Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Different hominin species not so species-like it seems

Posted 30 Aug 2018 / 0

Science “This ancient bone belonged to a child of two extinct human species” It’s amazing what can be discovered by looking at ancient DNA. It will be interesting to see how robust this finding is: is this just a rare occurence that we happened to find, or will additional evidence suggest that hybridization between hominin Read More

A Minor Post, Homo species, Human Evolution, Speciation

Okay, I admit it: I am a bit of a Neanderthal

Posted 30 Jan 2014 / 1

The Economist “The genetic contribution Neanderthal man made to modern humanity is clearer” Although this article makes a bigger deal than it should about the “human construct” of the species concept (evolutionists are already well aware of the gradations of isolation that lead to full species separation), it presents these new findings in valuable context. What Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Evolution, Extinction, Genetics, Homo species, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Phylogenetics, Speciation

Was Teilhard de Chardin the real inventor of an evolutionary approach to culture?

Posted 26 Jan 2014 / 0

On Being “Teilhard de Chardin on The “Planetary Mind” and Our Spiritual Evolution” We often give credit to Richard Dawkins — who is undeniably the inventor of the term “memetics” — for introducing an evolutionary approach to cultural change. But as this piece makes clear, de Chardin was already thinking on far more large scales about Read More

A Minor Post, Biography, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Ecosystem Ecology, Evolution, Geology, Homo species, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Memetic Fitness, Radio & Podcasts, Religion, The WmD Project

New fossil finds provide unique insight into the variation found in “Man the Hunted”

Posted 25 Oct 2013 / 0

The New York Times “Skull Fossil Suggests Simpler Human Lineage” It is interesting how terrible fossils are: generally, they represent only a part of one individual who was part of one population in one place at one point in time. Not the best data ever! So when some predator(s) on hominids dumps five carcasses in the Read More

A Minor Post, Data Limitation, Homo species, Human Evolution

Ready for eugenics 2.0?

Posted 24 Oct 2012 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “Reinventing Ourselves” This article is — in a word — scary. After dangling a couple of vague promises to engineer our susceptibility to viruses out of our collective genome (7 billion visits to the DNA doctor later), these authors plow enthusiastically into a variety of wild territories: resurrecting Neanderthals and Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Development, Epigenetics, Ethics, Evolution, Gene by Environment Interactions, Genetic Engineering, Genetics, Homo species, Human Evolution

Australopithecus sediba fossils reveal a more apelike diet

Posted 17 Jul 2012 / 0

Science Now “Early Human Ate Like a Giraffe” To me this finding indicates that Australopithecus sediba is unlikely to be an ancestor of modern humans.

A Minor Post, Homo species, Human Evolution

7000 year old fossil human DNA discovered

Posted 08 Jul 2012 / 0

Live Science “Cavemen Bones Yield Oldest Modern Human DNA“

A Minor Post, Genetics, Homo species, Human Evolution, Paleonotology

Australopithecus sediba was a C3 muncher (so say the teeth)

Posted 27 Jun 2012 / 0

Nature “The diet of Australopithecus sediba“

A Minor Post, Homo species, Human Evolution

{Canis lupus familiaris + Homo sapiens} versus Homo neanderthalenthis?

Posted 17 May 2012 / 0

Daily Mail “Did dogs help humans conquer the world? Man’s best friend may be the reason why we flourished over the Neanderthals” The Atlantic “Humanity’s Best Friend: How Dogs May Have Helped Humans Beat the Neanderthals“

A Minor Post, Animal Domestication, Articles, Canids, Homo species, Human Evolution

“DNA” by James D. Watson

Posted 10 May 2011 / 1

I just finished reading James Watson’s 2003 book “DNA”. Throughout the Spring semester I have been working with Mishele Lesser, a graduate MFA student here at Pratt, on an independent study focused on what produces human phenotypes. We both read the book as part of our collaboration. As one of the two people credited with Read More

Books, DNA Barcoding, Gene by Environment Interactions, Genetics, Homo species, Human Evolution, Phylogenetics