Archive for June, 2011

Complex interactions among epilepsy genes

A debate has been raging over the last few years over the nature of the genetic architecture of so-called “complex” disorders. These are disorders – such as schizophrenia, epilepsy, type II diabetes and many others – which are clearly heritable across the population, but which do not show simple patterns of inheritance. A new study […]

Synaesthesia and savantism

“We only use 10% of our brain”. I don’t know where that idea originated but it certainly took off as a popular meme – taxi drivers seem particularly taken with it. It’s rubbish of course – you use more than that just to see. But it captures an idea that we humans have untapped intellectual […]

Where do morals come from?

Review of “Braintrust. What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality”, by Patricia S. Churchland The question of “where morals come from” has exercised philosophers, theologians and many others for millennia. It has lately, like many other questions previously addressed only through armchair rumination, become addressable empirically, through the combined approaches of modern neuroscience, genetics, psychology, anthropology […]

BBC Series

The BBC have just finished a short (3-part) series of documentaries by Adam Curtis, under the general heading ‘All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace’. It’s impossible to describe them briefly, so I won’t try; suffice to say I found them fascinating but often exasperating with their wild leaps of logic. For GNXP readers […]

Natural selection and the collapse of economic growth

**This is a cross-post from my blog Evolving Economics In my last post, I discussed Oded Galor and Omer Moav’s paper Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth. As I noted then, my PhD supervisors, Juerg Weber and Boris Baer, and I have written a discussion paper that describes a simulation of the model. […]

Natural selection and economic growth

**This is a cross-post from my blog Evolving Economics As I have focussed my PhD research on the link between evolution and long-term economic growth, for months I have meant to blog on the core paper in this area, Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth by Oded Galor and Omer Moav. I have […]