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Friday, April 29, 2016

The Australian and Lascaux Cave Connection

In a study of three separate art types (stencilled handprints, linear geometrics and stones inscribed with “tally” marks) it is confirmed that the native aboriginal people of Australia described in a geometrical manner the data required to mathematically predict future eclipses. The method to encode the mathematical values involves the conversion of astronomical values to an angular array. The method is identical to the technique used in the upper Paleolithic era geometrics found in cave paintings at Lascaux, in France, and other ancient archaeological sites. In one sample of Australian artwork the encodement of astronomical data even appears to employ a three-dimensional geometrical trick to create a very basic optical illusion. Taken together the data suggests that it is now possible, for the first time, to scientifically compare dissimilar art types, and to use ancient art to investigate ancient migration paths.

Did Just a Few Men Control Reproduction in Prehistory to Dominate World Genetics Today?

A new genetic study of male ancestry shows there were periods in human prehistory when just a few elite men controlled reproduction. For example, one man about 190,000 years ago was the ancestor of 1,200 living men from 26 groups around the world whose genes were analyzed for the new study.
Who knows if that one man so long ago had great genes? Would the world have been different if it had been another man who had fathered much of the human race?
And one might also wonder just how many women this man had been with in his life. He lived at the dawn of the history of the Homo sapiens species, so perhaps just by dint of arithmetic and not necessarily by having many mates his genes came to dominate humanity.
But thousands of years later, genetic studies show, just a few men were responsible for much of the reproduction.
- See more at:

Joe Lyon Layden is a prehistoric fiction author and primitive musician. To receive a free copy of this entire  novella as well as three free songs and monthly updates, freebies, and discounts on Joe's ongoing work, please sign up for the newsletter below.

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Once a 'majestic roundhouse' - architect Sarah Ewbank believes she's solved Stonehenge's mysterious origin

A LANDSCAPE architect believes she might have solved the mystery of Stonehenge’s origin.
Sarah Ewbank believes the ancient structure was a two-storey “majestic roundhouse” and has used her 30 years of experience in design to create a scale model.
It has taken nearly a year of research and studying the footprint of the stones to come up with the theory. She thinks it was once used as a multi-purpose venue and says not being an archaeologist has allowed her to think about it logically.


The Iron Throne Recreated in the Dark Age of Camelot MMORPG : Joffrey and Sandor as Kobold and Troll

The Iron Throne Recreated in the Dark Age of Camelot MMORPG : Joffrey and Sandor as Kobold and Troll

Dark Age of Camelot is the best MMORPG game to date. Unlike the later World of Warcraft, which some deem a homogenized copy, DAoC features three competing "realms" or factions instead of just "good" vs. "evil." This makes for an amazing power struggle between the lands of Midgard, Hibernia, and Albion, in which players wage war on their enemies and their keeps. Alliances are made, pacts are broken, leaders are betrayed, and thousands of players follow other players into massive battles. In an afternoon of RvR, the DAoC version of PvP or "Player vs Player," one might find him or herself fighting an opposing player one on one, leading a huge army of other players to war, erecting a ram or catapult to lay siege to a keep, or scaling the wall of a tower to assassinate a Lord.
It's the closest thing we have to Game of Thrones in an MMORPG right now, and the game is drawn on many of the same influences as "A Song of Ice and Fire."
But it isn't only the player vs. player that makes DAoC the best MMORPG to date, despite its age. The game has roots: it isn't "fantasies greatest hits" like Everquest and WoW. It actually makes sense in a weird sort of way, instead of messing with your suspension of disbelief.
In that way it is also like the works of G.R.R. Martin.
My "main" character in Dark Age is a troll named Gruffbane who fights for Midgard. In the picture below he is playing Sandor Clegane, and beside him is a newly made character Joffrey the Illborn.  Joffrey is Level 1, and is not expected to enjoy a long reign.
I made the Iron Throne behind them using the in-game player housing customizer.
It is made from the best weapons in the game, and many Epic Bosses and player Lords and Ladies have died so that they might adorn the royal  chamber.
Of course, I would have liked to make the throne more like the novels than the one in the show, but the game only allows a certain number of placeable objects!
Below the King and his hound is a shot of a rare occasion when Ymir stormed my Guild's keep in Midgard. It might also be a cryptic prediction for Winds of Winter, but I don't know 'bout that.

