• Health Politics

    Those who fear disease most are most likely to prefer authoritarian regimes

    Covid-19 has unleashed a pandemic of restrictive measures on the population. Lockdowns and mask mandates are becoming widespread. Libertarians have been vociferously denouncing covid-19 containment strategies as draconian. Evolutionary psychologists, however, argue that reactions in favor of government restrictions are the norm in environments where the public fears contamination. According to the parasitic stress theory popularized by Randy Thornhill and Corey Fincher, societies with a high…

  • Health Politics

    Want to make drugs less lethal? Legalize them.

    Marijuana, i.e., cannabis, is now legal in eleven states for recreational use, thirty-three states for medical purposes, and another sixteen states have decriminalized it (usually fines for possession of small amounts). The upcoming election will see several legalization ballot measures, including recreational use legalization in Arizona, Montana, and New Jersey and medical use in Mississippi. South Dakota will have both medical and…

  • Diseases & Conditions,  Fitness & Exercise,  Health Politics

    When it comes to masks, there is no “settled science”

    As the “fifteen days to slow the spread” continues to extend indefinitely, the issue of mask mandates has become increasingly contentious. The debate has been exacerbated by the inconsistency of the recommendations of authorities (political, scientific, and imaginary). Early in the pandemic, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) advised against the…

  • Lockdown affects mental health
    Diseases & Conditions,  Mental Health

    State lockdowns are creating a mental health disaster

    Although state lockdowns have served governors well as a heavy-handed show of force, the policies are a patent neglect of the many nuances inherent in human action. They have led to a host of unintended consequences, including the emergence of a new health crisis—a dangerously sharp rise in mental illness. Though states are gradually wading out of lockdown, the damage…

  • Food & Beverage,  Health Politics

    Most Americans drink fluoridated water. Is that a good thing?

    If you’re like many Americans, you drink fluoridated water without questioning its safety or efficacy. For decades municipalities have been adding fluoride to water supplies to reduce the incidence of tooth decay at the advice of numerous highly credentialed entities, including the World Health Organization, the U.S. Public Health Service, the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Environment & Health,  Food & Beverage

    Who’s keeping organic food honest?

    If you live in the U.S., chances are you are among the 84 percent of American consumers who purchase organic food. Whether you buy it at the grocery store or the farmers market, you trust that food marketed as organic has been raised without toxic chemicals, using farming methods that are environmentally sustainable. At a minimum, you expect organic farmers…