This photo of a supposed Neanderthal footprint has bugged me since I first saw it. I think we’ve got a bear!
This would be a very bizarre footprint for a human species – but normal for brown and black bears, as shown below.
I spend a lot of time photographing mud and sand features. I come across many animal tracks; the prints left by a single species can look very different depending on the physical state of the material: wet or dry, ratio clay to sand, plant material or other debris, the time elapsed from track made to track viewed and the intensity and angle of sunlight. Specific features can be seriously distorted by the animal slipping or skidding or penetrating deeply into the substrate.
Also, in the case of “fossils” the print may be disturbed, eroded, size reduced or enlarged by drying out or being rewetted, and other changes that occur before deposition of overlying sediment.
This “Yeti” footprint turned out to be that of a bear. (Polar-Grizzly hybrid?)
I woke up this morning feeling as if I have a hangover; a result of sensory overload due to watching the final night the Republican “mega-party”. My overall reaction to the highly animated social behavior of delegates and media was, “How do they stand it?”
What type of people can tolerate loud music, image screens the size of small countries showing what’s going on onstage, speaker after speaker shouting visceral cavalry charges to take back lost territory, exhortations to god, archaic social policies – and descriptions of Hillary Clinton as the She-devil of American government.
Americans, of course.
But, underneath all the bizarre-ness of Republican Neurotypical behavior, I noticed something even more bizarre: A hunger for Asperger values. Real assessment of our governmental situation, real solutions, a rejection of overweening Federal interference, a “leave us alone to decide how we live” attitude, and a redistribution of wealth, from outrageous (but profitable to corporate America) military misadventure toward restoration of infrastructure. And investment in cities and towns here in the U.S.A.
In brief, a “flattening” of the socio-political, class pyramid is being attempted through political change. The very act of nominating D. Trump is an act of revolt against the sour-faced and furious Republican party “owners” who expect blind obedience to their boneheaded lies. These domineering ultra-controllers have been sideswiped by people who are saying “we count.”
On the other hand, the obvious deranged religious manifestations of this “hunger” are terrifying. It is possible to rebuild bridges and highways without supernatural beings getting mixed up in the project, but there it is: the religious social hierarchy.
Christian Supernatural domain / God and Jesus
Patriotism / Military force
Christian social law established / You don’t own your body, thoughts or behavior
It’s the same old mind- numbing hypocrisy: just switch “batches” of people who get to dictate human behavior with no insight as to the fundamental hypocrisy of their motives; overthrow one savage neurotypical regime to establish another. These people will never understand Equality, Justice, or speaking the truth. They may instinctively want these values to be carried out in human societies, but domestication has altered the human brain to the extent that dependence on the supernatural domain is fact: no society can experience any degree of personal freedom and equality and at the same time “believe” in magic beings that control the human mind, minute to minute, and negate thought and intellectual discovery. Christians require obedience to an imaginary male regime motivated by rage, and contrary to their protests, no Christian has ever managed to quell a desire to force their religion on other human beings.
Asperger Individuals = Native born refugees.
Political parties are not a “part of” the government of the United States. Republican and Democrat alike, these are private non-profit corporations – gangs of arrogant SOBs that are not democratic institutions in any interpretation of that form of government. The “parties” work toward grabbing the votes of citizens, and then deny Constitutional rights to whomever each regards as “outsiders, inferiors, trash, scum, undesirables, enemies – people who must not be heard – that is, to 99% of the U.S. population. That’s what political operatives truly think of “ordinary citizens.”
Their goal is control of the looting of the public treasury. I’m sure that if offered the chance to go back to the Electoral College as the “chooser” of the president, with every citizen disenfranchised, they’d hop on it like hogs on garbage.
The Political Parties in Chaos freak show playing out today is merely the electorate getting finally getting to see political parties for what they are: nasty narcissistic Christians and Global Billionaires.
Tax-Exempt Political Parties Have Money and Resources to Keep Elections Rigged
From the Independent Voter Project
Nonprofits have been in the news lately, and it isn’t necessarily because of the good they’re doing. For starters, more than 412,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to revoke the National Football League’s 501(c)3 tax-exempt status, which the organization maintains despite reportedly raking in billions of dollars in revenue.
