Is hindsight really 20/20? When we look at the past, we tend to imagine things as we wish they were, and not recall things as they actually were—nostalgia can be problematic. Romanticism of the past has given rise to ideas like the “Ruined Landscape” or “Lost Eden theory” which create pristine images of the past and argue that human activity is largely to blame for the overall degradation of landscapes. There is no denying that humans have had a lasting impact on the environment, howev........ Read more »
Blondel, J. (2006) The ‘Design’ of Mediterranean Landscapes: A Millennial Story of Humans and Ecological Systems during the Historic Period. Human Ecology, 34(5), 713-729. DOI: 10.1007/s10745-006-9030-4
In 1527 an expedition led by the Spanish nobleman Pánfilo de Narváez left Spain with the intention of conquering and colonizing Florida. Accompanying the expedition as treasurer was Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, who ended up being one of a handful of survivors of the disastrous expedition. Cabeza de Vaca later wrote an account of [...]... Read more »
Epstein, J. (1991) Cabeza de Vaca and the Sixteenth-Century Copper Trade in Northern Mexico. American Antiquity, 56(3), 474. DOI: 10.2307/280896
I polled my Twitter followers recently to find out what they wanted me to cover, and heard back a resounding "CONTRACEPTIVES!" So first I am going to re-post a series I wrote on my lab blog in July of 2009, with significant editing and updating. I think after these reposts I'll have a better idea of where it would make sense for me to contribute more, if at all. This is post two of five. Part one can be found here.What is a normal menstrual cycle? Are you normal? Am I? Women spend a lot of time ........ Read more »
Eaton SB, Pike MC, Short RV, Lee NC, Trussell J, Hatcher RA, Wood JW, Worthman CM, Blurton-Jones NG, Konner MJ.... (1994) Women's reproductive cancers in evolutionary context. Quarterley Review of Biology, 69(3), 353-367.
Eaton, S.B., Strassmann, B.I., Nesse, R.M., Neel, J.V., Ewald, P.W., Williams, G.C., Weder, A.B., Eaton III, S.B., Lindeberg, S., Konner, M.J.... (2002) Evolutionary health promotion. Preventive Medicine, 109-118.
Strassmann, BI. (1997) The biology of menstruation in Homo sapiens: Total lifetime menses, fecundity, and nonsynchrony in a natural-fertility population. Current Anthropology, 38(1), 123-129. DOI: A1997WD24700015
When it comes to the synthesis of genetics and history we live an age of no definitive answers. L. L. Cavalli-Sforza’s Great Human Diasporas would come in for a major rewrite at this point. One of the areas which has been roiled the most within the past ten years has been the origin and propagation [...]... Read more »
Wolfgang Haak, Oleg Balanovsky, Juan J. Sanchez, Sergey Koshel, Valery Zaporozhchenko, Christina J. Adler, Clio S. I. Der Sarkissian, Guido Brandt, Carolin Schwarz, Nicole Nicklisch.... (2010) Ancient DNA from European Early Neolithic Farmers Reveals Their Near Eastern Affinities. PLoS Biology. info:/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000536
A group of Italian psychiatrists claim to explain How Neuroscience and Behavioral Genetics Improve Psychiatric Assessment: Report on a Violent Murder Case.The paper presents the horrific case of a 24 year old woman from Switzerland who smothered her newborn son to death immediately after giving birth in her boyfriend's apartment. After her arrest, she claimed to have no memory of the event. She had a history of multiple drug abuse, including heroin, from the age of 13. Forensic psychiatrists wer........ Read more »
Rigoni D, Pellegrini S, Mariotti V, Cozza A, Mechelli A, Ferrara SD, Pietrini P, & Sartori G. (2010) How neuroscience and behavioral genetics improve psychiatric assessment: report on a violent murder case. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 160. PMID: 21031162
How does one become a fan? Choose an allegiance? Decide that you’re going to wear bright green, or purple and gold, or paint your face orange and black? In many cases, these allegiances are decided for us—handed down via familial loyalties or decided by geographic boundaries. I raised this question on Twitter a few weeks ago, and the results all indicated that team alliance is linked to one’s point-of-entry into fandom: if you begin watching Team A and learning about the sport via Team A,........ Read more »
Miller, Michael. (1997) American Football: The Rationalization of the Irrational. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, 11(1), 101-127. info:/
My wife, along with her many other jobs – paid and unpaid – is the local director of a campus exchange program that brings US students to Wollongong, New South Wales. Because of her background in outdoor education and adventure therapy, she does a great job taking visiting Yanks on weekend activities that get the students to see a side of life in Australia that they might not otherwise see. From Mystery Bay on the South Coast, to Mount Guluga with an Aboriginal guide, to abseiling (rapel........ Read more »
