While scientists like to bandy origin of life theories around, they seldom make the connection to astrobiological research. These theories, however, have a lot to suggest about how life may have developed on other worlds. According to recent studies, low-density vesicular volcanic rock material like pumice might have acted as something like a natural laboratory [...]... Read more »
Martin D. Brasiera, Richard Matthewmana, Sean McMahonb, Matt R. Kilburnc, & David Wacey. (2013) Pumice from the ∼3460 Ma Apex Basalt, Western Australia: A natural laboratory for the early biosphere. Precambrian Research, 1-10. info:/10.1016/j.precamres.2012.09.008
Al-Biruni's understanding of human natures and human history engaged with his knowledge of sacred words in his truth-seeking.... Read more »
Starr, S Frederick. (2009) Rediscovering Central Asia. The Wilson Quarterly, 33-43. info:/
New research reveals that putting on an overly masculine or effeminate voice does not make you more attractive. A while ago I wrote a post about sexual selection in humans, detailing how chest hair and waist-to-hip ratio appear to offer no functional benefits to people aside from making them attractive to the opposite sex. Some … Continue reading »... Read more »
Fraccaro, P., O'Connor, J., Re, D., Jones, B., DeBruine, L., & Feinberg, D. (2012) Faking it: deliberately altered voice pitch and vocal attractiveness. Animal Behaviour. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.10.016
The largest ancient Egyptian sarcophagus has been identified in a tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, say archaeologists who are re-assembling the giant box that was reduced to fragments more than 3,000 years ago.
Made of red granite, the royal sarcophagus was built for Merneptah, an Egyptian pharaoh who lived more than 3,200 years ago. A warrior king, he defeated the Libyans and a group called the “Sea Peoples” in a great battle.
He also waged a campaign in the Levant a........ Read more »
Owen Jarus. (2012) Fit for a King: Largest Egyptian Sarcophagus Identified. Live Science. info:/
Amid vigorous, decentralized visual-spiritual competition across ancient Asia, the story of Jesus, not spiritual use of images, distinguished "The Way."... Read more »
Parry, Ken. (2012) The Art of the Christian Remains at Quanzhou. Lieu, Samuel N. C. 2012. Medieval Christian and Manichaean remains from Quanzhou (Zayton). Turnhout: Brepols. info:/
New research into current human evolution has identified many attributes in Homo sapiens which are still evolving, including female height, undermining the idea that the advent of civilisation has stopped evolution in its track. This research – undertaken by an international team of scientists led by Dr Stearns of Yale – also provides yet more confirmation … Continue reading »... Read more »
Stearns SC, Govindaraju DR, Ewbank D, & Byars SG. (2012) Constraints on the coevolution of contemporary human males and females. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 279(1748), 4836-44. PMID: 23034705
One’s social status can determine a lot about one’s bones. It is quite easy to see in modern populations the differences in health based on wealth and access. Wealthier individuals are thinner, have access to more fruits and vegetables, and are able to afford customized gym memberships. Poorer communities on the other hand are … Continue reading »... Read more »
Privat, K., O'connell, T., & Richards, M. (2002) Stable Isotope Analysis of Human and Faunal Remains from the Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Berinsfield, Oxfordshire: Dietary and Social Implications. Journal of Archaeological Science, 29(7), 779-790. DOI: 10.1006/jasc.2001.0785
A fishing rod and reel aren't just gear for human recreation: they're the tools of evolution. The difference between fish we pull out of lakes or commercial fisheries by their lips and those we leave behind can drive change in entire fish populations. And that change may be for the worse. In at least some species, the fittest fish are the ones that end up on our hooks.
The largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) lives all over the United States and is a popular target of recreational anglers........ Read more »
David A. H. Sutter, Cory D. Suski, David P. Philipp, Thomas Klefoth, David H. Wahl, Petra Kersten, Steven J. Cooke, & Robert Arlinghaus. (2012) Recreational ﬁshing selectively captures individuals with the highest ﬁtness potential. PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.1212536109
In a series of posts, I am examining recent research related to exercise and the brain. In the first post in this series, I summarized some evidence of the role of the brain in exercise-related fatigue.In this post, I will review a hypothesis that aerobic physical activity (APA) played a key role in the evolution and growth of the human brain.Raichlen and Polk have recently published a review on this topic in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society.This review begins by noting the rec........ Read more »
Raichlen DA, & Polk JD. (2013) Linking brains and brawn: exercise and the evolution of human neurobiology. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 280(1750), 20122250. PMID: 23173208
A study has just come out in the Journal of Sex Research comparing various psychological and lifestyle measures of women who act in pornographic films with matched sets of women who do not. There is a pretty clear association between negative attitudes towards pornography and negative assessments of the quality of life for actresses in…... Read more »
Griffith, J., Mitchell, S., Hart, C., Adams, L., & Gu, L. (2012) Pornography Actresses: An Assessment of the Damaged Goods Hypothesis. Journal of Sex Research, 1-12. DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2012.719168
There's a belief that the colours we associate with the genders - pink for girls and blue for boys - used to be the other way around.About 100 years ago, we're told, boys wore pink clothes, but then during the early 20th century, it flipped over. This is often used as an example of how arbitrary gender stereotypes are.However according to psychologist Marco Del Giudice, the whole "pink-blue reversal" is an 'urban legend'. He argues that there's really only anecdotal evidence for the existence of........ Read more »
Del Giudice, M. (2012) The Twentieth Century Reversal of Pink-Blue Gender Coding: A Scientific Urban Legend?. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41(6), 1321-1323. DOI: 10.1007/s10508-012-0002-z
There's been lots of interest in the idea that ADHD meds reduce crime rates.No doubt that, even as we speak, worried pundits are writing of how this is a worrying Orwellian scenario and yadda yadda. But what's really going on?The research is from Sweden and published in the New England Journal of Medicine: Medication for Attention Deficit–Hyperactivity Disorder and Criminality. The first thing to note is that the study is not about giving medication in order to prevent crime; it was purely loo........ Read more »
Lichtenstein P, Halldner L, Zetterqvist J, Sjölander A, Serlachius E, Fazel S, Långström N, & Larsson H. (2012) Medication for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and criminality. The New England journal of medicine, 367(21), 2006-14. PMID: 23171097
I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving Julie!(source)I’m not exactly sure what that means, as we don’t celebrate it in Australia, but I hope you had a great time with your family and friends all the same!Thanks for all those fantastic resources you included in your last blog post. It was also great to see some extras posted by readers in the comments section. (source)Last time I looked at ‘The Good’ of some the science surrounding children and dogs. This post, it’s time to ........ Read more »
Gerwolls Marilyn K., & Labott Susan M. (1994) Adjustment to the Death of a Companion Animal. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People , 7(3), 172-187. DOI: 10.2752/089279394787001826
SERPELL JAMES A. (1981) CHILDHOOD PETS AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON ADULTS' ATTITUDES. Psychological Reports, 49(2), 651-654. DOI: 10.2466/pr0.19126.96.36.1991
Davis Janet Haggerty. (1987) Preadolescent Self-Concept Development and Pet Ownership. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People , 1(2), 90-94. DOI: 10.2752/089279388787058614
Van Houtte Beth A., & Jarvis Patricia A. (1995) The role of pets in preadolescent psychosocial development. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 16(3), 463-479. DOI: 10.1016/0193-3973(95)90030-6
Bryant Brenda K. (1990) The Richness of the Child-Pet Relationship: A Consideration of Both Benefits and Costs of Pets to Children. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People , 3(4), 253-261. DOI: 10.2752/089279390787057469
