Notebook entry, January 17, 1999

A New York Times story by Carol Kaesuk Yoon reports on the indiscretions of supposedly monogamous females of the Jacana bird. (pronounced JAC-uh-nuh).  Researches found that males had a 74 percent chance of spending three months raising another male's chick.   One behavioral ecologist was quoted as saying that it was a breakthrough and could change perspectives of even how the human female does her mating strategies.  The female Jacana bird appear to go to great lengths to keep any transgressions secret, sneaking copulations when their mate is not around.  They even solicit copulations from other males while their own mate is in view only to make a grand show of rejecting the new suitor. 

Well, let's add the Jacana bird to the peacock that makes the male look like a fool, and to further my theories that the human female is in charge -- but that she is not consciously aware of it yet, nor is she  organized to affect society under the low self-esteem barriers of today's culture.  But the Renaissance is coming.

Notebook entry, January 15, 1999

Reporting on a study in this week's journal Science, John Noble Wilford of the New York Times gives us the news of a new method of analyzing the chemistry found on tooth enamel of prehumans of 3 million years ago.  The study determined that our ancestors that emigrated out of Africa had a more varied diet than first thought.  Not only did they eat fruit, leaves, and nuts, but many already have become meat eaters.  Studying molars of Australopithecus africanus the scientists found large quantities of food rich in carbon 13.  The suggestion is that australopithecus, who was already walking upright, had begun to wander out of their usual forest environment to forage in open grasslands.  It also suggests that hominids were consuming high-protein animal foods before development of stone tools for butchering.  In a separate article commenting on the research, noted that many theories of human origins are linked to a meat-rich diet to explain the sudden expansion of brain size.  The theory is that the hunt for meat, with coordinating maneuvering of alliances, formation of groups, and socialization preparticipated the growth of the brain's expansion.

Notebook entry, January 8, 1999

Time magazine, January 11, 99 issue.   Special Issue: "The Future of Medicine: How genetic engineering will change us in the next century.  A very important report and I urge all to read and retain the report.   And, as usual when human behavior and biology are discussed, Robert Wright, who wrote "The Moral Animal" was on hand once again to elevate our knowledge of the philosophical side of the debate.   On page 67, his muse is titled: "Who Gets The Good Genes?" he basically argues that "laissez-faire eugenics will emerge from the free choices of millions of parents." He raises a most interesting point with his statement:  "Sooner or later, as the most glaring genetic liabilities drift toward the bottom of the socioeconomic scale, we will see a biological stratification vivid enough to mock American Values.  He concludes his report that the government, once mocked for its buearuacry, may be the saving factor.  I have news for you Bob, re-read your history books on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings for biological stratification and for mocking American values -- you know, "all men are created equal" -- while owning slaves in the back yard.  Nothing has changed: if you have the Gold, your going to get the Genes -- unless, of course, the Messiah returns to remind everyone that to give and to care is divine.

Notebook entry, January 7, 1999

I was away for a while, and its always difficult to get back to work when one is with good friends, family, and a happy home life.  I hope that everyone visiting this site had a happy holiday as well.

Last week, at the turn of the New Year, Pope John Paul II made his new year's address to the world by stating that the foundation of world peace is the defense of human dignity.  He invited listeners to look back over the past century by saying: "As we begin the year 1999, It is as if the mystery of history were revealing itself with more intense profundity before our eyes.  How can we forget the concentration camps, the children of Israel cruelly exterminated? Our century is also the century of of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.  In conclusion he said that the "...culture of human rights cannot be other than the culture of peace."  Here, Here.  A great way to frame the mental context of the coming year and millennium.