Neanderthals had differently organised brains

Homo neanderthalensis is not a species to be dismissed lightly. They weren’t especially dumb, nor especially weak. Indeed, they actually had larger brains and denser muscles than we did. On top of that, their technology was so well adapted to their environment that they were

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The folly of the “palaeolithic diet”

There’s this new fad going around called the “palaeolithic diet” (or at least, that’s what it should be called. I’ll have none of this American “paleolithic” thank you very much). It is essentially people trying to eat what our ancestors ate, the logic beign that

Evolving our success

If you were asked what it was that makes Homo sapiens so successful, how might you respond? That it is our technology, which enables  us to conquer any environment? But what allowed the development of such technology? Our big brains of course! But why did

The problem with defining our ancestors

Almost every paper on human evolution commences with an obligatory paragraph about how these particular scientists are defining the species in question. “Today we’re calling Homo erectus outside of Africa Homo ergaster,” they’ll say and you accept that and it’s all well and good.¬† But

Last neanderthals NOT found near the Arctic?

I previously discussed an article which suggested that the last members of Homo neanderthalensis retreated north into Russia prior to their eventual extinction. This conclusion was based upon the discovery of Mousterian tools – an industry produced by the neanderthals – at Byzovaya. However, although

A handaxe, nicknamed Excalibur. Does it have a genetic root?

The origin of religion

The amount of creationist claptrap in my previous post obscured an otherwise intriguing story: the origin of religion. But I didn’t have enough space to go into as much detail as I would’ve liked, but then I remembered, I own this blog! I can have

Prehistoric man changed the environment

Humanity altering the environment seems to be a very topical issue. The news seems to be full of stories about another animal we’ve driven extinct, another river we’ve polluted and how we’ve doomed our planet through man-made global warming. On the other hand we think

Jaws and creationism

Jaws and creationism. Unfortunately I’m not talking about the shark (although a creationist horror film would be awesome), but the human jaw. You see, each of our faces is different and for the most part this seems to be because neutral mutations accrue, changing our