About the blog

“EvoAnth” is a shortening of the subject name “Evolutionary Anthropology” which is the study of humans and their evolution. It’s a broad subject that studies our technology, behaviour, beliefs and any other aspect of humanity which has been influenced by our evolutionary heritage. Which is pretty much everything.

This blog is an attempt to spread the knowledge evolutionary anthropology has gained to as many people as possible. After all, everyone evolved.

Schedule

Mistaken Mondays – Posts about people being wrong about human evolution

Tuesdays and Thursdays – Articles on news stories or key evoanth topics. Basically me being serious.

Wondering Wednesdays – I answer reader questions. Submit yours here

Friday Factoid  – Short posts on fun little news stories or facts from evoanth. By fun I mean “posts sprinkled with lame jokes”

Simian Sundays  – A post about something ape/monkey related. After all, we did in fact evolve from filthy monkey-men

cropped-copy-cropped-ascent.png

About me

I am a PhD student at the University of Liverpool studying human evolution. In addition to my studies, I volunteer at a local museum and for open days for younger school students visiting the university.

What motivated me to start this blog wasn’t something that, on the surface, was connected with human evolution. I was giving a presentation to a group of school students about my university. They were apparently interested in biological sciences and so, appropriately, the presentation was given by university students studying biology. And little ol’ me from the archaeology department, and yet I was asked the most questions. These students were asking me about the origin of art and the development of technology. People are clearly interested in where they came from, yet there are too few sources providing this information.

Accordingly, I resolved to start this blog and to do my best to share information on the evolution of human culture, including art and technologies. And hopefully this blog will serve as a bit of an outlet for me so my long-suffering friends won’t have to listen to yet another “fun fact” about how we evolved.

Related posts



44 Comments

Jim Thomerson · 23rd February 2012 at 2:31 am

We get the picture that human ancestors were, some at least, relatively small and weak, with unimpressive teeth. Obviously these human ancestors had a toolkit of artifacts and behaviors which allowed them to become ancestors. Here is my question. I think no modern apes can throw as hard and accurately as some humans can. Select people make big bucks by throwing hard and accurately, therefore it is likely the anatomical and physiological aspects of hard and accurate throwing are well know. Has any one studied whether any of our ancestors could throw hard and accurately? I can picture a carnivore looking at a group of Australopithecines and thinking, “If I go after them, I will have several 100 MPH, quarter pound rocks bounced off my head.”

    Adam Benton · 23rd February 2012 at 11:30 am

    I know about some research into whether certain tools would be good for throwing and bits about whether neanderthals could throw well, but nothing specifically on this issue of australopiths throwing random rocks. I’ll look into it, maybe make a post on it at some point in the future

Pyper1384 · 23rd February 2012 at 9:11 pm

I just wanted to say thank you for posting on EveryMagicalDay. I followed your comments back here and am ecstatic to find a blog I will look forward to reading as much as this!

2012 and all that · 9th March 2012 at 7:27 pm

This is a great blog! I’ve really missed reading about new discoveries from before anatomically modern humans so this is a great and straight-forward digest.

Jim Thomerson · 1st April 2012 at 5:59 pm

Here you go. Take a look at this and get back to us!

http://psychsciencenotes.blogspot.com/2012/04/did-language-emerge-from-neural-systems.html

    Adam Benton · 4th April 2012 at 11:27 am

    Fine motor control is very important to language, but to what extent does it overlap between different parts of the body. If I “evolved” the ability to move my legs with more finesse, would it also improve my ability to control my thumb? Or is controlling different parts distinct in the brain? Or if they are linked, is it because one improves the other or are they symptoms of something else improving both?

    All of these questions and more would have to be answered before this research is considered something other than “promising, but only preliminary”

    I may discuss it on the blog at a later date

Jim Thomerson · 29th April 2012 at 3:56 pm

I wonder about handedness. i am right handed, and my right hand can do things for which my left hand has no clue. On the other hand ;-), both hands attended typing class at the same time, and type equally well; maybe the left is a hair better.

    Adam Benton · 29th April 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Handedness was discussed at HOBET and I was surprised to learn that the dominance of right handedness in the population appears to have been a relatively recent development; within the last 1 my or so.

    If I can find the original source for the presentation (hopefully it includes some more info on the development of handedness) it I’ll try and write about it this Wednesday as a “wondering Wednesday” post. Or is there something more specific you were interested in?

Evolution Child · 22nd May 2012 at 4:14 am

Love. This. Blog! I’m so glad you found me! lol

Jim Thomerson · 1st January 2013 at 5:36 pm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121231161043.htm
Here is a report about tree climbing in modern humans.

    Adam Benton · 1st January 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Very interesting. Now we just need to dissect one of these climbers and figure out what’s going. Darn ethical objections, getting in the way of mah science.