Others are calling for the federal government to roll back coveted tax exemptions for faith-based organizations, with The Washington Post reporting that one secular humanist group found taxpayers provide roughly $82 billion in subsidies. (Religions) YES: Atheists and Agnostics or any “non-believer” is FORCED to pay for religious activities; not exactly fair: it’s extortion.
In 2014, the Democratic and Republican parties brought in more than $595 million and $461 million.
But what about the nonprofit entities that allow people to organize political parties? Like anyone else who does business in the United States, Democratic and Republican leaders have to formally organize and represent themselves under a legal structure.
For their parts, the Democratic and Republican National Committees — the head organizations for the two parties in Washington — are classified as 527 tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations. That means taxpayers subsidize their activities without collecting taxes from their income. That means that if you are independent, you are FORCED to financially support Dem/Repubs anyway.
That’s a lot of untaxed money. For this year’s midterms alone, the Democratic and Republican parties brought in more than $595 million and $461 million, respectively, according to OpenSecrets.org. (2014)
However, the two parties aren’t exempt from reporting to the federal government. Not unlike their better-known 501(c) counterparts, 527s have to periodically file their income with the federal government. The IRS used to require that political organizations file the standard Form 990 like other nonprofits, but cut through a lot of red tape for state and local candidates with lean revisions it made in 2000.
‘Outside of the Law’
Their 150-plus-year role in American politics means most states grant the two parties a favored-son status, with many public offices and financial accounts bound up in knots with the institutions in ways sources speaking with IVN have periodically called “murky,” “uncertain,” and “gray.”
“These organizations do to some extent step outside of the law,” Dave Wakeman, the Washington, D.C.-based principal of Wakeman Consulting Group, said in an interview for IVN. Concrete federal regulations exist to prevent certain 527s, like ongoing campaigns or other political action committees, from working together too closely in order to stave off the misuse of public resources. Even so, Wakeman, who’s been in politics for approximately 20 years, suggested he’s seen entities crossing possible boundaries.
Layering subsidies on subsidies, most states also backstop private primary elections for the (major parties) with public funds.
“There [is] some cooperation between groups when there shouldn’t be, and not in the spirit of the law,” he explained.
Firewalls may serve to keep political parties and their candidates from mixing the oil and water of public and private monies at the federal level, but there’s nothing that says state governments can’t also do their part to cushion the two major parties.
Layering subsidies on subsidies, most states also backstop private primary elections for the entities with public funds. For instance, Texas taxpayers forked over $13 million for the two parties’ primaries in March, with much of it reimbursing county clerks and poll administrators.
In New Jersey, where voters have to participate in closed primaries — forcing them to affiliate with one of the two major parties in order to participate — taxpayers fronted $12 million for special elections to fill the seat of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg.
Past sources criticized the glove-in-hand approach to the two entities as inherently undemocratic. Still, not everyone sees a problem with it. Candice Nelson, a professor with American University’s government department, balks when asked whether states should do anything to restrict funding, tax-exempt or not.
“[I]t costs money to put on elections — to have a voting booth and have a place to go and vote,” Nelson said. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable for states to pay for the funding of those elections.”
No Third Wheels
The status quo is quite different from the nation’s early years, when now-extinct parties like the Whigs and Federalists — absent formal and rigorous reporting requirements for their latter-day 527s — regularly died out so new ones could step up.
Flash forward to today, and most states maintain stiff signature requirements for third parties and give little to no money to those interested in holding their own primaries. Experts say these laws help keep third parties like the Libertarian Party, Green Party, and others down and out of luck in a two-party game.
Democratic and Republican state parties filed litigation to overturn open primary systems and keep others closed in 6 states over the last decade.
Without some form of competition, sources say the two parties are also more likely to follow the same electoral strategies. Democratic and Republican state parties filed litigation to overturn open primary systems and keep others closed in 6 states over the last decade.
According to analysis conducted with OpenSecrets.org data, the 61 Democratic and Republican lawmakers seated on the influential House Financial Services Committee received a fourth of their combined campaign funds — about $48 million — over the last year from the financial services industry and their 527 organizations.
