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.
University of Zurich researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation, a noninvasive method of inhibiting activity in parts of the brain, to “turn off” people’s ability to control their impulses. They focused on the temporoparietal junction, an area of the brain thought to play an important role in moral decisions, empathy, and other social interactions. They hope […]
Are you jonesing for a dose of optimism and possibility? In the mood to contemplate the cosmos? Want to experience a musical message for extraterrestrials the way it was meant to be played? The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, a project I launched with Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, is a lavish vinyl box […]
In Rich do not rise early: spatio-temporal patterns in the mobility networks of different socio-economic classes, a group of transportation engineers analyze an open data-set about the commutes of people in the Colombian cities of Medellín and Manizales, concluding that the rich and the poor commute the furthest distances, but that the rich have much […]
From self-driving cars to stock market predicting software to the recommendations you get on Amazon and Netflix, machine learning is at the core of modern technology. You could find yourself building technology that is literally changing the world with the skills you’ll learn in The Complete Machine Learning Bundle. This bundle of 10 courses includes 406 lessons that will teach […]
This Python Mega Course will help you learn to code by teaching you to build 10 real-world apps that each highlight a unique use of Python.Job prospects for coders are still growing steadily—and with Python being one of the most popular coding languages out there today, it’s important for job seekers to demonstrate a widespread understanding of the […]
The Atmos R2 may be bigger than the brand’s previously-released vapes, but we argue that in this case it’s definitely a good thing. A bigger heating chamber means more room for packing it full. And the bigger battery means longer, more fulfilling vape sessions. In fact, you can use the Atmos R2 for up to about 25 […]