Archive for January 27th, 2009

More information is not necessarily better

| January 27, 2009 | 6 Replies
More information is not necessarily better

I thought it was just me.

Over the past few months, while reading some of the comments here at DI and at several forums that I frequent, I’ve been noticing that there seems to be LESS consensus on the hot topics of our time rather than more.

That doesn’t seem right. With the wealth of information on the internet literally at our fingertips shouldn’t we all be better informed than ever before?

Not so, says Clive Thompson in a recent issue of Wired magazine. In fact he has the stats to back it up!

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What if there were animals that were genetically close to modern humans, but startlingly different?

| January 27, 2009 | 4 Replies
What if there were animals that were genetically close to modern humans, but startlingly different?

What if there were animals that looked very much like modern human animals and almost identical genetically, yet they differed from us in notable ways? Would their discovery shock and horrify people? Quite likely. Wouldn’t it also make many people start thinking deeply about the fact that modern humans themselves are animals? You’d hope so. Wouldn’t this discovery make us intensely curious about our own origins? Remains to be seen. What follows is a true story.

The evidence is overwhelming that large numbers of Neanderthals roamed Eurasia for 200,000 years. The evidence is also clear that Neanderthals differed from the modern humans in genetically small but socially and physiologically significant ways. This incredible story can be found in the October 2008 edition of National Geographic, in an article entitled “Last of the Neanderthals.” This article is a must read article for anybody who wants to peer into the not-so-distant past in order to learn about his or her bipedal cousins. The article is filled with incredibly lifelike modeling of the Neanderthals. It is also filled with detailed information about Neanderthal physiology, as well as clues to Neanderthal lifestyle.

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