Where have I gone?

5 Jul

In 2011-2012 I was teaching 1-2 classes and loving the additional avenue of discussion provided by blogging. Somewhere along the way, my class load increased to 8 between Mt. Hood Community College, Washington State University-Vancouver, Clark College, and Ashford University. The students and classes, spanning all four fields of anthropology, at these institutions has been a lot of fun. But clearly, my blog production (which was never great) has slowed down.

If you’re interested in smaller doses of my scientific earnestness and geeky anthro enthusiasm – or want to share your ideas/discoveries – please check Facebook (Jay Fancher) or Twitter (@jfancherphd).

Go Anthro!

Jay

Charleston: Continuing the Conversation

2 Jul Featured Image -- 316

Originally posted on Welcome to the AAA Blog:

It has been two weeks since the mass shooting took place at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Makeshift memorials are still being placed on the grounds outside under the hot summer sun and, like the new floral arrangements that arrive daily, the horror remains fresh in our minds. As it should. The conversations on race and racism need not be pushed aside to make way for the next tragic event for that will come soon enough. It needs to continue and remain prominent in our headlines and our households until, as the Confederate flag is destined to be, racial intolerance is taken down once and for all.

Racial hatred need not exist. Through more than a century of anthropological studies on race and culture, we now understand that human behavior is learned, conditioned into infants beginning at birth, and always subject to modification. Our…

View original 54 more words

Everything turns to candy

10 Jun

jayfancher:

Hidden (and not-so-hidden) sugar is everywhere.

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

Sadly, Tim Horton’s was outside security at the Vancouver airport, so I failed to secure any donuts before I got to the departure gates. However, I did have one for lunch yesterday, after a creditable meal of a ham and swiss sandwich and a giant frozen lemonate (which gave me my first real case of brain freeze). As dessert, I essayed the “maple dip” donut suggested by one reader, but I found it mediocre. The sandwich was much better.  Dejuner:

P1080213

I was forced, then, to have my morning pastry at the overpriced Starbucks inside the airport. While waiting in the huge line, I noticed how slowly it was moving. And that was because many of the customers, instead of just getting coffee (110 calories with whole milk, tall version), were ordering versions of Starbucks’s “candy coffee”, i.e. caramel chocolate macchiato (240 calories, tall, whole milk), cinnamon dolce latte whip…

View original 342 more words

Say Hello to Australopithecus deyiremeda, A Newly Discovered 3.4 Million Year Old Hominid

29 May Featured Image -- 306

Originally posted on Anthropology.net:

This fragment of upper jaw (shown) was discovered sitting on top of the sediment in the Woranso-Mille area of central Afar in Ethiopia. Anthropologists have now identified it as belonging to a new species of early human ancestor called Australopithecus deyiremeda that lived between 3.3 million and 3.5 million years ago This fragment of upper jaw (shown) was discovered sitting on top of the sediment in the Woranso-Mille area of central Afar in Ethiopia. Anthropologists have now identified it as belonging to a new species of early human ancestor called Australopithecus deyiremeda that lived between 3.3 million and 3.5 million years ago

A study published in Nature today announces the 2011 discovery of Australopithecus deyiremeda a hominid that lived between 3.3 and 3.5 million years ago. The species is represented by a maxilla, mandible and dentition found in the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia about 22 miles from the spot where the remains of Australopithecus afarensis were found. A. afarenis is thought to have lived between 3.9 million and 2.9 million years ago.

The size of the jawbone and the shape of the teeth of the new species resemble that of afarensis, but the researchers lay claim in their paper…

View original 119 more words

3.3 Million Year Old Stone Tools Predate Homo By 500,000 Years

21 May

jayfancher:

Another nail in the “Homo” as first toolmakers coffin?

