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homo erectus

Homo erectus had language, says cognitive scientist

Everett certainly has a point. It is hard to imagine organizing the construction, launch, and navigation of such craft without language. How would an erectus get co-operation without explaining the idea? Read More ›

Cog sci prof: Homo erectus may have invented language

Well, if Homo erectus invented language, we must intensify our search for that subhuman. In any proper Darwinian scheme, someone must be the subhuman, right? Otherwise, we re playing a game of musical chairs where, when the music stops, there ARE actually enough chairs… Read More ›

Homo erectus skull conclusively dated to 2 million years ago, “nearly human-like”

We heard this “nearly human-like” stuff about the Neanderthals for decades and now we are catching up with all these stories about them braiding string, drawing symbols, and burying their dead. How do we know it’s true this time, as opposed to an artifact of not enough excavation yet? Read More ›

Homo erectus from nearly 1.5 million years ago was “more behaviourally flexible” than thought

But why did we think they wouldn’t be? Isn’t there an underlying story here that is slowly being confuted (but no one wants to really discuss the history in those terms so everything must be treated as a big surprise)? Read More ›

Researchers: Homo erectus survived longer than thought

At New Scientist: “But the age does open up the opportunity that there could have been potential overlap with the Denisovans,” says Westaway. The Denisovans are known from a handful of remains, which have yielded DNA. They roamed Asia and interbred with the ancestors of people in China and South-East Asia. Read More ›

Cultural evolution theories “challenged” by multiple dwelling cave

This kind of find is treated as problematic because it means that the missing link is still missing. Nobody is the subhuman. That’s not good news for a Darwinian approach to human evolution, in which someone must be the subhuman. Read More ›

Academic labels media reports calling Homo erectus lazy as “moronic”

Recently, we reported on one of those Darwinian morality tales, according to which homo erectus died out because he was lazy, compared to the rest of us. Ann Gauger, pointed out that the broader picture (timelines, for example) does not suggest that Homo erectus was lazy. And now we learn, “The inference that laziness typifies Homo erectus and that such a failing might have hastened their extinction is moronic,” says Neil Roach, a biological anthropologist at Harvard University. “This is a solid study with interesting results that do contribute significantly to our field, and unfortunately, the press release does exactly the opposite.” Roach makes his point emphatically, and with good reason—there’s a lot of evidence pointing to H. erectus as Read More ›

Ann Gauger: Was Homo erectus really that lazy?

Ann Gauger, a senior scientist at the Biologic Institute, writes to defend homo erectus from charges that laziness led to his his extinction. She writes, This anthropologist is not looking at the broader picture. H erectus is estimated to have appeared somewhere in Africa 1.9 mya. By 1.8 mya H erectus is found in Dmanisi, Georgia. Not the US state. And in Europe and Asia not long after. They dispersed from Africa in 100 kya. Or about as long as it took H sapiens to do so. Who’s calling who lazy? They had a long run as a successful species. In fact, they co-existed with Neanderthals and depending on your point of view, even to the time of H sapiens, Read More ›

Researchers: Homo erectus died out because he was lazy and very conservative

We don’t hear as much old-fashioned moralizing these days as we used to but this looks like the authentic product from ScienceDaily: Laziness helped lead to extinction of Homo erectus An archaeological excavation of ancient human populations in the Arabian Peninsula during the Early Stone Age, found that Homo erectus used ‘least-effort strategies’ for tool making and collecting resources. This ‘laziness’ paired with an inability to adapt to a changing climate likely played a role in the species going extinct, according to lead researcher Dr Ceri Shipton of the ANU School of Culture, History and Language. “They really don’t seem to have been pushing themselves,” Dr Shipton said. “I don’t get the sense they were explorers looking over the horizon. Read More ›