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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • G David Bock
    replied
    In a Distant Galaxy, Colliding Exoplanets Are Upending What We Knew About Solar System Formation

    By Brandon Specktor - Senior Writer a day agoSpace
    Looks like planets can smash into each other much later in life than astronomers thought.

    https://www.livescience.com/exoplanet-smash.html

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    The Romantic Venus We Never Knew

    Venus used to be as fit for life as Earth.

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

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    The Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Acidified the Ocean in a Flash


    The Chicxulub event was as damaging to life in the oceans as it was to creatures on land, a study shows.
    ...
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/21/s...cean-acid.html

    published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    Earth-like worlds may be common
    https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science...ys-ncna1070161


    How Can a Star Be Older Than the Universe?

    By David Crookes - All About Space magazine 4 days agoSpace
    Space Mysteries: If the universe is 13.8 billion years old, how can a star be more than 14 billion years old?

    https://www.livescience.com/how-can-...-universe.html

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    Unified Theory of Evolution

    Darwin’s theory that natural selection drives evolution is incomplete without input from evolution’s anti-hero: Lamarck.

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/u...=pocket-newtab
    5 Books That Explain Why It Seems the World Is So Messed Up

    Smart guides for understanding this strange and contradictory moment in history.

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/5...=pocket-newtab
    (maybe ...)
    Last edited by G David Bock; 18 Oct 19, 16:25.

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    Fossil DNA Reveals New Twists in Modern Human Origins

    Modern humans and more ancient hominins interbred many times throughout Eurasia and Africa, and the genetic flow went both ways.

    ...
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/fossi...=pocket-newtab

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    Ancient meteor strike may have triggered mega-tsunami on Mars

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/scie...Q?ocid=msnbcrd

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    New Earth-like exoplanets discovered around red dwarf Teegarden star

    ...
    An international team led by the University of Göttingen (Germany) with participation by researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) have discovered, using the CARMENES high-resolution spectrograph at the Calar Alto Observatory (Almería) two new planets like the Earth around one of the closest stars within our galactic neighbourhood.

    The Teegarden star is only 12.5 light years away. It is a red dwarf in the direction of the constellation of Aries. Its surface temperature is 2,700 degrees C, and its mass is only one-tenth that of the sun. Even though it is so near, its faintness impeded its discovery until 2003.

    "We have been observing this star for three years to look for periodic variations in its velocity, explains Mathias Zechmeister, a researcher at the University of Göttingen, the first author of the paper. The observations showed that two planets are orbiting it, both of them similar to the planets in the inner part of the Solar System. They are just a little bigger than the Earth and are situated in the "inhabitable zone" where water can exist as a liquid. "It is possible that the two planets are part of a larger system," says Stefan Dreizler, another University of Göttingen researcher and a co-author of the paper.
    ...
    https://phys.org/news/2019-06-earth-...teegarden.html

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  • G David Bock
    replied
    They're back ...
    Season 14 ... ???
    https://www.history.com/shows/ancien...rain_C1_Copy12

    Leave a comment:


  • G David Bock
    replied
    Scientists have discovered a mysterious lump on the moon's far side, and it's 5 times bigger than Hawaii's Big Island

    ...
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/techn...z&ocid=msnbcrd

    Leave a comment:

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