Friday, May 09, 2014

Not exactly a revolution

The Pacific Standard has a little science article suggesting 7 recent scientific discoveries that could change the world. The intro says "Noam Chomsky’s theory that languages worldwide hold to a universal grammar prompted a revolution in linguistics, transforming an almost-archaeological field into a science ripe for examination." which should be enough to make the reader suspicious. I gather that Chomsky's theory, though compellingly obvious, has garnered no actual verification despite decades of research.

Anyhow. This is one of her choices: "Not that we’re some woo-woo skeptics, but it is curious what happened about four to five thousand years ago: Europeans changed. More specifically, their genetics changed completely, and no one’s really sure why."

"The genetic markers of this first pan-European culture, which was clearly very successful, were then suddenly replaced around 4500 years ago, and we don’t know why,” Adelaide professor Alan Cooper, the Centre’s director, said in a statement. What bizarre event precluded this change is unknown (although assuredly the answer is not a Doctor Who-style invasion), but we do know we’re ready for historians and archaeologists to team up and crack the case.

The reference to Doctor Who should provide an obvious clue, but perhaps Jamie and Alan don't read much history.

1 comment:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Other than one people replacing another, what on earth does she think would cause a complete change of genes in the people inhabiting an area?