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  • For the part it plays regarding human "origins" ...

    ‘Humans were not centre stage’: how ancient cave art puts us in our place
    In our self-obsessed age, the anonymous, mysterious cave art of our ancient ancestors is exhilarating. By Barbara Ehrenreich
    ---


    In 1940, four teenage boys stumbled, almost literally, from German-occupied France into the Paleolithic age. As the story goes – and there are many versions of it – they had been taking a walk in the woods near the town of Montignac when the dog accompanying them suddenly disappeared. A quick search revealed that their animal companion had fallen into a hole in the ground, so – in the spirit of Tintin, with whom they were probably familiar – the boys made the perilous 15-metre descent to find it. They found the dog and much more, especially on return visits illuminated with paraffin lamps. The hole led to a cave, the walls and ceilings of which were covered with brightly coloured paintings of animals unknown to the 20th-century Dordogne – bison, aurochs and lions. One of the boys later reported that, stunned and elated, they began to dart around the cave like “a band of savages doing a war dance”. Another recalled that the painted animals in the flickering light of the boys’ lamps seemed to be moving. “We were completely crazy,” yet another said, although the build-up of carbon dioxide in a poorly ventilated cave may have had something to do with that.

    This was the famous and touristically magnetic Lascaux cave, which eventually had to be closed to visitors lest their exhalations spoil the artwork. Today, almost a century later, we know that Lascaux is part of a global phenomenon, originally referred to as “decorated caves”. They have been found on every continent except Antarctica – at least 350 of them in Europe alone, thanks to the cave-rich Pyrenees – with the most recent discoveries in Borneo (2018) andCroatia (April 2019). Uncannily, given the distances that separate them, all are adorned with similar decorations: handprints or stencils of human hands, abstract designs containing dots and crosshatched lines, and large animals, both carnivores and herbivores, most of them now extinct. Not all of these images appear in each of the decorated caves – some feature only handprints or megafauna. Scholars of paleoarcheology infer that the paintings were made by our distant ancestors, although the caves contain no depictions of humans doing any kind of painting.
    ...
    https://www.theguardian.com/artandde...=pocket-newtab
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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    • Forget “Earth-Like”—We’ll First Find Aliens on Eyeball Planets

      They may not look like much, but there’s a thin ring of life on these unique planets.



      https://getpocket.com/explore/item/f...=pocket-newtab
      ...............
      Why Religion Is Not Going Away and Science Will Not Destroy It

      Social scientists predicted that belief in the supernatural would drift away as modern science advanced. They were wrong.

      https://getpocket.com/explore/item/w...=pocket-newtab
      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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      • What If (Almost) Every Gene Affects (Almost) Everything?

        Three Stanford scientists have a provocative way of thinking about genetic variants, and how they affect people’s bodies and health.

        https://getpocket.com/explore/item/w...=pocket-newtab
        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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        • 17 Cataclysmic Events That Changed the Earth Forever

          https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/ot...ver/ss-BBWOYU6
          TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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          • 'Ghost' DNA In West Africans Complicates Story Of Human Origins

            ....
            About 50,000 years ago, ancient humans in what is now West Africa apparently procreated with another group of ancient humans that scientists didn't know existed.

            There aren't any bones or ancient DNA to prove it, but researchers say the evidence is in the genes of modern West Africans. They analyzed genetic material from hundreds of people from Nigeria and Sierra Leone and found signals of what they call "ghost" DNA from an unknown ancestor.

            Our own species — Homo sapiens — lived alongside other groups that split off from the same genetic family tree at different times. And there's plenty of evidence from other parts of the world that early humans had sex with other hominins, like Neanderthals.

            That's why Neanderthal genes are present in humans today, in people of European and Asian descent. Homo sapiens also mated with another group, the Denisovans, and those genes are found in people from Oceania.

            The findings on ghost DNA, published in the journal Science Advances, further complicate the picture of how Homo sapiens — or modern humans — evolved away from other human relatives. "It's almost certainly the case that the story is incredibly complex and complicated and we have kind of these initial hints about the complexity," says Sriram Sankararaman, a computational biologist at UCLA.
            ...
            The scientists think the interbreeding happened about 50,000 years ago, roughly the same time that Neanderthals were breeding with modern humans elsewhere in the world. It's not clear whether there was a single interbreeding "event," though, or whether it happened over an extended period of time.

