Archive | January, 2016

We are not all Neanderthal: this is how science proceeds

31 Jan

Why Evolution Is True

by Matthew Cobb

You may recall that back in October we reported the amazing discovery that, as I put it in the headline, “Neanderthal genes are everywhere“. Up until then, it had been thought that only those human populations outside of Africa carried Neanderthal genes, as a consequence of our ancestors having mated with our Neanderthal cousins—mainly in Europe and the Middle East. People from sub-Saharan Africa, it was thought, did not carry those genes, because their ancestors did not leave Africa, and so didn’t meet the Neanderthals (whose ancestors had left Africa several hundred thousand years earlier).

What happened in October was that a group of researchers from around the world, led by Gallego Llorente of Cambridge University, studied the DNA of Mota, an Ethopian man who lived around 4,500 years ago. They found that he carried an unexpectedly high proportion of DNA from European populations, including DNA…

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Opinion: Not All Terrorism is Foreign

12 Jan

I’m happy to see Clark College student Michael Ceron addressing this timely and important issue.

The Independent

Just to the southeast of Burns, Oregon lies the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a 292 square-mile area known for the 320 species of birds that inhabit it throughout the year. Unfortunately, birds are not the main attraction today.

A self proclaimed militia has been occupying the space since late January 2, following a rally to secure the release of a father-son ranching duo that was charged with committing arson on Federal land in 2012.

This militia is demanding that a judge review the case of Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, the two ranchers accused of arson. They also demand that the federal land be returned to private citizens for their use.

Members of the militia include the sons of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher made famous by a standoff with federal law enforcement officials over cattle grazing on government land.

While some residents disagree with the court’s decision to…

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Between The Knots, Untying The Mystery Of Incan Khipus

4 Jan

Khipus are an ancient language system in the form of wool or cotton strings with knots. There is an intricate relationship between the knots, the where the type and location of the knot denotes meaning. The way the khipus’ are woven with colored strands and twisted together also add a layer of meaning. We have about 900 khipus discovered to date, and a very rudimentary understanding of them. There is even a Harvard database to document and compare them, but the context of this language system has largely been lost… Until recently.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 8.07.14 AM Khipus before it has been cleaned and untangled. Credit William Neuman/The New York Times

At a site called Incahuasi, about 100 miles south of Lima, Peru, researchers have been excavating 29 khipus right in the very place where they were used… An agricultural processing place, where it seems they were used as accounting books. The khipus were found…

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