Archive for May, 2005

Buller, part II

Chris of Mixing Memory has an extremely in depth critique of David J. Buller’s Adapting Minds. He isn’t impressed with Buller’s command of the literature in cognitive science. Also, here is a paper by Buller that summarizes his main points. Posted by razib at 08:52 PM

A Feast for Crows is done!

George R. R. Martin’s A Feast for Crows is sort of finished. Better than nothing. I was worried he’d have a heart attack…. Via Science Fiction GNXP. Posted by razib at 10:41 AM

The hardening of belief

Randall Parker has an excellent post up titled “Infanticide And The Affordabilitty Of Religious Taboos,” where he follows up a post where I wonder about the various levels of truth when examining the human past. Randall opines that “Coexisting believers in rival religions will have lives more similar to each other than their religious texts […]

Man didn’t kill off mega-marsupials (perhaps)

New research suggests that Australian mega-fauna were not killed off by the arrival of human beings ~50 K B.P., rather, climate change was the culprit. I think the problem with the way these sort of studies are presented is that there is the assumption that there needs to be a silver bullet which “explains” a […]


In The Eclipse of Darwinism historian of science Peter J. Bowler chronicles the period in the first few decades of the 20th century when the Darwinian theory of evolution (that is, rooted in natural selection acting upon heritable variation) was out of favor with most biologists. To some extent this falsifies the contention that “Darwinians”1 […]

Note on comments

Experimenting with phpBB and I managed a small hack which integrates each post with a comment entry on the board. I am thinking of switching over from Haloscan in the next day or two. This would mean people would have to register to post comments. I haven’t tested the hack so I don’t know if […]

Miss Universe happens today….

Miss Universe will be selected today. If any of you watch TV and if they are showing it live…. Update: Canada wins! Hey? Posted by razib at 10:45 PM

Just a test entry

This is a test Posted by razib at 07:42 PM View/Make comments

Test # 2

asdfasdf Posted by razib at 08:16 PM View/Make comments

Why humans beat elves

In Mutants Armand Leroi reviewed the antagonistic pleiotropy theory of aging. Of course, anyone who reads fantasy books would understand this intuitively, no matter how primo Elf traits are (long life, superhuman vision or agility, magical powers, etc.) short-lived humans are always more numerous and dominant because of their fast reproductive cycles. Posted by razib […]

A note

Anyone engaging in a Fred Reed impersonation, that is, talking about shit they know nothing about shamelessly and without any humility in light of their ignorance, will now be deleted at my discretion. Posted by razib at 12:53 AM

More selection on mtDNA

Mitochondrial DNA haplogroup K is associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease in Italians: It has been proposed that European mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups J and K, and their shared 10398G single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the ND3 gene, are protective from Parkinson’s disease (PD)…However, the frequency of haplogroup K was significantly lower in PD. […]

Short takes on 3 books

Over the past two weeks I’ve been reading three books on my spare time, some short takes now that I’ve finished all three. Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom, by Sean Carroll, basically says it all in the title. “Evo-Devo” seems like a pretty […]

Desperately Searching for Eurabia

In a September 2004 interview at Front Page Magazine, Bat Ye’or defines Eurabia as follows. Eurabia represents a geo-political reality envisaged in 1973 through a system of informal alliances between, on the one hand, the nine countries of the European Community (EC) which, enlarged, became the European Union (EU) in 1992 and on the other […]

Dream takes root

I grew up a 10-15 minute walk from theHoar Bird Sanctuary, where I spent many a happy childhood hour wandering. In that sanctuary, grew astunted, blighted American Chestnut tree: American chestnut was once the most important tree of the Eastern North American hardwood forest. One fourth of this forest was composed of native chestnut. According […]


Will leave this new one up for about a day. Say yay or nay in the comments. Update: If you think you have a cool logo design for gnxp’s header, email it to me at contactgnxp – at – Small images with transparent backgrounds preferred (so a GIF). Will take submissions for a few […]

A matter of perspective

A week ago a mildly positive profile of the doyen of the Intelligent Design movement, Phillip Johnson, appeared in The Washington Post. I was going to comment on the relationship between Johnson’s positive comments about Critical Legal Studies and the Anabaptist takeover of Munster in 1534 until other time sensitive tasks came to pressing attention, […]

Math & Science, in the public’s interest

Well, maybe not so noble…… If you search through the GNXP archives, you’ll see periodic references to how media, in general, negatively portray math/science (e.g., it is often the “evil villains” who are the geniuses). A colleague at the Clinic I work brought me a videotape of a show called Numb3rs to watch (at work). […]

Altruistic punishment

Dienekes recently drew attention to an important forthcoming article on altruistic punishment. The article has now appeared: James H. Fowler: Altruistic punishment and the origin of cooperation, Proc. National Academy of Sciences, May 10 2005, vol. 102, 7027-49. It is available as a free pdf download here. So what is altruistic punishment and why is […]

The Middle Model

Genomics refutes an exclusively African origin of humans. This is a long and complex paper, but intelligible with close reading. I have cut & pasted the introduction and discussion below. But I want to highlight one point: …Many, even most, functional loci globally surveyed…MC1R…show deep structure both geographically and temporally, with coalescence times for non-African […]