#humans

Maria Konnikova:

Rather than empathy, the contagious nature of yawning may be highlighting something very different. “We’re getting insight into the human herd: yawning as a primal form of sociality,” Provine says. Yawning may be, at its root, a mechanism of social signalling. When we yawn, we are communicating with one another. We are sending an external sign of something internal, be it our boredom or our anxiety, our fatigue or our hunger—all moments when we may need a helping hand. In fact, yawning may be the opposite of what we generally think. It’s less likely a signal that you’re tired than a signal that it’s time for everyone around you to act.

At its most fundamental, a yawn is a form of communication—one of the most basic mechanisms we have for making ourselves understood to others without words. “It’s often said that behavior doesn’t leave fossils,” Provine says. “But, with yawning, you are looking at a behavioral fossil. You’re getting an insight into how all of behavior once was.”

Fascinating. Not boring.

science-junkie
sagansense:

What happened…when the object apparently responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs hit the Earth 65 million years ago? “First, there was a gigantic fireball brighter than the Sun as the comet plunged to its death, not with a whimper, but a bang. One casualty was the ozone layer, which temporarily vanished. Seconds after the big comet first encountered Earth’s upper atmosphere, it carved out a crater - now buried - 200 kilometers wide and 25 kilometers deep. All that debris shot up into the sky and came back again, all over the Earth. No place would have been spared a hit of at least a tiny particle.
More…

It’s fascinating to think that if the asteroid never hit Earth, dinosaurs may very well still rule the planet and humans may have never even evolved. This seems pretty important when considering extraterrestrial life, and the hope that it’s intelligent.

sagansense:

What happened…when the object apparently responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs hit the Earth 65 million years ago?

“First, there was a gigantic fireball brighter than the Sun as the comet plunged to its death, not with a whimper, but a bang. One casualty was the ozone layer, which temporarily vanished. Seconds after the big comet first encountered Earth’s upper atmosphere, it carved out a crater - now buried - 200 kilometers wide and 25 kilometers deep. All that debris shot up into the sky and came back again, all over the Earth. No place would have been spared a hit of at least a tiny particle.

More…

It’s fascinating to think that if the asteroid never hit Earth, dinosaurs may very well still rule the planet and humans may have never even evolved. This seems pretty important when considering extraterrestrial life, and the hope that it’s intelligent.