The Evolution of Waiting

Why Having Patience Is an Adaptive Trait     I know how to wait. Or I should say I once learned how to wait and now I’m grateful the ability stuck because it turned out to be an asset, especially these days. Decades ago, I was a primatologist, that is, a person trained to watch monkeys. As an anthropologist, all that monkey watching had a purpose — to test various hypotheses about why those animals so closely related to humans acted the way they did, and what that might mean for the evolution…

Continue Reading The Evolution of Waiting

All Roads Lead to Venice

Newly Discovered Roman Road Found on the Floor of the Venetian Lagoon     Last week, archaeologists announced the discovery of an old Roman road, remnants of docks, and indications of large buildings, sitting on the bottom of the Venetian lagoon. Romans left the Veneto, the Province which includes the lagoon and the contemporary city of Venice by 475 A.D. as their Empire fell apart, so this road is important because it is concrete evidence of stable and active life in the lagoon before that time. Beyond taking in the idea that human artifacts can…

Continue Reading All Roads Lead to Venice

The Evolution of Human Stubbornness

Why do anti-vaxxers stick with their refusal to save themselves and the lives of others?    A lot has been written about the various reasons people are refusing to get the Covid-19 vaccine. Unaware of the twenty years that mRNA techniques have been in the works, some feel the vaccines have been developed “too soon.” Others think the shots are part of a “human experiment,” and they are not swayed by the expansive clinical trials nor by the fact that 3.6 billion doses have been administered around the world so far with minimal or…

Continue Reading The Evolution of Human Stubbornness

Is the Pandemic Over?

History, and Data, Show That It Is Not   Francesco Valma@wikimediacommons On November 21, 2019, I walked over a temporary bridge set across the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, and bought some long white candles with pictures of the Blessed Virgin imprinted on the wax. I then joined the long line of believers entering the church Santa Maria Della Salute. Inside, the crowd squished up to metal platforms where young people, working at a fevered pace, added them to a rack with hundreds of others, lit the whole bunch at once then…

Continue Reading Is the Pandemic Over?