This video is the sort of thing that makes proponents of the (most likely incorrect) aquatic ape theory giddy. But what you see when you watch a man dive for more than two minutes on a single breath isn't so much a sign of previous primate life in the water, but rather an example of a far better evolutionary skill—a human being's ability to self-adapt.
Sulbin's ability is remarkable, but like so many exceptional human skills, it relies not on innate difference from other individuals, but on the steady cultivation of peculiar changes in the body and in how it is experienced. What I hope to suggest is that amphibious humans point to the most basic fact of human nature: that we seem particularly adept at finding ways to adapt ourselves - biologically, psychologically, behaviourally, technologically - to a host of niches that then rebound back upon us and shape how we develop. We are a peculiar self-made species.
This piece is probably best seen as one in a series I've been crafting on how human adaptation to situations that we place ourselves in map out the envelope of our bodies' malleability. Human skills and adaptation show us how our brains and nervous systems can be trained to do amazing things. Frequent readers will know that I think much of the discussion of 'human nature,' carried out by -- to put it nicely -- exceptionally sedentary theorists, severely underestimates what our bodies are capable of doing.
When people hear voices others can’t, the prevailing scientific model describes this as psychosis due to brain abnormality, chemical imbalance, or other affliction. But scientists have now reliably induced auditory hallucinations in some people not diagnosed with psychosis.
Tiny micromotors about the width of a human hair traveled through a mouse’s stomach delivering antibiotics to treat a stomach ulcer. The motors are powered by bubbles. According to the researchers from the University of California San Diego, the microrobot-based treatment proved more effective than regular doses of the medicine. From New Scientist: The tiny […]
In 1971, astronomer Frank Drake, the father of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, drew a map pinpointing Earth in our galaxy. That diagram, a “pulsar map,” was etched on a plaque designed by Frank and Carl Sagan and first carried into space in 1972 by the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft. In 1977, the pulsar […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
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