                                                                                          YMIR IS COMING!


How 'dragons' were able to fly: Scientists discover secrets of supersized seabirds with a 26ft wing span who lived millions of years ago

For a century and a half, scientists have been baffled by pelagornithids - the prehistoric seabirds with 'tooth-like' points on their beaks and wingspans similar to a light aircraft.
Fossils of the monstrous birds - often referred to as dragons - have been found from Portugal to Chile, and reveal that they had wingspans of up to 24ft.
Now two researchers believe they have finally found an answer to the question scientists have been asking for 150 years - and worked out how the fearsome creatures ever managed to fly, The Sunday Times reports.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Probainognathians

The Probainognathians are members of one of the two major clades of the infraorder Eucynodontia, the other being Cynognathians. The earliest forms were carnivorous and insectivorous, though some species eventually also evolved herbivorous traits. The earliest and most basal Probainognathian is Lumkuia, from South Africa. Three groups survived the extinction at the end of Triassic; the Tritheledontidae and Tritylodontidae, who both survived until the Jurassic - the latter possibly even into the Cretaceous (Xenocretosuchus), and Mammaliaformes, who gave rise to the mammals.[1]

Dinosaurs Left Europe during Early Cretaceous, Says New Study

A team of paleontologists led by University of Leeds scientist Dr. Alexander Dunhill has used the so-called ‘Network Theory’ to visually depict the movement of dinosaurs around the world during the Mesozoic era (252 to 66 million years ago) – including a curious exodus from Europe during the Early Cretaceous (146 to 100 million years ago).

Friday, April 22, 2016

Buckminster Fuller

Richard Buckminster "BuckyFuller (/ˈfʊlər/; July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983)[1] was an American architectsystems theorist, author, designer and inventor.
Fuller published more than 30 books, coining or popularizing terms such as "Spaceship Earth", ephemeralization, and synergetic. He also developed numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, and popularized the widely known geodesic dome. Carbon molecules known as fullerenes were later named by scientists for their structural and mathematical resemblance to geodesic spheres.
Fuller was the second World President of Mensa from 1974 to 1983.[2]


The timing of the rise in sea levels - E.P. Grondine

Hi tiompan, all - 

With the new find off Sicily, there will be growing public awareness of the rise in sea levels. 
So this is a good time to bring them up.

There has been so much horse manure written about the "YD impact" by various idiots that I thought I would make my own additional contribution to the pile.

As far as my qualification to do this go, many manned Mars flight enthusiasts will tell you I am an idiot; and they are joined in this opinion by 2012 fatalists, different "psychics", theosophist archaeologists, followers of Velioksy and Cayce, and Ed Weiler, Dr. Morrison and his "friends", and believers in "Nemesis", and various employees and associates of the Ohio Historical Society, self proclaimed "Wicca" and their friends, who will also throw in that I am a liar and a fraud.

I should also mention in regard to the topic at hand that I edited a presentation by D. Usikov on Gamma Ray bursts, back many years ago when I had a brain. He bears no responsibility for the following.

My own little road apple is this: in large hyperevlocity impacts, some photons reach gamma ray energy levels, which results in the release of neutrons and thus in the formation of 14C and 10Be.

Carbon 14 is produced by nitrogen beingt hit by neutrons:


I am not current with the latest charts of 14C production from 50,000 BC on, but the intcal98 chart, which is detailed and accurate enough for the presentation at hand may be seen on page 13 of Firestone's article here: ... 6_num2.pdf

(and here is Dr. Firestone's graph used by yet another bunch of nuts, who conveniently posted it to the web)...