Navara, K., & Nelson, R. (2007) The dark side of light at night: physiological, epidemiological, and ecological consequences. Journal of Pineal Research, 43(3), 215-224. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-079X.2007.00473.x
Philip Piper et al reported the discovery of the presence of Panthera tigris in the island of Palawan, Philippines. The team of archaeologists who were excavating Ille Cave near El Nido, found the tiger bones in a “large human-derived animal bone assemblage dating to at least the early 11th millennium BP that included the remains [...]... Read more »
Piper, P., Ochoa, J., Lewis, H., Paz, V., & Ronquillo, W. (2008) The first evidence for the past presence of the tiger Panthera tigris (L.) on the island of Palawan, Philippines: Extinction in an island population. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 264(1-2), 123-127. DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2008.04.003
Cookie Monster © Sesame Street
It’s not quite news that Cookie Monster no longer eats cookies. Well, he eats ONE cookie. After he fills up on vegetables! Vegetables!! Understandably, the public was outraged, and in response, Cookie felt the need to clarify: He still eats cookies—for dessert—but he likes fruit and vegetables too. Cookie Monster needed to reassert his identity, so he did what anyone would do: He interviewed with Matt Lauer.* The message was plain:He’s a Cookie Monster a........ Read more »
Mcfarland, D., & Pals, H. (2005) Motives and Contexts of Identity Change: A Case for Network Effects. Social Psychology Quarterly, 68(4), 289-315. DOI: 10.1177/019027250506800401
Two seemingly unrelated evens have occurred in my life the last two days which have caused me to think. I spent the day yesterday helping out with the campaigns of some of the local candidates here in Southeastern Michigan. Obviously the overall effect was not as successful as I would have liked. I can’t say, [...]... Read more »
Hersey, M. (1993) Lewis Henry Morgan and the anthropological critique of civilization. Dialectical Anthropology, 18(1), 53-70. DOI: 10.1007/BF01301671
White, L. (1960) : Lewis Henry Morgan: American Scholar . Carl Resek. American Anthropologist, 62(6), 1073-1074. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1960.62.6.02a00220
Michael A. Elliott, . (2008) Other Times: Herman Melville, Lewis Henry Morgan, and Ethnographic Writing in the Antebellum United States. Criticism, 49(4), 481-503. DOI: 10.1353/crt.0.0041
Service, E. (1988) : Lewis Henry Morgan and the Invention of Kinship . Thomas R. Trautmann. American Anthropologist, 90(2), 443-444. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1988.90.2.02a00410
Low weight at birth is associated with all sorts of health troubles later in life, so it seems a great idea to give nutritional supplements to pregnant women in developing nations, to add some heft to their babies. Yet the results aren't impressive. (The anthropologist Christopher W. Kuzawa notes, for instance, that this review of 13 such programs found the average weight improvement for the babies was a paltry one ounce.) Which illustrates the state of work on "fetal origins"—th........ Read more »
Kuzawa, C. (2005) Fetal origins of developmental plasticity: Are fetal cues reliable predictors of future nutritional environments?. American Journal of Human Biology, 17(1), 5-21. DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.20091
Martin RM, Smith GD, Frankel S, & Gunnell D. (2004) Parents' growth in childhood and the birth weight of their offspring. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.), 15(3), 308-16. PMID: 15097011
Stein AD, Barnhart HX, Wang M, Hoshen MB, Ologoudou K, Ramakrishnan U, Grajeda R, Ramirez-Zea M, & Martorell R. (2004) Comparison of linear growth patterns in the first three years of life across two generations in Guatemala. Pediatrics, 113(3 Pt 1). PMID: 14993588
My superficial reading of the paleo diet literature led me to think Dr. Loren Cordain was the modern originator of this trend, so I was surprised to find an article on the Stone Age diet and modern degenerative diseases in a 1988 American Journal of Medicine. Dr. Cordain started writing about the paleo diet around 2000, [...]... Read more »
Kuipers, R., Luxwolda, M., Janneke Dijck-Brouwer, D., Eaton, S., Crawford, M., Cordain, L., & Muskiet, F. (2010) Estimated macronutrient and fatty acid intakes from an East African Paleolithic diet. British Journal of Nutrition, 1-22. DOI: 10.1017/S0007114510002679
Eaton, S., Konner, M., & Shostak, M. (1988) Stone agers in the fast lane: Chronic degenerative diseases in evolutionary perspective. The American Journal of Medicine, 84(4), 739-749. DOI: 10.1016/0002-9343(88)90113-1
Were the Salem Witch Trials sparked by grain infected with toxic hallucinogens?... Read more »
Right up there with climate change, biodiversity conservation is one of the most challenging issues at the intersection of nature and culture. Part of this challenge arises because of genuine differences in how people value other species.
