linkfest – 02/05/12

Brains of addicts are inherently abnormal: study“Drug addicts have inherited abnormalities in some parts of the brain which interfere with impulse control, said a British study published in the United States on Thursday…. Scientists at the University of Cambridge compared the brains of addicts to their non-addicted siblings as well as to healthy, unrelated volunteers and found that the siblings shared many of the same weaknesses in their brains. That indicates that the brain vulnerabilities had a family origin….”

Sex-specific behaviors traced to hormone-controlled genes in the brain“The new evidence shows that the sex hormones – testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone – act in a key region of the brain, switching certain genes on and others off. ‘What this means is that complex behaviors like male mating or maternal care in mice can be deconstructed at the genetic level.'”

Gene related to fat preferences in humans found“A preference for fatty foods has a genetic basis, according to researchers, who discovered that people with certain forms of the CD36 gene [the AA form] may like high-fat foods more than those who have other forms of this gene.” – i betcha i don’t have that allele. fat. yuck! (^_^)

Jonathan Haidt Decodes the Tribal Psychology of Politics“Humans are 90-percent chimp, but also 10-percent bee—evolved to bind together for the good of the hive.” – bzzz. (^_^)

Shocker: Women’s rights do not bloom in Arab Spring – from mr. a. epigone.

DNA Turning Human Story Into a Tell-All“[F]aster and cheaper genetic sequencing technology, is helping scientists draw a surprisingly complex new picture of human origins. The new view is fast supplanting the traditional idea that modern humans triumphantly marched out of Africa about 50,000 years ago, replacing all other types that had gone before. Instead, the genetic analysis shows, modern humans encountered and bred with at least two groups of ancient humans in relatively recent times: the Neanderthals, who lived in Europe and Asia, dying out roughly 30,000 years ago, and a mysterious group known as the Denisovans, who lived in Asia and most likely vanished around the same time.”

Y-chromosome admixture in self-identified Australian Aboriginals“In total, ∼70% of Y chromosomes in the Aboriginal database could be classed as non-indigenous, with only 169 (129 unique haplotypes) or 22% of the total being associated with haplogroups denoting Aboriginal ancestry….” – @dienekes’ blog.

What’s Wrong With the Teenage Mind?“Children today reach puberty earlier and adulthood later. The result: A lot of teenage weirdness.”

Strength by outbreeding“‘US history has many virtues, among which is the fact that the US population is reconstituted every generation through a roughly 10 percent admixture by external immigration from throughout the world.'” – that’s a quote from robert trivers’ new book @evolving economics.

Castaway Lizards Offer New Look at Evolutionary Processes“Differences caused by ‘founder effect’ persist when populations adapt to new environments”

bonus: Quiet, Please: Unleashing ‘The Power Of Introverts’ – this might be the one and only time i’ll link to npr. ever. (~_^)

bonus bonus: ruh roh.

(note: comments do not require an email. or hard work and originality. (~_^) )

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14 Comments

  1. http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2012/01/trivers-on-genes-and-mental-traits.html?showComment=1327936769647#c7944648364862147294

    “Trivers’ book is largely a reaction to the paper “The Evolution of Eusociality” which he condemned. Trivers also condemned Hamilton’s “Innate Social Aptitudes of Man”, calling it “fascist”. In both cases I believe he was attempting to avoid light being thrown on the dysgenics of civilization and the eugenics of natural environments. Hamilton’s ISAOM, in particular, was “evil” because he talked explicitly about how civilization “probably” slowly decreases cultural creativity at the genetic level.

    Trivers’ emphasis on deception as the origin of intelligence is perfectly aligned with his identification with civilization, promoting it as eugenic. Deception, you see, is the “fair contest”, the winners of which are the vanguard of creative evolution.

    What is Trivers’ ethnic background?”

    Reply

  2. @ron – “Trivers’ book is largely a reaction to the paper ‘The Evolution of Eusociality’ which he condemned.”

    ah ha! i see, i see. didn’t realize that.

    i was looking forward to getting trivers’ new book, but after reading a couple of reviews, i’ve decided to skip it. maybe i’ll pick up one of his more scientific works.

    ’cause i think all of his research and insights on deception and self-deception are really terrific. too bad he’s got all that politically correct baggage, tho. but like you suggested, it’s not surprising that he thinks/feels the way he does. oh well.

