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Chris Merle
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When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.
When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

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"When in danger, or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout."
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This is how you get a dark age.
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Sadly, Trudeau is not the saint you think he is.
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‘When you see a child about to die, it is difficult’

If a MAGA person could spend one week on the shores of this island, they might feel differently about refugees. Heck, they could spend a week along the much closer Arizona-Sonora border (but armed with bottled water, blankets, first aid kits, and not an AR-15) and that might change their minds too.
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Oh, joy. My favorite time of year, the War on Christmas. Begun it has.

#WarOnChristmas
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Fascinating.


There are obvious problems with this Newsweek article, but it reports the basic facts:


Most scientists believe all modern humans are descended from African ancestors. But a new analysis of an ancient Chinese skull found too many similarities to the earliest human fossils found in Africa to be a coincidence; maybe we didn’t all originate in Africa.

Known as the Dali skull, it was discovered nearly 40 years ago in China’s Shaanxi province. It belonged to a member of the early hominin species Homo erectus. Its facial structure and brain case are intact, despite being dated to around 260,000 years ago. The Dali skull is so old that archaeologists initially didn’t believe it could share features with the modern Homo sapiens.

But Xinzhi Wu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing believed that due to the overwhelming physical similarities, Homo erectus must have shared DNA with Homo sapiens. After decades of this idea being dismissed by mainstream academia, Wu and a colleague, Sheela Athreya of Texas A&M University, recently reanalyzed the Dali skull and found it may force us to rewrite our evolutionary history after all. It’s incredibly similar to two separate Homo sapiens skulls previously found in Morocco.


If we’d found only the Moroccan skulls, and not the Dali skull, it would make sense to keep believing all modern humans evolved in Africa. But the similarities show that early modern humans may not have been genetically isolated from other parts of the world, like what we know today as China.

“I think gene flow could have been multidirectional, so some of the traits seen in Europe or Africa could have originated in Asia,” Athreya told New Scientist.

So certain characteristics that we associate with modern Homo sapiens may have actually developed in east Asia, and were only later carried to Africa. We’ll still need further comparisons between the Dali skull and the Moroccan ones. But the implications are enormous; we’re talking about rewriting the origins of our species as we know it, reassessing how our ancestors migrated and interacted and subsequently evolved.

“In a real sense we are talking about a multiregional population, connected recurrently by migration and genetic exchanges,” John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison told New Scientist.


[http://www.newsweek.com/archaeology-skull-evolution-homo-sapiens-homo-erectus-human-710973]

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Paywall: [https://www.newscientist.com/article/2153242-ancient-skull-from-china-may-rewrite-the-origins-of-our-species/]


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Nature, July:

On the outskirts of Beijing, a small limestone mountain named Dragon Bone Hill rises above the surrounding sprawl. Along the northern side, a path leads up to some fenced-off caves that draw 150,000 visitors each year, from schoolchildren to grey-haired pensioners. It was here, in 1929, that researchers discovered a nearly complete ancient skull that they determined was roughly half a million years old. Dubbed Peking Man, it was among the earliest human remains ever uncovered, and it helped to convince many researchers that humanity first evolved in Asia.

Since then, the central importance of Peking Man has faded. Although modern dating methods put the fossil even earlier — at up to 780,000 years old — the specimen has been eclipsed by discoveries in Africa that have yielded much older remains of ancient human relatives. Such finds have cemented Africa's status as the cradle of humanity — the place from which modern humans and their predecessors spread around the globe — and relegated Asia to a kind of evolutionary cul-de-sac.

[more: http://www.nature.com/news/how-china-is-rewriting-the-book-on-human-origins-1.20231]
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