Bonanno George A. (2004) Loss, Trauma, and Human Resilience: Have We Underestimated the Human Capacity to Thrive After Extremely Aversive Events?. American Psychologist, 59(1), 20-28. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.59.1.20
Bingham Glenda M., Budke Christine M., & Slater Margaret R. (2010) Knowledge and perceptions of dog-associated zoonoses: Brazos County, Texas, USA. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 93(2-3), 211-221. DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2009.09.019
It was the mass grave that got their attention. Four bodies crammed into one casket, with one child outside but with the casket. Multiple graves are not common in Yakutia, Siberia. Examination of the late 17th to early 18th century mummies indicates that burial came quickly after death. The casket contains one adult male over [...]... Read more »
Empathy is an important human emotion, forming the foundation of the social emotions which underpin our communities. Our desire to care for one another – often at great personal cost – has allowed us to develop the society we know today. The importance of empathy has not been missed by academics, who have for centuries … Continue reading »... Read more »
Lordkipanidze D, Vekua A, Ferring R, Rightmire GP, Agusti J, Kiladze G, Mouskhelishvili A, Nioradze M, Ponce de León MS, Tappen M.... (2005) Anthropology: the earliest toothless hominin skull. Nature, 434(7034), 717-8. PMID: 15815618
The last year and a half was a whirlwind, and so I never got around to blogging about the fruits of my dissertation: Mandibular growth in Australopithecus robustus... Sorry! So this post will be the first installment of my description of the outcome of the project. The A. robustus age-series of jaws allowed me to address three questions:  Can we statistically analyze patterns of size change in a fossil hominid;  how ancient is the human pattern of subadult growth, a key aspect of our ........ Read more »
Gordon AD, Green DJ, & Richmond BG. (2008) Strong postcranial size dimorphism in Australopithecus afarensis: results from two new resampling methods for multivariate data sets with missing data. American journal of physical anthropology, 135(3), 311-28. PMID: 18044693
Richtsmeier JT, & Lele S. (1993) A coordinate-free approach to the analysis of growth patterns: models and theoretical considerations. Biological Reviews, 68(3), 381-411. PMID: 8347767
Studies have shown that men's testosterone levels increase after sexual stimulation. However, other research shows that merely briefly chatting to a woman also causes testosterone release, making it unclear whether sex, per se, is associated with testosterone changes.So an intrepid band of researchers decided to find out using a unique methodology. Their paper's called Salivary Testosterone Levels in Men at a U.S. Sex Club and it's about... that.They first set the scene: Subjects were recruited ........ Read more »
Escasa, M., Casey, J., & Gray, P. (2010) Salivary Testosterone Levels in Men at a U.S. Sex Club. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(5), 921-926. DOI: 10.1007/s10508-010-9711-3
One of the great strengths of archaeology is that it can act as independent evidence to history. History is often based on the text and interpretations of the victors. This has led to numerous biases and problems. History can be skewed to favor a specific perspective or to support a cause, and often it is … Continue reading »... Read more »
Cohen, H., Slon, V., Barash, A., May, H., Medlej, B., & Hershkovitz, I. (2012) Assyrian Attitude Towards Captive Enemies: A 2700-year-old Paleo-forensic Study. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. DOI: 10.1002/oa.2288
Do the strains of Bing Crosby's Christmas standards make you throw cash at salespeople until they give you something you can leave the mall with? Are pricey, between-department-store lattes your early gifts to yourself? Don't panic. Scientists have a way for you to hack your spending this holiday season.
We consumers, it turns out, are not always rational with our cash. Research in the past has suggested that people are more likely to spend the money they carry if it's in smaller bil........ Read more »
Di Muro, F., & Noseworthy, T. (2012) Money Isn’t Everything, but It Helps If It Doesn’t Look Used: How the Physical Appearance of Money Influences Spending. Journal of Consumer Research. DOI: 10.1086/668406
In al-Biruni view, Muslim scholars should study Hindu thought and be no more concerned Hindu idolatry than about similar Greco-Roman idolatry. ... Read more »
Friedmann, Yohanan. (1972) The temple of Multan: a note on early Muslim attitudes to idolatry. Israel Oriental Studies, 176-182. info:/
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