabbi Dr. Isidore Epstein. London: Soncino Press, 1935-1948. Also here and here.

On another occasion it happened that a certain heathen came before Shammai and said to him, “Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.” Thereupon he repulsed him with the builder’s cubit which was in his hand. When he went before Hillel, he said to him, “What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour: that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.”