Evolution has worked to improve the genetic foundations of our health for millions of years now but new research suggests that things may be reversing and that might spell bad news for modern humans in the modern world. The study was conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology recently.
Human evolution has worked to weed out genetic variants that are associated with diseases and it’s worked to promote variants that protect us against certain diseases according to this new study which was a comparative genetics study. However, for some odd reason over the past 500 to 1000 years it appears things have reversed. For example, the study has concluded that cardiovascular problems were much more common in our ancient human ancestors than they are today. What this means is that some diseases may be on the rise in modern humans and especially in terms of mental health.
Large populations are better able to purge disease causing gene variants and today with the human population near 7 billion people that is happening but still for some reason it appears this trend has been reversing over the past 500-1000 years. The study also found that Neanderthals and Denisovans had a lot more alleles (genetic variants) that promoted disease than we do today including heart disease. Over the course of time things got better and the variants for such widespread diseases were apparently weeded out as protective alleles rose. Continue Reading
Artist painting of a Gravettian male
The Gravettians were the most successful human survivors of the last ice age. They provided most of the DNA for modern Europeans. They were nomads from the Black Sea region who made their homes mammoth skin tents held together by salvaged mammoth bones on the open treeless land. These people developed spear throwers to kill the large mammoths and they tamed wolves like dogs to protect their encampments from intruders and to help them hunt. Food was scarce in the last glacial maximum and survival depended on food, shelter, and intelligence as well as some innovation. Continue Reading
A skeleton found in Italy dating back to 13 kya apparently had some dental work done back then. This is not the first one found that shows evidence of ancient dental procedures. I find it fascinating that Ice Age people practiced dentistry and, thus, proving again that our ancient human ancestors were not the “savages” we thought.
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This new research presented today on how Maple Syrup extract may boost the potency of antibiotics without damaging our health is not only fantastic but NATURAL! Native Americans in Canada have been using maple syrup for fighting infections for a long time as well. More natural medicine!
Read the short article about this new research find at:
Let me begin this post by defining some terms that some of you might not be familiar with. First is the term “Atavism.” In biology an atavism is an evolutionary throwback. What this means is that traits sometimes reappear in some people or some species that had disappeared generations ago. For example, a newborn human infant covered in somewhat thick hair would be considered an atavism as such an infant would be deemed an “evolutionary throwback” and might look like something akin to, say, Homo habilis. Continue Reading
You might not realize it but food was the very first medicine used by ancient human ancestors. Over time ancient people learned that certain foods help certain conditions and our ancient ancestors began to build a knowledge base that was soon passed down from one generation to another. The keepers of this healing knowledge were called by many names but I prefer the term “shaman.” As time continued these ancient shamans continued to build on their knowledge base by figuring out which foods and which herbs helped which conditions. And, again, this knowledge was passed down to the next generation of shamans.
Sadly, today we have come to depend on modern medicine which produces chemical drugs for anything and everything that ails us but, often, with some very significant and even dangerous side effects. For example, I don’t know about you but for me I’m not willing to get “perfect skin” at the risk of also developing heart problems or seizure disorders. Frankly, when I see these drug commercials on TV and listen to the side effects it’s rather frightening. What many of us today don’t realize is that there are alternatives and these alternatives don’t have these dangerous side effect BUT they take longer to work as they don’t deliver “instantly.”
I came across a commercial on the Internet last week hosted by an inventor who is also an attorney. I guess he suffered from thinning hair since his early 20s and he had tried on the latest products for his condition including Rogaine among others. During his infomercial he admitted that these products did nothing! He said they were a waste of money and a waste of his time. Continue Reading
Mainstream anthropology holds the view that once upon a time there was the most gigantic ape that ever lived known as Gigantopithecus blacki. The theory holds that this creature stood an astounding 9.8 feet tall (3 m) and weighed around 1190 lbs (540 kg). This giant ape supposedly lived in China, India, and Vietnam from around 9 mya to 100 kya. Thus this giant ape is placed in the same time frame and geological location as several ancient human ancestors including archaic Homo sapiens.
The first evidence we have of Gigantopithecus comes from 1935 via anthropologist Ralph von Koenigswald who made the first “discovery” of this giant ape in an apothecary shop in China. What he discovered is that fossilized teeth and bones were often ground up into powder and used in Chinese medicine. He found a few teeth in that apothecary and somehow concluded that they must be from some giant prehistoric ape.
Since von Koenigswald’s find FEW fossil remains of Gigantopithecus have been found. Molars have been found in traditional Chinese medicine shops and Liucheng Cave in China has produced several similar teeth and several jawbones. Other sites of find believed to be from Gigantopithecus are located in Vietnam and India.
In 1955 about 47 teeth believed to be from Gigantopithecus were discovered in a shipment of dragon bones in China. These teeth were traced to their source and this led to finding more teeth. More than 1300 teeth were recovered in fact. NOT all find of Gigantopithecus in China have been dated to the same period as some appear to be later in some parts of China.
The fact is that Gigantopithecus blacki is ONLY known from fossil teeth and mandibles found in cave sites in China and Vietnam. No bones have ever been found! No full or partial skeleton has ever been found! The fossilized teeth and mandibles suggest this creature was far larger than modern apes BUT the exact size of it and the structure of its skeleton can only be estimated! I might also mention that in 2014 fossil teeth and a mandible were found in Indonesia and believed to also be from this giant ape. Continue Reading
I just love it when our egotism is blown out of the water!! In yet another discovery we now know that ancient physicians knew more than we thought they knew as archaeological digs have determined that they used modern pharmaceuticals!
An unexplored portion of the ancient Greek city of Bathonea located near the shores of a lake in modern Turkey has turned up evidence that medicines were being produced on a LARGE SCALE and these include some medications that are still used today. It appears this site was a medication production center. Among the finds are 700 vials containing ancient medicine compounds.
Methanone (an antidepressant) and Phenanthrene (used for heart disease) have been found at the site. Unfortunately, about 90% of the water in the lake, Lake Kucukcekmece, is grossly polluted with sewage, industrial, and nuclear waste so this makes excavating the site difficult.