Researchers have discovered a 280 myr (million years old) fossil forest in Antarctica! It’s believed that lush plants once grew on the continent 400-14 mya as they also did in the Arctic. Antarctica was not always the land of ice and snow we see today but it once had a very different climate that was conducive to plant growth. Fossils of some of the plants and trees have been found by researchers and apparently the forest was extensive.
A 280-million-year-old tree stump still attached to its roots in Antarctica. Plants grew on what is today the iciest continent from 400 million to 14 million years ago. Understanding ancient polar forests might help researchers develop predictions about how trees will react as man-made climate change warms the globe.
Credit: Erik Gulbranson
The prehistoric climate of Antarctica was once warm but scientists believe plants growing in the forest had to endure 24 hour days of darkness in winters and days in summer when the sun never set as it still does today. I might add, that is ASSUMING Antarctica was at the bottom of our planet as it is today which may or may NOT be the case! Continue Reading
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
H/T to JR Bentley for sending us this research article………..
It would be an understatement to say that there are problems with the Out-of-Africa (OOA) theory and finally new research and reanalysis of prior research is attempting to correct some of those problems but what is being found is that the OOA may be absolutely WRONG to begin with. This becomes especially obvious when genetic evidence is looked at. In fact, WORLD science is now leaving the OOA theory behind and a Chinese research team is advancing an out-of-ASIA theory for modern human origins based on Y-DNA & mtDNA evidence and, thus, they are reviving the Multiregional Theory for human evolution based on autosomal evidence. The field of genetic research is becoming more precise and I think that is fantastic because it is now beginning to give us a new picture of human evolution and migration patterns!! Finally, we are getting some real concrete proof of what was and what was NOT.
The latest research by Chinese geneticists suggests that about 2 mya the first split occurred in modern human autosomes. Further, they’ve uncovered genetic evidence of Y and mtDNA having originated in East Asia and dispersing outward from East Asia via HYBRIDIZATION by archaic human ancestors!! This research strongly suggests a EURASIAN origin rather than an African origin for ancient human ancestors!! The primary research team is being led by Shi Huang who is a US educated and trained geneticist.
Huang’s research confirms genetic diversity is highest in Africans and lowest in Amerindians. His team also confirms Africans & Amerindians are genetically most divergent from each other. Africans are found to be closer to each other than they are to other groups and that New world sub-populations are more distinct from each other than other continental groups. Further, they’ve also found that Amerindians have the world’s highest values of intergroup diversity.
The findings of this research are currently under peer review and the team argues that African genetic diversity is NOT a function of greater age of African hominins but is a product of selection! This is supported by data showing increased African diversity in the study. Yuan uses autosomal molecular divergence dates as evidence for multiregional evolution. That date is derived from estimated molecular divergence between autosomes of major human groups to have taken place 1.96–1.91 mya which is consistent with paleobiological evidence for a Homo (human) migration out of Africa 2 myr. Continue Reading
Burro Fire buring NE of Tucson, AZ at 25k acres July 2017
The US Forest Service has proved their incompetence many times over as far as I’m concerned. For decades now (up until recently) their policy has been to extinguish all wildfires and what that has resulted in is an unnatural forest floor piled with pine needles and dead brush/trees which is a fire waiting to happen. And this is one BIG reason we are seeing the huge wildfires in the west that we’ve seen in recent years.
What the USFS has actually done is to alter the NATURAL environment of our national forests by allowing decades of pine needle and brush build up. Their “controlled burns” have NOT been enough. Their tree thinning has NOT been enough and since the USFS changed its policy to let some fires burn I’m not seeing a lot of tree thinning going on. One reason for that is they have to do a study before it can be done. A study? Are you serious?! Sorry but it doesn’t take a wizard to figure out that thinning trees will help prevent wildfires on the scale we are seeing today! Once again the USFS proves its incompetence!! Continue Reading