Humanity














Reports Jennifer Viegas in Discovery News:

The ancestors of humans, apes and monkeys evolved first in Asia before moving on to Africa, suggests a new fossil find from Myanmar.

Remains of a newly found primate, Afrasia djijidae, show this monkey-like animal lived 37 million years ago and was a likely ancestor of anthropoids — the group including humans, apes and monkeys.

“Many people have heard about the ‘Out of Africa’ story of human origins and human evolution,” said Christopher Beard, a Carnegie Museum of Natural History vertebrate paleontologist who co-authored a study about the fossil find in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Our paper is the logical precursor to that, because we are showing how the anthropoid ancestors of humans made their way ‘Into Africa’ in the first place.”…





Lawrence M. Krauss writes in the LA Times: The illusion of purpose and design is perhaps the most pervasive illusion about nature that science has to confront on a daily basis. Everywhere…


Between SleepStephanie Hegarty reports in BBC News:

We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night – but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.

It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.

Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists …




The Canadian media’s furor and spin on the following story is demonstrable proof that any and all attempts to de-legitimise Indigenous self-government and exploit Aboriginal territories for resources is not only allowed, it is welcomed. These policies are based on historical paternalistic colonialism, which is explicitly intended to systematically disenfranchise Native peoples.

Note as per this story , Canada spends MORE than two times per capita on non-natives for social infrastructure (housing, education, healthcare) than it does on aboriginal people. The amount reported in the Al Jazeera story below, is the entire budget, and does not include any additional civil infrastructure (roads, transport links) funds, which is normally separate from social spending:


PopulationGreat roundup of opinion found in the Detroit Free Press:

What’s the biggest issue facing humanity as the global population reaches seven billion?

Montreal’s Le Devoir newspaper asked for an answer from correspondents around the world. Here are the replies, including a link to that from the Free Press. Note the recurring theme of fresh water, not a problem here in the Great Lakes region, but a critical issue for millions of people in many regions.