Monthly Archives: June 2011

Changing the brain

See:

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-06-brain.html

Article reads: “We found that this type of learning, called perceptual learning, was very precise and long-lasting,” says Zahra Hussain, lead author of the study who is a former McMaster graduate student in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and now a Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham. “These long-lasting effects arose out of relatively brief experience with the patterns – about two hours, followed by nothing for several months, or years.”

Science can`t deal with values

See:

Click Here

Article reads: Attributing human existence to chance and a “universe that is governed by science,” Hawking flatly rejects the idea of God. When asked, “So here we are. What should we do?” Hawking responded, “We should seek the greatest value of our action.”

Malick’s film “The Tree of Life”

See:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/06/critics_dont_get_tree_of_life.html

Review reads: Markedly faithful to Darwin?  No, Nick, the film is a pie in Darwin’s face.

The new eugenics

See:

http://blogcritics.org/politics/article/winning-through-extinction/

Opinion reads: If Conservatives, Red-staters and those who believe in the holy directive to “multiply and replenish the Earth,” are patient, they will never again have to campaign against the Left, because Liberals are sprinting down the road to self-extinction.

Darwin’s theory appreciated by rap culture

See:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/28/science/28rap.html

Article reads: The show, which just opened for a summer-long run at the SoHo Playhouse in Manhattan, is an hour-and-a-half lecture on Darwin and natural selection disguised as a rant on the history of rap, gangs and murder in Chicago, relations between the sexes and his own stubborn creationist cousins.

Using science to explain everything

See:

http://lewrockwell.com/reed/reed208.html

Opinion reads: Grave problems arise when you take the observer – the scientist, you, me – into consideration. The obvious first problem is that of consciousness. Your brain is a complex structure undergoing complex reactions, but all of these reactions follow the laws of physics. Yet nonetheless you are conscious. Is this something outside of physics? If so, then we have the sciences on one hand, and Something Else on the other, and the question becomes how they interact. Or is consciousness a physical variable, like gravitation? If I give you a large injection of Demerol, you will lose consciousness, and the biochemical mechanism can be given – but that doesn’t explain what consciousness is.

Guided evolution is not blind

See:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/06/dog-bark-origins/

Article reads: Because anatomical differences between wild and domestic dogs don’t explain the barking gap, Molnar hypothesized a link to their one great difference: Domesticated dogs have spent the last 50,000 years in human company, being intensively bred to fit our requirements.

Complementary and alternative medicine showing promise

See:

Click Here

Article reads: Evidence is growing, based on carefully controlled studies, that certain non-pharmacological complementary interventions may be useful adjuncts to conventional care. For example, the pain of osteoarthritis can be lessened by acupuncture; tai chi may be helpful in reducing the pain of fibromyalgia; and massage and manipulative therapies may contribute to the relief of chronic back pain and related functional impairments. Furthermore, evidence from basic research points to ways in which such interventions use the body’s own pathways known to be involved in response to pain.

Homeopathic treatment used to treat histiocytosis

See:

http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_18315997?nclick_check=1

Article reads: Valerie Goodale of Novato believes that homeopathic treatments administered by a San Anselmo doctor cured her son of a rare, potentially life-threatening disease.

Nonsense coming out of evolutionary psychology

See:

http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2011/06/21/the-consuming-instinct/

Opinion reads: Marketers might not know the evolutionary reasons that drive such commercial realities but they are well aware that consumers possess universal commonalities. Across cultures, when peddling beauty-related products, advertisers use endorsers who have highly symmetric faces. Around the world, online female escorts are advertised as possessing the universally preferred hourglass figure. Globally, religious narratives, cosmetic companies and self-help gurus offer solace and hope to assuage the exact same set of Darwinian-based insecurities (e.g., mortality, mating concerns, parental worries, status angst).