In an interesting forthcoming article in Conservation Biology, Chris Sandbrook and colleagues at Cambridge University argue that these value [...]... Read more »
Amid the chaos of a mass grave of plague victims, the 2006-2007 summer project team from the Archeoclub of Venice got a surprise. Among the dead they found evidence of belief in the undead, fear of the vampire. So how do you stop the undead from feasting on the corpses in the mass grave? The [...]... Read more »
Nuzzolese E, & Borrini M. (2010) Forensic Approach to an Archaeological Casework of "Vampire" Skeletal Remains in Venice: Odontological and Anthropological Prospectus*. Journal of forensic sciences. PMID: 20707834
How does rebel access to natural resources affect conflict? "How". Not "if". That is the question investigated by Päivi Lujala of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, recently published in the Journal of Peace Research.
Or rather: Where previous research has either suggested a link or sought to explain it by an indirect effect through resource abundance tending to corrupt weak ... Read more »
Lujala, P. (2010) The spoils of nature: Armed civil conflict and rebel access to natural resources. Journal of Peace Research, 47(1), 15-28. DOI: 10.1177/0022343309350015
The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by Barbara J. King:Since animals, including humans, are merely ambulatory vehicles for their selfish genes, according to the dominant framework, it would be to one's benefit to care for a niece or cousin that lost their mother but not for a stranger of which there was no genetic relation. This is because any genes that promoted such altruism towards unrelated individuals would end up losing out by using up resources that didn’t perpetuate thems........ Read more »
Cäsar, C., & Young, R. (2007) A case of adoption in a wild group of black-fronted titi monkeys (Callicebus nigrifrons). Primates, 49(2), 146-148. DOI: 10.1007/s10329-007-0066-x
The past ten years has obviously been very active in the area of human genomics, but in the domain of South Asian genetic relationships in a world wide context it has seen veritable revolutions and counter-revolutions. The final outlines are still to be determined. In the mid-1990s the conventional wisdom was that South Asians were [...]... Read more »
Gyaneshwer Chaubey, Mait Metspalu, Ying Choi, Reedik Mägi, Irene Gallego Romero, Pedro Soares, Mannis van Oven, Doron M. Behar, Siiri Rootsi, Georgi Hudjashov.... (2010) Population Genetic Structure in Indian Austroasiatic speakers: The Role of Landscape Barriers and Sex-specific Admixture. Mol Biol Evol. info:/10.1093/molbev/msq288
Did cooking make us human by providing the foundation for the rapid growth of the human brain during evolution? If so, what does this tell us about the diet that we should be eating, and can we turn back the culinary clock to an evolutionarily ideal diet? A number of provocations over the last couple of weeks have me thinking about evolution and diet, especially what our teeth and guts tell us about how our ancestors got their food.
I did a post on this a while back at Neuroanthropology.net,........ Read more »
Rosenberg, K., & Trevathan, W. (2005) Bipedalism and human birth: The obstetrical dilemma revisited. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 4(5), 161-168. DOI: 10.1002/evan.1360040506
Suwa, G., Kono, R., Simpson, S., Asfaw, B., Lovejoy, C., & White, T. (2009) Paleobiological Implications of the Ardipithecus ramidus Dentition. Science, 326(5949), 69-69. DOI: 10.1126/science.1175824
In the 1990's archaeologists uncovered a grave in Connecticut dating from the mid-1800's that provided the first physical evidence of a historical belief in vampires in New England.... Read more »
Sledzik, P., & Bellantoni, N. (1994) Bioarcheological and biocultural evidence for the New England vampire folk belief. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 94(2), 269-274. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.1330940210
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