Down with Human Evolution Just-So Stories

first_imgStories of human ancestors around campfires evolving larger brains by eating meat or caring for animals often sound themselves life campfire stories.  For example, Jeremy Hsu in Live Science speculated that “Caring for Animals May Have Shaped Human Evolution.”  A cute girl with a puppy adorns the article.  “Our love of all things furry has deep roots in human evolution and may have even shaped how our ancestors developed language and other tools of civilization.”  For another example, see the 06/10/2010 entry on why humans became hairless.    Paleoanthropologist John Hawks has had enough of this tale-telling.  “‘Just-so stories [are] driving me crazy,” he exclaimed in a rare outburst against reporters and those in his own field on his John Hawks Weblog.  Responding to one such story, the idea that eating meat gave humans bigger brains (12/20/2009), he showed how to ask skeptical questions: “How did meat make us smarter?  Is it a magical meat property?  If I fed enough meat to the local deer, would they get smarter?”  He did not reject the evolutionary tales outright: “These are serious hypotheses with literature and evidence supporting them,” he claimed, but then he blushed on his colleagues’ behalf: “I just wish that they could be reported in a way that made it sound like paleoanthropologists are skeptical scientists!”Thank you, John.  Join our campaign to clean up science by ridding it of storytelling.  Just watch the ground under your feet.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Anthony Wayne FFA holds annual banquet

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest On Monday, April 3rd, the Anthony Wayne FFA Chapter held their annual banquet at Nazareth Hall. At the banquet, members and guests enjoyed a delicious dinner. Following dinner, multiple members received pins to place on their jacket for their participation in CDEs (Career Development Events).Several chapter awards were presented, including:Star Greenhand member: Reegan KehresStar Chapter member: Laura CaswellOutstanding Junior member: Haley SchmersalOutstanding Senior member: Camryn Buskey110% Award: Kalie AndersonMr. & Miss Volunteers: Patrick Miller and Hannah MitchellAdditionally, the Les Disher Leadership Award is one of the highest honors that the Anthony Wayne FFA Chapter bestows on its members, and this year Marleigh Kerr received the award.At the end of the banquet, the 2016-2017 officer team gave Mrs. Short and Mrs. Bockbrader a gift, and the 2017-2108 officer team was installed.last_img read more

Headmaster gets 5 years in jail for corruption

first_imgA headmaster in Odisha’s Kandhamal district was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by Phulbani special vigilance court on Wednesday for misappropriating public money meant for construction of a school building.The vigilance court also slapped a fine of ₹5.5 lakh on the headmaster, Naresh Digal. If he fails to deposit this amount he would have to serve one more year in prison.The convict had misappropriated public money in 2009-10 while he was posted as headmaster of Project Upper Primary School at Jagadi in Tumudibandh block of Kandhamal district. Residents complainAccording to prosecution lawyer Suresh Kumar Mohapatra, during 2009-10, the government had sanctioned ₹9,96,400 for construction of new classrooms in the school. The construction work had been taken up under the supervision of the headmaster. However, after some days the construction work was stopped with the plea that the sanctioned money had been spent.The villagers complained that the entire money was not spent on the construction of the school building. The Berhampur vigilance division initiated an investigation into the allegations. A technical enquiry proved that of the total government grant, ₹4,09,192 had been spent on construction of the half-finished building, while the remaining ₹4,87,208 had been misappropriated, said Mr. Mohapatra. Based on this report, a case was filed against Digal by the vigilance department in 2014.Mr. Mohapatra said Digal’s conviction will surely lead to more transparency and less corruption in construction works at rural schools in the district.In July 2015, another headmaster, Sarat Chandra Rana, was sentenced to one-year imprisonment by Phulbani special vigilance court for misappropriation of ₹1,61,985 meant for construction of new classrooms.last_img read more