Originally posted on Anthropology.net:

149 stone flakes, hammers and anvils, found off at the Lomekwi 3 site on the shores of Lake Turkana, appears to have been crafted more than 3.3 million years ago — 500,000 years before our genus Homo. The authors reported their findings in Nature this week. Sonia Harmand and her team accidentally stumbled upon the ancient artifacts after taking a wrong turn and found a different place with stone tools on the surface of a site called Lomekwi 3. You can read more about their discovery at The Conversation.

View original

430,000 Year Old Shell Engravings By Homo Erectus from Trinil, Java

6 Dec Featured Image -- 301

Originally posted on Anthropology.net:

Wim Lustenhouwer/VU University Amsterdam. A shell found on Java in the late 1800s was recently found to bear markings that seem to have been carved intentionally half a million years ago. The photograph is about 15 millimetres wide. Wim Lustenhouwer/VU University Amsterdam. A shell found on Java in the late 1800s was recently found to bear markings that seem to have been carved intentionally half a million years ago. The photograph is about 15 millimetres wide.

The engraved shell pictured come from a freshwater mussel species that were collected in the 1890s by the Dutch paleontologist Eugène Dubois, from Trinil. The first H. erectus calvarium was also found there. Duboid brough home many other artifacts as well and were stored away in Leiden, Netherlands.

Henk Caspers/Naturalis. The shell, from a freshwater mussel, shows a hole made by a member of Homo erectus. Henk Caspers/Naturalis. The shell, from a freshwater mussel, shows a hole made by a member of Homo erectus.

Josephine Joordens from Leiden University opened these boxes to work on a project about marine life at Trinil, a site 80km insland. She found some perforations made with a sharp object suggesting someone used tools to crack these shells open. A visiting colleague photographed the shells and…

View original 221 more words

Wanted: One Ethnocentric Anthropologist

17 Nov

Isn’t “narrow-minded anthropologist” an oxymoron?

 

Few professions are more antithetical to discrimination than anthropology. Understanding human differences is at the heart of everything we do. So, finding an anthropologist willing to tacitly approve of religious bigotry might be difficult. Nevertheless, I received a job listing from an academic institution attempting to do just that; they seek the elusive ethnocentric cultural anthropologist!

 

Can one even teach cultural anthropology while adhering to the restrictions below?

[BLANK] University, a Christ-centered community, prepares students spiritually, academically, and professionally to think with clarity, act with integrity, and serve with passion. Professors teach all truth as God’s truth, integrating all fields of learning around the person and work of Jesus Christ, bringing the divine revelations through sense, reason, and intuition to the confirming test of Scripture. All applicants must express a personal commitment to Jesus Christ and express their Christian testimony in a local church. In addition, professors agree to live in agreement with the Community Lifestyle Statement and affirm the theological commitments expressed in the Statement of Faith. Individuals who would fit this profile are encouraged to apply for current openings in our faculty.

 

In other words, non-Christians and/or Christians who do not share their narrow, dogmatic view of the faith need not apply. Presumably, LGBT anthropologists would be rejected since that would likely conflict with the “Community Lifestyle Statement.”

 

The world’s exceptionally well-qualified Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, non-religious, etc. cultural anthropologists are not good enough for BLANK University. Many of the most highly respected anthropologists in the history of the discipline would not be “a good fit” for this institution. Franz Boas (1858-1942), the “Father of American Anthropology,” would not be welcome there. Can you imagine turning away an applicant like Franz Boas because of his religious affiliation (or lack thereof)?

 

Worse, in the fine print, BLANK University awkwardly tries to appear non-discriminatory:

Because [BLANK] University is a Christian university, employment requires an evangelical Christian commitment and lifestyle consistent with the university’s mission. Within that mission, [BLANK] is an EEO employer and encourages minority and female applicants.

 

This kind of outrageous religious bigotry has no place in the 21st Century, and should not be excused because BLANK University is a private institution. I question the ethics and anthropological commitment of any applicant who would accept money from such an institution. Further, I’m proud to teach anthropology for four truly Equal Opportunity Employers who never inquired about my religious preference.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 84 other followers