The Science

Gifted Kids: Sabrina Pasterski

No longer a child, but a young physics whizz - Sabrina Pasterski

Gifted Kids: Kashmea Wahi

One of the themes of Paradise is gifted kids. As I come across examples I'll make a note in this blog. This is Kashmea Wahi .

Cool Science Labs

 It doesn't really need to be said that science happens in some pretty drab surrounds, but occasionally there are some very cool labs. I can easily imagine Akash working in environs like some of these.

CRISPR And Gene Editing

 Paradise is set some time in the future and the science of genetics has made rapid advances. We are now on the cusp of that revolution. This article announces the beginning of gene editing on human embryos.Human genome editing

Inquiry Into The Education Of Gifted And Talented Students

I was pleased to see the Victorian government publish the Inquiry into the education of gifted and talented student . It is long overdue. The people who have followed this blog since its inception will know that I am interested in the education of gifted and talented children and occasionally I will do a post on these children. Behind everything I do on this blog is a complaint that conservatives deliberately hold back children as a form of control. The childhood culture wars are ultimately about creating children in the conservative image. Gifted and talented children are a problem because [...]

Gifted Kids: Severn And Sarika Cullis-Suzuki

Of course, it helps to have good genes, but I rather suspect that nurture has more to do with how these remarkable sisters have turned out. Severn and Sarika are the daughters of Dr David Suzuki and Dr Tara Cullis. Severn Cullis-Suzuki Sarika Cullis-Suzuki Severn became famous when she addressed the UN at age 12. Her address is a remarkable feat for a girl of her age, unless of course the girl is gifted and encouraged (rather than dumbed down). the video below Severn talks a little about her influences as a child. From what I can gather she [...]

Dumbing Kids Down: The Flynn Effect

Here's a curious fact: at the same time as society was seeking to extend childhood, children were actually maturing earlier. The Flynn effect (and here) tells us that each generation is getting smarter by a factor of around 10 IQ points per 30 years. We owe this discovery to James R Flynn, currently Emeritus Professor of Political Studies at the University of Otago in NZ.When Flynn found out that standard IQ tests are periodically adjusted he decided to have students sit IQ tests from earlier decades. By using generally accepted rules of calculation he found an average increase of 3 [...]

Stress And Baboons And What It Means For Humans

Saw a wonderful documentary on the ABC a few months ago. It featured the wonderfully eccentric professor of Biological Sciences and Neurology at Stanford, Robert Sapolsky. He is also a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship genius grant.Sapolsky's main research has been the study of stress in baboons. His findings, when considered in the light of other research, tells us something important about the human species.For the purposes of this post I will summarise what I consider his more significant findings.When he studied the physiology of baboons he found a significant difference between dominant and lower order males. The dominant males [...]

Bonobos And Chimps

In the 90's groundbreaking field research revealed the sharp difference between bonobo and chimpanzee culture. This research was halted due to the civil war in the DRC but has now been resumed. The findings have created quite a controversy. Bonobo culture is female dominated, peaceful and highly promiscuous. Conflict is resolved through sex and grooming. There are few limits. Females mate with most of the males; females have sex with other females; males with males; adults with juveniles and juveniles with other juveniles. They do this using a variety of methods: oral, manual manipulation, genital rubbing and penetration. The only [...]