Only eight of those lawmakers netted their single-biggest political contributions from sources other than financial services groups. Over that time, the same committee drafted some 18 bills designed to gut financial reform laws that many industry trade groups see as bad for business.
“Something has to be done,” Wakeman said. “Firewalls need to be strengthened [and] rules need to be clearer about what should happen between 527s.
“By the same token, it’ll be tough to get things done like that because there’s so much money being invested into these campaigns,” he added.
“Weasel words” in USDA requirements for food labels. ‘Toxic persistent pesticides’ This means that if the USDA doesn’t list a pesticide as ‘toxic’ it’s allowable. ‘Persistent’ How is this quantified? Some arbitrary level and time frame? Yes – one that the producers dictate. Look at all the other weasel words: allowable, lower levels (compared to what?), animal welfare (20 chickens stuffed into a cage instead of 25?) Inspections? How often, how thorough? How many inspectors are there? 1,000, 100, 10? In other words, the USDA empowers and enables food industry lies. One might note that NATURAL means absolutely nothing except that the price (of the same old food) will be higher.
‘Just a Theory’: 7 Misused Science Words
(Should scientists “retreat” from popular culture or do more to improve science education?)
by Tia Ghose, Staff Writer | LIVESCIENCE | April 01, 2013
From “theory” to “significant,” here are seven scientific words that are often misused.
The general public so widely misuses the words hypothesis, theory and law that scientists should stop using these terms, writes physicist Rhett Allain of Southeastern Louisiana University, in a blog post on Wired Science. [Amazing Science: 25 Fun Facts]
“I don’t think at this point it’s worth saving those words,” Allain told LiveScience.
A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for something that can actually be tested. But “if you just ask anyone what a hypothesis is, they just immediately say ‘educated guess,'” Allain said.
2. Just a theory?
Climate-change deniers and creationists have deployed the word “theory” to cast doubt on climate change and evolution.
“It’s as though it weren’t true because it’s just a theory,” Allain said.
That’s despite the fact that an overwhelming amount of evidence supports both human-caused climate change and Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Part of the problem is that the word “theory” means something very different in lay language than it does in science: A scientific theory is an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that has been substantiated through repeated experiments or testing. But to the average Jane or Joe, a theory is just an idea that lives in someone’s head, rather than an explanation rooted in experiment and testing.
However, theory isn’t the only science phrase that causes trouble. Even Allain’s preferred term to replace hypothesis, theory and law — “model” — has its troubles. The word not only refers to toy cars and runway walkers, but also means different things in different scientific fields. A climate model is very different from a mathematical model, for instance.
“Scientists in different fields use these terms differently from each other,” John Hawks, an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, wrote in an email to LiveScience. “I don’t think that ‘model’ improves matters. It has an appearance of solidity in physics right now mainly because of the Standard Model. By contrast, in genetics and evolution, ‘models’ are used very differently.” (The Standard Model is the dominant theory governing particle physics.)
When people don’t accept human-caused climate change, the media often describes those individuals as “climate skeptics.” But that may give them too much credit, Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University, wrote in an email.
“Simply denying mainstream science based on flimsy, invalid and too-often agenda-driven critiques of science is not skepticism at all. It is contrarianism … or denial,” Mann told LiveScience.
Instead, true skeptics are open to scientific evidence and are willing to evenly assess it.
“All scientists should be skeptics. True skepticism is, as [Carl] Sagan described it, the ‘self-correcting machinery’ of science,” Mann said.
5. Nature vs. nurture
The phrase “nature versus nurture” also gives scientists a headache, because it radically simplifies a very complicated process, said Dan Kruger, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Michigan.
“This is something that modern evolutionists cringe at,” Kruger told LiveScience.
Genes may influence human beings, but so, too, do epigenetic changes. These modifications alter which genes get turned on, and are both heritable and easily influenced by the environment. The environment that shapes human behavior can be anything from the chemicals a fetus is exposed to in the womb to the block a person grew up on to the type of food they ate as a child, Kruger said. All these factors interact in a messy, unpredictable way.
Another word that sets scientists’ teeth on edge is “significant.”
“That’s a huge weasel word. Does it mean statistically significant, or does it mean important?” said Michael O’Brien, the dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri.
