Category: Evolution

  • The Latest Series from CARTA Explores Impact of Humans on Planet Earth

    The goal of CARTA (UC San Diego’s Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny) is to explore and explain the origins of the human phenomenon. The most recent symposium, “Human Origins and Humanity’s Future: Past, Present and Future of the Anthropocene,” looks at the long and short-term impacts of human activity. This latest series […]

  • New CARTA Series: From Molecules to Societies

    The latest series from CARTA explores the development of several important distinctly human characteristics that range from molecules, to metabolism, anatomy, disease, and behavior. In Episode One, UC San Diego professor Carol Marchetto discusses how a comparative gene expression analysis of human and non-human primates revealed differences in the regulation of a class of transposable […]

  • Altered States

    In this new CARTA series, experts address altered states of the mind that are deliberately induced by humans – from the use of psychoactive compounds both natural and man-made, to self-induced states of consciousness and awareness, to anomalous states precipitated by different physical conditions and behaviors. Find out what is known about origins and mechanisms […]

  • Exploring The Human-Ape Paradox

    CARTA’s Fall 2020 symposium, Comparative Anthropogeny: Exploring the Human Ape-Paradox, examines humans as a uniquely evolved, “biologically enculturated,” species as juxtaposed with our closest living relatives, the “great apes” (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans). By definition, each species is unique as it represents the outcome of independent evolution. Yet, humans appear to be a remarkable […]

  • Impact of Early Life Deprivation

    Unlike most other animals, much of human brain development and maturation occurs after birth, a process that continues into early adulthood. This unusual pattern allows for greater influences of environment and culture on the emergence of the adult mind. This series of programs from the recent CARTA symposium addresses the interactive contributions of nature and […]

  • We Are All Africans

    Svante Pääbo once said, “We are all Africans, either living in Africa or in recent exile from Africa.” It is now abundantly clear that Africa was the “cradle of humanity,” with multiple waves of hominins arising on that continent and spreading across the old world, eventually being effectively displaced by our own species, which also […]

  • CARTA at 10

    More than 20 years ago, a small group of La Jolla academics began periodic meetings for transdisciplinary discussions on explaining the origin of humans – anthropogeny – an effort which has blossomed into an international intellectual collaborative organized by UC San Diego and the Salk Institute as the Center for Academic Research and Training in […]

  • Tool Use, Technology and the Evolution of the Human Mind

    We “behaviorally modern humans” likely emerged more than 100,000 years ago in Africa, spread across that continent and eventually all over the planet, effectively replacing all closely related potentially competitive species. Among many possible explanations, was the co-evolution of the human mind with tool use and technology – ranging all the way from simple stone […]

  • What Happened When Modern Humans Met Neanderthals?

    In short, they interbred, according to Svante Pääbo, a Swedish biologist and pioneer of paleogenetics, the study of preserved genetic material from the remains of ancient organisms, including ancient human DNA. He has served as director of the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, since 1997. […]

  • Evolution and Creationism as Science and Myth

    Myths symbolize ideas, values, history and other issues that are important to a people. They may be true or false, mundane or fantastic; their significance is their meaning, not their narrative content. Science is a way of knowing about the natural world. Its conclusions tentatively may be true or false, but its significance is its […]