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Here, I examine the shape of the tree of life on Earth that is the result of four billion years of birth, death, reproduction, and relatedness. This extended family tree has been produced by four billion years of using energy from the environment to power biological systems. I then consider the question of how to define life, from both evolutionary and metabolic perspectives. Defining life is not easy, but it is possible if we accept that viruses constitute a grey area. Next, I deal with the main driver of evolution on Earth (and probably elsewhere), namely Darwinian natural selection. This driver only works when there is variation among organisms, so our next port of call is how variation arises – gene mutation and related processes. Finally, I examine the origin of life. The emphasis here is on the hypothesis that life arose here rather than arriving pre-formed from another planet – the Terraspermia hypothesis. The alternative Panspermia hypothesis is considered to be fatally flawed.
Here, I examine whether the definition of life that we arrived at earlier needs to be modified when considering the possibility of alien life. I also note that the search for alien life of any kind – astrobiology – is a much broader venture than SETI – the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Then I deal with the question of whether we should expect trees of life, rather than a non-tree-like pattern, to characterize other inhabited planets. In order to focus in on those parts of the galaxy that may host life, I start by excluding most parts of the galaxy from consideration – life is unlikely to be found in interstellar space or on stars, which means that more than 99% of the galaxy is lifeless in terms of both its volume and its mass. I then focus on planets. Next, I argue against the Rare Earth hypothesis – that animal life is vanishingly rare in the galaxy (and the universe). Instead, I propose the alternative Common Earth hypothesis. Finally, I ask the question: are alien trees of life likely to run in parallel to the tree of life on Earth, or might those alien trees and their constituent life-forms be very different?
During the COVID-19 lockdown the initial British Government mantra of ‘Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives’, the ritualistic weekly public clapping for the National Health Service (NHS) and the overall tone of the media coverage led several commentators to raise the question of whether the NHS had become a religion. This question is legally significant. The question of whether the lockdown breached Article 9 has already been the subject of litigation. R (on the application of Hussain) v Secretary of State for Health  EWHC 1392 (Admin) concerned the then prohibition on private prayer in places of worship. Swift J refused an application for interim relief to allow Friday prayers at Barkerend Road Mosque. Lockdown did infringe the claimant's Article 9 rights but this interference was only with one aspect of religious observance and the interference had a finite duration. The legitimate difference of opinion between the claimant and the British Board of Scholars and Imams was relevant to the question of justification. There was no real prospect that the claimant would succeed at obtaining a permanent injunction at trial because the pandemic presented ‘truly exceptional circumstances’ that meant that the interference would be justified on grounds of public health. Swift J was satisfied that there was a sufficiently arguable case to grant permission to apply for judicial review but he did not order that the claim be expedited. In Dolan, Monks and AB v Secretary of State for Health  EWHC 1786 (Admin), an application of a judicial review of the lockdown regulations and schools closure was refused. However, in relation to Article 9, Lewis J adjourned consideration of this discrete issue because regulations had just been made that allowed communal worship which may have made the argument academic. English law provides the right to manifest religion or belief under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the right not to be discriminated against on grounds of religion or belief in relation to employment and the provision of goods and services under the Equality Act 2010. This raises the point: during the lifting of lockdown, when authorities require people to go back to their workplace or send their children to school, could individuals who refuse say they were legally entitled to decline on the basis that such a requirement breached their belief in protecting the NHS?
This chapter examines charitable trusts in particular the special status that they hold and the range of advantages that charitable trusts hold compared to private trusts such as the relaxation of the rules of certainty of objects and the perpetuity rules. In order to be a charitable trust it must satisfy three key requirements: it must be for a charitable purpose; be exclusively charitable and for the public benefit. The common law definition of a charitable purpose and the statutory definition are considered. The Charities Act 2011 widened the definition of a charity to include such headings as the advancement of the arts and of citizenship and the relief of those in need by reason of youth, age ill-health and other disadvantages as well as more traditional heads such as the relief of poverty. The question of what constitutes public benefit has caused problems of definition as shown in recent case law. Where a charitable gift fails the funds may be transferred to another charity under the rules of cy-pres. These depend on whether there is initial or subsequent failure of a charitable trust. In cases of initial failure a general charitable intent must be shown by the testator.
Empty phrases and the need for having definite criteria to generate a rule of decision. Unhelpfulness of the word abuse. Arbitrariness created by elevating unnecessary abstractions to the status of fundamental principles.
This chapter addresses shareholders’ claims for reflective loss in the context of international investment law. It starts by analyzing the treatment of shareholders and shares in international investment agreements and under the ICSID Convention. In this regard, it sets forth the extent to which shares are considered as covered investments and to which shareholders qualify as foreign investors in investment treaty practice, as well as whether shares qualify as investments under article 25 of the ICSID Convention as interpreted by investment tribunals. This chapter also studies the difference between shareholders’ claims for reflective loss and claims brought under article 25(2)(b) of the ICSID Convention, as well as derivative actions in investment arbitration. Finally, this chapter undertakes an exhaustive analysis of investment arbitration cases that have addressed shareholders’ claims for reflective loss and highlights the reasons relied upon by investment tribunals to generally accept such claims.