In statistics, something is significant if a difference is unlikely to be due to random chance. But that may not translate into a meaningful difference, in, say, headache symptoms or IQ. (Psychology depends on weasel words)
“Natural” is another bugaboo for scientists. The term has become synonymous with being virtuous, healthy or good. But not everything artificial is unhealthy, and not everything that’s natural is good for you.
“Uranium is natural, and if you inject enough of it, you’re going to die,” Kruger said.
Natural’s sibling “organic” also has a problematic meaning, he said. While organic simply means “carbon-based” to scientists, the term is now used to describe pesticide-free peaches and high-end cotton sheets, as well. (Marketing and advertising intentionally misrepresent ‘natural’. That is, they lie to take advantage of consumer ignorance.)
But though these words may be routinely misunderstood, the real problem, scientists say, is that people don’t get rigorous science education in middle school and high school. As a result, the public doesn’t understand how scientific explanations are formed, tested and accepted.
What’s more, the human brain may not have evolved to intuitively understand key scientific concepts such as hypotheses or theories, Kruger said. (Magical thinking is the default mode of social typical brain processes.) – Most people tend to use mental shortcuts to make sense of information they’re presented with every day.
One of those tendencies is to make a “binary distinction between something that is true in an absolute sense (belief) and something that’s false or a lie,” – (Black and white thinking is a social typical symptom) Kruger said. “With science, it’s more of a continuum. We’re continually building our understanding.”
Super wordpress blog: one of my all time favorites
Farming requires “slave labor” – One guy gets to sit in the shade while everyone else does the exhausting work. The “peasant-slaves” eat pita bread 24/7, while the Top 1% remain hunters and get all the meat. What more is there to know about agriculture?
I was reading (can’t remember where) that the speed of human population differentiation really seems to have speeded up since the introduction of agriculture, for multiple reasons. Essentailly, the main reason is that due to our revolutionary changes in lifestyle (diet, sedentism) we’ve been put through more selective sweeps in the past ten thousand years than you’d have seen in the past tfifty thousand.
I’ve decided to list a few of the causes, and some of the effects. Anybody who spots anything I’ve missed let me know. NEOTENY! SOCIAL HIERARCHY!
Diet: Hunter gatherers eat a diet that is primarily made of animal flesh, fat and protein. Farmers eat mainly carbohydrate. There are several changes needed to adapt to this new diet, and variations of it.
- Lower insulin resistance… insulin resistance plus a high carb diet equals diabetes, infertility and obesity. This is seen very clearly in recently integrated hunter gatherer peoples like the Aborigines. There is also the suggestion that many degenerative diseases are attributable to high carbohydrate diet and it’s lower levels of antioxidants (vitamins and uric acid).
- Lighter skin (cooler climes)….grain based diets are much lower in vitamin D. Only a minor issue if you are a hunter gatherer with access to plenty of fresh offal, but critical if you eating a subsistence grain based diet.
- Omega three oils… plentiful in a hunter gatherers diet, but rare and only of poor quality in vegetable sources. This is going to encourage the development of people with brain development less sensitive to low levels of O3 oils (mental health and behavioural issues are made worse/introduced on a low O3 diet).
- Lactose tolerance… The lactase persistence trait in Europeans is approaching fixation in Northern Europe, but it’s only about 8,000 years old.
- Gluten tolerance.. crucial if you are eating a wheat based diet. Gluten intolerance will make you quite sick, and appears to have been rapidly selected out of Europeans, with places like Ireland and Finland showing just a couple of percent of the population being gluten intolerant now.
- Alcohol tolerance.. Living in a sedentary fashion gives rise to dense populations and contaminated water. In Europe, the standard method of sterilising the water was to add alcohol to it. In the far East the method of sterilising it was to boil it and make tea. This seems to have made Europeans a little better at processing the toxic by-products of alcohol.
Diseases: Living in much greater population densities than hunter gatherers ever could, farmers are exposed to more pathogens because;
- More people to harbour a new virulent disease mutation (twice the population, twice the risk of a nasty new disease).
- More people to act as host and carrier to new and old diseases.
- Lack of mobility. Mobile people can much more easily quarantine a sick individual by moving on.
