February 27, 2009 |
One and a half million years ago, a few of our ancestors walked beside a muddy African river with powerful, modern strides - a gait that let them forage over long distances, paving the way for evolutionary advances that make us human. The evidence, reported by a team that included Rutgers University in today's issue of the journal Science, comes from the rarest of anthropological discoveries - their footprints. Among those who helped uncover the tracks, preserved for the ages when a gently flowing river changed course and covered them with sand, were Rutgers undergraduates.
April 7, 1992 |
I woke the other morning to the realization I'd been a full-time daily newspaper columnist for 27 years. When I slid into the saddle on April 1, 1965, Lyndon Johnson was a popular president, Vietnam was a popular war and people trusted government. I changed all that. There were those who warned me against starting on that date. "If you begin the column on April Fools' Day, no one will take you seriously," they said. They were right. On the other hand, if I'd wanted to be taken seriously, I'd have become an undertaker.
December 23, 1996 |
For more than a million years, the heavy-browed, stocky toolmaker called Homo erectus walked the Indonesian island of Java. Then, according to one view of prehistory, he was pushed out by a new animal: Homo sapiens. Perhaps it was better tools, or fire, that gave the newcomers - modern man - the advantage. Anthropologists still consider H. erectus to be the mother and father of the human race, but a new and controversial finding implies that instead of H. erectus evolving smoothly into H. sapiens, the two species formed separate branches on the evolutionary tree that co-existed and perhaps even fought for domination - in Java and around Asia, Africa and Europe.
July 18, 2008
RE "The Myth of Animal Equality" op-ed by Will Saletan. The question is not whether the apes are equal, but whether man is equal to the ape. Apes are stronger than us, can make tools as we do and recently scored higher than college students in selected aptitude tests. The arrogance of man in his attempt to judge the apes morally is clear, considering the state of the world today under man's rule. I think Charlton Heston summed it up best when asked why he'd journey to the stars in the movie "Planet of the Apes.
May 30, 1996 |
Owen J. Roberts High School students' creativity in creating a storyboard for a television commercial recently won them a check for $200 to purchase pizza and sodas. The check went to students in the business department after they won a national contest sponsored by Tombstone Pizza, a division of Kraft Products. The project was among 50 chosen from almost 3,000 print and video entries submitted from all over the United States, according to business teacher Sandy Devins. Classes in marketing and business dynamics and office technology participated in the project.
May 18, 1986
Thank goodness for the "Jesus Seminar. " Finally, we will have a Jesus elected by current thinkers, rather than a Jesus proclaimed by those who walked, talked and ate with him. Who needs eyewitnesses when we have scholars? But truth has never been determined by vote, and Jesus is not a politician. He does not change His platform to suit the majority opinion of self-appointed experts. So modern man created Jesus in his own image, in the image of man created he Him . . . and man saw what he had made; and behold, it was his idol.
October 4, 1996 |
If you happen to be among those parents who worry that their kids' preoccupation with sports will stunt their intellectual growth, read on. It was my own preoccupation with sports as a kid that got me interested in paleoanthropology. Scout's honor. Paleoanthropology is the study of ancient man. The word comes from the Greek palaios for "ancient," anthropos for "man" and ology for "the study of," logically enough. If you wonder what this has to do with sports, I'm getting to that.
October 19, 1998 |
Some of the rules seem pretty basic: Don't lie. Don't cheat. Admit when you're wrong. Tell her you're a cat person, too. Ah, the things men have to do to woo women. If it were only that simple. Turns out there are an additional 40 - count 'em, 40 - "basic" rules guys need to follow if they ever hope to score in the mating game, according to a new book titled "Survival Skills for the Modern Man. " (A warning to guys out there: It's best that you put down the remote and lean back in the La-Z-Boy for this.
October 19, 2009 |
To show my humanness, I took a 90-year-old man to the dentist. In the waiting room, I read an article in a science magazine about someone even older - the extinct creature we call the Neanderthal. The Neanderthal, a sort of co-human who is not one of our ancestors, ruled the Earth for more than 200,000 years. We are said to be the smarter of the two species, since we took over from them. But I'm almost certain we learned from them. I would venture that elements of their culture are embedded in ours.