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Jennifer Couzin-Frankel, Significance Unknown. science 346 (2014), 1167–1170.
Years of writing about genetic testing did not prepare me for my own foray into this rapidly changing world.
Richard Elliott Friedman, Barry Myers & Rev. Richard C. Wrede, Love Your Neighbor: Only Israelites or Everyone? Biblical Archaeology Review 41 (2015), i, 10 + 70.
Not overlooked, the dispossession of the Canaanites is discussed in the article. As noted there, it never happened. The command to destroy the Canaanites in Deuteronomy 7, and its fulfillment in Joshua, are typical ancient Near Eastern claims in such accounts: The first two archaeological mentions of Israel, in the Egyptian Merneptah and Moabite Mesha inscriptions, claim that they destroyed Israel! Likewise, Israel’s claim to have destroyed a Canaanite population was a one-time, never happened account about the past. They had no commandment ever to do that again. Thus the passage in Deuteronomy 20 distinguishes between those original conquered cities and all other wars. In future wars Israel must offer the other side a chance to make peace and become tributary first—no genocide, no slavery, no land grab. Even the captured females from a city that declines to make peace can’t be treated as slaves.
Andrew Lawler, Satellites track heritage loss across Syria and Iraq. science 346 (2014), 1162–1163.
Vandalism, looting, and collateral damage erase history.
Western colleagues hope that by gathering data on the situation, they will be ready to help rebuild cultural heritage sites and institutions once peace returns. And they hope that some of the region’s heritage will survive the conflict.
Vincent F. Scalfani, Finally free. science 346 (2014), 1258.
As a child, I found relief from the stress of stuttering by burying myself in numerous hobbies. I built rockets and radio-controlled vehicles. I rebuilt engines. I did these things because when I was building something, I did not have to think about speaking.
I have accomplished more than I would have thought possible in my first 2 years here because I stopped worrying about my stutter and decided instead to embrace it. Sometimes the things you struggle with the most, I’ve realized, end up making you who you are. Now that I know that, I am ready for whatever is next in my career, because I am finally free.
Joshua Berman, Why Must Israel Be Warriors? The Constructive Role of Warfare in Deuteronomy. In: Markus Zehnder & Hallvard Hagelia (Hrsg.), Encountering Violence in the Bible. (Sheffield 2013), 13–22.
While many are prepared to accept that God punishes as He sees it, the command to Israel to annihilate the nations of Canaan is particularly troubling, because the responsibility to do so is given over to human hands. Why must Israel be warriors? In this paper I seek out four constructive roles that Deuteronomy envisions in the engagement of warfare: to bolster cultural conidence, to serve as a vehicle of self-reproach, to act as agent of national bonding, and as a spur to greater faith.
Deuteronomy was not blind to the potentially corrosive effects of warfare, especially in victory. Victory could lead to an undo sense of self-righteousness (Deut. 9.4-6). It could lead Israel to ascribe her military achievements to her own military prowess, rather than the Lord’s bounty (Deut. 8.17). The desire to take foreign women as sexual booty would need to be curbed (Deut. 21.10-14). The appetite for conquest could lead Israel to have expansionist aspirations beyond that permitted her (Deut. 2.4-5, 9-10, 17-22). At the same time, Deuteronomy sees potential beneits to the character of the nation in formation that could be achieved only if Israel tasted vulnerability and then victory against the most hardened foes.
We, today, live a privileged existence. The victory that we in the West savor in the post-war order is not of victory in war, but of victory over war itself. Some may recoil against the values that I have laid out here, and view war, as did Montesquieu, as essentially a failure, at best, a necessary evil. But the question before us here is not whether these are values we should adopt for ourselves. Rather, our task is to come with a clear-headed mind and assess as fairly as we can the role—and sometimes even the constructive role—of physical force as it was conceived within the thinking and writing of the Hebrew Bible.
