Big, big science news this morning: Neanderthals weren't as dumb as they looked. It's in all the U.K. papers today, as one member of the team that made the discovery that stupidity was not the Neanderthals' cause of extinction hails from the University of Exeter; the discovery also turns up in the Journal of Human Evolution, where the findings are being published this week.
Among the four team members was SMU's own professor of anthropology Garth Sampson, who helped his fellow archaeologists reproduce the Neanderthals' stone tools -- took three years -- to determine how, well, "cutting-edge" they really were. The result? Says Exeter's Metin Eren, "When we think of Neanderthals, we need to stop thinking in terms of 'stupid' or 'less advanced' and more in terms of 'different.'" Which is the same thing my parents have said about me since the day I was born. --Robert Wilonsky
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.