The Cadborosaurus Wars

Over the last few months, I and two of my colleagues have been involved in an interesting dialogue in the literature. It concerns the entity dubbed ‘Cadborosaurus’ – a marine, horse-headed ‘mega-serpent’, supposedly reported by witnesses from the waters off British Columbia and elsewhere in the North Pacific. People who read my stuff (both here and in print) will know that I have more than a passing interest in cryptozoology, and especially in ‘sea monsters’; indeed, I’ve written about ‘Cadborosaurus’ quite a few times. As I always say, this interest in cryptozoology might be a dumb thing to admit, given the negative stigma attached to the field. And I’m sure that it’s based in part on adherence to the nave and childish hope that sea monsters, relicts hominoids and such might actually be real.
Nevertheless, I remain interested in cryptozoology both because I think that some eyewitness accounts are really intriguing and difficult to explain, and because I’m interested in how people perform as observers of wildlife (see Paxton 2009). Unlike many who class themselves as sceptics, I’ve tried to understand where cryptozoologists are coming from, I’ve read and (do still read) the cryptozoological literature, and I don’t think that we should necessarily reject cryptozoological hypotheses as untenable without looking at the data (such as it is) first.


Sponges, Fishes and Dragons

Life exists on Earth because of the sea. Life awoke in the sea, reached its greatest diversity in the sea, and conquered the land by crawling from the sea. Since the first primitive humans beheld the oceans, we have wondered at their secrets and the life hidden within their 1.3 billion cubic kilometres of water.
            One thing scientists agree on is that we still don’t know all about such life. According to the 10-year Census of Marine Life (CoML), which reported on 6,000 new species and estimated that there were hundreds of thousands more, we don’t even come close.
            The majority of still-undiscovered species probably lie in what we may call the Old World Seas, the waters fished and traversed by the oldest human civilisations. The Pacific and Indian Oceans, along with the Red and Mediterranean Seas encompass some 245 million square kilometres. The peoples living around the Old World Seas have always known they held countless fishes and other animals: some well-known now, but also some of whose existence we have only hints and legends.



Have you ever asked yourself what animals lived in Sarawak during the Ice Ages, when large parts of North America, Europe and Asia were buried underneath huge ice sheets? Did you know that during the coldest periods (such as the one that existed about 21,000 years ago) you could have walked overland from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur (even though you would have to make rafts to cross some big rivers that flowed where is today the floor of the South China Sea)! 

A fascinating talk in October 2009 by the Earl of Cranbrook at the invitation of Dr. Charles Leh, zoologist and curator of natural history of the Sarawak Museum, shed much light on what is known about the mammals that lived in Sarawak during the Ice-Ages and what happened to them afterward. Below is a summary of his talk and paper (see reference at end of article *).


Ancient Termite-Digging Creature Added to Mammal Family Tree

A new look at a fossil mammal with powerful front legs for digging is clearing up questions about the origin of a group of strange and scaly modern-day creatures called pangolins.
First excavated in Mongolia in the 1970s, the fossil sat in storage for decades until researchers for the Russian Academy of Sciences rediscovered and analyzed it, reporting their results today (Aug. 27) in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 
What they found was a dog-size, strong-shouldered digger called Ernanodon. This mammal lived about 57 million years ago, after dinosaurs had died out and our furry ancestors had taken over. Ernanodon was known from one other fossil found in China, but that specimen is warped, and some archaeologists even thought it might be a fake.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The pyrophilic primate hypothesis

Members of genus Homo are the only animals known to create and control 
fire. The adaptive significance of this unique behavior is broadly 
recognized, but the steps by which our ancestors evolved pyrotechnic 
abilities remain unknown. Many hypotheses attempting to answer this 
question attribute hominin fire to serendipitous, even accidental, 
discovery. Using recent paleoenvironmental reconstructions, we present 
an alternative scenario in which, 2 to 3 million years ago in tropical 
Africa, human fire dependence was the result of adapting to 
progressively fire-prone environments. The extreme and rapid 
fluctuations between closed canopy forests, woodland, and grasslands 
that occurred in tropical Africa during that time, in conjunction with 
reductions in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, changed the fire 
regime of the region, increasing the occurrence of natural fires. We 
use models from optimal foraging theory to hypothesize benefits that 
this fire-altered landscape provided to ancestral hominins and link 
these benefits to steps that transformed our ancestors into a genus of 
active pyrophiles whose dependence on fire for survival contributed to 
its rapid expansion out of Africa...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Neanderthal Y chromosome didn't make it into humans