Jim Thomerson · 1st January 2013 at 10:38 pm

If you read to the end, you will see that they used noninvasive techniques to study differences between climbers and nonclimbers. You might rethink your comment.

    Adam Benton · 2nd January 2013 at 12:03 am

    I read there. My scalpel still thirsts for blood.

Jim Thomerson · 5th January 2013 at 7:23 pm

Over on Greg Laden’s blog he discusses work on throwing and human evolution published by Barbara Issac in 1987. Very interesting!

Jim Thomerson · 13th January 2013 at 12:49 am

20th century me, this was the best I could easily find. The little note on are cricketers primitive in the science sections gives a partial reference to the journal and volume. I leave the matter in the hands of a 21st century adapted person.
http://books.google.com/books?id=w8kcb4FHZMMC&pg=PA36&lpg=PA36&dq=Barbara+Issacs+throwing&source=bl&ots=nFJUKtMVag&sig=MTu4FBpd2hw7vQAKSBJQCcLaHLU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=A_TxUMeRKJDy2gXOkIHABg&ved=0CGAQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Barbara%20Issacs%20throwing&f=false

luke wallin · 16th February 2013 at 1:19 am

Check out: The Throwing Madonna by William H. Calvin at
http://www.williamcalvin.com/bk2/bk2.htm

    Adam Benton · 17th February 2013 at 5:34 pm

    It does look intriguing, I may look into that at some point

Jim Thomerson · 26th June 2013 at 11:28 pm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130626142710.htm
Here is about the uniquee human throwing ability and possible evolutionary implications.

    Adam Benton · 16th September 2013 at 7:59 pm

    2 million years ago is before any records of spears, spear points or really anything that could be remotely considered a projectile. Which begs the question, just what were they throwing?

ktwop · 21st August 2013 at 12:13 pm

Interesting blog you have here.
Thanks for visiting.
http://6000generations.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/what-genetic-characteristics-are-effectively-being-selected-for-today/
ktwop

Jim Thomerson · 24th August 2013 at 3:05 pm

It seems that I can no longer access the blog. How do I do that?

    Adam Benton · 24th August 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I changed the theme the other day, which might cause a bit of trouble. However, I’ve tested it on multiple machines and not had a problem. Could you be more specific?

      James R Lumbard · 16th September 2013 at 2:32 pm

      I think the new theme is great by the way. Clean and calm, plenty of content on show but somehow still not too busy. Good choice!
      – James

        Adam Benton · 16th September 2013 at 3:50 pm

        I’m not particularly happy with the font, but I have no choice in the matter without giving wordpress money.

        Also, you’re getting a follow

        James R Lumbard · 16th September 2013 at 3:56 pm

        Font was a real bugbear of mine to start with, especially the size. The theme I’m using now is my second, after near-constant experimentation.
        And thanks very much!

        Adam Benton · 16th September 2013 at 4:06 pm

        It’s always interesting how few people comment on the theme if it’s done well, but everyone expresses an opinion when it’s done badly.

Jim Thomerson · 24th August 2013 at 6:27 pm

Ok, I figured out to go to home. How does one find older threads?

    Adam Benton · 24th August 2013 at 6:46 pm

    It’s meant to be infinite, just keep scrolling down and it will keep loading older posts.

      Jim Thomerson · 10th October 2013 at 4:54 pm

      The furry Mexican family has a mutated gene on their X chromosomes. Apparently recessive. Having problems with your blog.

        Adam Benton · 10th October 2013 at 6:46 pm

        What sort of problems?

        Jim Thomerson · 10th October 2013 at 9:48 pm

        I can’t post a link, and have had the comment box freeze up on me.

        Adam Benton · 10th October 2013 at 10:28 pm

        I’ve tested it and not had any problems. If it keeps happening let me know and I’ll get it touch with wordpress

john zande · 9th November 2013 at 12:25 am

Oh, I’m going to enjoy this! Good man.

engastrobd · 29th March 2014 at 2:27 pm

Dear Adam,

I am an astronomer, but I’ve always had a soft spot for paleoanthropology as well. I’ve read a few of your posts and I find them very interesting and informative. Thank you for making the effort of popularizing these things, and keep up the good work! I’ll definitively come back to read more of your stuff.

Cheers,

Björn

STLloyd · 13th August 2014 at 11:18 pm

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Adam, nice to e-meet you!

Dr. Charles Bickenheuser · 19th May 2016 at 5:05 pm

When I read your “About” section it became immediately clear that you need to edit your writing to correct for basic, technical errors. If you are a second language learner then I understand your temporary limitations, and I am willing to help with an edit.

Sincerely,
Charles

    Adam Benton · 19th May 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Unfortunately its nothing so excusable. I’m just really bad at English. I’m working on this around a phd so don’t have as much time for proof reading as I’d like.

Leave your filthy monkey comments here.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.