Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Discoveries Made About The Earliest Humans


Liam Smyth 3/28/15
C Block Odd

            Today I read an article in Science Daily titled “Earliest Human Had a Diverse Range of Body Types.” A team of Cambridge researchers published this article. These researchers claimed that human diversity in body types came much earlier than previously thought.
            They did this by comparing skeletons found in African countries from the period of early man. The skeletons found in these different parts of Africa showed strong variation, and this meant that human started showing strong variation before they left Africa. Skeletons showed extreme diversity mainly in height; the heights of these skeletons ranged from 4 feet eight inches to six feet.  These taller skeletons were found mainly in Kenya. This contradicts the previously held belief that most of these changes occurred after humans left Africa.
            This study was done using an extensive sample size; the sample size was in fact three times larger than those of previous studies on the subject. This was an extremely challenging process due to the fact that they had to spend a lot of time reconstructing half recovered fossils that had not been examined previously.
            This article is important to society because it is important to learn about our past and how we came about. A knowledge of the history of humanity allows use to further understand ourselves, and this self understanding allows humanity to gain important perspective. This new evidence also adds to the mountain evidence against Social Darwinism by showing that humanity didn’t magically advance only once we left Africa.
            This article was a great summary of the researchers’ work. It succinctly and impartially summarized the article. However, it was a little too bit impartial. The article could’ve criticized the study a little bit more thoroughly and presented methodological problems with the study. The article also could have gone into a little bit more detail about how these half recovered fossils were reconstructed.



University of Cambridge. "Earliest humans had diverse range of body types, just as we do today." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150326204642.htm>.

5 comments:

  1. Liam did a great job giving an overview of the study discussed and the article. His writing was easy to follow and well thought out. He also did a good job of touching on many interesting aspects of the article and explained why the study is significant and how it applies to our lives.
    One thing that interested me from this report is that researchers now believe that many variations in humans took place before they left Africa. I had previously thought that most variations occurred after some humans left Africa as a result of allopatric speciation, but it makes sense that these different mutations also happened while all humans were still together in Africa. I was also interested by the fact that early humans were a little bit shorter, but mostly the same size that humans are now.
    One thing that I think Liam could have improved was his explanation of how the study was carried out and if there were any loopholes in the researchers' conclusions.

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  2. Great Job Liam!
    I think you did very well on this piece. You did everything very well. Some of things I did admire of your work were how you touched up on some of the things that was important. Your analyse was really smooth and could understand everything.
    Some of thing, I do think you could have done better was to explain more over how this could be a issue in our lives and what could we do to help. If there is anything that can be done, I would like to be apart of that!
    Liam, I applaud you for what you did, and this is was really well written and was cool!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great Job Liam!
    I think you did very well on this piece. You did everything very well. Some of things I did admire of your work were how you touched up on some of the things that was important. Your analyse was really smooth and could understand everything.
    Some of thing, I do think you could have done better was to explain more over how this could be a issue in our lives and what could we do to help. If there is anything that can be done, I would like to be apart of that!
    Liam, I applaud you for what you did, and this is was really well written and was cool!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Liam did a job well-done on his current event report on new discoveries on the bodies of early humans. A couple aspects I enjoyed were that he was specific on how the scientists experimented in Africa and also he did a good job relating these findings to our own lives and how it is important to learn from our past. Also, he gave a good critique of the article, saying it was too impartial. Two things Liam could improve on was giving statistics on how big their sample size was in this experiment. Also, I thought he could have given some background on past experiments to show how this one is better and different. Lastly, I was impressed by the fact that a whole previous belief that all changes were made after Africa had been contradicted by these scientists. Good job overall.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Liam did a job well-done on his current event report on new discoveries on the bodies of early humans. A couple aspects I enjoyed were that he was specific on how the scientists experimented in Africa and also he did a good job relating these findings to our own lives and how it is important to learn from our past. Also, he gave a good critique of the article, saying it was too impartial. Two things Liam could improve on was giving statistics on how big their sample size was in this experiment. Also, I thought he could have given some background on past experiments to show how this one is better and different. Lastly, I was impressed by the fact that a whole previous belief that all changes were made after Africa had been contradicted by these scientists. Good job overall.

    ReplyDelete

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