My Life in Words and Randomness

This Blog will be a random mix-up of any and everything on my mind. Prepare for the random.

My Notes from the First Lecture in my “A Brief History of Humankind” MOOC

Australopithecus was in Africa about 2.5 million years ago and is our early hominid ancestor. They left Africa about 2 million years ago spreading throughout Europe and Asia and evolved to adapt to their different environments. Due to that different species of humans developed.

The ancestors that migrated to Europe and the Middle East were called Homo Neanderthalensis. They were well adapted to the cold temperatures of Europe and the middle east.

In Indonesia there was a species called Homo Soloensis. This tropical climate made it necessary for the species to adapt to the jungles and swamps of the environment. 

On another island of Indonesia evolved s totally different species called Homo Floresiensis. This was a dwarf species of early human ancestry. Their size adapted to coincide with the scarce food available on the island after it was cut off from the mainland. Their maximum height was thought to be 1 meter with their max weight peaking at 25 kilograms. This shrinking also applied to animals too.

In another part of Asia another species evolved called Homo Erectus. This species reached heights between 1.8 and 1.9 meters tall. This was the most successful early human species in terms of length of survival. It appeared about 1.5 million years ago and survived until around 50K years ago. Our species, Homo Sapien, evolved about 200-300K years ago. 

In 2010 in a cave in Russia, scientists discovered a fossilized human finger with no matches to any known DNA found.
It appeared that in Central Asia there was another species of human as well. Scientists called this species Homo Denisova.

It appeared that in Central Asia there was another species of human as well. Scientists called this species Homo Denisova. 

While evolution continued in Europe and Asia, natural selection continued to put pressure on our species in Eastern Africa, where our species originated thereby increasing the number of human ancestors. 

Homo Rudolphensis, Homo Argustus, and eventually Homo Sapien alsoappeared.

It is important to remember that human evolution was not linear. And instead from around two million years ago until as early as ten thousand years ago, the world was home to several different species of the genus Homo existing simultaneously, all with different diets and lifestyles.

At around 100K years ago, there were at least six different species of the genus Homo living at the same time. The surprise comes in now seeing that in all the world there is just one species of the genus Homo left; Homo Sapiens.

There is also evidence that Homo Sapien had a hand in the extinction of its early hominid ancestors.

All members of the genus Homo share several characteristics. The most notable feature is that they all shared a larger brain. The brain of early humans were smaller compared to our brains today, however early human brains were still larger than other animal brains. 

There are several disadvantages however to having a large brain including constantly carrying it around and bringing in enough energy to fuel the brain. Our brains today only account for two or three percent of our total body weight, but it consumes 25% of the body’s energy when at rest.

Human ancestors started to use tools around 2.5 million years ago. As the human body started to grow larger, more stress was put on the body. Many skeletal and muscular aches and pains are an evolutionary result of our species becoming bipedal. There were disadvantages to women as well when it came to being bipedal. 

What happens when you walk upright is that your hips have to be more narrow and close together. For women this meant a more narrow birth canal. Since women had to give birth to babies from so narrow a space there was a high fatality rate amongst women giving birth and their newborns. 

The evolutionary solution was to give birth to children earlier while they are still earlier and developing. This increased the chances of their genes surviving. In comparison to other animals, humans are born relatively prematurely. 

There is immense importance in this. Since human children are born prematurely they need a lot of care and attention in order to ensure their survival. Another advantage is that humans can be educated and molded.

Humans weren’t efficient hunters alone and were often prey. Most humans existed on a plant based diet. Most of their hunts were small animals like frogs and rabbits. And also the remains of other carcasses. Humans were scavengers as well as the occasional hunter. Most of their tools weren’t used as weapons but to crack open shells and bones to get to the marrow. 

Many researchers believe that bone marrow was the main meal for early humans. The position of humans in the food chain for around a million years was somewhere in the middle. It was only about 400,000 years ago that humans were hunting the larger animals. And only in the last 100,000 years did Homo Sapiens rise to the top of the food chain. 

The consequences of this were vast because humans were not adapted for this position.

There were several significant steps taken by Homo Sapiens to get to the top of the food chain. The first important step was the domestication of fire. All that is known at this point is that some species of the genus Homo were using fire as early as 300, 000 years ago on a daily basis. 

At the time, fire had many advantages for humans. Aside from being a source of light and warmth, fire was also used as an effective weapon against large animals. It could also be used to manipulate their environments to suit their needs. It was easy for early humans to burn down forests and scavenge whatever carcasses were in the rubble. But the best thing about fire was that it made cooking possible. 

By learning how to cook, early humans were able to expand their diets to things they couldn’t eat raw. Cooking also kills germs and parasites, this helped protect early humans from different health dangers. Cooking also helped conserve energy by making foods quicker and easier to chew and digest. 

With cooked food, the jaws, teeth and intestines began to shrink because it wasn’t necessary for these things to be very large anymore in order to handle cooked foods. Some scholars believe there is a direct link between the advent of cooking, the shortening of the human intestines and the growth of the brain. They make this claim because since digestion was shortened in humans, more energy was able to be used by the brain.

The big jump in brain size and weight was only about 300,000-400,000 years ago, this was also around the time that scholars believe people began to cook. This was the first significant gulf between humans and other animals. It should be noted however that even with the domestication of fire, humans were not the most powerful animals in the world. This wouldn’t happen until the spread and appearance of Homo Sapiens. 

