Category Archives: Evolution

Could whistling shed light on the origins of speech?

FOR centuries, shepherds from the small village of Aas in the French Pyrenees led their sheep and cattle up to mountain pastures for the summer months. To ease the solitude, they would communicate with each other or with the village below in a whistled form of the local Gascon dialect, transmitting and receiving information accurately over distances of up to 10 kilometres…

This article first appeared in The Observer on 26 September 2021. To continue reading, click here.

 

The next pandemic? It may already be upon us

WOULDN’T it be wonderful if there were a silver lining to this pandemic? If history is anything to go by there may actually turn out to be a number of them, though we can’t quite see them yet, but here’s one that is just beginning to gleam. In the words of Prof Kevin Outterson: “Today, people understand the social disruption from an untreatable infection…”

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 15 February 2021. To continue reading, click here.

 

 

Arms and the virus

LETTING the virus that causes Covid-19 circulate more-or-less freely is dangerous not only because it risks overwhelming hospitals and so endangering lives unnecessarily, but also because it could delay the evolution of the virus to a more benign form and potentially even make it more lethal…

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 19 November 2020. To continue reading, click here.