Category Archives: Science And Society


Here’s a research result that will be sure to shake up the academic community–people with bigger brains tend to be smarter than people with smaller brains.

While I guess there’s some utility to quantifying the effect, what person with a reasonably sized brain would have thought otherwise? The effect may not be linear with brain volume, but it’s almost mathematically provable that there would have to be a positive correlation. Does anyone imagine that a brain the size of a walnut could be as smart as one the average size of a human brain? To argue otherwise seems as spurious as the stubborn insistence by some (such as the late Stephen J. Gould) that there’s no relationship whatsoever between “race” and IQ–it has to be driven more by political correctness than by logic.

Save The Skeletons

John McCain is at it again. I’m frankly mystified at why he’s in such a rush to close off scientific inquiry. Unless perhaps he’s on the take from Indian casino money…

Maybe next year he’ll sponsor a new law making it illegal to criticize sanctimonious Senators. Given their track record with his other anti-speech legislation, the Supreme Court would probably have no problem with it.

[Update at 12:20 PM EDT]

For those who, like the commenter, are wondering what this is all about, here’s a good article describing the situation. And yes, a Google on “NAGPRA McCain” would provide many helpful links.

Good News For Bill Clinton

They may have finally found a cure for herpes–licorice (sorry, subscription required). You can’t just eat it, though–you have to mainline it:

Researchers at New York University ran lab tests on white blood cells, some of which were infected with the herpes virus. Exposing the infected cells to the licorice ingredient, glycyrrhizic acid, shuts down LANA. That starts a chain reaction of biochemical changes in the white blood cells, leading to their suicide and the virus’ death. The uninfected cells showed no detrimental effects from glycyrrhizic acid, the researchers report in the March Journal of Clinical Investigation.