Lawrence Mykytiuk, Did Jesus Exist? Searching for Evidence Beyond the Bible. Biblical Archaeology Review 41 (2015), i, 44–51, 76.
As far as we know, no ancient person ever seriously argued that Jesus did not exist.
Nondenial of Jesus’ existence is particularly notable in rabbinic writings of those irst several centuries C.E.: “... [I]f anyone in the ancient world had a reason to dislike the Christian faith, it was the rabbis. To argue successfully that Jesus never existed but was a creation of early Christians would have been the most efective polemic against Christianity ... [Yet] all Jewish sources treated Jesus as a fully historical person ... [T]he rabbis ... used the real events of Jesus’ life against him” (Van Voorst). Thus his birth, ministry and death occasioned claims that his birth was illegitimate and that he performed miracles by evil magic, encouraged apostasy and was justly executed for his own sins. But they do not deny his existence.
E. Böhm et al., Strong and deep Atlantic meridional overturning circulation during the last glacial cycle. nature 517 (2015), 73–76.
E. Böhm, J. Lippold, M. Gutjahr, M. Frank, P. Blaser, B. Antz, J. Fohlmeister, N. Frank, M. B. Andersen & M. Deininger
Extreme, abrupt Northern Hemisphere climate oscillations during the last glacial cycle (140,000 years ago to present) were modulated by changes in ocean circulation and atmospheric forcing1.However, the variability of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), which has a role in controlling heat transport from low to high latitudes and in ocean CO2 storage, is still poorly constrained beyond the Last Glacial Maximum. Here we show that a deep and vigorous overturning circulation mode has persisted for most of the last glacial cycle,dominating oceancirculation inthe Atlantic,whereas a shallower glacial mode with southern-sourced waters filling the deep western North Atlantic prevailed during glacial maxima. Our results are based on a reconstruction of both the strength and the direction of the AMOC during the last glacial cycle from a highly resolved marine sedimentary record in the deep western North Atlantic. Parallel measurements of two independent chemical water tracers (the isotope ratios of 231Pa/230Th and 143Nd/144Nd),which are not directly affected by changes in the global cycle, reveal consistent responses of the AMOC during the last two glacial terminations. Any significant deviations from this configuration, resulting in slowdowns of the AMOC, were restricted to centennial-scale excursions during catastrophic iceberg discharges of the Heinrich stadials. Severe and multicentennial weakening of North Atlantic Deep Water formation occurred only during Heinrich stadials close to glacial maxima with increased ice coverage, probably as a result of increased freshwater input. In contrast, the AMOC was relatively insensitive to submillennial meltwater pulses during warmer climate states, and an active AMOC prevailed during Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadials (Greenland warm periods).
Ellen E. Martin, Ocean circulation and rapid climate change. nature 517 (2015), 30–31.
High-resolution data on ocean circulation during the last glacial cycle suggest that the formation of North Atlantic Deep Water and associated heat transport may be more stable than previously thought.
The significance of this transitional configuration is the implication that the North Atlantic continued to produce deep waters despite evidence that the region of modern deep-water formation was covered by ice, and, more surprisingly, when massive iceberg discharge is expected to have freshened surface waters in the deep-water source regions. Such freshening is thought to reduce ocean-density contrasts that lead to transport of North Atlantic surface waters to depth. Böhm et al. point out that the continued strength of North Atlantic Deep Water formation and its flow throughout climate variations indicate that this mode of circulation may be more stable in response to freshwater inputs than models imply.
Bette L. Otto-Bliesner et al., Coherent changes of southeastern equatorial and northern African rainfall during the last deglaciation. science 346 (2014), 1223–1227.
Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, James M. Russell, Peter U. Clark, Zhengyu Liu, Jonathan T. Overpeck, Bronwen Konecky, Peter deMenocal, Sharon E. Nicholson, Feng He & Zhengyao Lu
During the last deglaciation, wetter conditions developed abruptly 14,700 years ago in southeastern equatorial and northern Africa and continued into the Holocene. Explaining the abrupt onset and hemispheric coherence of this early African Humid Period is challenging due to opposing seasonal insolation patterns. In thiswork,weuseatransientsimulationwithaclimate model that provides a mechanistic understanding of deglacial tropical African precipitation changes. Our results show that meltwater-induced reduction in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) during the early deglaciation suppressed precipitation in both regions. Once the AMOC reestablished, wetter conditions developed north of the equator in response to high summer insolation and increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations, whereas wetter conditions south of the equator were a response primarily to the GHG increase.
Sunke Schmidtko, Karen J. Heywood, Andrew F. Thompson & Shigeru Aoki, Multidecadal warming of Antarctic waters. science 346 (2014), 1227–1231.
Decadal trends in the properties of seawater adjacent to Antarctica are poorly known, and the mechanisms responsible for such changes are uncertain. Antarctic ice sheet mass loss is largely driven by ice shelf basal melt, which is influenced by ocean-ice interactions and has been correlated with Antarctic Continental Shelf Bottom Water (ASBW) temperature.We document the spatial distribution of long-term large-scale trends in temperature, salinity, and core depth over the Antarctic continental shelf and slope.Warming at the seabed in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas is linked to increased heat content and to a shoaling of themid-depth temperaturemaximum over the continental slope, allowing warmer, saltier water greater access to the shelf in recent years. Regions of ASBW warming are those exhibiting increased ice shelf melt.
Sylvia Tippmann, Programming Tools: Adventures with R. nature 517 (2015), 109–110.
A guide to the popular, free statistics and visualization software that gives scientists control of their own data analysis.
Not every scientist is enthusiastic about learning the necessary programming – even though, says Ram, R is less intimidating than languages such as Python (let alone Perl or C). “There are going to be far more scientists that will be comfortable with click-and-drop interfaces than will ever learn to program at any time,” Muenchen says. Geneticist Rabih Murr, for example, took the same R course as Royo when he was a postdoc, but he did not invest as much time in practising. To get started and develop researchspecific skills in R definitely requires a commitment: “It’s a matter of priorities,” he says. But after becoming a lab head at the University of Geneva in Switzerland this year, he is planning to hire someone with R experience.
Sara B. Heller, Summer jobs reduce violence among disadvantaged youth. science 346 (2014), 1219–1223.
Every day, acts of violence injure more than 6000 people in the United States. Despite decades of social science arguing that joblessness among disadvantaged youth is a key cause of violent offending, programs to remedy youth unemployment do not consistently reduce delinquency. This study tests whether summer jobs, which shift focus from remediation to prevention, can reduce crime. In a randomized controlled trial among 1634 disadvantaged high school youth in Chicago, assignment to a summer jobs program decreases violence by 43 % over 16 months (3.95 fewer violent-crime arrests per 100 youth). The decline occurs largely after the 8-week intervention ends. The results suggest the promise of using low-cost, well-targeted programs to generate meaningful behavioral change, even with a problem as complex as youth violence.
Chen-Bo Zhong & Katie Liljenquist, Washing Away Your Sins, Threatened Morality and Physical Cleansing. science 313 (2006), 1451–1452.
Physical cleansing has been a focal element in religious ceremonies for thousands of years. The prevalence of this practice suggests a psychological association between bodily purity and moral purity. In three studies, we explored what we call the “Macbeth effect”—that is, a threat to one’s moral purity induces the need to cleanse oneself. This effect revealed itself through an increased mental accessibility of cleansingrelated concepts, a greater desire for cleansing products, and a greater likelihood of taking antiseptic wipes. Furthermore, we showed that physical cleansing alleviates the upsetting consequences of unethical behavior and reduces threats to one’s moral self-image. Daily hygiene routines such as washing hands, as simple and benign as they might seem, can deliver a powerful antidote to threatened morality, enabling people to truly wash away their sins.
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