Only Humans On Earth

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

neanderthal skulls (leted/flickr)

Chris Stringer, author of Lone Survivors: How We Came to be the Only Humans on Earth, discusses his new book laying out his controversial theory on the evolutionary origins of modern humanity.


Chris Stringer

Comments [10]

Matt from Los Angeles

Love hearing Brooke as a guest host in Brian's absence. Please keep her coming back!

Aug. 07 2012 05:16 PM
Barbara Lindheim from NYC

Great segment but I find it amazing that the most obvious proximate cause of the Neaderthal's demise goes unspoken. Sad to say, modern humans are a genocidal species, as the past 100 years has reminded us again and again. If we willingly slaughter our long-time human neighbors, think how easy it must have been for the smarter and more strategic homo sapiens to wipe out the Neanderthals who were likely seen as sub-human competitors--and who actually were different. The universal propensity of genocide advocates to label their victims subhumans, monkeys. cockroaches, etc. makes it all too easy for me to see the sad fate that rapidly befell the Neanderthals once modern humans arrived in great numbers(in Europe and Asia, where significant Neanderthal populations had lived successfully for hundreds of thousands of years.) Even the Old Testament tells us what happened to the resident populations once the Israelites decided that the "land of milk and honey" was to be their new homeland--they were ruthlessly slaughtered. So let's take a moment of remembrance for our ancient cousins the Neaderthals, likely among the early, but not the only, victims of modern human aggression.

Aug. 07 2012 01:00 PM

Neanderthals mixed with modern humans? Joyce Carol Oates wrote a strange story about that.

Aug. 07 2012 12:53 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Fascinating. I love learning about theories of mankind's origins. On another note, Sting is one pretentious bastard. "I find [classical music] quite nourishing." Awful.

Aug. 07 2012 12:01 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

In Genesis 6:1-4 the "sons of God" are captivated by the beauty of the "daughters of men." They subsequently marry them and produce an offspring of giants known as the Nephilim. Genesis goes on to say that these Nephilim were "mighty men" and "men of renown."

Aug. 07 2012 11:52 AM
Karen from NYC

Chris: Is there anything sacred about carbon-based intelligence: "eats, breathes, grows, reproduces" (to paraphrase Sesame Street)? The apes and homo erectus couldn't visualize us, so we have a hard time visualizing our successors. Do those successors have to be "alive," as we use the term; or is life more a question of intelligence? What if we "evolve" right out of our organic form, into AI, including an "evolvable" (adaptable) form of AI?

What would we lose, really? For one thing, we could avoid the red giant phase of the sun in a couple of billion years, or the collision with Alpha Centura after that, by sending ourselves, as computer programs, to another galaxy.

Aug. 07 2012 11:43 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise." Such was the exhortation of the wise King Solomon in the biblical book of Proverbs.

Aug. 07 2012 09:56 AM
oscar from ny

I think the master of this universe has somehow tricked even the geniouses.
I tought that primes were recalled by god in sumarian time {iruq}and shown, given a bible to "king muharabbi" a (black stone, currently at the louvre in france )*, these i tough were the first intelligent ppl that can focus and think together alike

Aug. 07 2012 08:59 AM
Ed from Larchmont

All Catholics have to believe is that one point in time, God took either dust and formed a man, or an ape or pre-human, and put into that being a human soul, the first man. Evolution before that is fine and makes sense, and after that.

Aug. 07 2012 07:39 AM
Ed from Larchmont

In the 1950s Pope Pius XII in 'Humani Generis' said that one has to believe, if one is Catholic, that the human species came from one man and one woman. People at the time thought it was ridiculous.

Then in the 1990s the scientists in genetics mapped the human genome. And they traced back changes in the genome, and decided that the whole human race came from one man and one woman. Hmmm.

Aug. 07 2012 07:23 AM

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