Information falling from the skies! Right into your hands!

All right, so you don’t think you can flit off to some conference somewhere whenever you feel like it. This is the 21st Century! Do it virtually! You may not be aware of this, but the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is an awesome resource that provides tons of information for free to the public. Among those resources are their annual holiday lectures, presented live on the web, and this year featuring Bones, Stones, and Genes: The Origin of Modern Humans.

Where and when did humans arise? What distinguishes us from other species? Did our distant ancestors look and behave like us?

When Darwin proposed that humans evolved from a common ancestor with the great apes, he lacked fossil evidence to support his idea. One hundred and fifty years later, the evidence for human evolution is plentiful and growing, including detailed molecular genetics data, an impressive fossil record, and artifacts of early human culture like stone tools.

Leading scientists John Shea of Stony Brook University, Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania, and Tim White of the University of California, Berkeley, will guide us on a global exploration spanning millions of years to illuminate the rise of modern humans.

Live Webcast October 6 & 7, 2011 10:00 a.m. ET. Re-webcast 11:00 a.m. PT

I know some of you are homeschoolers (I cluck disapprovingly in your direction…), but here’s a chance to get quality, high end instruction from prominent experts in the field right in your home, for no additional cost. How can you turn it down?

Also, I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth mentioning again: the HHMI also provides a whole library of free DVDs, including all of the past Holiday Lectures, that you can have shipped to your home. For free. Did I say this was free? Yes it is, and you’re crazy not to take advantage of this offer.

(Also on FtB)