Articles on Human evolution

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We propose same-sex attraction evolved to allow greater social integration and stronger same-sex social bonds. SHUTTERSTOCK

Homosexuality may have evolved for social, not sexual reasons

Scientists don't ask how some people evolved to be tall. In the same way, asking how homosexuality evolved is the wrong question. We need to ask how human sexuality evolved in all its forms.
Imitation is the sincerest form of being human? Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Being copycats might be key to being human

A quirk of psychology that affects the way people learn from others may have helped unlock the complicated technologies and rituals that human culture hinges on.
20 years ago, who could predict how much more researchers would know today about the human past – let alone what they could learn from a thimble of dirt, a scrape of dental plaque, or satellites in space. Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo

Archaeological discoveries are happening faster than ever before, helping refine the human story

20 years ago, who could predict how much more researchers would know today about the human past – let alone what they could learn from a thimble of dirt, a scrape of dental plaque, or satellites in space.
Baboons make sounds, but how does it relate to human speech? Creative Wrights/Shutterstock.com

Examining how primates make vowel sounds pushes timeline for speech evolution back by 27 million years

Researchers say it's time to finally discard a decades-old theory about the origins of human language – and revise the date when human ancestors likely were able to make certain speech noises.
A recent study conducted by Brookings Institute researchers found artificial intelligence could “affect work in virtually every occupational group”. However, it’s yet to be seen exactly how jobs will be impacted. SHUTTERSTOCK

Work is a fundamental part of being human. Robots won’t stop us doing it

As machine automation and artificial intelligence surge, there's paranoia our jobs will be overrun by robots. But even if this happens, work won't disappear, because humans need it.
Milling grain meant less wear and tear on neolithic teeth, which had other effects on language. Juan Aunion/Shutterstock.com

Softer, processed foods changed the way ancient humans spoke

Considering language from a biological perspective led researchers to the idea that new food processing technologies affected neolithic human beings' jaws – and allowed new language sounds to emerge.
New technology means accessing new information from ancient human remains, some which have been in collections for decades. Duckworth Laboratory

Ancient DNA is a powerful tool for studying the past – when archaeologists and geneticists work together

Ancient DNA allows scientists to learn directly from the remains of people from the past. As this new field takes off, researchers are figuring out how to ethically work with ancient samples and each other.
Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts, Vladimir Uliyanov and Maxim Kozlikin (clockwise from top) examining sediments in the East Chamber of Denisova Cave. Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Author provided

Fresh clues to the life and times of the Denisovans, a little-known ancient group of humans

New studies reveal when the Denisovans and their Neanderthal cousins occupied a cave in southern Siberia. It's the only site known to have been inhabited by them and by modern humans.

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