links for 2009-06-30

6,011 Years Ago*

Today it is also worth noting that the first day of creation began at nightfall preceding Sunday October 23, 4004 B.C. The anniversary of which would be nightfall yesterday. Or something like that.

* [(4004 + 2008) -1 = 5,999 6,011 Remember, there’s no year zero.] later: WTF’s wrong with my math skills? Sheesh.

links for 2008-06-18

[manually posted]

links for 2008-02-18

links for 2007-11-16

According to Archbishop Ussher…

As we noted last year:

In 1650, the Irish Archbishop, James Ussher, published his computations that the world was created on Sunday, October 23rd, 4004 B.C., beginning at sunset of the 22nd. [Errors in quoting Bishop Ussher]

So this is the big 6010th birthday! Woo Hoo! (note: I miscalculated last year because I apparently was not paying sufficient attention. The equation would not be 4004+2007. Rather it would be 4004+2007-1 because there is no year 0 [zero].) Pesky Gregorian calendar…

links for 2007-08-01

Humans have elegant skulls due to chance and isolation

More on the skull shape of humans. [h/t Mic Check Radio] Here is another post.

Chance and isolation gave humans elegant skulls [New Scientist]

Only chance kept us from looking like our crag-browed Neanderthal cousins. A statistical analysis suggests that the skull differences between the two species stems not from positive natural selection but from genetic drift, in which physical features change randomly, without an environmental driving force.

Some anthropologists had put the cranial differences down to natural selection arising from Neanderthals’ use of their teeth as tools, for instance, or from modern humans’ speech. To test if genetic drift could have been responsible instead, Timothy Weaver of the University of California, Davis, and colleagues compared 37 measurements of the skulls of various modern human populations with those of Neanderthals. After a comparison of the mean divergence between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals and the mean divergence among groups of modern humans, they conclude that genetic drift is responsible (Journal of Human Evolution, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevo4l.2007.03.001).

The development of culture weakened the influence of the environment upon both Neanderthals and modern humans, says Weaver. But ultimately the two species drifted apart genetically when they became isolated from each other.
[From issue 2613 of New Scientist magazine, 24 July 2007, page 19]

links for 2006-11-10

Something was amiss either here or there and my del.icio.us links did not get posted from the tenth of November. So, here they are.