first_imgUpsets are so common in evolutionary studies of human ancestry, bystanders might well ask how often they find anything worth believing.“Hominin DNA baffles experts” reads a headline on Nature News, one of a slurry of reports about the genome deciphered from the bone of an alleged human ancestor found in a Spanish cave.  The pieces of the puzzle of human evolution are not falling into place.  “Another ancient genome, another mystery,” the article sighs.DNA gleaned from a 400,000-year-old femur from Spain has revealed an unexpected link between Europe’s hominin inhabitants of the time and a cryptic population, the Denisovans, who are known to have lived much more recently in southwestern Siberia.European ancestors were supposed to be closer to Neanderthals than to the Denisovans.  Researchers are “baffled” by the new data.  Chris Stringer says it is “not what I would have expected.”  Svante Pääbo says “This really raises more questions than it answers.”  The article adds, “researchers interested in human evolution are scrambling to explain the surprising link, and everyone seems to have their own ideas.”  They want hope, but they offer befuddlement:Clive Finlayson, an archaeologist at the Gibraltar Museum, calls the latest paper “sobering and refreshing”, and says that too many ideas about human evolution have been derived from limited samples and preconceived ideas. “The genetics, to me, don’t lie,” he adds.Even Pääbo admits that he was befuddled by his team’s latest discovery. “My hope is, of course, eventually we will not bring turmoil but clarity to this world,” he says.Other articles don’t add much clarity, either.  National Geographic, awfully quiet these days about their heroes of the 1980s, the Leakeys, says it “scrambles” the human origins picture.  Live Science spoke of a “mysterious branch of humanity.”  Science Now says Pääbo thought they’d find this kind of genome in China, not in Europe.  Another paleontologist says, “It is all much more complex than we thought.”  Various “experts” propose “scenarios” to answer the conundrum, “What was Denisovan DNA doing in a proto-Neandertal 7500 kilometers from Siberia?”  Or, as the BBC quipped, from Siberia to Iberia?  The story becomes lurid with various incompatible groups interbreeding but losing the DNA they gained.The paper leaves some researchers frustrated. The authors “arrive at no conclusion,” grumbles paleoneurologist Emiliano Bruner of the Spanish National Research Center for Human Evolution in Burgos. “This is not a great advance, leaving all hypotheses still on.”None of them, of course, leave the creation explanation still on, despite their frustration.  When all other hypotheses end in frustration, though, would it not be wise to think outside the box?  Judging their reactions, it appears they rather enjoy the frustration inside the box.  Ian Tattersall says curiouser-ly, “All I can say is, this gets mysteriouser and mysteriouser.”Far out ape:  Meanwhile, on the ape end of the supposed continuum, there are puzzles about the “tree dwelling bipedal human ancestor” dubbed Orrorin.  Science Daily reported that it seems similar to ancient apes and “Lucy” but not to living apes.  (Check out Lucy’s new “svelte look” on Science Now, as if she’s on a fashion walk.)  Since there are other extinct apes, it’s not clear Orrorin was heading to meet Adam.  And so much for a continuum between chimpanzees and peopleL  “Living apes have long and independent evolutionary histories of their own, and their modern anatomies should not be assumed to represent the ancestral condition for our human lineage,” William Jungers of Stony Brook School of Medicine quipped.  PhysOrg says that this specimen (also called “Millennium Man”) turns out to be “less chimp-like than thought.”  He seems to be describing an evolutionary bush, not a tree.  What, then, can be deduced about human evolution from fossils?  How do they know these were not branches of apes that simply went extinct, and had nothing to do with human origins?Cave shadows:  Given these anomalies, it’s hard to get excited about Live Science‘s picture gallery of the Siberian in Iberia, or Science Daily‘s speculations about when and why some animals get bigger brains in their genes, or PhysOrg‘s story about some lemurs that sleep in caves.  Don’t bats do that?  and centipedes?  Are we descended from them based on sleeping in caves?Neo-Neanderthals:  Science Daily claimed, based on tooth analysis, that “No known hominin is ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans,” yet evidence shows the two interbred (or “had sex with mystery relatives,” Live Science claims – maybe even the primitive Homo erectus!).   Does this not mean all three were members of the same species by definition?  National Geographic leaves the common ancestor another “mystery” that requires a “much earlier split” between their lineages.  “There may be an as-yet-unknown human hiding in the mix, and this human may be key to solving the puzzle of when our ancestors split from Neanderthals,” the article teases.  “Whether that species is waiting to be discovered in the field or is hiding within the broken and scattered remains of fossils already collected is a mystery waiting to be solved.” Isn’t science supposed to be dealing in observational facts?Meanwhile, evidence continues to accumulate that Neanderthals were no dumb brutes clubbing each other. Live Science reports, “Tidy Cavemen: Neanderthals Organized Their Shelters.”  One wonders how that headline would have been received in Haeckel’s day on up through the 1960s.  It probably would have felt like a bonk on the head.Yet scientists have the gall to tell us, as found on PhysOrg, that humans are not smarter than animals, just different.  Sure.  That’s why we all love to go to animal orchestras, read animal literature, and attend animal scientific conferences.  Dr. Arthur Saniotis from the University of Adelaide is out to debunk the “belief of human cognitive superiority” that “became entrenched in human philosophy and sciences” ever since Aristotle.Actually, after listening to the paleoanthropologists, maybe Saniotis is onto something, at least for certain human subpopulations.  What does one expect from a flock of DODOs?(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgIt didn’t take long for Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts to replace former State Senator Bill Kintner, who resigned last month from the Unicameral.Ricketts announced the selection of Elmwood banker Robert Keith Clements to fill the Legislative District 2 vacancy.Clements was immediately sworn into officer Monday afternoon by Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Heavican.Clements was not among the 35 people who applied to fill Kintner’s seat.Ricketts says his staff sought other candidates for the seat representing Cass and portions of Sarpy and Otoe counties.The governor interviewed 10 applicants in person.last_img

first_imgPlans for a new parole office in La Mesa not sitting well with residents December 3, 2018 Posted: December 3, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSan Diego (KUSI) – Plans for a new parole office in La Mesa is not sitting well with the residents who live there.The state of California wants to lease the building for the purpose of a parole office for people who just got out of state prison. Parole is for is not probation and is for those who committed serious crimes such as severe violence, sexual assault, and organized gang activity.Residents against the proposed lease argue Grossmont High is just one of four high schools nearby with thousands of kids attending. People walking to the facility would have to walk through residential streets to get to the parole office and with the lack of access to public transportation, sidewalks, and parking, there’s no room to expand. center_img Updated: 7:22 PM KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

first_imgIn this file photo taken on 5 September judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the second day of his US Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to be an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DCUS president Donald Trump’s embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faced a second accusation of sexual misconduct Sunday, leaving Republicans scrambling to save a confirmation that until recently had seemed all but certain.The latest claims of impropriety during Kavanaugh’s youth came as he was already facing a dramatic hearing where his testimony was to be weighed against that of a university professor who has separately accused him of assault.Senate Democrats are now investigating a bombshell claim by Deborah Ramirez, 53, who says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a 1980s college party at Yale University, thrust his genitals in her face and caused her to touch them without her consent, according to The New Yorker.The story was denied by Kavanaugh, who called it “a smear, plain and simple.””The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so,” the conservative judge said in a statement.Like Christine Blasey Ford, the professor accusing him of assaulting her when they were teenagers, Ramirez is calling for an FBI investigation into the incident, and Democratic lawmakers are backing their demand.Ford agreed to testify Thursday after an increasingly ugly weeklong standoff that saw her forced to leave her California home as she faced death threats and the president openly attacked her credibility.Kavanaugh, who strongly denies the assault allegation, has said he wishes to testify as soon as possible to clear his name from Ford’s claims that he attacked her at a high school party in the 1980s.The federal judge has calendars from the summer of 1982 he plans to share with senators showing he was out of town most of that time with no indication of the party of concern, The New York Times reported.The two parties will testify separately — first Ford, followed by Kavanaugh, who will respond — the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed.Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the judiciary committee, urged the panel to halt proceedings in light of the latest allegation.”I am writing to request an immediate postponement of any further proceedings related to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh,” she said in a statement.”I also ask that the newest allegations of sexual misconduct be referred to the FBI for investigation, and that you join our request for the White House to direct the FBI to investigate the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford as well as these new claims.”Confirmation in the balanceAt stake is not only the fate of Trump’s hand-picked Supreme Court nominee, but also Republican chances in November’s midterm elections that face increased risk if the polarizing confirmation battle drags on.Lindsey Graham — a member of the panel that must approve Kavanaugh’s nomination before it goes to the full chamber — summed up the position of many Republicans by saying he did not expect Ford’s testimony to change his mind.”What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy’s life based on an accusation?” he told “Fox News Sunday.” “Unless there’s something more, no, I’m not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s life over this.”According to a YouGov poll conducted for CBS, more than half of Americans want an FBI investigation before a vote on Kavanaugh, but more than two thirds of Republicans want a vote within days.Republicans, who hold a paper-thin majority in the Senate, can ill afford defections if Kavanaugh is to be approved.Danger of defections”If one Republican senator should decide that Ford’s allegations, assertions, are true, and that they are serious, it could make a big difference in the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh,” Democratic senator Dick Durbin said on ABC’s “This Week.”After days of relative restraint, Trump lashed at Ford on Friday, questioning the credibility of her allegations, and in doing so may already have hurt his nominee’s chances with a senator from his own party.Trump contended that Ford’s decision to wait so late before going public shows the incident probably was not “as bad as she says” — even if this runs counter to what experts say is the typical reaction of sexual assault victims afraid or embarrassed to report.Susan Collins — a Republican who sits on the Judiciary Committee — said she was “appalled” by Trump’s tweet, stressing that incidents of sexual assault were known to be chronically under-reported.Trump’s outburst saw an outpouring of sympathy for Ford — and outrage at the president — as thousands of women, and men too, shared why they had kept silent after being assaulted, under the Twitter hashtag #WhyIDidntReport.last_img read more

first_imgSome children spread colours in their own unique way, some were covered in colours themselves, the joy of Diwali brimmed the faces of these children playing with colour. Singing and dancing added further more joy to the hearts of orphan children celebrating Diwali at Bal Bhwan.Occasion was Diwali celebration for underprivileged children that comes under the Gramin Vikas Sewa Samiti. The event organised by Premia Group started with rangoli competition with the Diwali theme. Children not only made colourful rangolis to celebrate spirit of festival of light but also painted diyas and took part in various activities orgainsed for them. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Children from all caste and religion gathered to celebrate Diwali in great spirit. ‘I was touched when I learnt about that this orphanage based in Beebi Fatima ki Mazaar, Jama Majid- Adhchini village is doing such a great job for these underprivileged children by helping them to grow and by giving them basic needs like education, shelter and food and making them good human beings,’ said Tarun Shienh, CMD Premia Group, while he was playing with children, helping them out with their rangolis. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe evening started with singing songs by children followed by rangoli competition and lighting the  diyas but it was much about the fun children had at Bal Bhawan doing all this. It was a refreshing change for everybody present there. Children’s took back ample clothes, toys and crackers as Diwali gift. ‘I am very happy to organise a small celebration for these children, this is such irony in our society that some of the children are not getting their basic needs fulfilled. Being an entrepreneur, it is my primary responsibility to help the society in all ways I can,’ added Shienh.last_img read more