    Reply

  3. Trivers is a boas-gould-lewontin type using outbreeding as a synonym for diversity imo.

    Historical outbreeding as discussed on this blog was the opposite of diversity.

    If a population moves into a geographically bounded region and then divides into the various sub-regions and further into each individual valley the various sub-groups immediately begin a process of drifting apart genetically. The relatedness within each base unit in each little valley increases while the relatedness between the different base units decreases. This makes large scale voluntary cooperation difficult without religion or external threat. In most parts of the world this was the standard case throughout history with the only big variation being to reinforce the standard case with extra inbreeding.

    What the high degree of exogamy within the european nations did, especially in the northwest, was reverse the process of drift. It didn’t make English, Dutch and Danes less related it made them more related. It didn’t make them more diverse it made them more homogenous.

    Maximal exogomy within an already related population maximizes total relatedness and makes the population more homogenous and less diverse by shuffling up all the drift.

    Trivers version reduces total relatedness and reduces homogeneity hence why America is coming apart.

    Reply

  4. @g.w. – “What the high degree of exogamy within the european nations did, especially in the northwest, was reverse the process of drift. It didn’t make English, Dutch and Danes less related it made them more related. It didn’t make them more diverse it made them more homogenous.”

    this, i feel, is the hardest point to get across (to someone who doesn’t have half a brain) because at first glance it doesn’t make any sense — greater outbreeding leads to a people being more related? it’s not intuitive — unless you’ve thought about genetic relatedness far too much than what is probably good for you. (~_^)

    @g.w. – “Trivers version reduces total relatedness and reduces homogeneity hence why America is coming apart.”

    yup. =/

    Reply

  5. “this, i feel, is the hardest point to get across”

    yep, hence taking the opportunity to practise getting it down to less than 3000 words :)

    Reply

  6. Looks like that “EllenHunt” person in the comments on the Haidt piece “hast recht”, the others, not so much. One thing I’ve noticed from accounts of battles, and sieges, and sackings, is that being around lots of violent death makes _everybody_ horny.

    There is a book by either Mary Renault or Edith Hamilton in which a town is conquered and sacked. A coupla of the characters are “theater persons”, one a boy who likes boys, one a gal who likes gals. They hide out from the killing, pillage, and rape. Nonetheless, they get it on with each other under the stimulus of fixin-to-die and the smells and screams.

    Reply

  7. @justthisguy – “One thing I’ve noticed from accounts of battles, and sieges, and sackings, is that being around lots of violent death makes _everybody_ horny.”

    it’s interesting you say that, ’cause i’ve had this working theory for a while now related to all the rapes that you see during war-time and that is that maybe when people are faced with death — a real possibility of dying any second now — that the reproductive system kicks in to high-gear ’cause, you know, this could be your last chance.

    Reply

  8. @g.w. – “yep, hence taking the opportunity to practise getting it down to less than 3000 words :)

    good, good! this is the place for it! (^_^)

    Reply

  9. ““yep, hence taking the opportunity to practise getting it down to less than 3000 words :)”

    just to be sure, reading that back it’s not clear i meant me writing 3000 word comments.

    Reply

  10. “that the reproductive system kicks in to high-gear ’cause, you know, this could be your last chance”

    i think horror films have a similar effect.

    Reply

  11. The terrifying thing is that in the media there are people who are genuinely surprised that democracy (majority rule) in the middle east isn’t leading to western-style views of women’s rights. It says a lot about the people from whom many Americans get their views on public policy

    Reply

  12. @georgia resident – “The terrifying thing is that in the media there are people who are genuinely surprised that democracy (majority rule) in the middle east isn’t leading to western-style views of women’s rights.”

    no kidding, huh?! i hardly get any of my news from the msm anymore. well, i do, only i get it pre-filtered through the blogs i read — and i check the drudge headlines a couple of times a day. i figure the intelligent, informed bloggers out there can inform me waaaay better than most ap journalists. *sigh*

    Reply

  13. @g.w. – “i think horror films have a similar effect.”

    oh, lord — not on me they don’t! they just send me, wimpering, directly under the bed where i hide out until all the scary monsters are gone. (of course, i have to get someone to check under the bed first to make sure there are no monsters hiding under there. (~_^) )

    Reply

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