            The unknown group "appears to have split off from the ancestors of modern humans a little before when Neanderthals split off from our ancestors," he says.
            ...
            https://www.npr.org/2020/02/12/80523...=pocket-newtab

            Also ...
            Mixing It Up 50,000 Years Ago — Who Slept With Whom?

            https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...lept-with-whom

            (the Annunaki )
            TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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            • Can a rogue star kick Earth out of the solar system?

              https://www.space.com/rogue-star-kic...ar-system.html
              TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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              • Scientists discover first known animal that doesn't breathe

                This is the first animal on Earth proven to have no mitochondrial genome and no way to breathe.
                https://www.livescience.com/first-no...ng-animal.html
                TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                • The Anunnaki Connection is the best compendium about extraterrestrial visits in years. All research is strictly scientific, but Lynn managed to write it in a way which is understandable to everyone. ,,,
                  http://www.drheatherlynn.com/
                  TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                  • Scientists made 1 small edit to human embryos. It had a lot of unintended consequences.
                    https://theweek.com/speedreads/92029...d-consequences


                    Scientists Edited Human Embryos in the Lab, and It Was a Disaster
                    The experiment raises major safety concerns for gene-edited babies
                    https://onezero.medium.com/scientist...r-9473918d769d
                    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

                    Comment


                    • Pending another thread location, this also fits the theme(s) here;
                      How the Extinction of Ice Age Mammals May Have Forced Us to Invent Civilization

                      Overhunting of megafauna such as mammoths might have caused us to take up farming, which ultimately brought about modern-looking communities.

                      ...
                      Why did we take so long to invent civilization? Modern Homo sapiens first evolved roughly 250,000 to 350,000 years ago. But initial steps towards civilization – harvesting, then domestication of crop plants – began only around 10,000 years ago, with the first civilizations appearing 6,400 years ago.

                      For 95 percent of our species’ history, we didn’t farm, create large settlements or complex political hierarchies. We lived in small, nomadic bands, hunting and gathering. Then, something changed.

                      We transitioned from hunter-gatherer life to plant harvesting, then cultivation and, finally, cities. Strikingly, this transition happened only after the ice age megafauna – mammoths, giant ground sloths, giant deer and horses – disappeared. The reasons humans began farming still remain unclear, but the disappearance of the animals we depended on for food may have forced our culture to evolve.

                      Early humans were smart enough to farm. All groups of modern humans have similar levels of intelligence, suggesting our cognitive capabilities evolved before these populations separated around 300,000 years ago, then changed little afterwards. If our ancestors didn’t grow plants, it’s not that they weren’t clever enough. Something in the environment prevented them – or they simply didn’t need to.

                      Global warming at the end of the last glacial period, 11,700 years ago, probably made farming easier. Warmer temperatures, longer growing seasons, higher rainfall and long-term climate stability made more areas suitable for cultivation. But it’s unlikely farming had been impossible everywhere. And Earth saw many such warming events – 11,700, 125,000, 200,000 and 325,000 years ago – but earlier warming events didn’t spur experiments in farming. Climate change can’t have been the only driver.

                      Human migration probably contributed as well. When our species expanded from southern Africa throughout the African continent, into Asia, Europe and then the Americas, we found new environments and new food plants. But people occupied these parts of the world long before farming began. Plant domestication lagged human migration by tens of millennia.
                      ...
                      https://getpocket.com/explore/item/h...=pocket-newtab
                      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

                      Comment


                      • Our Solar System Is Even Stranger Than We Thought

                        New research shows a pattern of exoplanet sizes and spacing around other stars unlike what we see in our own system.

                        https://getpocket.com/explore/item/o...=pocket-newtab

                        How Political Opinions Change

                        A clever experiment shows it's surprisingly easy to change someone’s political views, revealing how flexible we are.

                        https://getpocket.com/explore/item/h...=pocket-newtab
                        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

                        Comment


                        • Memories Can Be Injected and Survive Amputation and Metamorphosis

                          If a headless worm can regrow a memory, then where is the memory stored? And, if a memory can regenerate, could you transfer it?
                          https://getpocket.com/explore/item/m...=pocket-newtab

                          Evolution: That Famous ‘March of Progress’ Image Is Just Wrong

                          New research shows animal evolution often involves losing genes and becoming less complex.
                          https://getpocket.com/explore/item/e...=pocket-newtab

                          How Accurate Are Online DNA Tests?

                          Geneticist and author Adam Rutherford examines the evidence.
                          https://getpocket.com/explore/item/h...line-dna-tests

                          The Human Genome Was Never Completely Sequenced
                          The effort completed in 2003 used the best technology available but now scientists could do more
                          https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...ely-sequenced/

                          Other generic and loosely related;

                          The Four-Letter Code to Selling Just About Anything

                          What makes things cool?
                          https://getpocket.com/explore/item/t...=pocket-newtab

                          Remembering Nellie Bly, Rabblerouser and Pioneer of Investigative Journalism

                          Clever, gifted, and fearless, Nellie Bly inspired both journalistic and social change in the late 19th century.
                          https://getpocket.com/explore/item/r...=pocket-newtab
                          Last edited by G David Bock; 06 Jul 20, 12:54.
                          TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                          • Could theorized Planet 9 be a primordial black hole ... - Phys.org

                            https://www.google.com/search?client...e+a+black+hole
                            TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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