Geoff Sayre-McCord chatting about free will, metaethics, and stuff.
Archive for April, 2008
A short list of scientific rules for the game of love is emerging. Some are as clearly defined as the prominent, feminine eyes of a supermodel or the desirable hips of a well-built man. Other rules work at the subconscious level, motivating us to action f
Sex and romance may seem inextricably linked, but the human brain clearly distinguishes between the two, according to a new study. The upshot: Love is the more powerful emotion.
Human beings may have had a brush with extinction 70,000 years ago, an extensive genetic study suggests.
Ancient humans started down the path of evolving into two separate species before merging back into a single population, a genetic study suggests.
Breakfasting on Shredded Wheat or cornflakes has been found to increase dramatically a woman?s chances of having sons instead of daughters. Up to 59 per cent of women who get pregnant after eating high-energy breakfasts end up giving birth to a son.
Don't bank on anti-aging pills anytime soon ? unless you're a worm
The renowned University of Cambridge physicist has previously spoken in favour of colonising space as an insurance policy against the possibility of humanity being wiped out by catastrophes like nuclear war and climate change. He argues that humanity shou
People who score high on intelligence tests are also good at keeping time, new Swedish research shows.
PETA is now stepping in and offering a $1 million reward to the first scientist to produce and bring to market in vitro meat.
The group is offering $1 million to the first person to create a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices by 2012.
It turns out the golden years really are golden. Eye-opening new research finds the happiest Americans are the oldest, and older adults are more socially active than the stereotype of the lonely senior suggests. The two go hand-in-hand: Being social can h
Your editorial suggests that it may be time to thank animal technicians in published papers for the indispensable role they play (29 March, p 5). Perhaps it is also time to assess the usefulness of animal research, to see whether causing so much grief to
The use of animals to test the safety of chemicals such as pesticides and household cleaners could be abolished within a decade thanks to a new screening technique, scientists have said.
Scientists have been able to take control of flies' brains to make females behave just like males.
Gracias a los esfuerzos de la familia de Nino, y el excelente trabajo editorial del amigo Gustavo Maurino (que este año expondrá uno de sus propios trabajos en el seminario), están publicándose los "papeles sueltos" de Nino, en 5 extraordinarios tomos
The question concerns both priorities and productivity. There?s much to be said here, but let me make a few practical suggestions that have been of help to me.
Rarely do you see a country where the mood among business people tells such a different story than the statistics.
Ever wanted to learn Swedish?
Confused by recent headlines about money and happiness? Here's a quick cheat sheet summarizing recent academic studies on the link between the two. Click on the links below to read summaries of the studies.
The end of timid politics is when they say that with the planet at stake, you must eat less steak.
Female penguins mate with males who bring them pebbles to build egg nests. Hummingbirds mate to gain access to the most productive flowers guarded by larger males.
The vitamin industry has long touted antioxidants as a way to improve health by filling in gaps in diet, but a new review of studies found no evidence that the nutrition supplements extend life. Worse, the review authors said that some antioxidants could
When City traders have high morning testosterone levels they make more than average profits for the rest of that day, researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered.
Welcome to the 67th Philosophers' Carnival, on the theme of idealism!
An ancient ancestor of the elephant from 37 million years ago lived in water and had a similar lifestyle to a hippo, a fossil study has suggested.
In five years, you'll be eating a hamburger that no animal died for. Instead, that burger will have been grown from a tiny sample of cells in a plant-and-mushroom bath.
Can People Have Meat and a Planet, Too? – Dot Earth – Climate Change and Sustainability – New York Times BlogMonday, April 14th, 2008
The world has seen the first international conference on manufacturing meat. This is the process, tested so far only at laboratory scale, of growing pork, chicken, or beef through cell culture in vats instead of raising and slaughtering animals.
Mr. Wheeler helped invent the theory of nuclear fission, gave black holes their name and argued about the nature of reality with Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr.
A cup of tea is good for the brain by slowing down cell degeneration and keeping the mind sharp into old age, a published report said on Sunday.
When he became a psychiatrist in the 1970s, John Ratey didn't expect to evolve into an exercise buff. But today, the Harvard University professor and expert in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder calls exercise the single most important tool people h
In five to 10 years, supermarkets might have some new products in the meat counter: packs of vat-grown meat that are cheaper to produce than livestock and have less impact on the environment.
Maintaining aerobic fitness through middle age and beyond can delay biological ageing by up to 12 years and prolong independence during old age, concludes an analysis published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Science cafes are booming, although the subject is failing in our schools
Nature released the results of an online survey in which 20 percent of respondents, largely drawn from the scientific community, admitted to using brain-enhancing drugs like Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Provigil (modafinil).
Web Exclusive: ‘The Emerging Moral Psychology’ By Dan Jones | Prospect Magazine April 2008 Issue 145Wednesday, April 9th, 2008
Experimental results are beginning to shed light on the psychological foundations of our moral beliefs
IN MANY ways, DJ MacLennan considers the monthly payment of £40 which comes out his bank account a typically prudent course of action. "My arrangement is just like a life insurance policy," he told The Scotsman yesterday. "There's people who pay out £60
"We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further."
What Sam Harris can learn from the mystics
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which is established in the permafrost in the mountains of Svalbard, is designed to store duplicates of seeds from seed collections from around the globe.
Alzheimer's disease may be what most people fear as they grow older, but autopsy data from a long-range study of 3,400 men and women in the Seattle region found that the brains of a third of those who had become demented before death showed evidence of sm
A new brain-scan study may help explain what's going on in the minds of financial titans when they take risky monetary gambles -- sex.
Everything. For me, belief is not an all or nothing thing ? believe or disbelieve, accept or reject. Instead, I have degrees of belief, a subjective probability distribution over different possible ways the world could be. This means that I am constant
Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding --
n keeping with the theme of TED2008, professor Stephen Hawking asks some Big Questions about our universe -- How did the universe begin? How did life begin? Are we alone? -- and discusses how we might go about answering them.
Architects Arakawa and Madeline Gins have essentially made it their mission to outlaw aging and its consequences.
In a study published yesterday in Anesthesiology, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital used hydrogen sulfide -- the gas that makes rotten eggs smell so bad -- to completely suspend the metabolism of mice, who were revived several minutes later wi
A growing body of evidence suggests that eating less, way less, could thwart disease and delay old age.
Coffee may cut the risk of dementia by blocking the damage cholesterol can inflict on the body, research suggests.
Happily married people tend to have lower blood pressure than their single peers, but being single may be healthier than being unhappily married, a new study suggests.