Biology Education Science Policy 

The “Google Manifesto”: Bad Biology, Ignorance of Evolutionary Processes, and Privilege

By Agustin Fuentes, PhD, University of Notre Dame There are biological differences between the sexes, including average body size and upper body strength, and aspects of reproductive physiology. There is also a range of gendered differences in behavior and perception as contemporary societies structure developmental patterns and expectations differently for boys and girls. But there are more biological similarities than differences, and more gender overlaps than discontinuities, between males and females—we are the same species after all. These differences and similarities can, and do, play roles in shaping performance on specific tasks by individuals…

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This map shows the proportion of the genome inferred to be Denisovan in ancestry in diverse non-Africans. The color scale is not linear to allow saturation of the high Denisova proportions in Oceania (bright red) and better visualization of the peak of Denisova proportion in South Asia. Sankararaman et al./Current Biology 2016 Archaeology Biology 

Modern Humans, Meet Your Denisovan Ancestors

By Norman Rusin A new map of archaic ancestry suggests that some present-day humans derive more of their ancestry from Denisovans than from Neanderthals. The discovery may explain some developments and positive adaptations in modern humans that occurred only in some parts of the world. And it may also explain some of the causes of reduced male fertility. The research, published March 28 in Current Biology, suggests that many modern humans  around the world, particularly of South Asian descent, may derive up to 5 percent of their ancestry from archaic Denisovans,…

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Prehistoric stone tools: An elephant rib bearing marks from flint tools at the Revadim site. (American Friends of Tel Aviv University) Archaeology 

Prehistoric Stone Tools with Animal Residue

About 2.8 million years ago, early humans probably survived on a diet of plants. As the human brain expanded, however, it craved richer nourishment, namely animal fat and meat. Lacking claws and sharp teeth, early humans developed the skills and prehistoric stone tools necessary to hunt large animals and cut the fat and meat from the carcasses. Recently, this rare fossil shed new light on early human evolution. Long before that, our oldest known primate ancestors lived in trees and may have looked like this. Now, evidence of human carnivorous…

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