This chapter defines the key terms used in this primer. It summarizes various concepts that have been used to analyze constitutions (such as that of the social contract, a principal–agent relationship, and so forth). It discusses some of the methodological challenges that constitutional economics faces, presents some of the tools that are used to gain insights, and discusses some of the most relevant outcome variables used in later chapters. These include fiscal variables (such as government revenue, government spending, and budget deficits), governance variables such as corruption and government effectiveness, as well as traditional macroeconomic variables such as total factor productivity.
Chapter 3 is concerned with defining what success in market-driven regulatory governance would look like: improving sustainability. It opens by contrasting various definitions of sustainable agriculture; some of which rely on price manipulation, while others focus on productive choices alone. It then applies these concepts to the coffee sector; first pointing out the issue of low and volatile world prices, and then turning to the agronomic and farm management decisions a boundedly rational coffee producer needs to make, alongside their likely economic consequences. It concludes that the most rational behavior is to maximize yields and switch away from biodiversity-friendly shade production to intensified monocropping, while minimizing input costs such as wages. This leads to the sustainability challenges that plague the industry. Building on the historical emergence of sustainability as a concept, the chapter then traces the development of the sector’s sustainability discourse alongside the emergence of private sustainability standards.
An international joint task group co-led by the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) and Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) has developed a new and internationally accepted definition of HTA.
The task group, consisting of representatives of leading HTA networks, societies and global organizations, developed guiding principles for the process and followed an established consultation plan with the broader HTA community to develop the definition.
The consensus achieved by the international joint task group brings the collective weight of the participating networks, societies, and organizations behind the new definition.
The new definition of HTA is an historic achievement and it is offered to the current and emerging HTA world as a cornerstone reference for today and into the future.
What we ordinarily call pain can arise either as a consequence of physical events or as a result of psychological processes. Both situations can be covered in one definition by treating pain as a word which applies only to subjective experience and not to nociception or to physiological processes. A definition of pain, framed in this fashion by the subcommittee on taxonomy of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), was adopted by the IASP in 1979 and has been widely accepted since that date. Behavioural phenomena should not be confused with this definition. It implies a monistic view of the experience of pain and it is inappropriate to encumber it with concepts of “pain behaviour”. At the same time dual or multiple causes of pain are recognized. Thus physical causes, psychological causes or both may produce the unitary experience.
An analysis of existing studies on the expressed emotion (EE) concept shows that the predictive validity of the EE index depends on the definition of relapse. Whilst symptomatic relapses are recorded in patients from high-EE families, about 3 times as often as in patients from low-EE families, a comparison of hospitalization rates reveals a difference of only approximately 1.5 times. In the Münster Families Study, a prospective intervention study to evaluate the therapeutic impact of relatives' groups, the predictive value of the familial emotional atmosphere could be measured in a prospective design. Ninety-nine DSMIII Schizophrenics, 72 male, 27 female, mean age 27 (SD 6.6), mean duration of illness 5.5 (SD 4.3) were followed up. In the first eighteen months patients from high-EE- families had a risk of rehospitalisation approximately 1.5 (p < 0.05). Further analysis showed that relapse rates among patients from high-EE and low-EE families were roughly the same for patients with a duration of illness of less than 4.5 years but were significantly different after a longer duration (p = 0.019). Besides a high EE rating, resignation of relatives was also a significant (p = 0.000) predictor of rehospitalisation for high and — even more — low EE families. Possible causes of these findings and therapeutic consequences are discussed.
To determine the impacts of using a whole grain food definition on measurement of whole grain intake compared with calculation of total grams of intake irrespective of the source.
The Australian whole grain database was expanded to identify foods that comply with the Healthgrain whole grain food definition (≥30 % whole grains on a dry weight basis, whole grain ingredients exceeds refined grain and meeting accepted standards for healthy foods based on local regulations). Secondary analysis of the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS) 2011–2012 dietary intake data included calculation of whole grain intakes based on intake from foods complying with the Healthgrain definition. These were compared with intake values where grams of whole grain in any food had been included.
Australians (≥2 years) who participated in the NNPAS 2011–2012 (n 12 153).
Following expansion of the whole grain database, 214 of the 609 foods containing any amount of whole grain were compliant with the Healthgrain definition. Significant mean differences (all P < 0·05) of 2·84–6·25 g/d of whole grain intake (5·91–9·44 g/d energy adjusted) were found when applying the Healthgrain definition in comparison with values from foods containing any whole grain across all age groups.
Application of a whole grain food definition has substantial impact on calculations of population whole grain intakes. While use of such definitions may prove beneficial in settings such as whole grain promotion, the underestimation of total intake may impact on identification of any associations between whole grain intake and health outcomes.
