I shall not be able to follow the exchange of ideas on Evolutionary Psy in
the [log in to unmask] because I am taking off for a month
to work in the "Upper Rio Negro Indigenous Territory" in the Upper Amazon
region with Baniwa indians.
I'll be doing some conversing around what I think is intelectually exciting
math while they teach me how to do baskets. This is real life for me.
By the way, Lula's program for "the indigenous question" is one of total
respect and help for their own life-style (that is barring the entrance of
mineral persuers and forest cutters of all ilks and transnationalities in
the indians' own, still to be better defined and enlarged, "indigenous
The more I read you all and the quotes from the "Human Nature" site, the
more I get depressed, because you take seriously many things that are mere
shoddy excercising of use of science research funding. I thought that gross
measurements of external skull sizes was a mute topic after the 20th
century... And now I see the analogous gross measurements (with, of course,
a more modern technique being used: not millimeters but contrast in MNR
pictures) of sizes of gray and white matter inside the same human heads! It
is too much for my simplistic honesty.
Probably the thing for us to "prove" again is that money, fashion,
individualistic achievements in "visibility" (remember Michael Goldhaber's
theory of 15 years ago!), capitalist/imperialist ideology, determine the
modes of so-called research activity (so-called means self-called, so
labeled by the researchers themselves, the so-called peers!). It is all
Here is what made me say the things you just read:
"When we looked at the top performers for spatial tasks in our study - those
performing better than one standard deviation above the average - there were
nine men and only one woman," Ruben Gur says. "Of these nine men, seven had
greater white-matter volumes than any of the women in the study. This suggests
that, in order to be a super performer in that area, one needs more white
matter than exists in most female brains."
Forty men and forty women, all healthy adults, volunteered to participate in
the study. Gray and white matter percentages and overall cranial volumes were
assessed using three-dimensional MRI imaging techniques.
..... Funding for the research was provided by the National Institutes of
The University of Pennsylvania Medical Center's sponsored research and training
ranks second in the United States based on grant support from the National
Institutes of Health, the primary funder of biomedical research and training in
the nation -- $201 million in federal fiscal year 1998. In addition, the
institution continued to maintain the largest absolute growth in funding for
research and training among all 125 medical schools in the country since 1991."
God! I wish we would all be able to write the same homage to Gould that
Dick Levins and Lewontin did. It does help me when I sit among Baniwa
Thanks, and let us keep to a "no-shit" approach while we keep our sense of
humor and make each other happier.
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