The Primate Diaries

Archives for February, 2010

An Academic Love Story

Four years ago today a young researcher at the beginning of his graduate program in primatology sat down with the most intelligent, engaging, and downright beautiful fellow primate he’d ever had the opportunity to share a beer with. Freshly minted with her Master’s degree in women’s studies (emphasizing public policy), our conversation quickly moved to…

Research Blogging Award Finalists

The finalists have been chosen in the first annual Research Blogging Awards for material written about peer-reviewed literature. Some of my favorite bloggers have been selected including Neurophilosophy, Laelaps, Not Exactly Rocket Science, A Blog Around the Clock (BoraZ also has the best Twitterer category locked in), Skulls in the Stars, Observations of a Nerd,…

An Open Letter to the Animal Liberation Front

(updated below) My piece for The Huffington Post has just gone up concerning the latest incidents involving neuroscientist Dario Ringach and the targeting of his children by animal rights extremists. For more on this see Dr. Free-Ride, PZ, PalMD, Scicurious, MarkCC, Nick Anthis, Drugmonkey and Orac. Dear ALF, I address you not because your organization…

       Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulip, Rembrandt (1632)I have been extremely ill this week which has prevented me from posting as often as I would have liked. However, I have been keeping up on the suggestions offered to explain the nearly 300-year-old medical mystery involving “hairy crustaceous substances” voided in a woman’s urine. Of all the…

The creationists have done it again, first it was bananas and now it’s peanut butter. It seems they do all of their heavy thinking while shopping for groceries. Ray Comfort saw mutant bananas forged through artificial selection as evidence of God’s presence (little did he know that wild bananas are inedible to humans). Now creationists…

(updated below)      Image: Henri Gervex (1852-1929)     Doctor Preau Operating at the St.     Louis Hospital.Honoured SIR and MADAM, In researching the history of science one often comes across bizarre claims about the natural world that reveals the limit of knowledge available to researchers of the past. However, sometimes a case comes up that seems to be a genuine…

Bonobos and the Child-Like Joy of Sharing

   Bonobos retain juvenile traits related   to tolerance and cooperation.            Image: Vanessa WoodsHow many times as a kid would your parents tell you to grow up and act your age? It turns out that not acting our age may be the very reason why we’re so successful as a species. Brian Hare and colleagues have just released a…

Haiti and the Loan that Wasn’t

    Haitian girl wearing the Disney princess shirt made    in her country. Image: BBC NewsInter Press Service has just begun a new series focusing on the development loans to Haiti and the strings attached that have effectively removed the Haitian government from managing their own affairs. I spoke with IPS reporter William Fisher last week and this…

Lawrence Lessig: How To Get Our Democracy Back

Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig has a new article in The Nation entitled “How to Get Our Democracy Back.” In the piece he challenges both the Right and the Left on the ineffective means to create real change in this country. Attempts to shrink government by conservatives or to reform government by liberals have been useless…

Top Posts in January

Deconstructing Social Darwinism, Part I Deconstructing Social Darwinism, Part II Deconstructing Social Darwinism, Part III How Can Haiti Be Sustainable? Uniting Primates and Cetaceans Through Personhood Bonobos and the Emergence of Culture Civility, Science Communication, and the White Patriarchy Robert Sapolsky on the Uniqueness of Humans Deconstructing Social Darwinism, Part IV The Huffington Post Publishes…