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The Buzz: Believe It or Not

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Humans believe a lot of things, for a lot of reasons. Confronted by a student who had learned lions’ manes are an expression of their testosterone level–and not just a bit of claw-catching fluff–Greg Laden observes that when someone finds you wrong on one count, they will assume you are wrong about everything. He calls this “a known feature of student thinking in early development,” a true-or-false mentality which sooner or later must reconcile itself with the complexity of our universe. Elsewhere, Razib Khan theorizes on Gene Expression that organized religion arose to meet the needs of our agricultural ancestors. He says that over the last 200 years, industrialization has allowed Westerners to achieve income equity more reminiscent of hunter-gatherer societies, resulting in the “unwinding” of institutional and interpersonal hegemonies. Finally, Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries explores different kinds of human reciprocity, from ritual gift-giving to organ transplant.

Links below the fold.

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