Human evolution

From Elsevier: Human evolution “uneven and punctuated”

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Neanderthal/Photaro

At least where Neanderthals are concerned:

A new study in Heliyon suggests that Neanderthals survived at least 3,000 years longer in Spain than we thought:

The authors of the study, an international team from Portuguese, Spanish, Catalonian, German, Austrian and Italian research institutions, say their findings suggest that the process of modern human populations absorbing Neanderthal populations through interbreeding was not a regular, gradual wave-of-advance but a “stop-and-go, punctuated, geographically uneven history.”

Over more than ten years of fieldwork, the researchers excavated three new sites in southern Spain, where they discovered evidence of distinctly Neanderthal materials dating until 37,000 years ago.

“Technology from the Middle Paleolithic in Europe is exclusively associated with the Neanderthals,” said Dr. João Zilhão, from the University of Barcelona and lead author of the study. “In three new excavation sites, we found Neanderthal artefacts dated to thousands of years later than anywhere else in Western Europe. Even in the adjacent regions of northern Spain and southern France the latest Neanderthal sites are all significantly older.” More.

Paper. (public access)

But what does it mean to say that human evolution is uneven and punctuated? When we are talking about a mere three millennia, we are talking about typical human history – which is always uneven and punctuated.

See also: Neanderthal, 50 thousand years ago, survived into his forties with disability

and

Neanderthal Man: The long-lost relative turns up again, this time with documents

4 Replies to “From Elsevier: Human evolution “uneven and punctuated”

  1. 1
    Latemarch says:

    Neanderthal: A difference without a distinction.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    This is a classic example of the biggest and most permanent failure of academic types. They ALWAYS assume linearity. Every trend must go smoothly upward forever or downward forever. Swift parodied the tendency in Laputa, and academics still haven’t learned.

    Nature is NEVER linear. Usually periodic with wiggles and pauses, sometimes tanh, sometimes more or less constant. The only thing Nature NEVER does is linear.

  3. 3
    Otangelo Grasso says:

    Number of cells in the human body, and synapses in the human brain

    http://reasonandscience.heaven.....uman-brain

    There are 37.2 Trillion Cells in Your Body. That is 37,200,000,000,000 Cells

    Each contains 2,3 Billion ( 2,300000000) Proteins

    That sums up to 85560000000000000000000 Proteins. That is 8,556^21 Proteins. That is 8,5 Vigintillion Proteins.

    So average, there would have to be an increase of 2912 cells per day by natural selection, producing the information to make the right kind of cells. The task would be to specify EACH new cell precisely through a master program which, coordinates, instructs and defines each Cell in regard of its

    1. Kind or type of cell ( Histology),
    2. Cell size
    3. It’s specific function,
    4. Position and place in the body. This is crucial. Limbs like legs, fins, eyes etc. must all be placed at the right place.
    5. How it is interconnected with other cells,
    6. What communication it requires to communicate with other cells, and the setup of the communication channels
    7. What specific sensory and stimuli functions are required and does it have to acquire in regard to its environment and surroundings?
    8. What specific new regulatory functions it acquires
    9. When will the development program of the organism express the genes to grow the new cells during development?
    11. Precisely how many new cell types must be produced for each tissue and organ?
    10. Specification of the cell – cell adhesion and which ones will be used in each cell to adhere to the neighbor cells ( there are 4 classes )
    11. Programming of time period the cell keeps alive in the body, and when is it time to self-destruct and be replaced by newly produced cells of the same kind
    12. Set up its specific nutrition demands

    669.760.000.000.000, or 669 trillion specifications per day during 3,5bio years.

    A current estimation of human total cell number calculated for a variety of organs and cell types is presented. These partial data correspond to a total number of 3.72 × 10^13, or
    3.7.200.000.000.000 cells.

    In humans, there are about 200 different types of cells, and within these cells, there are about 20 different types of structures or organelles. 2 37.200.000.000.000

    If we suppose that the first unicellular life forms emerged 3.5bi years ago, that is 3.500.000.000 years, then there would have to be an average increase of 1.062,857 cells each year, or 2912 cells per day, or 121 cells per hour to get the number of cells of the human body. Each of these cells would have to differentiate to form the different tissues and organs, the emergence of a signaling language, right cell signaling at the right place, at the right moment, to provoke cell movement and cell proliferation to the right place, to form the right organs and tissues, and interlink them correctly in a functional way.

    The human central nervous system (CNS) is the most complex living organ in the known universe. 6 Each synapse functions like a microprocessor, and tens of thousands of them can connect a single neuron to other nerve cells. In the cerebral cortex alone, there are roughly 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies. The human brain is often considered to be the most cognitively capable among mammalian brains and to be much larger than expected for a mammal of our body size. 4 We find that the adult male human brain contains on average 86.1 +/- 8.1 billion NeuN-positive cells. The total myelinated fiber length in a human brain varies from 150,000 to 180,000 km in young individuals. The total number of synapses in the human neocortex is approximately 1,5 x 10^14 (0.15 quadrillion), that is 1500000000000000 synapses. The brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth. 5 These connections should reveal a great deal about how the brain works, for while a single nerve cell may be enormously complex, it is in the massive networking of these many neurons that the brain’s fantastic processing and cognitive powers are likely to emerge.

  4. 4
    Pearlman says:

    Just one more feather in the cap of the strongest science is w/in ID w/ YeC.
    As a 340 year span of ‘the ice ages’ fits the factual evidence much tighter than does from 25M until 10k YA.
    the 340 years setting in cause and effect at the tail end of the 1656 AM ‘Mabul’ asteroid impacts year.
    reference RCCF framework for understanding science in max avail context.

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