Thanks to Austin Whittall at the Patagonian Monsters Blog

Well, a paper: Mendez et al. The divergence of Neanderthal and modern human Y chromosomes. American Journal of Human Genetics, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.02.023,
States that Neanderthal Y chromosome didn't make it into humans.
The Abstract (full text is freely available) says: 
Full Text
Exp. Proc.
Related Articles
Sequencing the genomes of extinct hominids has reshaped our understanding of modern human origins. Here, we analyze ∼120 kb of exome-captured Y-chromosome DNA from a Neandertal individual from El Sidrón, Spain. We investigate its divergence from orthologous chimpanzee and modern human sequences and find strong support for a model that places the Neandertal lineage as an outgroup to modern human Y chromosomes—including A00, the highly divergent basal haplogroup. We estimate that the time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of Neandertal and modern human Y chromosomes is ∼588 thousand years ago (kya) (95% confidence interval [CI]: 447–806 kya). This is ∼2.1 (95% CI: 1.7–2.9) times longer than the TMRCA of A00 and other extant modern human Y-chromosome lineages. This estimate suggests that the Y-chromosome divergence mirrors the population divergence of Neandertals and modern human ancestors, and it refutes alternative scenarios of a relatively recent or super-archaic origin of Neandertal Y chromosomes. The fact that the Neandertal Y we describe has never been observed in modern humans suggests that the lineage is most likely extinct. We identify protein-coding differences between Neandertal and modern human Y chromosomes, including potentially damaging changes to PCDH11Y, TMSB4Y, USP9Y, and KDM5D. Three of these changes are missense mutations in genes that produce male-specific minor histocompatibility (H-Y) antigens. Antigens derived from KDM5D, for example, are thought to elicit a maternal immune response during gestation. It is possible that incompatibilities at one or more of these genes played a role in the reproductive isolation of the two groups."
So the hypotheisis shown above of a distinct tree for Neanderthals is correct (the red tree exists and is different from modern humans Y chromosome haplogroups).
Also, besides mentioning maternal immune reaction against the hybrids, they speculate that Haldane's rule may have applied too.

Slavic idols of Old Russia

Slavic idols - stone and wooden sculptures that embodied Slavic gods - were an indispensable attribute of priestly religious practices of Old Russia. Very few of those idols have come down to us. This is due to extensive church persecutions of paganism in Christian Russia, as well as the fact that most of the Slavic idols were wooden. The use of wood instead of stone for embodiments of gods was accounted for not by expensiveness of stone, but belief in the magic force of trees — thus, an idol combined sacred power of a tree and a deity in one. ..

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Did G.R.R. Martin Spark a Neolithic Revolution 11,000 Years ago? The Shigir Idol

 The Shigir Idol

Many in-depth comparisons have been made between G.R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" and "The War of the Roses," even by Martin himself. A bit lesser known are the parallels with Norse mythology, but a near comprehensive analogy has been created by Dorian the Historian at
Esquire also pointed out some of the main similarities:

It is also evident that Martin has drawn inspiration from Greek Mythology, Arthurian Legend, and many other historic and folkloric sources.

What I haven't seen much of, on the other hand, are discussions about the similarities between the series and the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, some 10,000 years ago. This was a time of intense climate change when many "Ice Age" animals and peoples went extinct, when wars were fought and cultures fell that modern man knows very little about.

In the opening of "Suppressed Transmition: the Second Broadcast," a book in the  G.U.R.P.S. game-world, the setting of a quickly coming Ice Age is proposed. It claims that at the last glacial maximum, virtually the entire northern hemisphere went from forest to ice and tundra in less that 100 years. It suggests that this scenario could be sped up a bit for drama in an RPG campaign.

The essay suggests religious struggles, with a political faction bringing on an Ice Age using powerful order to stop the spread of religion.

