Doc A's Web Page








"Sacred cows make the best hamburger."

(original quote frequently attributed to Mark Twain)



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Humor Page 1                                     Humor Page 2







Never Underestimate People's Ability to Amaze You!

(interesting news stories)





I have recently retired from teaching (May 2012) and am now able to spend more time doing research, working around the farm, riding my motorcycle, and being with my lovely wife, Amy.  I have left the various syllabi for the courses I taught on my website, however, in case they prove useful to anyone, especially as I created numerous web pages for each course and established links to several web pages containing information relevant to the topics covered in those courses.


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Cultural Anthropology

Human Population Growth

Native American Ecology

Human Ecology

Origin and Evolution of Religious Movements


Anthropology, Religion and the Bible

Anthropology, Religion and the Rise of Christianity

Research Design in Anthropology

Anthropology of Sex and Gender

Jesus Christ Superstar



Jesus Christ Superstar



The Last Supper








Jesus Christ Superstar

2007 - 2011

Graduation Dinner






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Selected Web Pages:

A Temporary Convenience

A Critical Review of the Species Concept

Although species are widely understood as genetic units defined by the ability of individual organisms to exchange hereditary material (DNA), this view of species does not accurately reflect the species concept as it is understood and applied in contemporary biological and ecological research. This paper critically examines the species concept and suggests that, given the arbitrariness of the definition of species and the inability to apply any species concept consistently and universally, the species concept should be recognized not as a natural entity but rather as a human construct with only limited validity and utility.





Circumcision, Subincision and Other Forms of Ritual Genital Surgery


While many in the West voice opposition to what is ethnocentrically referred to as "Female Genital Mutilation," the fact is that female circumcision throughout the world is performed under conditions identical to male circumcision, and for the same reasons.  Moreover, while male circumcision is performed in numerous societies that do not perform female circumcision, female circumcision is only performed in those societies that also perform male circumcision.





Although infanticide is strongly opposed in the West, it is a common family planning technique in many parts of the world, where it is practiced for the same reasons that abortions are performed in developed countries. Many of the same questions can be raised about both practices.








Hurricanes and Global Warming


Ever since the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, many have claimed that an increase has occurred in both the number and the destructiveness of hurricanes due to global warming. The data does not support such claims.










It Isn't Easy Being Green


While the loudest voices in the environmental movement have been among the middle and upper-middle classes, it is the lifestyle of  this segment of the population that causes the most environmental damage.


Is There A Bias In Higher Education?

While conservative religious colleges are more often accused of presenting ideologically biased courses and educational programs, many non-religious colleges and universities are equally guilty.








You Are a Fluke of the Universe


For centuries, humans have believed that they are the most important species. However, the reality is that humans represent a rather late and insignificant development in the evolution of the earth and the universe that might never have happened.



Logging and Deforestation


Despite the hysteria claiming that current levels of logging will cause a catastrophic destruction of the world's forests, a critical examination of two articles presenting just such a claim --one on Brazil and one on the Congo-- shows that the authors' own data don't support their arguments.







On Overpopulation


Beginning with Paul Ehrlich's, The Population Bomb, hysteria about overpopulation has been at the center of the environmental movement.  Among other things, overpopulation has been presented as the major cause of poverty and environmental degradation throughout the world.  The data, however, shows little support for such arguments.



Sociopolitical Implications of the Western Concern with Global Population Growth


Neo-Malthusian population theories predominate in the international arena because they perform the same sociopolitical function for the globally dominant societies today that earlier Malthusian theories performed for upper classes within Western societies: a rationalization and justification for controlling the reproduction of the poor.






Ecological Theory and the Evolution

of Complex Human Communities


An ecological model of community development based on the relationship between productivity, stability and diversity in ecological systems offers a systematic and testable model of social evolution that can effectively account for the variable evolution of complex human communities in different ethnographic contexts. The utility of the model is illustrated through its application to nineteenth century Mormon settlements in the Little Colorado River Basin of Arizona.






Hill's Criteria of Causation


Hill's Criteria of Causation outline the minimal conditions needed to establish a causal relationship between two items.










The Myth of Chief Seattle


Chief Seattle's speech has been revered by many people for the inspirational message it provides and for the respect for the environment it displays. However, the entire speech is a fabrication. The words attributed to Chief Seattle were never spoken by him; nor could they have been.





