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Thanks to NPR I’ve found out that I’m at least 1% Neanderthal…

clipped from www.npr.org
This year was a good year for Neanderthals. Yes, they did go extinct about 30,000 years ago, but scientists now say their genes live on — in us.

Scientists also found a 40,000-year-old finger in a Siberian cave that apparently belonged to an unknown human-like creature. And hair from the corpse of a 4,000-year-old hunter revealed his blood type and a predisposition for baldness.

What made these discoveries possible was DNA, which is becoming biological science’s window into the past.
This year a team of scientists brought together by the Max Planck Institute in Germany actually decoded the billions of DNA segments extracted from Neanderthal bones. It was the culmination of years of research into retrieving intact, ancient DNA from the bones of humans and their ancestors.
“We estimate that about one to four percent of the genetic ancestry of non-Africans is from Neanderthals,” says David Reich, a geneticist from Harvard University and a member of the research team.
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I guess in order to have this mix of species there had to be, at some point 40,000 years ago, some romance (by this I mean sex) between Joe Neanderthal and Sophie Sapiens, or some other mix.
They also found out that aside from Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens (us) there was likely a third species that we don’t know much about.

 

Doesn’t this make your New Year brighter?

If you want to know why having Republican majorities in either part of Congress or in the Presidency is so scary:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
A new Gallup poll, released Dec. 17, reveals that 40 percent of Americans still believe that humans were created by God within the last 10,000 years. This number is slightly down from a previous high of 47 percent in 1993 and 1999.
Another 38 percent of respondents believe that humans have evolved from more basic organisms but with God playing a role in the process.
A mere 16 percent of respondents subscribed to the belief of “secular evolution”: that humans have evolved with no divine guidance. However, this number has nearly doubled from nine percent of respondents in a poll from 1982
The poll also revealed that beliefs in creationism and evolution are strongly related to levels of education attained. When results are narrowed to those with college degrees, only 37 percent of respondents maintain beliefs in creationism.
With regards to political affiliation, a majority of Republicans (52 percent) subscribe to creationist beliefs.
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Oh well, joys of the Christmas Season. We’re a good three centuries away from the world waking up (I don’t even want to get into Islam or Judaism).

Bill Maher Scores Again…

It’s another week and Bill Maher has released another clip of Christine O’Donnell (he says he’ll do one every week until she agrees to come on his current show… she did 22 or 23 of his old shows…):

The highlight:

O’DONNELL: You know what, evolution is a myth. And even Darwin himself –
Story continues below

MAHER: Evolution is a myth? Have you ever looked at a monkey?

O’DONNELL: Well then, why they — why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?