Anthropologists Trace Human Origins Back To One Large Goat

GoatsIn what is sure to be a more cited paper than Gould and Lewontin (1979), Douglas Ochs at Columbia University, together with a team of internationally renowned scientists (and probably a few internationally unknown graduate students), has found that all of humanity can be traced back to a large Pliocene-era goat.

More interesting, for this blog at least, is the finding that the roots of early Indo-European language were in goat bleating. Unfortunately, I couldn’t track down the actual paper myself to find the details of this argument, but if you’re interested, I would suggest looking at the original article where I found this wonderful and groundbreaking study, on the popular peer-reviewed site the Onion.

Full disclosure: This post has been listed in the Irrelevant and Irreverent category, because it probably fits there. We’re not seriously suggesting that humans do in fact go back to a single large goat species in the Pliocene – that’s much too early. Rather, it’s more likely that the goat species was around in the Silurian period. It feasted mainly on trilobites.

Author: Richard

I am computational linguistics student at the University of Saarland; my undergraduate in Linguistics was at the University of Edinburgh. I am interested in evolutionary linguistics, particularly involving Bayesian phylogenetics, typology, and computer simulations. I am also interested in data management, web development, open documentation, and scientific workflows. My undergraduate thesis focused on the evolution and significance of word segmentation.

4 thoughts on “Anthropologists Trace Human Origins Back To One Large Goat”

  1. Hmm. No link to the onion, and it’s only the middle of February, nowhere near the beginning of April. Wonder what to make of this.

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