Articles to 2011-01-01

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Anderegg uses a funny definition of expert. (See also commentary by Bodenstein.) Somebody with fifty and more peer reviewed articles on one subject obviously is an expert of renown in my eyes. At 500, 700, or more than 900 articles I have serious doubts, if the author can have read them all, he certainly can’t have provided much to their content.

Kerr and Dessler report a correlation of just 0.02 with a regression fit depending on one or two outliers at the extremes of the range alone. The only admissible conclusion would have been, that this method is not able to add anything to this question.

Following Die Welt "Archäologen haben in Israel möglicherweise die bislang ältesten Hinweise auf die Existenz des Homo sapiens weltweit gefunden." or the Daily Mail "The size and shape of the teeth are very similar to those of modern man." one could think an important discovery had been made. In fact all the teeth reported in Hershkovitz lie near the edge of the Neanderthal distribution but fall well within it. They are not incompatible with archaic modern humans, but that’s all. I could not find a press release on the pages of Tel Aviv university, so I don’t know whose thin air the journaille has made that story out of.

Kaptchuk proves one thing again, this time particularly clearly: Homoeopaths are chemistry-fixated materialists who can’t imagine any not purely physical mechanism even at dilutions past 10^-24. The only ones prepared to think holistically are the practitioners of scientific medicine. (N.B: Is someone healing through placebos a psychopath?)

Todrank offers one more good reason, why expectant mothers should be careful with their diet.

Perani supports Mithen’s hypothesis from his Singing Neanderthals.

Rose names a specific place where Neanderthals and moderns might have met 70 ka ago. This takes away most of my criticism of Green 2010.

Iona: Oppenheimer is not new, in fact that study won the Ig-Nobel prize of 2006. But not only is it relevant itself, it is also a good example of how to distinguish between different influences. Experiment four also hints that an essay cleanly typeset with TeX may well get better marks than some ugly Microsoft manure.

In Oelze et al. Harald Meller has again not spared any cost and employed the full arsenal. The main result in my eyes is a warning about interpreting isotope data. Little meat and milk from farm animals combined with vegetable protein may be indistinguishable from an abundance of game.

Menne begs the question: If weather stations positioned so badly, that they record anything but ambient temperature, yield data indistinguishable from other’s, what then do those record?

Here’s the link to this week’s complete list.

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