July 2, 2010

Is Tibetans’ Adaptation to High Altitude the Most Recent and Fastest Example of Evolutionary Change?
Comparing the genomes of Tibetans and Han Chinese, the majority ethnic group in China, the biologists found that at least 30 genes had undergone evolutionary change in the Tibetans as they adapted to life on the high plateau. Tibetans and Han Chinese split apart as recently as 3,000 years ago, say the biologists, a group at the Beijing Genomics Institute. (Nicholas Wade, The New York Times)

Predicting Your Likelihood of Living to 100
A team of aging research specialists developed a genetic model that can compute an individual’s predisposition to living a long life and found that centenarians shared a common genetic signature that could predict extreme longevity—with 77 percent accuracy. (Laurie Schmidt, Popular Science)

The “Unconscious Will”
Recently psychologists have compiled an impressive body of research that shows how deeply our decisions and behavior are influenced by unconscious thought, and how greatly those thoughts are swayed by stimuli beyond our immediate comprehension. (Eben Harrell, TIME)

Paul Kurtz vs. Ron Lindsay and the Center for Inquiry
To many, the split underscores a serious and widening schism in the broader community of nonbelievers, between those who want civil engagement with people of faith, and even cooperation where possible, and atheist “fundamentalists” (as Paul Kurtz and the old guard call them)—true believers in godlessness who belittle religion and religious people at every turn, and yet by doing so can wind up sounding like the very enemy they are trying to defeat. (David Gibson, Politics Daily)

Another “Faith Healing” Case in Oregon
A Clackamas County judge ruled that a couple who belong to a church that embraces faith healing must surrender their child for failing to provide medical care. (Steve Mayes, The Oregonian)

BOOKS
Religion and Spirituality in Psychiatry

Dr. Marc Galanter: The authors in this volume illustrate in an excellent manner the value and depth of an issue that deserves more attention from our profession than it currently receives. (The American Journal of Psychiatry)

Category: Field Notes

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