Skepchick Quickies, 9.8


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. Crimes against society’s “moral security”? I could picture guys like Pat “2000lbs leg press” Robertson using those terms. That’s the kind of country they would eventually turn the US into if they could.

    According to RWB’s own press freedom rankings for last year Iran’s press ranks between Myanmar and North Korea. And sadly, the United States is only 48th on that list. “Extra-Territorial” parts of the United States rank 111th (almost equal with Venezuela). I wonder how they make that determination and what exactly “Extra-Territorial applies to?

    Regardless, anyone willing to protest for their rights in a country like Iran is amazingly brave. I hope that they are successful, but it doesn’t look good at all.

  2. Hey Jen,

    That last link seems to be misbehaving. If you click on it from the front page, it links back to if you click it from this post’s page, it links back to this post.

  3. Sorry about the link. It’s fixed now.

    w_nightshade, for some reason I thought you were talking about the content. Which is also somewhat self-referential ;)

  4. Just incase anybady else wants to order the “Jewel of Medina” you can go to amazon uk and preorder. I placed mine last night. I think its schedualed for release on the 8th of october.

  5. I always liked the phrase, “don’t take no crap from anybody.” I always interpreted it to mean if you are that certain special someone they will “take crap” from you. It’s also fun to think about it literally, in an economic sense. I can hear the classroom film, “Now, when you’re young, you think crap grows on trees, and you give crap to everybody, and you might even have a part-time job after school taking crap from some people. But as you grow older, you will learn that the giving and taking of crap is serious business. Let’s see how Billy’s doing. Hi Billy! You sure have a lot crap there!”

    “Hey Mister! I sure do got a lot of crap! You want some?”

    “Ha ha! NO, Billy, I don’t take no crap from no one!”

  6. Women’s rights in Iran is an oxymoron, I’m afraid. The longer I watch the actionas of the so-called “Moral Majority,” the more worried I get for the US, too. They would go the “barefoot and pregnant” route for all women if they could pull it off here.

    Watch your rights (and your backs), ladies. Your rights will be some of the first to go in a fundamentalist coup.

  7. That “commitment gene” story is overblown crap.

    The researchers found a small effect — the biggest result was a 5% difference in group means on a “Partner Bonding Scale”, for 41 (out of 1,104) guys who were homozygotic for one of the 11 alleles examined at one of three loci. There was a lot of overlap in the distributions — the biggest effect size was about 0.38 — and most of the differences and effect sizes were much smaller. And because it was a twin study, the small group of subjects with the genetic pattern associated with the biggest difference was effectively even smaller, and may well have shared a large number of other cultural and genetic traits.

    But most of the media coverage presented this as another triumph of contemporary genetic Calvinism: the fate of our relationships is written at birth in the book of our genes.

    The stories were not nearly as bad as the headlines, for the most part, but I’m sure that most readers not inoculated against MSM science reporting will have come away from the experience with a stiff dose of misinformation.

  8. Blake, thanks for that comment and link. That was very interesting.

    I am always very leery when a seemingly complex behavior is attributed to the behavior of one gene. I can believe this, but I think it takes a lot of proof.

    And worse, in this situation, even if it were true, there was no good explanation of the mechanism of the action. The stories in the media tended to put a lot of blame/shame on the males here. It’s a commitment gene, and of course, men are said to have problems with commitment.

    Do women when they are pregnant have “finicky food eating” genes? Or do they have “sensible evolutionarily granted spoiled food detecting genes?”

    Even if the Pair Bonding Scale were deemed reliable, and even if the effect was much stronger, it’s still a giant leap to call this a “commitment” gene. Perhaps it’s a detection of a bad blood type combination, or something similar.

    I think it’s a huge mistake to attribute a complex behavior to a single gene. What happens when we find another gene which creates a bigger effect on this pair bonding scale? Oh! That’s the commitment gene. And another gene with a stronger effect? Oh! That’s the commitment gene!

  9. I really wonder about the purpose behind searching for a genetic component for a lack of commitment … Are we moving toward being able to test potential mates based on the presence of the “commitment gene”? I suppose they could work it in as a component to to eharmony or … I can’t wait until they identify the genertic source for all human behavior – finally, I will have no personal responsibility, along with no benefit of the doubt.

  10. “The Park Bench starts a series about twelve fictional females who don’t take crap from anybody. ”

    Reminds me of a joke I heard recently:

    Two women were sitting quietly on a park bench.

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