The only deity mentioned in the article is the Norse god "Hoder," as an example of an ice god. Norse/ ASoIaF theorist have long noted the similarities between the name of this Norse god and the name of the gentle giant "Hodr" in Martin's series.
Martin is an avid G.U.R.P.S. player. Either one drew inspiration from the other, or the authors of the G.U.R.P.S. book and Martin were independently inspired by the Norse "Ragnarok" and its similarities with the end of the last "Ice Age." After all, these similarities inspire many like-minded people (such as myself). "Suppressed Transmition: the Second Broadcast"  is copyright 2000, but the articles originally appeared in Pyramid magazine
But Suppressed Transmitions is a book created to inspire artists and writers, so whether one begat the other is irrelevant.  Let us instead consider the Ice Age setting for the purposes of Prehistoric Literary Criticism.
There are continent-sized places on Earth that don't really have much of a change of season, such as the Yunnan-Ghizou plateau and large parts of Australia and Africa- it's just autumn there all year round. Some researchers have suggested that at certain times during our recent prehistory, it may have been this way nearly the world over.
Best-selling author Herbie Brennan has compiled evidence in several of his non-fiction books tha during a period prior to 10,600 years ago, there was no real change of seasons. A planetary impact 10,600 years ago ended this period of climate stability. This falls perfectly in line with the more well-known and peer-reviewed Clovis Impact Theory, whose adherents have not yet fully considered the effects of their North American Impact on the rest of the planet.

Whether these somewhat controversial ideas turn out to be realities is irrelevant when considering how theories influence fiction.
Prehistoric Literary Criticism supposes that many "fantasy" worlds have been built as an excercise of the human mind to "fill the gaps" of prehistory and answer the burning questions that mainstream science seems loath to address or sometimes even to acknowledge.

Martin's Maesters might think that their Winters are a cycle, and might therefore call "Ice-Ages" seasons, but they can't predict those cycles. This is very similar to our own interpretation of the past few Glacial Maximums- modern scientists still debate what the various causes of  these Glacial Maximums were, and whether or not they were cyclical.
Comparisons can also be drawn between the depiction of Climate Change in Martin's World, the modern real world, and our own world during relatively brief but intensely cold periods between 11,000 B.C., 8,600 B.C., and 3,500 B.C.
The G.U.R.P.S. book suggests, "Perhaps a winter God like Hoder, or a circle of sorcerous frost giants, casts a powerful spell to bring about the Ice Age specifically to stop the spread of monotheism."
Yes... or maybe some religious zealot just believes that someone has summoned a god to make it cold, and therefore wages a brutal war in response?
The only monotheism in Game of Thrones is the religion of Melisandre and Thoros. The parallels between R'hollor and Zoroastrian are many, and have been noted by numerous fan theorists, but this brings me to my next point.
Though early  Zoroastrianism may seem primitive and 'pagan" to modern sensibilities, it has also been considered as a huge impetus for the advancement of civilization at the end of the Neolithic period of Asia and the Middle East. Some have seen it as the origin of all of the world's monotheistic religions, even (if more tentatively) the fire religion of the Cherokee Native Americans.
The idea of the Christian church "covering up" evidence of the older "heathen" religions has been documented by historians, explored by various fantasy authors, and compared to Martin's "Faith of the Seven" in contrast to his "Gods of the First Men."
However, I think Martin is actually touching on an earlier period of "idol burning" and religious "cover-ups."
This is a subject much explored by the visionary theorist Stan Gooch, who was a neanderthal hybrid when Neanderthal hybrids weren't cool. He proposed that the religion of the Neanderthals and archaic humans, and by extension most hunter communities of the Neolithic, was based on the number "thriteen" with the Moon as the chief diety of a divine pantheon. The religion of the agriculturalists who subdued this religion, on the other hand, was based on the number "seven" and considered the Sun to be the supreme god.
As a prehistoric fiction author, the fact that Martin is also aware of this has proven to be a vexing problem.
Almost every time I want to use historic evidences of the 'Seven vs. Thirteen" motif in my depiction of the real world  circa 10,600 years ago...I find that Martin has already borrowed that instance for his fantasy world!
To bring this point home, I present the Shigir Idol.
It is the most ancient wooden sculpture in the world, and possibly man's oldest surviving monument. Originally standing two stories high, the idol was originally discovered in the Ural Mountains, submerged in a peat bog, but it didn't reach national attention until 2015 when scientists re-dated it to 11,000 years. It depicts a god with seven faces along with pictographs and "tally marks" that may be the earliest examples of "proto-writing" anywhere. Multiple faces are characteristic for the Slavic god of fire, “Ogni,” as well as the Vedic god “Agni.”  The worship of the Vedic gods was supplanted by Zoroastrianism in many places during the Neolithic period of Asia.

