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  • G David Bock
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    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

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  • G David Bock
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    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/

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    Can a rogue star kick Earth out of the solar system?

    https://www.space.com/rogue-star-kic...ar-system.html

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    '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 )

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    17 Cataclysmic Events That Changed the Earth Forever

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/ot...ver/ss-BBWOYU6

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    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

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  • G David Bock
    replied
    As birthrates fall, countries will be forced to adapt or fall behind.

    By Andre Tartar, Hannah Recht, and Yue Qiu

    At least two children per woman—that’s what’s needed to ensure a stable population from generation to generation. In the 1960s, the fertility rate was five live births per woman. By 2017 it had fallen to 2.43, close to that critical threshold.

    Population growth is vital for the world economy. It means more workers to build homes and produce goods, more consumers to buy things and spark innovation, and more citizens to pay taxes and attract trade. While the world is expected to add more than 3 billion people by 2100, according to the United Nations, that’ll likely be the high point. Falling fertility rates and aging populations will mean serious challenges that will be felt more acutely in some places than others.

    While the global average fertility rate was still above the rate of replacement—technically 2.1 children per woman—in 2017, about half of all countries had already fallen below it, up from 1 in 20 just half a century ago. For places such as the U.S. and parts of Western Europe, which historically are attractive to migrants, loosening immigration policies could make up for low birthrates. In other places, more drastic policy interventions may be called for. Most of the available options place a high burden on women, who’ll be relied upon not only to bear children but also to help fill widening gaps in the workforce.


    ...
    https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2...=pocket-newtab

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  • G David Bock
    replied
    22 Surprising Facts About The Early Humans

    https://www.jerusalemonline.com/view...3_SAFE-FOR-MSN

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    Scientists may have finally pinpointed humanity's ancestral hometown

    ...
    Roughly 200,000 years ago, (one proposed date for the emergence of modern humans, there are competing theories) we were hanging out somewhere in a Northeast Botswana, south of the Zambezi river, according to genetic analysis, climate data, and archaeological evidence presented in a Nature paper published on Monday.
    ...
    The idea of having a single ancient homeland is comforting and simple. And although this team presents a compelling argument for this single lake, it’s not the only theory out there. Other work suggests that humans may have more than one ancestral homeland.

    For example, in 2017 two papers describing a series of fossils found in Morrocco pushed back the emergence of modern humans to 300,000 years ago, and suggested that humans were emerging all around the African continent at that time.

    “We have to change our textbooks,” Jean-Jacques Hublin, Ph.D., a paleoanthropologist with the Max Planck Institute and lead author one of papers, told Inverse in June 2017. “Our species did not emerge suddenly 200,000 years ago in a restricted ‘Garden of Eden’ somewhere in East Africa. If there was ever a Garden of Eden for H. sapiens, it had the size of the African continent.”
    ...
    https://www.inverse.com/article/6047...=pocket-newtab

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  • G David Bock
    replied
    Asteroid Hygiea May Be the Smallest Dwarf Planet in the Solar System

    https://www.space.com/asteroid-hygie...rf-planet.html

    Lost empire that ruled Mesopotamia for 200 years ‘wiped out by apocalyptic dust storm’, experts claim
    AN ADVANCED civilisation that ruled large swathes of the Middle East 4,000 years ago may have been wiped out by a spot of bad weather.

    The Akkadian Empire flourished during the Bronze Age and new evidence suggests their sudden demise was brought about by catastrophic dust storms.
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/102299...ia-dust-storm/

    Do Civilisations Collapse?
    The idea that the Maya or Easter Islanders experienced an apocalyptic end makes for good television but bad archaeology.

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

    Leave a comment:

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