linkfest – 04/29/12

Ancient DNA from Neolithic Sweden“[I]t seems that ‘leapfrog’ colonization may be responsible for the spread of agriculture and its associated technologies (such as Megalithism) across Europe. In this model, farmers lept from place to place across the landscape intentionally, preserving their gene pool and largely ignoring the pre-existing foragers of the landscape…. In this respect, the colonization of Europe bears some resemblance to the settlement of the Americas by Europeans: it happened by leaps and bounds, and the early waves of explorers and pioneers may have opened the landscape but did not immediately fill it: this happened later as a result of demographic growth and new waves of migration, with the extant populations being differentially descended — in different proportions — from migrants and natives.” – great post from dienekes.

Bones of early American disappear from underwater cave – =/

Gay bashing by race – from the audacious one.

Like baboons, our elected leaders are literally addicted to power“Political power has a similar effect on the brain to cocaine”

The Invisible Borders That Define American Culture

Meet the ancestors – or do you mean cousins?

Higher maternal age predicts risk of autism“[C]hildren of mothers older than 35 years had 30% increased risk for autism.”

bonus: The Basis of a Real Conversation – from john derbyshire.

bonus bonus: Rare Protozoan from Sludge in Norwegian Lake Does Not Fit On Main Branches of Tree of Life“The protozoan is not a fungus, alga, parasite, plant or animal.”

bonus bonus bonus: Astronomers find new planet capable of supporting life – let’s go!

bonus bonus bonus bonus: darwin award candidate – Swiss woman dies after attempting to live on sunlight; Woman gave up food and water on spiritual journey – no, humans are not plants.

(note: comments do not require an email. The Only Thing That Can Stop This Asteroid is Your Liberal Arts Degree.)

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31 Comments

  1. “Swiss woman dies after attempting to live on sunlight; Woman gave up food and water on spiritual journey”

    She was overly ambitious. Yogis in India can live on air and water — or so I have heard.

    Reply

  2. I was just discussing the waves of population replacement in Europe. In fact, that was the email that preceded the email that became my blog post summarizing your theory of modern Western civilization. The settlement of Europe does seem a lot like the European colonization of North America, where a nearly complete population replacement took place. I find it interesting that a couple of pioneers open up the land to then be followed by later settlers, which is pretty much what happened in the Americas. And again we have foragers replaced by farmers and herders. Fascinating…

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  3. @luke – “She was overly ambitious. Yogis in India can live on air and water — or so I have heard.”

    heh. yeah, i said humans are not plants, but even plants need water, not just sunlight!

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  4. @gorbachev – “It’s the ultimate in Yoga chick achievement.”

    major yoga chick FAIL!

    (poor her. i assume she was just crazy. =/ )

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  5. @jayman – “I find it interesting that a couple of pioneers open up the land to then be followed by later settlers, which is pretty much what happened in the Americas.”

    i wonder if the acquisition of new territory by other animals — maybe esp. mammals — is at all similar?

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  6. it looks like Cavalli-Sforza’s ideas are being proven true. although the comparison to America only fits if you are talking abut the English colonies. the Spaniards made a rapid conquest and mixed with the subject people, a more typical Old World conquest. I wonder if the Neolithic farmers had as much conflict with the natives as the English had? perhaps not if we can judge by the Saami, who have never fought a histoical war.

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  7. @audacious epigone – “The daily illustrations of just how limited a role reason plays in human affairs are legion.”

    yep. logic and reason are NOT the hallmarks of humanity. they’re just the quirky traits of a handful of oddballs.

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  8. ” the colonization of Europe bears some resemblance to the settlement of the Americas by Europeans:”

    Maybe there is a higher rate of alcoholism among people on the northern fringes of Europe and Asia for the same general reason that there is a high rate of alcoholism among indigenous people of North America and Australia. Maybe almost all humans started out with a genetic tendency to be addicted to alcohol. Only farming communities would have been able to produce alcohol in substantial amounts. Perhaps among farmers alcoholics tended to die off and be less successful at getting their genes into the next generation, so farmers evolved a degree of protection against alcoholism. The hunter-gatherers never got a chance to gradually evolve protection from alcoholism.

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  9. “Higher maternal age…” I thought it was just greater paternal age. So much for my reproducing. I am into my seventh decade, and what with my “quirks” and a marriage with a woman who would be mutually compatible, i.e. quirky herself and not quite old enough to be totally infertile, well, that would prolly give us a two-fer, a Downie who is also a non-speaking head-banger.

