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6

The real etymology is lost, I am afraid, but various speculations have been offered since antiquity and continue to this day. In Egypt the tree was known since at least 2600 BC. Egyptians already used the same name ('Bennu') for the bird and the date fruits. Bircher in The Date Palm A boon For Mankind speculates as to the reason: "This bird was found on ...


5

We should note that the underlying evidence behind the spiced up modern titles like "seat of the mind, "seat of intelligence", etc., is generally very obscure, and Wikipedia's phrasing is copied almost verbatim from an old and sketchy paper of Gross. SEP's recent account is more ambiguous as to what it was that Alcmaeon thought the brain did: "There is ...


5

Yes. The menstrual cycle is surely one of the "some of our functions" that Darwin speaks of in this passage: "The progenitors of man must have been aquatic in their habits. … In the lunar or weekly recurrent periods of some of our functions we apparently still retain traces of our primordial birthplace, a shore washed by the tides." Descent of Man, Chapter ...


4

The Spinal Muscular Atrophy volume gives some historical information on the disease and its treatment in the opening sections. Their timeline and attribution of credit is rather different from that of KEI, especially where Kaspar is concerned. Gene therapy for SMA was made possible by identifying the responsible gene in 1990 by Gilliam’s group in New York ...


4

Kelvin did not merely believe that vitalism warranted serious scientific consideration, he thought it to be "absolutely forced by science". In less strong terms, it was a popular idea at the time, given the state of both physics and biology. There was also interest in reconciling physics with free will, etc. Helmholtz, Maxwell, and Boltzmann, among others, ...


4

Paul Krugman's research was caused by Isaac Azimov's Foundation novels. (For this answer, you have to accept economics as a science and you have to accept "caused scientists to do real research" in the sense of motivating them to do it.) From his interview, December 2008, on the Nobel website. (Yes, yes, I know, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic ...


3

The Alcubierre drive concept. Miguel Alcubierre published his first and only paper on the concept while still a PhD student, stating that he drew inspiration from the Star Trek television series. (See the associated tab on the Wiki link.)


2

It seems to be a game of broken telephone with Boltzmann's formula for the entropy at the beginning, and Fisher's Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (1930) in the middle. Fisher's statistical measures of fitness are the reproductive value denoted $v$, "the present value of the future offspring", by analogy to compound interest in economics, and what he ...


1

Conservation of information is a term with a short history. This is more or less true and it's good to see that someone has actually come out and said this given the hype surrounding 'information' these days. Until someone comes out and says what actually constitutes information - physically speaking - its hard to say how and why it is conserved; in fact, ...


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