Science & Society


Metaphysical thought processes are more deeply wired than hitherto suspected

All across the world, there is one thing babies share in common; their size, if they are born to healthy, well-educated, well-nourished mothers.


In 1978, I was just beginning my career with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). I worked in the southern Sierra Nevada range as the Assistant Forest Manager at Mountain Home State Forest, a 4800 acre state forest surround by national land.
Many American Indians do not like "Bering Strait theory" because of how it is misused by non-native non-scientist.  This is my attempt to set the record straight.  The Bering strait migration of the paleoindians is a law of nature supported by evidence from the old and new world. It is a part of the theory of human evolution, from African hominids to Homo Sapiens Sapiens.  African H. S. Sapiens then migrated to and replaced all other species with 1 to 2.5% admixture with at least two and maybe three archaic yet closely related species [1][2].  Every shred of DNA evidence and every fossil support this statement.  This does not mean that everyone is "black", or that American Indians are "immigrants".
PNAS has issued an expression of concern about a study it published where Facebook attempted to manipulate the emotions of members by controlling their news feed (10.1073/
pnas.1320040111). But they only bothered to notice and say anything after the outrage after the fact. 

Dyslexic adults in a representative sample of 13,054 adults aged 18 and over in the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey included 1,020 respondents who reported that they had been physically abused during their childhood and 77 who reported that they had been diagnosed by a health professional with dyslexia. 

That translates to 35 percent of Canadian adults with dyslexia reporting they were physically abused before they turned 18. In contrast, 7 percent of those without dyslexia reported that they had experienced childhood physical abuse. 


During discussions of the Affordable Care Act, there was concern that some procedures would be harder to obtain. There was even worry about 'death panels' such as in the United Kingdom National Health Service.

It will be just the opposite in the short term, based on how utilization changed after earlier insurance reform in Massachusetts, according to an article by Chandy Ellimoottil, M.D., of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues.

By looking at insurance expansion and utilization of discretionary and non-discretionary surgical procedures in one state, they project that surgery will go up - at least until taxpayers start getting the bill.


How do you shape your hopes, ambitions and expectations when growing up in an environment devastated by HIV/AIDS?

For her doctoral thesis, epidemiologist Ellen Blommaert looked for answers in Winam, a rural area of western Kenya where HIV/AIDS wreaked havoc among the population but where sexuality is very important.   She found that young people between 16 and 25 do modify their approach to sexual risks - but not in ways the western world understands. Sexuality plays an important role in their quest for a better future but because of the instability of social networks due to HIV and other factors, some of the youngsters increase their sexual networks, including, sometimes, sexual liaisons with multiple, concurrent partners. 

The gay marriage movement may seem like a modern development but it had its roots in World War II culture. By having homosexual characters in comedies, the concept was less threatening and still passed the censorship of film boards.

An article in the journal Zer by 
Carlos III University of Madrid professor in journalism Alejandro Melero studied the presence and visibility of the gay world in Spanish cinema between 1940 and 1975 - the era of fascist dictator Ferdinand Franco. It shows that there were genres that homosexuality appeared in more frequently. One such genre is comedy, in which it was common to portray gays as funny characters.


Unwed parents are becoming more common - some estimates are that more children will be born out of wedlock than in it by 2016. Unwed parents may eventually get married, though perhaps not to the person they first had children with.