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Page history last edited by Alex Backer, Ph.D. 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it.

--Albert Einstein


This Science Wiki is an experiment in a new form of scientific discourse. One in which publication is dissociated from peer review, in which papers are live documents that can be continually updated, in which a publon (minimal unit of publishable material) is as small as its author deems it, in which ideas can see the light of day sooner, even during the very process of their initial formulation and refinement, in which readers can contribute to an article, correcting it, enhancing it or providing references to relevant work, and in which the publication record can record the morphing of an idea into an accepted fact. More details can be found here.



Why Jupiter's Galilean Moons are aligned

Earthshine appears to be smaller than the lit part of the Moon


Archeology and History:

The Growth, Memory & Democratization of Science

Ancient Polynesian ocean voyages

Archeological ruins of Iberian village of La Serreta, Alcoy, Spain

Iberian tablets found in Alcoy (Plomos epigraficos ibericos de Alcoy)



The essence of life

Aging is an exponential process

High temperatures correlate with slower Covid-19 infection growth rates

Error correction as a cure for cancer

A biological and evolutionary basis for a hemispheric and latitude-dependent effect of season of birth on personality provides explanation for astrology

The Paradox of Monogamy

Need Death be Irreversible?

The Adult Male Dog Peeing Behavior

Why mixed race people are more beautiful



The mathematics of understanding: A graph-theoretical study of meaning and the self-referential nature of knowledge

Love is a positive feedback loop

Think you have a general purpose memory? Think again

Free Will

Why We Kiss

The Evolution of Religiousness

Olfaction dynamics in a dog

Why children have such a hard time talking on the telephone

The Evolutionary Advantage of Humor

The Function of Sleep: The Dress-Rehearsal Theory

Mathematics, Language, Poetry and Music: A Continuum

Congenital Visual Invariance

A Kind of Blindsight: Unconscious Memory for Eye Position

Memory is an illusion

Why we like music

What music is

Pleasurable music is predictable, not surprising

On learning language

Babies do not learn by imitation


Economics & Political Science:

A solution for the Backus–Kehoe–Kydland puzzle

A solution for the PPP Puzzle of the persistence and volatility of real exchange rates

The problem with swapping sites such as LoveHomeSwap

On Unemployment benefits and periodic job hunting

A new way to measure consumer spending instantly

How and why an economy becomes a service economy

Trade balances must balance in every community

Charles Eisenstein's writings on Money and the Crisis of Civilization

Election reform

Dollar Democracy

Using Free Markets To Provide Public Goods, or the original version, Self-organizing Government

On Profit Maximization as the Social Responsibility of Business

What happened in the US in 1973 to slow down wage growth



Why teenagers rebel

Why people love to talk

Evolution favors those who catch potential mates' attention

The selective advantage of female orgasms

Why female eggs are all produced by birth while sperm are produced continuously over a lifetime

Evolution within bodies

Self-correcting mutations

The selective advantage of itching

Learned behavior can cause genetic changes over time via natural selection

The Evolution of Homosexuality

The Evolution of Religiousness

Why Women Live Longer while Men Are Fertile Longer

The Paradox of Monogamy

The Evolutionary Advantage of Humor

How Biological Evolution Avoids Overfitting

Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature

The Selective Advantage of Aging

A Role for Differential Susceptibility to Disease in the Origin and Stabilization of Biodiversity: A Unification of Twin Problems in Ecology and Evolution

Why Babies Like to be Rocked to Sleep

Fisher Did Not Predict Sex Ratio of 1

An Explanation for the Returning Soldier Effect

Why the Sex Ratio is 1

An Immunological Fitness Hypothesis to Explain the Selection of Human Color Polymorphisms in Europe

An Unbroken Chain of Winners Spanning more than 3 Billion Years and Culminating in You

The Biome Sequencing Project

The Informational Content of a Genome

Why Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny



Undescribed Islands?



Thomas Jefferson's Illegitimate Nephew

The Growth and Memory of Science - Boyack and Backer 2004-2005.pdf (submitted to Science Jul 9 2004, revised Jun 2005) 

The origin of the 260-day Tzolk'in Mayan (& later Aztec) calendar

Why Africa is behind -A critique of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel

Why American Ice Age mammals died out


Mathematics and Information:

Why natural spirals and growth patterns follow the Fibonacci sequence

HyperFluids and the Mathematics of Understanding

Appraising the Role of Luck

Estimating Manifold Dimension by Inversion Error

Wolfram was wrong: 'Random number generator' Rule 30 Shows Statistical Regularities


Neuroscience and Neural Networks:

A neurobiological theory of autism

Debunking the misperception that men's brains have a lot more gray matter and women's a lot more white matter

How many senses do we have?

An Activity-Dependent Model of the Establishment of the Nose to Brain Map (June 9, 2006, based on Backer's 2002 Ph.D. thesis, ch. 1)

The Digital Brain: A Function for Oscillatory Synchronization in the Brain in Error Correction

Measuring spike timing jitter

The girl who lived 18 years in the jungle (Spanish)

What the Thatcher Illusion Proves

Branchpoint Plasticity

Terry Sejnowski, Sydney Brenner and Igor Aleksander agree: Consciousness presents no problem.

Olfactory Kinematics

Optimal Neuronal Tuning for Finite Stimulus Spaces

The Fallacy of the Brain as a Faithful Window on the World


Origin and Evolution of Language:

Spoken language is much older than writing

Why the color orange is not named after the carrot, pumpkin or persimmon

Why-Cindy-is-not-Kindy-but-Camels-are-not-Samels,-Gas-is-not-Jas-but-Gin-is-Jin-and-U-follows-Q (Spanish: Por que la q siempre se sigue de la u, y ca-co-cu se pronuncian distinto que ce y ci )

Syntactical recursion

Mathematics, Language, Poetry and Music: A Continuum

An Old Origin for Vagina

Origin of Silent Letters

Proving whether all languages derive from one



The Atomic Explanation of the Bernoulli Principle, or Why Wings Work

Why Lightning Bolts are Discrete Events

The Theory of Many-Body Relativity


Science Communication:

Most Scientific Papers Are Wrong: The Need for Live Papers and Ongoing Peer Review

A Future for Scientific Discourse

On Complete Disclosure in Scientific Publications


More of my science writings and publications can be found at my Caltech website. Others from my time at Sandia National Labs can be found here. Those submitted to SSRN can be found here. Patents and journal publications can be found here.  




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