How did humans evolve, and will we evolve more?

Our biggest evolutionary advantages are an ability to walk on two legs and our big brains.

Evan Simons, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Anthropology, University at Buffalo • conversation
April 5, 2021 ~5 min

How did humans evolve, and will they evolve more?

Our biggest evolutionary advantages are an ability to walk on two legs and our big brains.

Evan Simons, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Anthropology, University at Buffalo • conversation
April 5, 2021 ~5 min

Turbulent environment set the stage for leaps in human evolution and technology 320,000 years ago

A new environmental record for a prehistoric site in Kenya helped researchers figure out how external conditions influenced which of our ancient ancestors lived there, with what way of life.

Richard Potts, Director of the Human Origins Program, Smithsonian Institution • conversation
Oct. 21, 2020 ~11 min

Chimpanzees in volatile habitats evolved to behave more flexibly – it could help them weather climate change

As in humans, environmental changes provoked chimpanzees to develop a diverse range of behaviours.

Fiona Stewart, Visiting Lecturer in Primatology, Liverpool John Moores University • conversation
Sept. 15, 2020 ~7 min

When did we become fully human? What fossils and DNA tell us about the evolution of modern intelligence

Artefacts suggest a ‘great leap’, a recent evolution of modern intelligence. Fossils and DNA argue that’s an illusion.

Nick Longrich, Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology and Paleontology, University of Bath • conversation
Sept. 9, 2020 ~9 min

Evolution: why it seems to have a direction and what to expect next

Evolution seems to lead to increasing complexity of species. But perhaps a dominant, intelligent species like humans will always end up destroying itself.

Matthew Wills, Professor of Evolutionary Palaeobiology at the Milner Centre for Evolution, University of Bath • conversation
June 2, 2020 ~8 min

Prehistoric human footprints reveal a rare snapshot of ancient human group behavior

The footprints of over 20 different prehistoric people, pressed into volcanic ash thousands of years ago in Tanzania, show possible evidence for sexual division of labor in this ancient community.

Briana Pobiner, Research Scientist and Museum Educator, Smithsonian Institution • conversation
May 14, 2020 ~8 min

Screens are keeping us connected now – but they're still disruptive to in-person communication

Research shows smartphone use disrupts an essential facet of human connection – eye contact.

Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, Professor of Psychology, Hunter College • conversation
April 15, 2020 ~6 min

Social distancing increased over the course of human history – but so did empathy and new ways to connect

People have changed over time, growing ever more distant and isolated from others – while at the same time finding new ways and technologies that let individuals connect and feel with others.

Fritz Breithaupt, Provost Professor in Cognitive Science and Germanic Studies, Indiana University, Indiana University • conversation
April 8, 2020 ~7 min

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