Monthly Archives: July 2017


I wonder how long oral history lasts. What’s the oldest legend that has some clear fragment of truth in it?

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Animals and Women : Feminist Theoretical Explorations

An interesting book was published a few years back, and reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement. The book is “Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations”, edited by Carol J. Adams and Josephine Donovan. The authors say, in their introduction: “We … Continue reading

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I have this friend

who only has a BA in history. When I asked him to accompany me to a lecture about degenerate white dwarfs, he eagerly accepted. But he was embarrassed: it wasn’t what he had hoped for.

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SLC24A5, yet again

It’s under selection all over the place: Europe, Ethiopia, and now among the Bushmen. The advantage can’t be more vitamin D, nor is it associated with agriculture. It does have other effects. Next, the haplotype is very long, yet has … Continue reading

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Old Asians

There is reason to believe that Australo-Melanesians used to occupy a much larger area than they do today. Let’s define them by their genetic affinity to that odd genetic trace in Amazonian Amerindians: those related include Papuans, Aboriginal Australians, Andaman … Continue reading

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Low g

It’s clear that zero gravity is bad for you. What about low (nonzero) gravity: say 0.376 or 0.166 of Earth gravity? The only way I can see to find out would be raising mice, long-term, in a centrifuge on the … Continue reading

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Relaxed selection

In the days of old many kids didn’t make it to adulthood: say 40% among hunter-gatherers. To a a degree, this was caused by genetic load. High mortality purged some of that genetic load, especially to the extent that selection … Continue reading

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The best things in life are cheap – today.

The most effective health interventions are mostly cheap and generally available. Vaccinations, clean water, antibiotics – none are very expensive. The trend is for expensive treatments (usually aimed at illness fairly late in life) to also be relatively ineffective, in … Continue reading

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