This is my first edition of what I hope to make a weekly thang. Below I’ve collected and linked to the many things I was reading this week on the net that have some relation to what it is this blog is about (the intersection of evolutionary science and politics). So, some of it is on the far end of the science realm, some is straight up politics, and some is a hybrid of the two.
Like to hear it? Here it go …
Batten down the hatches! But, with what? A tool! Thank goodness we’ve been using those for a while … how long? Maybe a million years longer than we had originally thought! Ad Hominin digs deep.
Eric Johnson guest posts over at Carin Bondar’s site about the evolution of menopause in “Sacrifice on the Serengeti”. This one is interesting as it suggests that grandsons survived better in the presence of maternal grandmothers more than they did in the presence of paternal grandmothers. I personally have always been very close to my own maternal grandmother, so maybe that’s why I turned out so good
In case you don’t know enough about the Brontosaurus, here’s some learnin’ from the Monte Python crew:
Cromercrox expands on the above “theory” in a piece on how them crazy dinosaurs got so big in the first place, and then I riff on it here.
I then get even more crazy by arguing about dinosaur muscles on my strength training blog.
Zen Faulkes tells the gripping and exciting tale of a Lizard in a Lifeboat.
You need a whale fix? I know I do! Over at Why Evolution is True, we’ve got Baleen Whales: A Lovely Transitional Form. Interesting factoid: The earliest baleen whales actually had teeth.
Don’t you just HATE snobby hyenas? Of course, we all do. Well, The Thoughtful Animal tells us that the reproductive health of male hyenas is related to the social status of the mother. Yet again, the rich stay healthy and the sick stay poor …
The Teenaged Atheist tells us a bit about atavisms, or evolutionary throwbacks. What, you don’t have a tail? You mean, I’m the only one!
Ever wanted to see Robots play Soccer? Wilfried Elmenreich, over at Self Organizing Network Systems, gives us Evolving a Self-Organized Soccer Team. It even comes with a wicked-fresh video:
James Moss paints a nice None Linear Neural Net. Very cool:
Farooq Khan discusses the need for Agent Based Modeling in Political Science, Economics, and Policy Making.
The Professor Carson tells us why the Mosque is a good thing, and gives us some lessons about the KKK while he’s at it.
Conor Friedersdorf guest posts on Andrew Sullivan’s Daily dish to eschew labeling with regard to political minds/writers in Labeling is for Soup Cans.
Glenn Loury and Joshua Cohen discuss Obama’s speech on the Iraq “end of operations” on Blogging Heads.
Fareed Zakaria asks that his taxes be raised. Great quote:
The idea that the average American is overtaxed is a nice piece of populist pandering. In fact, federal taxes as a percentage of the economy are at their lowest level since the presidency of Harry Truman. Chuck Marr and Gillian Brunet of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities have calculated that a family of four at the exact middle of the income spectrum will pay only 4.6 percent of its income in taxes. Remember, almost half of the country pays no income taxes at all. The top 3 percent of Americans contribute almost 50 percent of federal income taxes.
He himself is in that top 3%.