Top stories: The seafaring first Americans, hearing voices, and the downside of pampering puppies

Science | AAAS | 8/11/2017 | Staff
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Archaeologists once thought that the earliest people to arrive in the Americas wandered into the continent through a gap in the ice age glaciers covering Canada. But most researchers today think the first inhabitants voyaged by boat out of Beringia—the ancient land now partially submerged under the waters of the Bering Strait—about 16,000 years ago and quickly moved down the Pacific coast, reaching today’s Chile by at least 14,500 years ago. On Mexico’s Cedros Island, researchers are helping fill in the picture of how early coastal people lived and what tools they made.

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More than 300 years ago, the philosopher René Descartes asked a disturbing question: If our senses can’t always be trusted, how can we separate illusion from reality? We’re able to do so, a new study suggests, because our brain keeps tabs on reality by constantly questioning its own past expectations and beliefs. Hallucinations occur when this internal fact-checking fails, a finding that could point toward better treatments for schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.

Sea - Sailor - Mother - Guide - Dog

As a smooth sea never makes a skillful sailor, so an overprotective mother doesn’t make a successful guide dog. That’s...
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