So here are my questions:
*Did Martin know about the Shigir idol before it made headlines in 2015, or did he reconstruct a Neolithic proto-religion based on the known religions that branched out from it in historic times?
*Or was he being influenced by the Universal Mind and/or Rupert Sheldrake's Morphic Field?
*Has Martin done DMT at a Dead concert and obtained information about our past from the Machine Elves?
*Did a time traveler go back to ancient Russia and leave a copy of Game of Thrones, therefore sparking a Neolithic religion?
*Will the researchers trying to decipher the Shigir idol uncover the text to "Winds of Winter" before it's even been published?
*And perhaps more importantly, should my Neolithic Slavs worship a seven-faced god or will they say I've copied Martin rather than actual history?

Joe Lyon Layden is a prehistoric fiction author and primitive musician. To receive a free copy of this entire novella "The Man from Parkho Khatune Bears Favor," as well as three free songs and monthly updates, freebies, and discounts on Joe's ongoing work, please sign up for the newsletter below.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Harvard Goes To The Himalayas – Monks With ‘Superhuman’ Abilities Show Scientists What We Can All Do

It’s fascinating to consider just how many ancient teachings tell us that humans have the capacity to gain extraordinary powers through various techniques. Some of these techniques, known as siddhis in the yoga tradition (from the Sanskrit, meaning “perfection”), include meditation, static dancing, drumming, praying, fasting, psychedelics, and more.
In Buddhism, for example, the existence of advanced powers is readily acknowledged; in fact, Buddha expected his disciples to be able to attain these abilities, but also to not become distracted... by them.


The Mental Universe

The mental Universe 

The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things. Richard Conn Henry Historically, we have looked to our religious leaders to understand the meaning of our lives; the nature of our world. With Galileo Galilei, this changed. In establishing that the Earth goes around the Sun, Galileo not only succeeded in believing the unbelievable himself, but also convinced almost everyone else to do the same. This was a stunning accomplishment in ‘physics outreach’ and, with the subsequent work of Isaac Newton, physics joined religion in seeking to explain our place in the Universe...

Meditation changes temperatures: Mind controls body in extreme experiments

Meditation changes temperatures:

Mind controls body in extreme experiments

By William J. Cromie 
Gazette Staff

In a monastery in northern India, thinly clad Tibetan monks sat quietly in a room where the temperature was a chilly 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a yoga technique known as g Tum-mo, they entered a state of deep meditation. Other monks soaked 3-by-6-foot sheets in cold water (49 degrees) and placed them over the meditators' shoulders. For untrained people, such frigid wrappings would produce uncontrolled shivering.
If body temperatures continue to drop under these conditions, death can result. But it was not long before steam began rising from the sheets. As a result of body heat produced by the monks during meditation, the sheets dried in about an hour.
Attendants removed the sheets, then covered the meditators with a second chilled, wet wrapping. Each monk was required to dry three sheets over a period of several hours......


