Tag Archives | Humanity

India’s Population Reaches 1.21 Billion

800px-ATP_conferenceThe world's population has had a rapid increase in the last decade, but India takes the cake. With the 2011 census updated, India's population reaches 1.21 billion. BBC reports:

India's population has grown by 181 million people over the past decade to 1.21bn, according to the 2011 census. More people now live in India than in the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Bangladesh combined. India is on course to overtake China as the world's most populous nation by 2030, but its growth rate is falling, figures show. China has 1.3bn people. The census also reveals a continuing preference for boys - India's sex ratio is at its worst since independence. Female foeticide remains common in India, although sex-selective abortion based on ultraso
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U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan Posed in ‘Trophy’ Photos With Murdered Civilians

US Soldier Poses With Dead BodyJon Boone writes in the Guardian:

The face of Jeremy Morlock, a young US soldier, grins at the camera, his hand holding up the head of the dead and bloodied youth he and his colleagues have just killed in an act military prosecutors say was premeditated murder.

Moments before the picture was taken in January last year, the unsuspecting victim had been waved over by a group of US soldiers who had driven to his village in Kandahar province in one of their armoured Stryker tanks.

According to testimony collected by Der Spiegel magazine the boy had, as a matter of routine, lifted up his shirt to reveal that he was not hiding a suicide bomb vest.

That was the moment Morlock, according to a pre-arranged plan, threw a grenade at the boy that exploded while other members of the rogue group who called themselves the “kill team” opened fire.

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Humanity 3.0: How Will We Evolve Next?

1561781181_be42e3aaacWriting in SEED Magazine, Mark Changizi expounds on his vision of human advancement in the centuries to come. He argues that the greatest progress will not come through changing our brains and bodies via genetic engineering or cyborg-like enhancement, but by developing technology that better accommodates the magnificently-designed brains and bodies that evolution has already given us:

Where are we humans going, as a species? If science fiction is any guide, we will genetically evolve like in X-Men, become genetically engineered as in Gattaca, or become cybernetically enhanced like General Grievous in Star Wars. All of these may well be part of the story of our future, but I’m not holding my breath.

There is, however, another avenue for human evolution, one mostly unappreciated in both science and fiction. It is this unheralded mechanism that will usher in the next stage of human, giving future people exquisite powers we do not currently possess, powers worthy of natural selection itself.

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The Pets We Kept Before Dogs Found In 16,500-Year-Old Cemetery

Source: Mariomassone (CC)

Source: Mariomassone (CC)

Alasdair Wilkins writing at io9.com:

A burial site recently uncovered in Jordan is the oldest ever discovered in the Middle East, at least 1,500 years older than any other cemetery previously discovered. But it’s not just its great age that makes it special — the cemetery also reveals what animals humans kept as pets long before the domestication of dogs.

The site, which dates back about 16,500 years, was discovered in ‘Uyun al-Hammam in Jordan. The University of Toronto researchers discovered the site back in 2000, but it’s taken eleven years just to come to grips with what the site has to teach us. Indeed, this cemetery stands to be particularly useful, as it has eleven different sets of human remains — more than all other burial sites of this type combined.

But it isn’t just the human corpses that have attracted attention, as they’ve also discovered remains of ancient pets.

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Study Finds Possible Link Between Genes and Friendship

Could your genes help decide the friends you choose? BBC News reports:

Researchers in the United States say they have uncovered tentative evidence of a genetic component to friendship.

Using data from two independent studies, they found carriers of one gene associated with alcoholism tended to stick together.

However, people with another gene linked with metabolism and openness, stayed apart.

Details are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers looked at six genetic markers in two long-running US studies, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and the Framingham Heart Study, which contain both genetic data and information on friends.

[Continues at BBC News]

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Haitians Mark One Year Anniversary Of Earthquake

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The Haitian National Palace after the earthquake on January 12, 2010

A year after tragedy hit Haiti, survivors are marking the anniversary of the devastating earthquake. A year later and hundreds of thousands of people are living in shelters, communities are slowly being rebuilt and there is a constant battle against cholera. BBC News reports:

Haitians are preparing to mark the anniversary of the earthquake that devastated their country and left some 250,000 of their fellow citizens dead.

Church services are due to be held around the nation, including at the ruined cathedral in Port-au-Prince.

There will also be a minute’s silence at 4.53pm (2153 GMT) – the exact moment when the 7.0 magnitude quake hit.

Traffic stopped as the streets of Port-au-Prince turned quiet and businesses were closed.

People walked in solemn processions to prayer services marking the anniversary of the worst natural disaster in the nation’s history. Many people wore white, a colour associated with mourning in Haiti, and sang hymns as they made their way to the services.

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The 33 (Formerly) Trapped Chilean Miners Have A Contract to Stop Any Individual From Profiting at the Expense of the Group

ChileMinersInteresting way to deal with a horrible situation that these fellas found themselves into. Glad to see the rescue operation is going well, Godspeed. Fiona Govan writes in the Telegraph:

The 33 trapped Chilean miners have moved to stop any individual from profiting at the expense of the group, drawing up a legal contract to share the proceeds from the story of their ordeal.

The men have called in a lawyer to draw up a contract ensuring they will equally profit from the lucrative media deals they expect to secure for sharing the story of their two month survival in the hope that they never have to work again.

The group have already rejected requests for interviews and have instead made plans to jointly write a book about the days spent trapped below the Atacama Desert following the mine collapse on August 5.

The details of the discussions between the men were disclosed in a letter by one of the miners to his wife.

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