Author Archives: gcochran9

Ust’-Ishim & the Old Race

There’s a new report out in Nature, on the DNA results from a 45,000 AMH skeleton found in Western Siberia.  It’s the oldest radiocarbon-dated modern human outside Africa and the Middle East. The Neanderthal admixture is there,  about the same … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, European Prehistory, Genetics, Neanderthals | Tagged | 18 Comments

The Experts

It seems to me that not all people called experts actually are.  In fact, there are whole fields in which none of the experts are experts. But let’s try to define terms. You might say that an expert is someone … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 141 Comments

The Advent of Cholera

Most of this is stolen from William MacNeill’s Plagues and Peoples. Cholera seems to have existed in the Ganges delta for a long time, but it only spread to the rest of the world fairly recently.  An unusually severe epidemic … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 110 Comments

The Coming Plague

Laurie Garret has an article out in the Washington Post.  She say that there’s no point in trying to block the spread of Ebola by travel bans. The problem is, she’s full of crap.  Look, there are two possible scenarios.  … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 217 Comments

The Road Not Taken

A lot of people are bothered by the idea of biological determinism – the idea that given the genetic hand they’ve been dealt, and the environment they experienced, their path in life was essentially inevitable.  When you consider the fates … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 87 Comments

Disaster in the South Pacific

The 1918 influenza pandemic hit every country on Earth – well, almost every country. It missed American Samoa entirely, which is interesting.  It’s even more interesting when you notice that it hit the neighboring islands of West Samoa harder than … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 136 Comments

Nurses vs doctors

Medicine, the things that doctors do, was an ineffective pseudoscience until fairly recently. Until 1800 or so, they were wrong about almost everything. Bleeding, cupping, purging, the four humors – useless.   In the 1800s, some began to realize that … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 65 Comments