Selected Peer-Reviewed Psi Research Publications

I have seen first hand that the editors of wikipedia will not allow peer reviewed scientific articles on Chi(Ki) energy and its effectiveness as a cancer treatment, so this article does not suprise me.
I have included the author's words and a link to the original article where you may download the scientific papers.  -Joe

This is a selected list of downloadable peer-reviewed journal articles about psi (psychic) phenomena, most published in the 21st century. There are also some papers of historical interest and other resources. A comprehensive list of important articles and books would run into the thousands. Click on the title of an article to download it.
Wikipedia describes parapsychology as a “pseudoscience,” meaning it might superficially resemble science, but it isn’t really about science. Wikipedia is wrong about many things, including this topic.
In fact, the Parapsychological Association -- the international professional organization for scientists and scholars interested in psi phenomena – is an elected affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest scientific organization in the world. Among the criteria that the AAAS Council uses to decide if an organization is suitable for consideration as an affiliate is that the organization’s aims must be “clearly directed toward, or consistent with, the objectives of the AAAS.” Those objectives includes the promotion of science, not pseudoscience.
Other commonly repeated critiques about psi research, such as “these phenomena are impossible,” “there’s no valid scientific evidence,” or “the results are all due to fraud,” have been soundly rejected for many decades. Informed debates today are based on discussions of theoretical models, the empirical evidence, and interpretation of that evidence.


Were the Larger Orangutans of the Ice Age Ground-dwelling and Bipedal?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

New Photos Reveal Giant Easter Island Moai Statues are Covered in Mysterious Symbols -

New images from the 2012 excavation of Easter Island’s iconic statues reveal the renowned heads are not only connected to giant bodies, but the bodies are covered in mysterious designs and symbols, which researchers have likened to tattoos. - See more at:

Aliens Under the Scanner: Similarities Found in Brains of Alleged Abductees

I've never been to Hawaii, but since my days of watching Magnum P.I. on TV, I always thought of it as a true paradise --especially if you had a red Ferrari and an epic 'stache like Tom Selleck.
But even these tropical islands would seem like Hell on Earth, if you thought you were kidnapped by strange non-human creatures, subjecting you to all sorts of horrendous experiments.
This is exactly what Neurologist Dr. Michael B. Russo was hearing from his patients, who were been referred to him by their primary physicians after complaining about migraines or other problems, once they felt comfortable enough to share their terrible secret. Following the logical guidelines of his career, and armed with a powerful dense-array electroencephalography (DEEG) machine --the only one of its kind in Hawaii-- Dr. Russo scanned the heads of his patients, and instead of metallic implants left by their alien tormentors, what he found was certain consistent abnormalities in their parietal lobes, which is the area of the brain in charge of processing visual and auditory stimuli, and integrating them into higher thinking.


Does Science Advance One Funeral At A Time?

Over the years Planck's Principle's been popularized by scientists with respectable credentials who can't get peer-reviewed, even if they put nudies of Jennifer Lawrence in their appendices. It's cold comfort believing The Man's keeping them down and stalling scientific progress, but is that the case?
Over at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a new paper suggests the answer is a resounding yes. But like all topics muddied up with human emotions and foibles, the conclusion is hardly cut-and-dried.
Pierre Azoulay, Christian Fons-Rosen, and Joshua Graff Ziven chose to study the field of academic life sciences. Tons of discoveries have been made over past decades, opening up new frontiers, creating many specialists for those new fields, illustrating a microcosm representative of the whole of science. Drawing upon the vast PubMed database, Azoulay and company determined who were the superstars in a particular field based on their professional achievements and papers. Out of more than 12,000 star scientists, they identified 452 who died suddenly. Their former collaborators, left in a lurch, pretty much stopped publishing at the rate when they were riding their deceased guru's coattails. After all former colleagues would be wary of anyone finding out they hardly did any of the heavy lifting, which is where outsiders come in.


Neanderthals may have been infected by diseases carried out of Africa by humans, say researchers - See more at:

Review of latest genetic evidence suggests infectious diseases are tens of thousands of years older than previously thought, and that they could jump between species of ‘hominin’. Researchers says that humans migrating out of Africa would have been ‘reservoirs of tropical disease’ – disease that may have sped up Neanderthal extinction.

