Tag Archives | Humans

Study Sheds Light on What Makes People Shy

Clark KentI'm not suggesting that "shyness" means you secretly are an alien from the planet Krypton, who has to disguise one's true nature from everyone around you ... but it can feel like that at times. Reports LiveScience:
The brains of shy or introverted individuals might actually process the world differently than their more extroverted counterparts, a new study suggests. About 20 percent of people are born with a personality trait called sensory perception sensitivity (SPS) that can manifest itself as the tendency to be inhibited, or even neuroticism. The trait can be seen in some children who are "slow to warm up" in a situation but eventually join in, need little punishment, cry easily, ask unusual questions or have especially deep thoughts, the study researchers say. The new results show that these highly sensitive individuals also pay more attention to detail, and have more activity in certain regions of their brains when trying to process visual information than those who are not classified as highly sensitive.
Continue Reading

James Lovelock: Humans Are Too Stupid to Prevent Climate Change

James Lovelock

Credit: Bruno Comby of Environmentalists for Nuclear

His words, not mine. Here’s Gaia hypothesis theorist James Lovelock’s first in-depth interview since the “Climategate” story made world news. Leo Hickman writes in the Guardian:

Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change from radically impacting on our lives over the coming decades. This is the stark conclusion of James Lovelock, the globally respected environmental thinker and independent scientist who developed the Gaia theory.

It follows a tumultuous few months in which public opinion on efforts to tackle climate change has been undermined by events such as the climate scientists’ emails leaked from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit.

“I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change,” said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

70,000 Years Ago, An Extinction Event May Have Left Only 2,000 Humans on the Planet

Extinction EventWow, this is a fascinating article from Ed Grabianowski on io9.com: a great catalog of the extinction events we believe happened throughout all of human history. Ed Grabianowski writes:

There is one near-extinction event that is fairly well-known, although it remains controversial. Roughly 70,000 years ago, give or take a few thousand years, an enormous eruption occurred in what is now Sumatra, leaving behind Lake Toba. The eruption coincides with a population bottleneck that is often cited as the reason for the relatively low genetic diversity across Homo sapiens sapiens. Research suggests as few as 2,000 humans were left alive by the eruption and its aftereffects.

A recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found another population bottleneck much farther back in human history. Genetic studies found that 1.2 million years ago there were as few as 55,000 members of genus Homo, including pre-human hominids like Homo erectus and Homo ergaster.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Jared Diamond’s Noble Savage Collapse

by Robert Singer

Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his early writing contended that man is essentially good, a “noble savage” when in the “state of nature” (the state of all the other animals, and the condition man was in before the creation of civilization and society), and that good people are made unhappy and corrupted by their experiences in society. He viewed society as “artificial” and “corrupt” and that the furthering of society results in the continuing unhappiness of man.

Put another way, in the beginning civilized humans were hunters and gatherers, when we started wearing clothes made out of cotton, using deodorant, living in houses and using toilet paper we became savages.

The only difference between civilized “savages” and 20th century man is we used our opposing dumb to conquer Mother Earth.

The indigenous populations knew Nature was not ‘wild’ and hostile but was a benevolent friend. Then, by a twist of organized religious dogma, many began to think humans are the greatest and most important part of creation and they saw Nature as ‘fallen’ and sinful.  … Read the rest

Continue Reading