08 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 France's Social Programs are Behind Their Better Health

The creation of public programs to improve the health of women and babies began in nineteenth-century Europe, where governments found themselves in need of robust young men to fight their wars and expand their empires. Following a crushing defeat in the 1871 Franco-Prussian War, for example, France set up a series of programs intended to care for pregnant women, promote breastfeeding, and improve infant welfare. (David Barker has suggested, half seriously, that this early attention to materna...
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By improving the environment in which French fetuses develop, the French have improved their overall health.

03 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Competition Causes Death

Biologists have persistently overestimated the importance of physical causes of premature death rather than biological ones. In virtually any account of evolution, drought, frost, wind, or starvation looms large as the enemy of life. The great struggle, we are told, is to adapt to these conditions. Marvels of physical adaptation—the camel's hump, the polar bear's fur, the rotifer's boil-resistant tunare held to be among evolution's greatest achievements. The first ecological theories of sex...
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Animals die from competition with other animals, few die of natural causes.