Study: how the Little Ice Age impacted parts of Australia

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Queensland, Australia
The cause(s) of the Little Ice Age is (are) uncertain, but Wikipedia puts forward some ideas with varying degrees of plausibility, including ‘inherent variability in global climate’ (indeed), and ‘decreases in the human population’ (what?). Now some interesting evidence of it has been found in Australia.

A study by University of Adelaide researchers and Queensland Government scientists has revealed what south-east Queensland’s rainfall was like over the last 7000 years – including several severe droughts worse and longer lasting than the 12-year Millennium Drought, reports Phys.org.

The study – published in Scientific Reports—used preserved paper-bark tea tree leaves from North Stradbroke Island’s Swallow Lagoon that have been collecting in the sediment for the past 7700 years.

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Explosives Expert Rates Unrealistic Movie Explosions

The Frank Rosenthal Show (The Sam Rothstein Show)

Jonathan Haidt and the Illiberal Left

Why Evolution Is True

by Grania

For those of you who have been following the rise and rise of the Illiberal Left and especially the melt-downs on various campuses; this is a heads-up for an interesting discussion on The Rubin Report with Jonathan Haidt.

Haidt is a professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University, but is probably more familiar to readers for his discussions on subjects like morality and religion.

The conversation with host Dave Rubin covers a range of political subjects. In particular, Haidt has been watching the campus trends carefully and has some (perhaps unsurprising) insights into the main forces behind the current style of protest as well as a prediction for the future of this activism.

It’s well worth a watch or listen if you’ve been baffled by the tendency of some Leftists towards censorship and other misguided and illiberal practices.

Part 1

Part 2

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Jon Haidt on religion, self-transcendence, and altruism: are they evolutionary?

Why Evolution Is True

Jonathan Haidt is a professor of social psychology at the University of Virginia and a bit of a woo-ish self-help guru.  He’s also known for attacking New Atheism. In an essay on “Moral psychology and the misunderstanding of religion” at Edge, for example (drawn from his first book, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom), Haidt accused the Gnus of superficiality in their treatment of religion and of “polluting the scientific study of religion with moralistic dogma and damaging the prestige of science in the process”. Sam Harris provided a characteristically acerbic response on Richard Dawkins’s site, including the following:

Haidt concludes his essay with this happy blandishment: “every longstanding ideology and way of life contains some wisdom, some insights into ways of suppressing selfishness, enhancing cooperation, and ultimately enhancing human flourishing.” Surely we can all agree about this. Our bets have been properly hedged…

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E. O. Wilson mistakenly touts group selection (again) as a key factor in human evolution

Why Evolution Is True

As most of you know, Edward O. Wilson is one of the world’s most famous and accomplished biologists.  He was the founder of evolutionary psychology (known as “sociobiology” back then), author of two Pulitzer-Prize-winning books, one of the world’s great experts on ants, an ardent advocate for biological conservation, and a great natural historian. His legacy in the field is secure.

So it’s sad to see him, at the end of his career, repeatedly flogging a discredited theory (“group selection”: evolution via the differential propagation and extinction of groups rather than genes or individuals) as the most important process of evolutionary change in humans and other social species. Let me back up: group selection is not “discredited,” exactly; rather, it’s not thought to be an important force in evolution.  There’s very little evidence that any trait (in fact, I can’t think of one, including cooperation) has evolved via the differential…

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4 Ways Economists Think We’re All Wrong – Econ Chronicles – Learn Liberty

Religious “vilification” not unlawful in NSW

Australia seems to be slowly outlawing the basis of the age of Enlightenment which was blasphemy

Law and Religion Australia

In an important decision on religion and free speech in NSW, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal has ruled today in Ekermawi v Nine Network Australia Pty Limited [2019] NSWCATAD 29 (15 Feb 2019) that it is not a breach of the law in NSW to make offensive comments about a religion. However, the case involved some difficult issues of law, and while the outcome seems correct, it may foreshadow a restrictive approach to free speech in other cases in the future.


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Deirdre McCloskey on @AOC @SenSanders

From http://thepolitic.org/an-interview-with-deirdre-mccloskey-distinguished-professor-emerita-of-economics-and-of-history-uic/

Bill Evers: How to Convince a Socialist to Become a Libertarian

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