Eclipsing the Occult in Early America: Benjamin Franklin and His Almanacs

Franklin advanced a scientific – not supernatural – understanding of astronomical events such as eclipses. His satirical character ‘Poor Richard’ mocked those who bought into astrological predictions. By the time he was 20 years old, colonial American Benjamin Franklin had already spent two years working as a printer in London. He returned to Philadelphia in[…]

Seeing the Invisible: A Short History of the Scientific Evidence of Dark Matter

About 85% of all matter in the universe consists of a mysterious, invisible, and as-of-yet unidentified substance dubbed “dark matter.” Everything you have ever touched, seen, or tasted; the air you breathe; the ground on which you stand; and the constituents of your body all consist of a type of matter that is only a[…]

The Origins of Modern Dogs in Ancient Asian Wolves

You’ve come a long way, baby. moggafogga, CC BY-NC-ND The how and the when of dog domestication are fairly settled. As for the where: now DNAsays Fido traces his roots back to wolves in Central Asia that lingered around people’s camps millennia ago. By Dr. Laura Shannon / 10.20.2015 Computational Evolutionary Geneticist Adam Boyko Laboratory Cornell University Dogs’ origin story goes something like[…]

Earliest Evidence of Cat Domestication Found in China

So, you found my ancestors? Are you sure this time? epsos There has been much debate about how cats went from hunting in the wild to a much-loved pet. By Akshat Rathi / 12.16.2013 Former Science and Data Editor The Conversation There has been much debate about how cats went from hunting in the wild to a much-loved pet. That is because[…]

How We Discovered That Europeans Used Cattle 8,000 Years Ago

The use of animals for their renewable products greatly increased human capabilities in prehistory. The use of animals for their renewable products greatly increased human capabilities in prehistory. Secondary products – or anything that can be gleaned from a domestic animal repeatedly over its lifetime – expanded the capabilities of ancient human societies. They helped[…]

Baltic Hunter-Gatherer Adoption of Agriculture

Ancient DNA analyses show that – unlike elsewhere in Europe – farmers from the Near East did not overtake hunter-gatherer populations in the Baltic. The findings also suggest that the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family originated in the Steppe grasslands of the East. New research indicates that Baltic hunter-gatherers were not swamped by[…]