Denisovans and Neanderthals, Sullivan, Sanders, & Lepore

The entrance to Denisova Cave

Credit: Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts

The Neanderthals and Denisovans — both relatives of modern humans — were roommates, literally, for thousands of years in a remote Siberian cave. Back in ancient times, this cave would have been a real estate agent’s paradise. It’s the only place in the world that Neanderthals, Denisovans and possibly even modern humans  lived together throughout history,  almost continuously over both warm and cold periods during the past 300,000 years.
By analyzing fossils and DNA, the researchers learned that the enigmatic Denisovans lived in the cave from at least 200,000 to 50,000 years ago, and the Neanderthals lived there between 190,000 and 100,000 years ago. These Denisovans and Neanderthals are estimated to have separated from the lineage that would become Homo sapiens approximately 600,000 to 744,000 years ago and significantly diverged from each other genetically about 200,000 years later.

Evangelical Christians, utterly indifferent to God’s creation,

A new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research notes, according to the BBC, that “since 1950, the number of floods across the world has increased by 15 times, extreme temperature events by 20 times, and wildfires seven-fold.” Last week, research emerged showing that the insect biomass is declining by 2.5 percent a year, which means that we may wipe out the entire insect population within a century — and lose a quarter of it in the next ten years. This amounts to what Jill Kieldash describes as the “actual structural and functional collapse of the natural systems which have supported life on Earth for the last 400 million years.”
We face literally existential threat to life itself, we have elected a president who denies anything is happening at all, and is, in fact, determined to accelerate the collapse. I don’t know how this paradigm affects you every day, but it is for me the gutting context for everything, a growing nausea laced with guilt and shame. In a century, we will have destroyed this Earth as we have known it — in absolutely full awareness of what we are doing. It’s the greatest crime humanity has ever committed. It distresses and enrages me particularly that one core bloc egging on this devastation are Evangelical Christians, utterly indifferent to God’s creation, indeed, actively hostile to it. How, I wonder, can they be this way?
Andrew Sullivan


In a statement, Sarah Sanders said Trump would sign a funding bill to avert another government shutdown and also take other executive action—including declaring a national emergency—to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border.

According to Sanders, February 14, 2019, Trump is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country.

Why a Nation Needs a National Story

As the historian John Higham put it, “From the middle of the nineteenth century until the 1960s, the nation was the grand subject of American history.” Over that same stretch of time, the United States experienced a civil war, emancipation, reconstruction, segregation, two world wars, and unprecedented immigration—making the task even more essential. “A history in common is fundamental to sustaining the affiliation that constitutes national subjects,” the historian Thomas Bender once observed. “Nations are, among other things, a collective agreement, partly coerced, to affirm a common history as the basis for a shared future.”
Jill Lepore.  A New Americanism.
in Foreign Affairs, March/April,2019

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