Modern feminists pooh-pooh their ancestors and assume because they didn't dress in bulky pantsuits, women were somehow meek and timid.
Not at all. A three-year study of the manuscripts compiled and written by one of Britain’s earliest known feminist figures, Lady Anne Clifford, shows that women challenged male authority plenty in the 17th century. Basically, women of the Renaissance were not one-dimensional stereotypes, and neither were men - for allowing it. Clifford’s 600,000-word "Great Books of Record" documents the family dynasty over six centuries and her bitter battle to inherit castles and villages across northern England.
There are calls in some quarters that we need to be more like people in the past; war, pestilence, disease, early death, it's all good as long as we use no pesticides.
And clear cutting forests is what ancient man did too.
During the Neolithic Age, 10,000 B.C., early man changed from being hunter-gatherers to farmers - ancient scientists told that the food supply was running low and listening to calls for mitigation and rationing instead invented domesticated livestock and agriculture. As a result, we got larger, permanent settlements with a variety of domesticated animals and plant life. and that transition brought about significant changes in terms of culture, economics, architecture, etc,
Medieval clerics did not like the prospect of giving up sex - heck, every man getting getting married dreads the part about giving up sex - so even when they had to do so by Papal decree there was resistance to it. You think changing from a Latin to local language Mass was controversial? Genitalia are a lot more personal.
Priests, of course, used to be married but that changed hundreds of years later after the foundation of Christianity. The justifications were that a priest should imitate Christ, who was celibate (unmarried), and still later there was an argument and decree that priests who were handling the sacraments had to also be unpolluted by sexual activity - chaste.
Modern lifestyles are quite different from those of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. That seems obvious. People looking to apply blame for the obesity rise focus on their own agendas, be it lobbying against GMOs, high fructose corn syrup or video games. Or contend it is because we don't spend our days picking berries.
But what does science say? There's no way to know but anthropologists are at least taking a shot at it. A new analysis, of modern hunter-gatherers anyway, found that there is no difference between their energy expenditure and Westerners, casting doubt on 'we don spend all day picking berries' hypothesis for obesity.
A contaminated river and a polluted sky are proof that environmentalism isn't just for the rich any more, say sociologists.
Obviously it never was, in many countries. In the developed world, people in the country actually care more about the environment than rich urbanites, but in the developing world the practical takes precedence over policy. The poor can't afford to protect the environment.
A new survey says that may be true in the country but in the city it is another matter. People living in China's cities who say they've been exposed to environmental harm are more likely to be green, recycling or reusing grocery bag. It also says the poor would sacrifice economic gain to protect their environment.
Neanderthals - Cave Men, in colloquial terms (as if Cro-Magnon emerged in a medieval castle; they all lived in caves if they could) - don't get a lot of respect for being smart. But they probably had a few things going for them, since they survived until around 20,000 B.C.
Maybe even medicine.
50,000-year-old Neanderthal teeth from the El Sidrón site in northern Spain show that they were not just meat-eaters, nor were they eating plants just as foragers. They may even have understood natural medicine.
Australopithecus sediba, a short, gangly hominid that lived in South Africa 2 million years ago, had a diet unlike virtually all other known human ancestors - trees and bushes.
A new study indicates that A. sediba ate harder foods than other early hominids like Paranthropus boisei, dubbed "Nutcracker Man" because of its massive jaws and teeth, which focused more on grasses and sedges.
Conservatives give more money to charity, studies show
. This makes some sense; liberals believe in sharing wealth already and advocate policies reflecting that while conservatives advocate smaller government and greater individual initiative.
But why do people in those political groups give to one cause over another? According to a new analysis in the International Journal of Research in Marketing: Special Issue on Consumer Identities
, the values of their political affiliation are more important than the charity itself.
Around election season, in whatever country you are in (assuming you have elections) you can tell True Believers in their earnest politics truly wish the other side could be labeled as having defective brains and genetics and therefore be cured - or at least sterilized.
Things would seem to be good in China. They are the only world economy not in a financial demilitarized zone, things are booming.
Yet more money is not making people there happier. They're actually less happy today than shortly after the Tiananmen Square protest in Beijing was crushed by the military, says economist Richard Easterlin, researcher in "happiness economics" and namesake of the Easterlin Paradox.