- Contaminated water, not such an issue for lower population densities, or mobile people.
- Continuous contact with livestock introducing new pathogens (bird flu, poxes, etc) and parasites.
Reproductive strategies: Female hunter gatherers tend to space out pregnancies to every three or three and a half years, usually by prolonged breastfeeding. It’s impractical to have two babies that need carrying, so the elder child needs to be walking well before the new baby comes.
However, agricultural communities don’t have to abide by this. Babies can be weaned early onto goat or cows milk, fed soft soaked grains at an earler date than pre-chewed meat, and they don’t need to be able to keep up with the grown ups before the next baby is born. This makes the spacing for the births closer together. Slightly detracting from this higher fertility rate is the higher mortality rate from poor nutrition and disease, but the farmers will still have an increasing population.
Also, male reproductive strategies are different. Land can be owned, wealth accumulated and more than one wife can be supported by a succesful man. Also, a new wife later in life is possible, as a landowner doesn’t have to personally do the labour, and lives longer and can provide for children even at a later age (not an option for an ageing hunter). This will reduce the amount of males that reproduce.
All this recent selective pressure, probably starting around 15,000 years ago in several locations, might explain the recent rapid changes in the areas that have farming. The dentition has certainly changed; Europeans and Asians generally have much smaller teeth than their ancient ancestors, and less developed jaws as food has become more processed.
One of the effects this kind of selection would also lead to is the success of groups that have some kind of genetic adaption to it’s new lifestyle. Like the development of a resistance to malaria in the Bantu people. If an adaptation is a trait to survive in a new environment is due to multiple genes, the new population will have a massive advantage. A ‘single gene’ trait like lactose tolerance will spread very rapidly under it’s own selective pressure, probably outrunning the spread of the original population that it arose in. However, if a trait (like a disease resistance) requires multiple genes to be effective, the original population will expand massively, partially absorbing but most replacing the people there before. This would drastically alter the appearance of the people living in an area.
This might explain the fast, massive expansions of the Mongoloid east Asians and the Bantu Africans. Each appears to have expanded very rapidly from a relatively small core population, effectively replacing the people who were there before. Also, this could explain the colonisation pattern of the Americas, where Australoid people seem to have been the first settlers. The Jomon-like Asians appear to have moved in later in North America, as well as the European Solutreans at a similar date. Then the Mongoloid Americans (place of origin uncertain) arose and expanded over the entire continent.
There also appears to have been a population expansion originating from Southern Turkey about 10,000 years ago, which spread across North Africa, Southern Asia, Western China and Southern Europe. This appears to have been the expansion of the Neolithic revolution, oddly in two languages, Afro-Asiatic and Indo-European. This is probably why Southern Europeans don’t look a lot like the earlier inhabitants from 15,000 years ago, they were overwhelmed by colonists from Turkey. Northern Europeans do still seem to bear a strong resemblance to ‘Cro Magnon’ people, generally just being slightly smaller in proportion, so it seems that expansion stalled in Southern Europe.
Please Note: I’m not going to comment on these bad versions of Just So Stories (Rudyard Kipling – “How the elephant got it’s trunk” etc.) My brain has totally shut down; worn out by slogging through irrational, unreasonable and magical “stories” that dominate modern social humans, including far too many scientists who have no talent for science.
Yosemite Sam: The stupid, big-nosed red-haired Neanderthal, of course.
What killed Neanderthals? Scientists blame those rascally rabbits
What killed the Neanderthals? This question has long been the topic of heated debate among paleoanthropologists, and the theories are numerous: Was it climate change? Volcanoes? Their inability to harness fire? Researchers now say in the Journal of Human Evolution that they have a new tool in the search for answers: rabbits.
“It appears that basically modern humans were vastly more likely to hunt rabbits than were Neanderthals,” Stewart says. This is perplexing, because rabbits would have been perfect targets; they exist in large numbers and would have been relatively easy to hunt, since they live in burrows. “You can harvest them if you’re clever,” Stewart says. But Neanderthals didn’t hunt them like H. sapiens did, and this proved deadly when the Ice Age took hold and many of the Neanderthals’ favorite protein sources (megafauna like mammoth and reindeer) were wiped out.