    Dang! I forgot to reproduce!

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  10. P.s. When people ask me what my profession is, I always answer “educator”, in the sense that there is nothing so educational as an horrible bad example.

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  11. @bleach:

    Yup, you can bet that almost certainly there would have been violent clashes between the newcomers and the indigenous population. But the expanding farmers would have been aided by their greater numbers and the diseases they likely carried—diseases to which they were likely immune but that the foragers would have had no defense, as Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending (C&H) would likely tell you.

    @melykin:

    Yes, that’s pretty much the theory that C&H talk about in their book.

    As an aside, what I find interesting is that it seems that the Baltic people are perhaps the people in Europe with the most descent from the original foragers. They have facial features quite distinct from the Europeans that surround them (here and here), which is perhaps a sign of their Mesolithic component. I think that an interesting fusion of foragers, and Proto-Indo-European herders may have given us a late but successful branch of Indo-Europeans who spread through Northern Europe. The Scots and Irish and other of the the Celtic fringe may also be a pocket of survivors from an earlier group.

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  12. Yup, as somebody said, Man is not a rational animal, but a rationalizing animal.
    That is, we use our reason to think up excuses for whatever it was we were going to do anyway. This is why people who actually alter their behavior as a consequence of a course of logic in their heads get the hairy eyeball from the normals, and are sometimes burned at the stake. C. S. Lewis had something to say on this subject. I’ll make a Christian out of you yet, hbd. You’re already halfway there.

    Reply

  13. “Rare Protozoan from Sludge in Norwegian Lake Does Not Fit On Main Branches of Tree of Life”

    There’s so much fascinating stuff in this country! ;o)

    Hey, did you see all the episodes of “Brainwash” yet?!

    Reply

  14. @bleach – “I wonder if the Neolithic farmers had as much conflict with the natives as the English had?”

    wonder if there’s any indicators in the archaeological record of battles between the paleos and the neos? burnt down settlements/bashed in skulls — from either side?

    i keep thinking that when reporters/tptb put the “see, we’re all immigrants!” spin on these stories that they’re missing the point. the point is not that all modern europeans are immigrants, the point is that the previous population was (nearly) REPLACED by immigrants.

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  15. @melykin – “Perhaps among farmers alcoholics tended to die off and be less successful at getting their genes into the next generation, so farmers evolved a degree of protection against alcoholism. The hunter-gatherers never got a chance to gradually evolve protection from alcoholism.”

    yeah, absolutely. like jayman said, that’s the C&H theory anyway. (^_^)

    Reply

  16. @justthisguy – “Dang! I forgot to reproduce!”

    i hate when that happens! (~_^)

    @justthisguy – “I am into my seventh decade….”

    you are yet another example of many that i have encountered illustrating how autism/asperger’s really is a developmental disorder. i was convinced by your writing style/online attitude that you were probably in your 30s or 40s. (^_^) i think we aspies really develop or mature more slowly than the nts. like fine wines. (~_^)

    @justthisguy – “I thought it was just greater paternal age.”

    i’ve seen a couple of reports now showing a connection between maternal age and autism as well, so … maybe. it’s funny ’cause my dad is more assburgers than me (i know! hard to believe that could be possible (~_^) ) — he’s even more of a high-functioning autist than an aspie — kinda like a jamie hyneman only without the mustache and beret and if jamie hyneman were an accountant. anyway, my dad’s mom was 36 when she had him — and he was her first kid! so, who knows? of course, personality-wise, she was pretty aspie herself, which make me wonder if it’s just a late development thing again — late developing, late mating.

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  17. @justthisguy – “I’ll make a Christian out of you yet, hbd. You’re already halfway there.”

    i had twelve years of catholic schooling (four more if you count the catholic college i went to, but i didn’t really encounter much religion there) and it didn’t take, but you can try! (~_^) i don’t think i have the genes for it tho.

    Reply

  18. @crassus – “There’s so much fascinating stuff in this country! ;o)”

    apparently there is! i was thinking of you when i posted that — have you gone to visit the oldest living tree yet? (^_^)

    @crassus – “Hey, did you see all the episodes of ‘Brainwash’ yet?!”

    i did!! and they were all fantastic! if only someone would do a show like that in engrish!

    and eia even went and chatted with greg cochran! (^_^) greg cochran: world famous in norway. (~_^)

    i keep meaning to do posts for each of the episodes, but i just haven’t found (made) the time. sadly, i can’t be online 24/7 — a girl’s gotta get her beauty sleep. (~_^) one of these days. promise!

