Archive for January, 2004

God(s) & state

Found this Scott Martens post via Jonathan Edelstein (via Randy MacDonald). Titled The Secular Itjihad, the post is a rumination on the relationship between the secular state and the various religious traditions that exist as subsets within it, with a specific focus on Islam. I highly suggest Conrad Barwa’s “brief” (his words) comment on Martens’ […]

Breaking it down….

I just had a stray thought the other day. When it comes to issues that I feel are scientifically (natural science in particular) tractable I’m a big fan of reductionism, breaking it down into its parts, examining it in detail, demystifying it. I tend to have a negative reaction when people talk about “holism.” On […]

The blood of the nomads

I have alluded several times to the possible selection pressures that dense post-neolithic life might have induced in various populations. But I realized that I make it seem like there is a constant environment after the introduction of agriculture in any given population. There are various post-neolithic lifestyles, with the farmer vs. nomad dichotomy foremost […]

Evolution in Georgia

Evolution is in the news in Georgia right now. I find it interesting that the Republican governor of Georgia is trying to strike a moderate pose on this issue. Jimmy Carter has also weighed in, reaffirming his status as a liberal evangelical by opposing any erosion of the teaching of evolution. As I’ve noted before, […]

Praise God and pass the dollar!

Research Around the World Links Religion to Economic Development. I need to read this paper they published before I comment, but there’s part of what they say…. “This is a revised view of the Protestant ethic,” he continued. He noted that many mostly Protestant, wealthy countries were now more interested in quality of life, and […]

States I’ve visited

Zack gave me the idea of filling this form. Below are states I’ve visited (includes walking around). Posted by razib at 04:02 PM

Asian phylogenies

Godless’ previous post brought up some questions/assertions about the genetic heritage of East/Southeast Asians. Here a few relevant articles in PubMed. Mitochondrial DNA diversity in Southeast Asian populations. The Emerging Limbs and Twigs of the East Asian mtDNA Tree. Phylogeographic Differentiation of Mitochondrial DNA in Han Chinese. Y chromosomal DNA variation in east Asian populations […]

Little piece of news

Dwarf-date show sparks controversy. Posted by razib at 04:07 PM

Praise God & pass the dollar

Research Around the World Links Religion to Economic Development. I need to read this paper they published before I comment, but there’s part of what they say…. “This is a revised view of the Protestant ethic,” he continued. He noted that many mostly Protestant, wealthy countries were now more interested in quality of life, and […]

You are too smart?

Everyone has heard about the police department that rejected very intelligent applicants (higher turnover from this subset). But if this is true, it’s really bizarre. I was a Rhodes Scholar nominee, inducted into the Mensa society in May 2001, named to the National Dean’s List for three consecutive years, successfully competed in intercollegiate forensics and […]

Energy important for complex life?

OK, a while back we mentioned how one biologist thinks that the evolution of vision was the cause of the Cambrian Explosion. Well, it turns out that oxygen [aerobic respiration] was also important for the development of complex eukaryotes (select the PDF if you want to see the full article). Perhaps I’m being a carbon-based […]

“Lost” civilizations

I saw the NOVA documentary about the Maya kings for the second time last night. It was kind of a strange coincidence since I recently went to an art opening that turned out to be a front for a cult that bases its beliefs around the Maya calendar. But I also began to wonder about […]

Outsourcing – From The Shill’s Mouth

This article on outsourcing is a skillfully crafted work of fact and fiction. Let’s do a little deconstruction and not let The New Republic do our thinking for us. But, like the fears that surrounded NAFTA, those around offshoring are mostly baseless. This is where the spin starts. The author hasn’t presented a case yet […]

Outsourcing – From The Shill's Mouth

This article on outsourcing is a skillfully crafted work of fact and fiction. Let’s do a little deconstruction and not let The New Republic do our thinking for us. But, like the fears that surrounded NAFTA, those around offshoring are mostly baseless. This is where the spin starts. The author hasn’t presented a case yet […]

Transnational analogies

I recently read several books on race relations in Brazil. They shook me,because some Brazilians of African ancestry sometimes espouse a very individualistic ethos, but seem to take rational discrimination from whites for granted. In any case, I was thinking of Brazil’s similarities with India, another nation that is racially diverse, but attempts to mold […]

Concurrent evidence

A reader sent me a link to this article which concludes: “This contrasting pattern of diversity in Ashkenazi populations is evidence for a reduction in male effective population size, possibly resulting from a series of founder events and high rates of endogamy within Europe.” Fine and dandy, but I just keep recalling this article in […]

Infanticide Versus Abortion

From Chris Brand– EUGENIC INFANTICIDE SUPPORTED   One of Britain’s top bioethicists endorsed infanticide in the case of infants born with previously unsuspected genetic problems or brain damage (Sunday Telegraph, 25 i; Scotland on Sunday, 25 i; Sunday Times, 25 i; Times, 25 i). In a debate organized by the House of Commons, handsome young […]

Reverse Affirmative Action

An oft-cited benefit of eliminating affirmative action is that the non-Asian/Jewish minority members who are admitted would no longer be suspected to be “affirmative action admits”, of lesser expected competence. I was shocked a few days ago when I realized that eliminating affirmative action does NOT in fact accomplish this! To illustrate the problem, suppose […]

The Social Contract Is Almost Broken

In a follow-up to my previous post I thought I’d eleaborate on why I think that the social contract between generations in this country is being broken. This article details the trevails facing those on their quest for higher education and the institutional responses to the costs that grow faster than inflation. To stay alive, […]

Days of Ice & Awe

A group of scientists claims that multiple factors (via Dienekes) led to the extinction of the Neandertals. The title in The New Scientist asserts that the “Big chill killed off the Neanderthals.” But upon closer reading, it seems that the arrival of a new human culture (Gravettians) and the concomitant cultural explosion swept aside a […]

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