Book Review: How to Argue With a Racist by Adam Rutherford

Book Review: How to Argue With a Racist by Adam Rutherford

In my quest for both truth and empathy, I discovered geneticist Adam Rutherford’s book How to Argue With a Racist: What Our Genes Do (And Don’t) Say About Human Difference. I find combating racism to be very important, and I find great joy in reading about science. This book was a perfect mixture of both of these, which is great regardless of my preferences, because it turns out (unsurprisingly) that science is the best way to debunk racist claims anyways.

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10 Lies Answers in Genesis Tells About Lucy

10 Lies Answers in Genesis Tells About Lucy

Donald Johanson’s book Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind was what first made me fall in love with paleoanthropology. While I have learned about dozens more fossils over the last two years, I still have a special place in my heart for Lucy. So you can imagine how excited I was to defend her from the lies of the young-earth creationists at Answers in Genesis! I once might not have known how to debunk their claims, but I now have the knowledge, the books, and a little bit of money needed to find so many errors in their articles.

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What I Love About Paleoanthropology

What I Love About Paleoanthropology

Four years ago to the day, I wrote a post called “Why I Am Not a Scientist”. I’ve since privated it, because I don’t like the way I spoke about myself and my own intelligence in that post. My main idea was that I was new to being an informed atheist, and I was not confident in my abilities to refute young-earth creationism. I called myself “scientifically challenged” and expressed that I felt that in order to really be confident in my atheist stance, I would have to become much more educated in various fields of science. I said that I was “really bad at science” even as I said that I loved and appreciated how it allows us to learn about the world around us.

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3 Myths That Answers in Genesis Wants You to Believe About Neanderthals

3 Myths That Answers in Genesis Wants You to Believe About Neanderthals

After a four-month-long break, I am happy to finally be returning to my series critiquing the claims of creationists—specifically, Answers in Genesis—about human evolution! Anyone who has created critiques to AiG’s content knows how frustrating and exasperating it can be. For those who do this for a living, I applaud you. AiG has so much content, with so many twists and turns and overlaps, that it is almost too easy to get lost on their website and in their…unique ideas. They seem to have a great fascination with Neanderthals, which in their eyes are just an archaic group of Homo sapiens. (They can’t seem to agree on whether Neanderthals were an ethnic group, a race, or a subspecies.) In the world of paleoanthropology, Neanderthals have always been a hot topic, as we know more about them than any other hominid species but our own. There is a lot of fluctuation in our understanding of Neanderthals, because scientists are discovering more about them by the day.

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Answers in Genesis Doesn’t Understand “Ape-Men”

Answers in Genesis Doesn’t Understand “Ape-Men”

This week I are returning to my series where I examine the claims of everyone’s favorite creationists, Answers in Genesis, about human evolution. The purpose of this series is twofold: I want to learn more about paleoanthropology myself and how to better write about the subject, and I want to act as a resource for anyone who is questioning AiG’s claims but doesn’t know enough about human evolution to refute them.

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3 Ways That Answers in Genesis Doesn’t Understand Australopithecus sediba

3 Ways That Answers in Genesis Doesn’t Understand Australopithecus sediba

It’s August 15th, 2008. You’re nine-year-old Matthew Berger, and you’re in Gladysvale, South Africa, looking for ancient human fossils with your paleoanthropologist dad, Lee Berger. “Okay, go find fossils!” says your dad. Only moments later, you find a hominid collarbone sticking out of a rock. Your dad curses in shock after seeing all the other hominid bones lying around it: a tooth and part of a jaw, among others. He goes on to spend years studying these fossils among his colleagues, and he names it Australopithecus sediba.

Fast forward: It’s August 15th, 2020, and you’re a 24-year-old woman with an interest in paleoanthropology. You’re writing a blog post about Australopithecus sediba for a series defending finds like the Bergers’ from the heinous claims of anti-scientists. Hours into your research, you see an article telling you that Matthew’s find was in fact made on this very day, twelve years ago. You don’t believe in coincidences or fate, but it makes you smile nonetheless.

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Why Paleoanthropology Leads to Atheism

Why Paleoanthropology Leads to Atheism

Nowadays, it may not seem like this blog is entirely about atheism anymore, and maybe it’s not. However, one could argue that atheism colors my view of the world and what I write, even if it’s not explicitly mentioned. This is especially the case as I write more and more about paleoanthropology, or the study of human origins. Last week when I wrote my book review of Ian Tattersall’s The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack, I felt that I had crawled into the cave of a very niche topic that is paleoanthropological politics, and I never mentioned God or religion or atheism one time, and I wondered if that was what my readers wanted when they visited my domain.

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Book Review: The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack by Ian Tattersall

Book Review: The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack by Ian Tattersall

Three weeks ago, I reviewed my first ever Ian Tattersall book, Masters of the Planet. As I said then, Ian Tattersall is the curator of the American Museum of Natural History’s Spitzer Hall of Human Origins. He’s been involved in paleoanthropology since the 60’s, and his books combine his undeniable expertise with just enough of his own evidence-based opinions and a dash of wit.

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Book Review: Masters of the Planet by Ian Tattersall

Book Review: Masters of the Planet by Ian Tattersall

If you have been following my blog for a while, then you might know that I’m becoming a bit of a fanatic for paleoanthropology. The study of human origins has taken over my bookshelf, and I’ve found myself daydreaming about going back to human origins exhibits in museums. This is easy to do each time I get really lost in another book on the topic. This time, that book was Ian Tattersall’s Masters of the Planet: The Search for Our Human Origins.

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I Read a 100-Year-Old Book on Evolution

I Read a 100-Year-Old Book on Evolution

I have been excited to write this post since last May. My husband and I were on a weekend trip in State College, PA celebrating our six-year dating anniversary by visiting all the local bookstores as we like to do. In a cute café and bookstore called Webster’s, I came across a uniquely rustic book called The A B C of Evolution by Joseph McCabe. It was $20 which is above the average price for a used book, but something told me I would never find a book like this again, so I bought it. Part of what sold me was the copyright date of 1920; at the time I thought to myself that that would soon be 100 years ago! Since then I’d been waiting for the perfect time in 2020 to look back at where the study of evolution was 100 years ago.

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