SETI bioastro: Scientific American Weekly Review - December 18, 2001

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From: LARRY KLAES (ljk4@msn.com)
Date: Tue Dec 18 2001 - 06:12:55 PST


** SHIMMYING STAR MAY SHED LIGHT ON FORCES AT WORK IN THE SUN
Astronomers have observed for the first time a star doing the stellar
version of the twist, according to a new report. Andrew Collier
Cameron of Scotland's University of Saint Andrews, along with a
colleague, found that the difference between the rotation rates of
the equator and poles of a fast-spinning star called AB Doradus
(AB Dor) changed over time: after the poles sped up, the equator
slowed down.

http://sciam.rsc03.net/servlet/cc4?lJpEVX*sqrYQtlgEJht*z*XWDA

** RACISM NOT HARDWIRED, SCIENTISTS SAY
In recent years a number of studies have reached the same thorny
conclusion about human cognition: when encountering a person for the
first time, our brains automatically make note of the individual's
race. But new research indicates that this is not necessarily the
case, suggesting that racism may be an erasable by-product of
cognitive adaptations that evolved to detect coalitions and
alliances.

http://sciam.rsc03.net/servlet/cc4?lJpEVX*sqrYQtlgEJht*z*XXUA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ BOOK OF THE MONTH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DARWIN, HIS DAUGHTER, AND HUMAN EVOLUTION
by Randal Keynes

When descendants of Charles Darwin get together, some still tell the
story of a long-ago servant who expressed pity for the family
patriarch. The poor man, she said, was so idle that she saw him
staring at an ant heap for a whole hour. Darwin's full-time,
self-created job, of course, was to observe every animate creature,
from the ants and bees in his garden, to giant tortoises in the
Galápagos, to his own family. He even published a monograph on the
behavior of his infant children.

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