In 1956, Philip C. Jessup, in Transnational Law, defined transnational law (TL) as “all law which regulates actions or events that transcend national frontiers. Both public and private international law are included, as are other rules which do not wholly fit into such standard categories.” The book, defining the object of study, crystalized over the next generation as a field of study, if not quite yet a methodology and not yet a discipline. Philip Jessup’s definition of TL was formulated within the horizon of a particular phase of disciplinary engagement, which has been broadly characterized as postwar “pragmatism,” though this category hides as much as it reveals.3 The current book arrives at a different moment, and if future intellectual historians take us at our word, they will characterize us with a similarly imprecise term: interdisciplinary. This epilogue will diverge in its task from what the essays above have done so ably: investigating TL as an account of regulatory actors, norms, and processes discoverable in the world. It will open a window instead upon TL as a project for producing knowledge.4 This means viewing the book through the lens of its purposes, motives, and habits in producing TL as a kind of knowledge. It also means recognizing that the particular image of TL captured in the present book is highly specific, implicitly opposed to other conceptions, and that is true even if representatives of every faction are present and accounted for.
This chapter provides a systematic review of the legal, policy and institutional framework for refugee status determination and treatment of refugees in China. Although China acceded to the Refugee Convention and Protocol in 1982, it has not established a national mechanism for refugee status determination. Chinese law, as it currently stands, contains few provisions pertaining to refugees or asylum, is silent on who qualifies as a refugee and provides no express protection against refoulement. At the policy level, the Chinese government, in its limited public statements on refugee issues, appears to emphasise addressing root causes, rather than local integration or resettlement, as a preferred solution to refugee crises. In practice, UNHCR is the only organisation that processes asylum applications in China, whereas the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Civil Affairs have handled refugees in mass-influx situations without involving UNHCR.
Recognition of the existence and extent of conservation reliance in laws, regulations, and prioritization schemes has been slow to emerge. Mike Scott and Dale Goble put forth the concept based on their experiences with management and legal approaches, respectively. Recognizing conservation reliance will improve trust and support for conservation projects across a broad segment of society.
The chapter focuses on the distinction between treaties and other kinds of international instruments. It addresses issues such as why it is necessary to distinguish between treaties and other kinds of international instruments, and what can go wrong when a State or an IO fails to do so. It identifies other kinds of international instruments that are not treaties, their binding status, different scenarios in which it may be difficult to differentiate such instruments and how to overcome such situations. The chapter also offers some suggestions on handling treaties and other kinds of international instruments.
Working with human remains raises a host of ethical issues. This chapter explores whether there is a universal ethical approach to human remains or whether this idea is so general as to be little more than a broad statement. The chapter also provides a more general introduction to ethics. It is essential to have a good understanding of what this discipline actually means if curators and researchers are to act in truly ethical ways. In the literature discussing human remains there are only a few examples where general ethical principles are addressed. Most gloss over this aspect as if this understanding is a given. It is not. Many people, both involved in working with remains or not, have at best a sketchy understanding of ethics, yet we as academics and museum professionals are expected to draw up ethical codes and statements, which if they are to be more than a box-ticking exercise must be based on a firm understanding of the issues.
This paper argues that the existing definition of pandemics is not nuanced enough, because it is predicated solely on the criterion of spread, rather than on the criteria of spread and severity. This definitional challenge is what I call ‘the conflation problem’: there is a conflation of two different realities of global health, namely global health emergencies (i.e., severe communicable diseases that spread across borders) and nonemergencies (i.e., communicable or noncommunicable diseases that spread across borders and that may be severe). To put this argument forth, this paper begins by discussing the existing and internationally accepted definition of pandemics, its requirements, as well as its strengths (section 1). Section 2 then considers the problem with the standard definition of pandemics (i.e., the conflation problem) and some examples of it. Finally, section 3 evaluates some practical implications of the conflation problem to then explore conceptual clarity as the adequate solution.
Leeson (2020) objects to the conflation of economics with applied econometrics, and argues that economics instead should be thought of as the implications of the assumption that individuals maximize, i.e. rational choice theory. But, narrowly defining economics in terms of method demands that we ignore alternative theoretical frameworks which potentially hold explanatory power about topics thought of as economics, all for the sake of a definition. I suggest that applying rational choice theory and applying econometrics became the comparative advantage for economists relative to other social scientists by accidents of history. These comparative advantages largely persist. It is reasonable to call applications of both rational choice theory and econometrics to topics outside conventional economic topics ‘economics’ simply because these applications remain the comparative advantage of economists.
Chapter 4 presents kin group as an etic category that we can use to study ancient Egyptian relatedness. Kin group can be categorised as a polythetic class with a number of concurring attributes, not necessarily existing simultaneously. The six attributes that the primary sources reveal for kin groups in ancient Egypt are that they all live in the same household or area; they are displayed and commemorated together on monuments; they can function as and economic units or corporate groups; they are under the authority of one man who acts as the head of the group; they are buried together or close to each other in the same area of the necropolis; and they hold reciprocal duties with living and deceased members of the group.
This definition of kin groups is thus flexible and purely performative, as it based on what a kin group does rather than on what it is supposed to be. The main attribute is arguably display and commemoration, because most of the sources tend to be monumental in nature, representing an idea of the group that Egyptian themselves were trying to transmit to their contemporary and future audiences.