Homo Sapiens first appeared between 200,000-300,000 years ago. Although scholars can not agree on a date when they first appeared, although they can agree that by around 150,000 years ago East Africa was populated by Homo Sapiens that looked exactly like us today. It is also agreed that by around 70,000 years ago, some of these Homo Sapiens left East Africa and settled in the Middle East and from there they spread all over the Eurasian landmass. When they arrived in the Middle East, most of Eurasia was already populated by other species of humans. One of history’s biggest mysteries is what happened to these other species of human. 

There are two different theories about this, one is called the interbreeding theory and this says that the Homo Sapiens bred with the other human species making us the result of this interbreeding. If this is the case then Europeans and Middle Easterners are not purely Homo Sapien, but a genetic combination of Sapiens and the genus they bred with. In addition to this, when Homo Sapiens reached China around 60,000 years ago, they bred with the populations of Homo Erectus and Homo Donisva and merged with them making the Chinese and Eastern Asian population a mixture as well. The only people who are believed to be pure Sapiens are Africans. 

The next theory is referred to as The Replacement Theory. According to this, there was no interbreeding but even if there was the offspring would’ve been infertile. According to the theory, different populations remained completely distinct and when older species of humans died out, their genes died with them. 

Sapiens replaced the other human populations without merging with them. If this is the case then all humans are pure sapiens meaning that all humans share the same ancestors, all of which lived in East Africa about 70,000 years ago. 

From an evolutionary perspective, 70,000 years is a short time and not enough time for any important genetic changes to accumulate and occur. So if this theory is correct and all humans are the descendants of the same African ancestors from about 70,000 years ago then it means all living human beings today have roughly the same DNA and genetic makeup and racial distinctions between groups are negligible if this theory is correct.

AFSP Community Walks

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psych2go:

For more posts like these, go visit psych2go
Psych2go features various psychological findings and myths. In the future, psych2go attempts to include sources to posts for the purpose of generating discussions and commentaries. This will give readers a chance to critically examine psychology.
Fact submitted by: can-thandlethisweird

psych2go:

For more posts like these, go visit psych2go

Psych2go features various psychological findings and myths. In the future, psych2go attempts to include sources to posts for the purpose of generating discussions and commentaries. This will give readers a chance to critically examine psychology.

Fact submitted by: can-thandlethisweird

(via psych-facts)

Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism: What Exactly Is It, And Why Does It Hurt?

bisexual-community:

bialogue-group:

Gloria Steinem, used to hold an exclusionary opinion, but has since said that she fully supports the inclusion of trans women in the feminist movement

However, not all radical feminists agree. Janice Raymond, author of The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male authored a paper in the early 1980s that the Health and Human Services branch of the US Government used to deny trans men and women trans-related medical care … 

Since then, they have continued to use anti-transgender rhetoric, using the banner of feminism in the same way that Westboro Baptist Church uses Christianity. They consistently use rhetoric suggesting that trans women are would-be rapists, that we are "men invading women’s spaces"(Cathy Brennan, head of Gender Identity Watch) and are "forcing penises on lesbians"(Justin Norwood, Gender Identity Watch)

When speaking out against the TERF movement, one is at risk of being "outed" on social media. In one instance, the group Gender Identity Watch worked with the right-wing anti-gay group, Pacific Justice Institute, to help prevent a Colorado teen from being able to use the women’s restroom. The leader, Cathy Brennan, outed the teen, who was already being bullied, and she was subsequently put on suicide watch. Their actions often incite others to denigrate or discriminate against a minority — which is the definition of a hate group.

We are often portrayed as fetishists by hate groups such as Gender Identity Watch — the "Man in a Dress" trope is widely applied to us, and that transgender men are still women … Another tactic of the TERF movement is using the widely discredited trope that being transgender is a mental health issue … No one is mentally ill for being transgender — medical science has already proven this.

Whenever a trans individual such as myself is critical of TERF ideology, we are labelled "misogynists" or "Men’s Rights Activists"Merely by taking a stand against them, I and others like myself have been subjected to threats against our personal safety, been bombarded with spam, pornography, and signed up to various mailing lists in an attempt to silence our voices.


Bisexual people in particular should be aware that TERFS are also usually viciously biphobic as well as transphobic. This probably has to do with the long history of bisexual people transgressing gender boundaries themselves, (over 1/3 of us are bi + trans) and these numbers do not even include the huge numbers of non-binary bi people as well as bisexual people who are partnered with trans/genderqueer people. Additionally the B + the T in LGBT have been longtime political allies and friends.

Recently Gender Identity Watch launch vicious ongoing personal attacks of the kind detailed above against prominent bisexual activists and groups, including but not limited to: Trans-Bi activist Allison Woolbert of the Transgender Violence Tracking Project; BiNet USA Board Member + Writer AJ Walkley as well as direct attacks against the non-profit organization Binet USA itself.

One of the BIG problems in dealing with these TERF’s is getting normal non-hateful people (as opposed to TERF’s + their ‘fellow travelers’) to believe they aren’t just a comedy sketch. People see things about them and think, "this is some joke from Saturday Night Live or The Onion". This can’t be for real. But they are. And they hurt a lot of innocent people.

derpycats:

She was asleep before my mom handed me pie, and then she just had to smell it. 

derpycats:

She was asleep before my mom handed me pie, and then she just had to smell it.