Monday, April 25, 2005

I trade, therefore I am ...

Check out this Economist story about how the early humans may have had an (evolutionary) advantage over the Neanderthals. It discusses the work of Jason Shogren and his colleagues at the University of Wyoming; this work suggests that "trade and specialisation are the reasons Homo sapiens displaced previous members of the genus, such as Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal man), and emerged triumphant as the only species of humanity".

While we are talking about the Economist, I just want to say that it has some of the best science writing that you can find at the popular level. Take a look, for example, at this story about beauty in mathematical proofs and this one about how fasting may help you live longer.