Colonization and Resistance

in North America and Palestine


American colonization westward throughout the 19th century shows a remarkable similarity to contemporary Israeli colonization of Palestine, regarding the actions of both the colonizer and the colonized.







Taliban War on Women


Feminists have attempted to characterize Taliban rule in Afghanistan as a "War on Women."  Taliban rule should more appropriately be viewed as that of an Islamic fundamentalist polity whose ultra-conservative policies are directed at men and women alike, as well as at those non-Muslim populations who do not adhere to their creed.






Science and Anthropology


As a social science, anthropology is concerned with the application of scientific methods to explaining human social behavior. This page discusses some of the issues related to the application of scientific methods in anthropological research.





Aristotelian vs. Galilean Forms of Explanation:

Implications for Explaining Human Behavior


The difference between Aristotelian and Galilean explanations is that the former provides an explanation based on an indefinable "essence" within an object, which determines that objects behavior, while the latter provides a conditional explanation based on the interaction of measurable variables that together determine the outcome of an event. The use of such Aristotelian concepts as culture, patriarchy, maternal instinct, human nature, etc. in the explanation of human behavior needs to be replaced with systemic explanations based on the interaction of measurable variables within a predictive and testable theoretical framework.




Just How Democratic Are American Elections?


Americans are taught how important it is to vote and how much every vote counts. However, largely due to Gerrymandering and disproportionate campaign spending, most elections in the U.S. are determined long before voting take place, with incumbents all-but-guaranteed reelection.







Irony of Ironies

Jewish Students Flock to a Lutheran College


Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania has recently become a popular destination for Jewish students, despite the fact that Martin Luther was a notorious anti-Semite and hero to the Nazis, and that Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, for whom the college was named, tried to have restrictions on Jews written into the Pennsylvania constitution.






The Jesus Movement


While Jesus is generally referred to as the "Prince of Peace," concerned with the welfare of all mankind, he may have been more violent and more specifically Jewish in orientation than is generally believed.







Genealogy, Politics and History

in the Book of Genesis


Parts of the genealogy contained in the Hebrew Bible may represent a political rationalization for Israelite relations with neighboring peoples, associating their rivals' ancestors with sexual misconduct.





The Birth of Jesus


While the various stories surrounding the birth of Jesus provide a beautiful backdrop to the Christmas season, none of them is true. Not only are they contradictory, they are also unsupported by the historical evidence. When considered as a group, the Infancy Narratives tell us more about the evolution of Christian beliefs about Jesus than they do about his actual birth.






When Was Jesus Born?


The current year is 2017 because the world follows a Western calendar, which calculates its years beginning with the birth of Jesus, who most people believe was born in Bethlehem in Judea 2,017 years ago. Nowhere, however, does the New Testament specify when Jesus was born, and the currently accepted year is unlikely to be correct. Indeed, only two of the canonical gospels --Matthew and Luke-- even mention Jesus' birth. Furthermore, being driven primarily by theological considerations rather than by a concern with historical accuracy, the two infancy narratives not only contradict one another in almost every detail; they also run counter to logic and are unsupported by the historical evidence.







Christian Origins of the Holocaust

The mass slaughter of Jews by the Nazis represented the culmination of nearly 2,000 years of violent Christian anti-Semitism.










Ashoura is the holiest day of the Muslim calendar. For Shia Muslims, it marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, in a 7th century battle for leadership of the Islamic world.  Pilgrims flagellate themselves with chains and cut themselves with swords in grief at Hussein's death. Flagellation rituals have been performed by specific Christian groups as well.



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Short Commentaries:




On Democracy



Western Amnesia

and the Kidnapping of Children

 by Boko Haram






Putting Israeli Bombing of Gaza in Perspective








Moral Righteousness, Amnesia

and Chemical Weapons





Spreading Democracy




President Obama

Needs to Read His Bible!




Anti-Immigration Hysteria in the U.S.








Bill O'Reilly is Killing Jesus

From Nuremberg to Charlottesville




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1.  DAM THAT RIVER! Ecology and Mormon Settlement in the Little Colorado River Basin. University Press of  America. Lanham, MD. 1993.