Humans migrating out of Africa would have been a significant reservoir of tropical diseases
Charlotte Houldcroft
A new study suggests that Neanderthals across Europe may well have been infected with diseases carried out of Africa by waves of anatomically modern humans, or Homo sapiens. As both were species of hominin, it would have been easier for pathogens to jump populations, say researchers. This might have contributed to the demise of Neanderthals.
- See more at:

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Interpreting the Fossil Record

Paleoanthropology click this icon to hear the preceding term pronounced is the study of early forms of humans and their primate ancestors.  It is similar to paleontology click this icon to hear the preceding term pronounced except its focus is documenting and understanding human biological and cultural evolution.  Paleoanthropologists do not look for dinosaurs and other early creatures.  However, like paleontology, the data for paleoanthropology is found mainly in the fossil record.  Before examining this evidence, it is necessary to first learn what fossils are and how they are formed.  In addition, it is important to know how paleoanthropologists date fossils and other evidence of the prehistoric past. 

The Nature of Fossils
In order to understand fossils, it is useful to learn how they formed.  Taphonomy click this icon to hear the preceding term pronounced is the study of the conditions under which plants, animals, and other organisms become altered after death and sometimes preserved as fossils.  Research into these matters has shown that fossilization is a rare phenomenon.  In order for a fossil to form, the body must not be eaten or destroyed by erosion and other natural forces.  Preservation would most likely occur if the organism were buried quickly and deeply.  In most environments, soft body parts, such as skin, muscle, fat, and internal organs, deteriorate rapidly and leave no trace.  Only very rarely do we find the casts of such tissues.  Similarly, the totally soft-bodied creatures, like jellyfish, are very uncommon fossils.  Hard body parts, such as dense bones, teeth, and shells, are what most often are preserved.  It is likely that the vast majority of fossils will never be found before they are destroyed by erosion.  That coupled with the fact that extremely few living things are preserved long enough after death to become fossils makes the large collections of fossils in the museums of the world quite remarkable.  It is a testament to the tenacious searching by fossil hunters over the last two centuries. ..


Many species now going extinct may vanish without a fossil trace

We judge our planet’s biological past by using geological evidence – fossils. Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past. But not organisms form fossils, and not all fossils are preserved. Now, a new study found that many species might be vanishing without a trace, and this could make geologists underestimate previous extinctions and disruptive events...

New ape fossil

The National Geographic and the news services are touting a new ape fossil found in Ethiopia as “forcing a rethink on human evolution”. As usual, the headlines are hyperbolic. This ape is fragmentary, and so far only teeth and a jaw bone have been found, and the teeth are similar to gorilla teeth. Gorillas are thought on molecular grounds to have split off from the chimp-human clade about 7 million years ago, but this specimen is 10 million years old. What gives?
I can think of a couple of options. One is that, as I have reported previously, teeth are not great diagnostic material for phylogeny. They are very adaptable, and if a species finds itself in a similar environment with a similar diet, the teeth will tend to evolve rapidly to a particular morphology similar to that of relatives who later evolve in the same situation...

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

More on the 1915 Photographs of a Megalithic Stone Pulling in Nias, Indonesia

Earlier today I wrote this post about some pretty sweet early 20th century photographs from a megalithic stone-pulling ceremony on the island of Nias, Indonesia. I found some additional photos and (I think) figured out a few things that I wanted to pass on. I could be wrong about some of this - if I am please let me know.
First, I'm now 99 percent sure all the photos show the same stone being moved.  If you look carefully at the first photo of the stone (A), you'll notice it has been shaped.  There is a raised area on the "upstream" end, which itself includes another raised area in the center.  The corners of the stone are rounded.

Those same features can be seen on the other stone-pulling photos, convincing me that all the photos are of the same stone.  I think all the photos come from a two volume 1917 publication entitled Nias: Ethnographische, geographische en historische aanteekeningen en studien, by E. E. W. Gs. Schroeder. From what I gather, one of the volumes is text while the other is photographs. I don't have access to either at the moment (let me know if you have it?), but I'm guessing all the Nias stone-pulling photos in the previous post come from the volume of photographs.

Second, I found an additional photo of the stone in the village of Bawömataluo on Alain Testart's website.  It shows a line of slaughtered pigs in the street near the stone.
Third, I think that the stone shown in the photographs is the horizontal stone on the left in the photo ofBawömataluo below (source).  The stone has been smoothed and carved, but notice the two-level raised portion at the end.