Thursday, May 06, 2010

A New Homo-Like Species Found in Africa ...and Some Thoughts on How Human They Might Have Been 2 Million Years Ago SCIENCE VOL 328 9 APRIL 2010

Above is the cover of the 9 April issue of the magazine Science and the abstract of the first of two articles in this volume treating a species newly added to the genus Homo. This abstract recognizes the fossil skeletons just discovered as being between 1.95 and 1.78 million years old and either on our family tree or not far off of it.

The second article is devoted to the geological context in which the new fossils were found, and the following figure copied from that article kind of got me to thinking...

I see those terrible "death trap" crevasses dropping straight down into those ancient caves, and then I notice the cartoons of two figures up top walking near one of them, and I began to think that one of the two likely stumbled into it and the other person very possibly tried to go down and save his/her companion, parent, or child ...and ended up suffering the same fate.

I have no idea of what their IQ's were back then, but the thought of the one sacrificing him/herself in an effort to save the other bespeaks true humanity in my view, and so I speak of them as persons.

In fact those long-ago folks were infinitely more human than the greedy blood-sucking corporations that the Supreme Court recently granted personhood. In fact, I sincerely doubt that a single CEO of any of those companies would lay down his/her life for anyone ...and most certainly not for their country.

Then I began to reflect on the Tea Party movement. Their IQ's probably average out the same as the rest of us.  And probably they have compassion, if not for those of other races, at least for their family and friends.

Apparently, the problem with the Tea Baggers is either a lack of curiosity about the rest of the world or their holding the mistaken belief that they know all they need to know about the rest of the world from watching U.S. TV.

The least informed among them would be the ones who watch Fox News.

In fact there was a Zogby poll taken that asked the about 700 respondents whether or not they believed the 2004 Election was stolen, with the result that 39% said yes and 54% said it was legitimate. But when the results were grouped according to the TV news channel they watched the most, just one half of one percent of Fox viewers believed it to be stolen and 99% believed it honest. Among people who watched ANY other news source but Fox News, more felt the election was stolen than honest.

A woman who mixed with the crowd during the April 2 Tea Party rally in front the the Minnesota  State Capital in Saint Paul came away with the impression that
"...90 percent of the people I talked with were mired in a frightening morass of ignorance. They were unable to articulate even their own concerns in any concrete way, but, merely repeated slogans about “freedom” or “big government is taking over”. They were oblivious to all facts that contradicted what Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and their Tea Party leaders have put forth."
Considering that the Teabaggers can't even articulate what's bothering them, I have a lot more sympathy for those two unfortunate paleolithic people.

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