The Utopian- A rEvolutionary Blog

In the halls of academia researchers are often more concerned about protecting their intellectual property than publishing the truth. Blogging offers a way to respect previous research, mine the information glut, and quickly publish the results. This blog is an experiment in gathering, documenting, associating, and presenting important information about human evolution using only a browser, the internet, and copy/paste techniques. These are not "my" words. I am only the editor.

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Location: United States

I have a BS degree in Wildlife from O.S.U. but most of my education comes from self study. I don't watch much TV because I don't think subjecting myself to all the materialistic and social propaganda is healthy. You can't view the world clearly if you put blinders on. My conclusions about the literature I cite on this website will be confined to the comments section. Please read those comments if you want to see the insights I have gained from my personal study. An interesting thing happened when I began this experiment. I discovered that bolding the important points of the research I was citing produced a rough summary of the information I could scan quickly, and also provided a easily referenced outline I could use to associate data from different sources using multiple browser windows. This led to a number of personal insights. Learning how to use blogs to data mine effectively can contribute greatly to the spread of global knowledge, and reduce the "information glut" that has accumulated.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Morphological affinities of the Australopithecus afarensis hand on the basis of manual proportions and relative thumb length.

"Our results indicate that A. afarensis possessed overall manual proportions, including an increased thumb/hand relationship that, contrary to previous reports, is fully human and would have permitted pad-to-pad human-like precision grip capability. We show that these human-like proportions in A. afarensis mainly result from hand shortening, as in modern humans."

"Since A. afarensis predates the appearance of stone tools in the archeological record, the above-mentioned conclusions permit a confident refutation of the null hypothesis that human-like manual proportions are an adaptation to stone tool-making,"

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=11260704
New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages.

"A 3.5 Myr-old cranium, showing a unique combination of derived facial and primitive neurocranial features, is assigned to a new genus of hominin. These findings point to an early diet-driven adaptive radiation, provide new insight on the association of hominin craniodental features, and have implications for our understanding of Plio-Pleistocene hominin phylogeny."

Hand of Paranthropus robustus from Member 1, Swartkrans: fossil evidence for tool behavior.

"New hand fossils from Swartkrans (dated at about 1.8 million years ago) indicate that the hand of Paranthropus robustus was adapted for precision grasping. Functional morphology suggests that Paranthropus could have used tools, possibly for plant procurement and processing."

"The new fossils further suggest that absence of tool behavior was not responsible for the demise of the "robust" lineage. Conversely, these new fossils indicate that the acquisition of tool behavior does not account for the emergence and success of early Homo."

3 Comments:

Blogger The Utopian said...

I think most of us would like to believe that tool use is what lifted us above the lower animals, because we live in a highely technological society. This is apparently not the case however, as these 3 studies illustrate.

While the human hand's gripping ability is important for tool use, it too is not the great achievement that makes us who we are today.

It is much more likely that the shorter hand we use today was the adaptation we needed to obtain new types of food when we became ground dwellers, and this paved the way for fire and cooking, which combined to allow us to grow larger and be more competitive.

Since we were new to the ground we were not well adapted to hunting other ground dwellers when we first arrived, so we were forced to eat things we could dig from the ground like roots. I believe it was this digging action that made our hands and fingers shorter.

Imagine if you will, trying to dig into the earth with a long narrow stick. Whats going to happen? Its going to break very easliy is it not? Now try digging with a shorter stick of the same diameter. What happens? Its much easier to dig and the stick doesnt break as easy. That stick is our fingers.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Hi. I would like to make friends with people who enjoy archaeology. I've joined this site (archaeology) to try to meet some new friends but I wondered if you knew of any other such sites.
interested in archaeology

8:10 PM  
Blogger The Utopian said...

Hi Andrew, If your interested in making friends in archaeology, I would google for archaelolgy volunteers, and apply for a job working at a dig site. I'm sure you would make some new friends and have a good time working on something you are interested in at the same time.

1:41 AM  

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