“It would imply that basically this is why modern humans were able to survive into the colder period around 20,000 years ago,” Stewart explains. “As the climate deteriorated, Neanderthals were unable to turn their hand to resources like rabbits like modern humans were. This is why you see one human species surviving and the other not. It’s part of the whole pattern.”
Why Neanderthals didn’t eat rabbits remains a bit of a mystery, but Stewart speculates that perhaps they didn’t develop the tools to create traps. “One thing is clear: If you look at fauna records of modern humans, they seemed to be able to hunt a much broader variety of things, and presumably that’s because they had more tricks up their sleeves,” Stewart says.
Neanderthal eyes were so big that it made them stupid
Once it was discovered that European Homo sapiens had sex with Neanderthal, they became “white people” in reconstructions.
Neanderthals were too smart (sexy?) for their own good
Rather than being outwitted by the more numerous early humans, Neanderthals were just as sophisticated – but so impressed the humans they were seen as potential mates, say scientists. The interbreeding meant that their own line died out, said Professor Julien Riel-Salvatore, of the University of Colorado, adding: “In many ways they were simply victims of their own success.”
Not only were Neanderthal males “paleo-hot” in cold climates, but they were clever, luring H sapiens females into their man-caves with banners that displayed their distinct intellectual advantages.
And to this day, modern social Homo sapiens males feel a wee-bit inferior and obsess over proving that Neanderthals were wiped out by HS males.
Thomas Szasz was a (Hungarian) psychiatrist who published The Myth of Mental Illness in 1961. In the book he questioned the legitimacy of psychiatry. It became the basis for generations of patient advocates and the antipsychiatry movement. He was/is ridiculed by many doctors. He died in 2012 at age 92.
“People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.”
“The plague of mankind is the fear and rejection of diversity: monotheism, monarchy, monogamy and, in our age, monomedicine. The belief that there is only one right way to live, only one right way to regulate religious, political, sexual, medical affairs is the root cause of the greatest threat to man: members of his own species, bent on ensuring his salvation, security, and sanity. ”
“In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults.”
“Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.”
“Punishment is now unfashionable… because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.”
“Classifying thoughts, feelings and behaviors as diseases is a logical and semantic error, like classifying whale as fish.”
“The concept of disease is fast replacing the concept of responsibility. With increasing zeal Americans use and interpret the assertion “I am sick” as equivalent to the assertion “I am not responsible”: Smokers say they are not responsible for smoking, drinkers that they are not responsible for drinking, gamblers that they are not responsible for gambling, and mothers who murder their infants that they are not responsible for killing. To prove their point — and to capitalize on their self-destructive and destructive behavior — smokers, drinkers, gamblers, and insanity acquitees are suing tobacco companies, liquor companies, gambling casinos, and physicians.”
“Is psychiatry a medical enterprise concerned with treating diseases, or a humanistic enterprise concerned with helping persons with their personal problems? Psychiatry could be one or the other, but it cannot–despite the pretensions and protestations of psychiatrists–be both.”
“Psychiatrists look for twisted molecules and defective genes as the causes of schizophrenia, because schizophrenia is the name of a disease. If Christianity or Communism were called diseases, would they then look for the chemical and genetic “causes” of these “conditions”?”
“The young and the old are defenseless against relatives who want to get rid of them by casting them in the role of mental patient, and against psychiatrists whose livelihood depends on defining them as mentally ill.”
“The term ‘deinstitutionalization’ conceals some simple truths, namely, that old, unwanted persons, formerly housed in state hospitals, are now housed in nursing homes; that young, unwanted persons, formerly also housed in state hospitals, are now housed in prisons or parapsychiatric facilities; and that both groups of inmates are systematically drugged with psychiatric medications.”
“The pressure to reduce health care costs is aimed only at the treatment of real diseases. There is no pressure to reduce the costs of treating fictitious diseases. On the contrary, there is pressure to define ever more types of undesirable behaviors as mental disorders or addictions and to spend ever more tax dollars on developing new psychiatric diagnoses and facilities for storing and treating the victims of such diseases, whose members now include alcoholics, drug abusers, smokers, overeaters, self-starvers, gamblers, etc.”
