"If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin."
- Charles Darwin

Oct 24, 2007

Four Stone Hearth #26

Net's best anthropology blog carnival begins its second year.

Welcome to the newest installment of the four field anthropology blog carnival Four Stone Hearth. As the carnival enters into its terrible twos there were many wonderful voices clamoring for attention. I've done my best to select only the choicest beans to make this blend a sensation you won't soon forget.


Mango Girl at Kafr Al-Hanadwa discusses how fasting in Hinduism is perceived to have spiritual benefits, but only for women. Such is the romance of the self-denying woman.

Meanwhile, anthropologists working with the military are still raising controversy. Oh No a WoC PhD has her say about Anthro and the State while The Interrogation Diaries makes a few points about the little rituals of dehumanization. Marcus, From an Anthropological Perspective, puts it all into context by exploring the way politics affects how academics make a living (in a post which I’m not sure is a justification or an excuse).

Anthropologi reviews recent research showing that Islam and a secular society are not incompatible.

Tyson Yunkaporta at Aboriginal Rights brings our attention to the European indigenous Sami who are struggling for survival in their native land.

Peter at Indigenous Issues Today shows how indigenous people and aid organizations can work together to preserve the environment in Oaxaca, Mexico.


Speaking lucidly at Savage Minds, Kerim highlights a recent book that (surprise) finds the differences between how men and women communicate have been overblown.

Simon at reviews the recent Nature article that shows how the less a word is used the faster it evolves.

Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science mines the classic texts to review new models for showing how verbs change over time.

Having the last word, Victor at Music 000001, explores the evolution of music and how primate vocalizations could be connected to the origins of melody.


Martin at Aardvarchaeology has turned up a new picture stone, with pictures no less.

Greg Laden at Evolution: Not Just a Theory Anymore, explores an 11,000-year-old wall painting from Syria.

Christopher at Northstate Science shows how Intelligent Design advocates don’t merely confine their bad analogies to evolution.

Tim at Remote Central critiques the recent Nature article that describes fishing populations showing “symbolic behavior” (they painted stuff red) in South Africa 164,000 years ago.

Leaving no stone unturned, Julien at A Very Remote Period Indeed reports Newsflash: Neanderthals could build stuff.


In perhaps the most exciting thing to come out of neandertal DNA since we even had the stuff, John Hawks’ Weblog explores what the FOXP2 gene reveals about the evolution of language. gives additional insight on the neandertal "language gene".

Following hard on the alleles of neandertal genetics, offers their take on three recent papers exploring the diversity and structure of the human genome.

Just in case you didn’t have enough to worry about, Archaeozoo offers us something that's sure to be a big pain in the neck with the first in her new series Know Your Pathology: Osteoarthritis.

Rounding out the tour of hominin evolution, Scott at Dammit Jim! takes us home to the location of Peking Man during his recent visit to China.

Finally, to leave you all with a few warm fuzzies to carry you happily through your day, I offer these new findings of Adoption in Non-Human Primates and The Biology of a Mother’s Love.

That does it for this installment of Four Stone Hearth. The next edition will be November 7 at Sorting Out Science. Until then, keep evolving.

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