1.  Population Pressure and Subsistence Strategies among the Mbuti Pygmies. Human Ecology 7:183-189. (1979)

2.  Ecological Theory and Ethnic Differentiation among Human Populations. Current Anthropology 23:13-31. (1982)

3.  Reply to F. Morin and H. Nevadomsky, 'On Ecological Theory and Ethnic Differentiation.' Current Anthropology 23:347. (1982)

4.  Water and Community Development in the Little Colorado River Basin, Human Ecology 12(2):241-269. (1985)

5.  Ecological Stability and Community Diversity during Mormon Colonization of the Little Colorado River Basin. Human Ecology 15:317-338. (1987)

6.  Ecology, Resource Redistribution and Mormon Settlement in Northeastern Arizona. American Anthropologist 91:642-655. (1989)

7.  The Social and Ecological Consequences of Early Cattle Ranching in Northeastern Arizona. Human Ecology 23:75-98 (1995)

8.  Ecological Theory and the Evolution of Complex Human Communities.  Advances in Human Ecology 5:111-156. (1996)

9.  Chief Seattle's Speech: A Critical Consideration. FORUM: of the Association for Arid Lands Studies 13: 52-60. (1997).

10.  The Real Chief Seattle was Not a Spiritual Ecologist. The Skeptical Inquirer March/April : 44-48. (1999)

11.  The Myth of Chief Seattle. Human Ecology Review 7:72-75. (2000)

12.  Sociopolitical Implications of the Persistent Western Concern with Global Population Growth. FORUM: of the Association for Arid Lands Studies. (2002)

13.  Competitive Exclusion and Protohistoric Population Interactions in New Mexico. FORUM: of the Association for Arid Lands Studies 19. (2003)

14.  The Intersection of Genealogy, Politics and History in Genesis. FORUM: of the Association for Arid Lands Studies 20:83-95.  (2004)

15.  Ecology and Ethnic Interactions in New Mexico, 1700 - 1850. FORUM: of the Association for Arid Lands Studies 22:1-14. (2006)


Chapters in Books

1.  Flux Among the Mbuti Pygmies of the Ituri Forest: An Ecological Interpretation. In Eric B. Ross, ed., Beyond the Myths of Culture: Explorations in Cultural Materialism. New York: Academic Press, pp. 331. (1980)

2.  The Impact of Environmental Productivity and Stability on Community Diversity during Mormon Colonization of the Little Colorado River Basin. In R. Borden, J. Jacobs, G. Young and J. Weisbaden, eds., Human Ecology: Research and Applications. College Park: Society for Human Ecology, pp. 105114. (1987)

3.  The Effect of Local Environmental Variation on the Development of Early Mormon Settlements in Northeastern Arizona. in E. Schultz, ed. Forum, vol. 8. Lubbock, TX: International Center for Arid and Semiarid Land Studies, pp. 65-75. (1992)


4.  Ecological Concepts in Anthropological Human Ecology: Illustrations from Mormon  Settlement in Northeastern Arizona. in Scott Wright, Thomas Deitz, Richard Borden, Gerald Young and Gregory Guagnano, eds., Human Ecology: Crossing Boundaries. Society for Human Ecology: College Park, MD, pp. 255-271. (1993)


5.  Ecology and Mormon Settlement in Northeastern Arizona. In  D. Bates and S. Lees (eds.),  Case Studies in Human Ecology, pp. 365-391. New York: Plenum Press. (1996)


6.  Materialist versus Non-Materialist Explanations of Mbuti Pygmy Subsistence Behavior. In Serge Bahuchet, Daniel Bley, Bernard Brun, Nicole Licht & Helene Pagezy (eds.), L'Homme et la Foret Tropicale. Marseilles: University of Provence Press, pp. 301-309. (1999)





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"Out of Egypt have I called my son."

(Matthew 2:15)











My Family






Angus enjoying a "poochie cone"



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Our Home in Pennsylvania










Our Home in the Southwest














Motorcycling in the Southwest











Monticello Creek Motorcycle Ride










Bikes I have owned






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Port Isaac in Cornwall







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Some Closing Thoughts . . .



One way to protect yourself from ideas you don't like.





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"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,

neither cast ye your pearls before swine."


--Matthew 7:6






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Don't you hate people?


I don't hate people; I just feel better when they're not around.







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