“He who does not want to understand the Other has no right to say that what the Other does or says makes no sense.”
“Parents teach children discipline for two different, indeed diametrically opposed, reasons: to render the child submissive to them and to make him independent of them. Only a self-disciplined person can be obedient; and only such a person can be autonomous.”
Published online 2007 Feb 27. doi: 10.1186/1744-859X-6-8 Click here for full article at BIOMED CENTRAL
Except from: Psychiatry during the Nazi era: “Ethical lessons for the modern professional”
Attitude of mainstream psychiatry to Nazi psychiatry practice following the war
While it would be expected that the involvement of psychiatrists in such a profound manner (Holocaust) would be well-known in the field, this is not the case. Little has been published on the subject in mainstream psychiatry journals and even less is part of the formal education process for medical students and psychiatry residents. Several reasons may be proposed for this. First, it remains an embarrassment for the field that so many senior members – professors, department heads and internationally known figures – were so intimately involved. Second, many of those involved continued to practice and conduct research long after the war and were protected by colleagues. Third, and arguably most important, what psychiatrists did was based upon a paradigm shift in how patients and mental illness were viewed. Activities of psychiatrists became much of a value judgment in how they “read” the community and principles of neo-Darwinism with subsequent consideration of racial hygiene. In the absence of firm and unbending timeless ethical underpinnings to the practice of psychiatry, many felt that what they were doing was correct from a moral and scientific standpoint; therefore, they were not the demons and “paradigms of evil” that we perceive them to be. Their actions were a colossal misjudgment based on what today we may term “pseudoscience”, but which at the time was deemed correct by many. Although actions based on “scientific theories” of mental illness in the past have led to patient deaths – one example being Henry Cotton and his belief that mental illness results from focal infection or chronic sepsis  – the extent and scale of the German psychiatrists’ actions during the Nazi era remains unprecedented. These rationalizations based on faulty scientific theory and unethical medical practice were difficult to accept and therefore the nature and extent of these activities remained on the backbenches of the academic literature until more recently, when these issues have begun to be faced in an era of openness and transparency. (You have got to be kidding!)
A warning to all Americans who find themselves swept up in a pseudoscientific industry that includes, as a partner in corporate profit, Big Pharma, and which routinely exploits individuals and families that are in desperate need of genuine help. Childhood is extended gestation: the human brain is vulnerable during this period. Would we consider “drugging” a fetus in order to alter its brain to be ethical?
See other posts on American Eugenics Movement.
The Neanderthal face is not cold adapted.
- 1Centre for Research in Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences, Roehampton University, Holybourne Avenue, London, United Kingdom. firstname.lastname@example.org
Many morphological features of the Pleistocene fossil hominin Homo neanderthalensis, including the reputed large size of its paranasal sinuses, have been interpreted as adaptations to extreme cold, as some Neanderthals lived in Europe during glacial periods. This interpretation of sinus evolution rests on two assumptions: that increased craniofacial pneumatization is an adaptation to lower ambient temperatures, and that Neanderthals have relatively large sinuses. Analysis of humans, other primates, and rodents, however, suggests that the first assumption is suspect; at least the maxillary sinus undergoes a significant reduction in volume in extreme cold, in both wild and laboratory conditions. The second assumption, that Neanderthal sinuses are large, extensive, or even ‘hyperpneumatized,’ has held sway since the first specimen was described and has been interpreted as the causal explanation for some of the distinctive aspects of Neanderthal facial form, but has never been evaluated with respect to scaling. To test the latter assumption, previously published measurements from two-dimensional (2D) X-rays and new three-dimensional (3D) data from computed tomography (CT) of Neanderthals and temperate-climate European Homo sapiens are regressed against cranial size to determine the relative size of their sinuses. The 2D data reveal a degree of craniofacial pneumatization in Neanderthals that is both commensurate with the size of the cranium and comparable in scale with that seen in temperate climate H. sapiens. The 3D analysis of CT data from a smaller sample supports this conclusion. These results suggest that the distinctive Neanderthal face cannot be interpreted as a direct result of increased pneumatization, nor is it likely to be an adaptation to resist cold stress; an alternative explanation is thus required.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.