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From Stone Tools to the Internet

From Stone Tools to the Internet

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The New York Academy of Sciences

Humans' ability to modify our world through tools and technology has been the most important adaptive strategy shaping humankind physically, cognitively, and culturally. Understanding this technological trajectory is fundamental to understanding the human condition.

This evening, Nicholas Carr's talk about the findings described in his new book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains will be preceded by a presentation by anthropologists Nicholas Toth and Kathy Schick.

Carr's book explores how the culture of the Web is changing, and in some cases dumbing down, our minds. Combining insights from philosophy, science, and history, The Shallows explains how the Internet is rerouting our neural pathways, and replacing the subtle mind of the book reader with the distracted mind of the screen watcher.

Co-Directors of the Stone Age Institute in Bloomington, Ind., Toth and Schick will demonstrate the ways crucial technologies have affected both individual minds and society throughout history.

Reception, Booksigning, and Stone Tool-Making Demonstration to Follow

Series Media Sponsor

This event is part of the From Stone Age to Internet Age: How Science Has Evolved over Time Series, which also includes the following events:

Science as a Modern Creation Story: An Evening with David Christian
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 | 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
You Are What You Eat: The Long History of Knowing about Our Food, Our Bodies, and Ourselves
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 | 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Historic Tales of the Periodic Table: An Evening with Sam Kean
Thursday, February 17, 2011 | 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Register for the whole series now.


Nicholas Carr

Nicholas Carr is the author of two previous books and a contributor to Wired, The New York Times Magazine, The Financial Times, and The New Republic, among other publications. He is also the author of the blog, Rough Type, which deals with many issues raised by the uneasy coexistence (at this point) between traditional print culture and the new digital culture. For more information, visit

Nicholas Toth, PhD

The Stone Age Institute

Nicholas Toth is co-director of the Stone Age Institute and a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Indiana. He received his PhD in 1982 from The University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include African prehistory, Paleolithic studies, the evolution of human intelligence, lithic technology, experimental archaeology, microscopic approaches to archaeology, zooarchaeology, ethnoarchaeology, and primate studies. He is currently involved in experimental investigations of stone tool-making and tool-using behaviors of modern African apes and of the manufacture and use of early Paleolithic tools.


Kathy Schick, PhD

The Stone Age Institute

Kathy Schick is co-director of the Stone Age Institute and a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Indiana. She received her PhD in 1984 from The University of California, Berkeley. Her interests in Old World prehistory, palaeoanthropology, archaeological site formation, zooarchaeology, lithic technology, and primate studies have led her to conduct fieldwork in Africa, Asia and Europe, as well as laboratory research in the United States. She was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004, and received the Distinguished Faculty Research Award from Indiana University in 1997.



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