Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

+ - "Out of Africa" theory called into question by originator->

Submitted by Amiga Trombone
Amiga Trombone writes: Christopher Stringer is one of the world's foremost paleoanthropologists. He is a founder and most powerful advocate of the leading theory concerning our evolution: Recent African Origin or "Out of Africa". He now calls the theory into question: "I'm thinking a lot about species concepts as applied to humans, about the "Out of Africa" model, and also looking back into Africa itself. I think the idea that modern humans originated in Africa is still a sound concept. Behaviorally and physically, we began our story there, but I've come around to thinking that it wasn't a simple origin. Twenty years ago, I would have argued that our species evolved in one place, maybe in East Africa or South Africa. There was a period of time in just one place where a small population of humans became modern, physically and behaviourally. Isolated and perhaps stressed by climate change, this drove a rapid and punctuational origin for our species. Now I don’t think it was that simple, either within or outside of Africa."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Intelligence is... (Score 1) 213

by Amiga Trombone (#40847605) Attached to: Goodbye, IQ Tests: Brain Imaging Predicts Intelligence Levels

I do not dispute that they may have or will in the future be able to determine someone's potential, but it will be a crude measurement and entirely pointless as potential is worth exactly worth squat until realized.

Not entirely pointless. Is it worth the resources to extensively educate somebody that has very little potential?

Comment: Re:Comparison to 'Older music' not fair (Score 1) 576

by Amiga Trombone (#40820039) Attached to: Study Finds New Pop Music <em>Does</em> All Sound the Same

That may be, but let me go on a wild guess that it wasn't nearly as popular as Summertime (Gershwin/Fitzgerald) that you can easily play and sing along using just 5 chords.

You'd guess wrong! The Boswell Sisters were the most popular jazz vocal groups of their time. In fact Ella Fitzgerald cited Conee Boswell as one of her primary influences.

Comment: Re:Comparison to 'Older music' not fair (Score 1) 576

by Amiga Trombone (#40817509) Attached to: Study Finds New Pop Music <em>Does</em> All Sound the Same

Well, pop music in the not too distant past was also fairly complex (although obviously not as complex as classical). Take this 1933 recording from the Boswell Sisters, it's clearly a lot more harmonically sophisticated than 4 chords, and has a number of tempo changes. And this was pop music in it's time, music that people danced to, sang along with, etc, not some form of "art" music.

The twentieth century saw the progression of musical degeneration. First we lost the sophisticated song structures and harmonic constructions of the jazz age to rock, and then we lost the remaining melodic and lyrical competencies of rock to rap. Now we're merely reduced to drumming and chanting. What's left to lose?

Comment: Re:Safe trip? (Score 1) 251

by Amiga Trombone (#40745569) Attached to: Sally Ride Takes Her Final Flight

no designer worth anything would have 'designed' this world as it is.

Rather arrogant of you to be telling a being presumed to be omniscient, immortal and capable of creating universes how it should be running things, isn't it?

I submit that if He/She/It exists, it probably has a somewhat broader and more mature perspective than you do.

Comment: Re:I Dunno... Let's Ask John Galt What He Thinks.. (Score 1) 347

No. I'm pointing out that since patents weren't available to Stradivarius, his only means of protecting his intellectual property was to keep his methods a secret. To this day, nobody has been able to duplicate his instruments, rebutting the argument that his competitors would be able to simply tear it apart and figure out how to duplicate it.

Comment: Re:Wages as a percentage of U.S. GDP peaked in '72 (Score 2) 696

Well, the economy was fine - you're problem is that it isn't the 1950s anymore. That is to say, our biggest possible competitor, Europe, isn't recovering from a recent world war, China and India aren't undergoing massive famines, Korea isn't in the midst of a civil war, and Made in Japan is no longer a synonym for cheap junk.

You could have a 90% tax in the 50's simply because there was no place else to go. Try that today and watch your industries and your wealth move off-shore even faster than they are now.

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky