There they go again. This week in Nature we learn of the discovery of a 35,000 year old erotic figurine in Germany, 5000 years older than previously known such work by early humans. We are to take from this that evidence for an artistic mindset - i.e. modern, abstract thought - mysteriously "exploded" into the human endowment at this time. "The Big Bang," some call it, an apparent Great Leap Forward in toolmaking, burial rituals and art among European peoples at this time.
Science Doorstops Worth A Look
February 26, 2007
by John McWhorter In the vein of using this blog to shine a light on authors who don't get the attention they deserve, two books on how genetic data is revising what we know about early human migrations by Stephen Oppenheimer have been major eye openers for me. The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa, from 2003, shows how data from mutations in mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome are now allowing us pinpoint the pathways that humankind took from Africa in often bracing detail.