Blog Archives

The Day We Learned To Think

Understanding of humans’ earliest past often comes from studying fossils. They tell us much of what we know about the people who lived before us. There is one thing fossils cannot tell us; at what point did we stop living day-to-day and start to think symbolically, to represent ideas about our environment and how we could change it? At a dig in South Africa the discovery of a small piece of ochre pigment, 70,000 years old, has raised some very interesting questions. Anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) emerged in Africa roughly 100,000 years ago. We know from fossil evidence that …

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Sandwalk: Do Human Races Exist?

Scientific American: Does Race Exist?

Larry Moran is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto.  He is discussing that old question once more in his blog “Sandwalk”: The current moral position is a sort of ‘biological egalitarianism’. This dominant position emerged in recent decades largely to correct grave historical injustices, including genocide, that were committed with the support of pseudoscientific understandings of group diversity. The racial-hygiene theory promoted by German geneticists Fritz Lenz, Eugene Fischer and others during the Nazi era is one notorious example of such pseudoscience. Biological egalitarianism is the view that no or almost no meaningful genetically …

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The Iranian Genome Project

The Iranian Genome Project aims to provide knowledge to both the scientific and Iranian community by studying and understanding the genetic background of Iranians. Genomics is an emerging field whereby scientists map our genetic code — the language of life – and study how differences in this language leads to differences in health and disease. Knowledge of our genetic code will enable us, as Iranians, to gain a better understanding of how our genes affect our health. Moreover, it will empower us as a community by giving us data that could one day be used to create tailored treatments and …

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