Daily Archives: December 3, 2007

Anthropological Angst

In the latest round of conflict over anthropologists’ cooperation with the U.S. military, members of the American Anthropological Association voted on Friday to ban certain kinds of secrecy in ethnographic work. In a motion passed by a voice vote during the organization’s annual business meeting here, members decreed that “no reports should be provided to sponsors [of research] that are not also available to the general public and, where practicable, to the population studied.”[source]

Continue reading Anthropological Angst

Talking about Racism

I came across this interesting post by PortlyDyke:

Trying to Get White People to Talk About Racism is Like . . . .. . . . . well, like trying to get white people to talk about Racism….I mention this because I read a wide variety of blogs, and I notice that while a number of my favorite bloggers do write posts on race and racism, there is this interesting thing that happens in comment threads to these posts — if the blog is not frequented mostly by people of color, the comment threads very often stray from anything remotely touching on race or racism, and quickly become about “oppression in general”, or a particular commenter’s “Me Too!” pointing toward their own particular oppression.

Continue reading Talking about Racism

Fight! Fight!

There is a fight going on regarding the Internet Infidels Discussion Board. Details can be found here, at A Load of Bright. I’m not privy to any details, and I don’t think I want to be. Those folks just need to learn to get along.

From Daylight Atheism:

Here’s my conclusion, and if you read nothing else of this post, read this:

So long as the current management persists, I will no longer be supporting the Internet Infidels organization (www.infidels.org). I will also no longer participate in or support the Internet Infidels discussion board (www.iidb.org). I strongly recommend that all my readers do likewise.

If you’re still reading and are interested in the gory details, I’ll try to summarize what brought me to this point.

Science News Tidbits

Europe to launch a brain research project from PhysOrg.com
The European Science Foundation said it will propose a comprehensive mental health research effort of a size similar to that of the Human Genome Project.[]

Puzzling results from HIV vaccine trial from PhysOrg.com
A potential HIV vaccine that recently failed a clinical trial in the United States may increase some people’s chance of catching the virus that causes AIDS.[]

Toll of climate change on world food supply could be worse than thought from PhysOrg.com
Global agriculture, already predicted to be stressed by climate change in coming decades, could go into steep, unanticipated declines in some regions due to complications that scientists have so far inadequately considered, say three new scientific reports.[]

Fossils excavated from Bahamian blue hole may give clues of early life from PhysOrg.com
ong before tourists arrived in the Bahamas, ancient visitors took up residence in this archipelago off Florida’s coast and left remains offering stark evidence that the arrival of humans can permanently change — and eliminate — life on what had been isolated islands, says a University of Florida researcher.[]

Brain abnormalities discovered in people who have trouble reading fast from PhysOrg.com
Some people who have problems reading quickly appear to have abnormalities in the white matter of their brains, according to research published in the December 4, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Researchers say these findings provide a model to better understand ways in which the brain may have developed differently in people with learning disabilities.[]

Special Google Search Engines from MnCSE

The Minnesota Citizens for Science Education has special search engines that might be helpful for people doing research on Evolution and related issues.

There are two good reasons to use one of our special search engines. First, they’re based on the standard Google search engine, so they’re fast and efficient. Second, they can deliver search results that suit your tastes, especially when you’ve had it with non-science clogging up your browsing. So give our three offerings a try (we’ll understand if you don’t use the third one a lot)

The search engines are here. Have fun!!!

This is your brain. This is your brain on video games…

Sex differences in certain abilities, which have persisted for decades in various psychological tests, are now widely believed to be the result of conditioning that is in turn shaped by cultural factors. This applies to math abilities, spatial skills, and a range of other activities. Neural plasticity is key, and widely misunderstood or ignored. (Indeed, this is at the heart of the race discussion. Some people really want genes to “cause” different levels or kinds of intelligence, but are unable to explain how a few thousand genes wire up a few billion neurons … but that is the subject of a different discussion, at a different time)… Continue reading This is your brain. This is your brain on video games…