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  19. @hbd chick:

    “the highest homicide rates in the e.u. are in latvia and estonia.”

    Good point, with Lithuania being not too shabby either… :\ If this is in any way related to their hunter-gather ancestry, that would be incredible though, as one would imagine that 4,000 years of evolution—with at least a few centuries of that being under civilizing forces—would have made a dent in their temperaments. But it is interesting though.

    Upon telling her about the hunter-gatherer refugia in Northern Europe, which apparently included some of the ancestors of the modern Balts, my gf became very proud of her Baltic ancestry. She kinda sees her people as been resistors of sorts, able to fend off the invaders coming in from the south and east, at least for awhile. :)

    I guess the equivalent would in the Americas would be the Inuit, who also seem to be fairly successful at holding their ground from the European newcomers, mostly because they inhabit territory that nobody else wants to live in…

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  20. @hbd chick:

    “i’ve seen a couple of reports now showing a connection between maternal age and autism as well, so … maybe. it’s funny ’cause my dad is more assburgers than me (i know! hard to believe that could be possible (~_^) )”

    LOL at “assburgers.” ;)

    “a jamie hyneman only without the mustache and beret and if jamie hyneman were an accountant. anyway, my dad’s mom was 36 when she had him — and he was her first kid! so, who knows? of course, personality-wise, she was pretty aspie herself, which make me wonder if it’s just a late development thing again — late developing, late mating.”

    I’m seriously suspecting this myself. For men, it’s fairly obvious, as, to be honest, aspies likely have a harder time getting laid, and I’d imagine it may take a while for them to get their stuff together and (fortunately) get a mate. And even then one would expect assortative mating to be involved big time. This could also be in concert with slower development overall in both sexes, perhaps wholly or in part due to the fact that aspies need to learn social rules methodically rather than picking them up naturally.

    What I’d like to see is a study that looked at the average age of the birth of the first child for couples where one or both parents are on the spectrum. This could be coupled with a study that looked at parental age of autistics and see if the effect of parental age goes away when one controls for the degree of autistic traits in the parents. Not a perfectly parsimonious way of demonstrating that late breeding by those on the spectrum is responsible for the association between parental age and autism, but it would definitely support or weaken that idea.

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  21. @hbd chick:

    “i had twelve years of catholic schooling (four more if you count the catholic college i went to, but i didn’t really encounter much religion there) and it didn’t take, but you can try! (~_^) i don’t think i have the genes for it tho.”

    Catholics seem to lose ’em the most. A lot of famous atheists are ex-Catholics or were raised Catholic.

    And mentioning Jesus, I have a new blog post up discussing HBD and Atheism:

    http://jayman.blog.com/2012/04/30/hbd-and-atheism/

    Reply

  22. Didn’t something similar happen in Africa, though on a slower time-scale? The Khoisan and pygmies (both hunter-gatherers) have been replaced almost entirely by black Africans, who tend to be either herders or farmers.

    Reply

    1. @Georgia Resident:

      Yup, almost exactly like that. The Bantu expansion pushed the earlier foragers aside. I think that we’ll find that this is a common theme with farmers. The increased food output of agriculture leads to a population boom (relative to foragers), which requires more land to farm, hence they push out into the surrounding territory and earlier groups are pushed aside. Apparently this happens without there necessarily being a lot of intermixing between the two groups.

      However, to use Africa as an example, from the physical and linguistic features of the Bantu Xhosa (their use of clicks), I’d be willing to bet that there was some intermixing between them and the Khoisan.

      Reply

  23. @HBD Chick
    No, I haven’t seen that tree yet. Spring comes late up there, it’s just below the tree line. Most of the area is probably still covered in snow. But I hope I will be able to go there this summer, and then I’ll take some pictures.

    Actually, I can’t remember him interviewing Cochran? But that’s probably because I didn’t know who Cochran was when I saw the show to years ago. I know now, though. Even got his book!

    And about being “world famous in Norway”…that’s a common expression over here, and we DO have quite a few celebrities who fit the description pretty well!

    “i keep meaning to do posts for each of the episodes”
    I look forward to see your reviews! :o)

    Reply

  24. @jayman – “If this is in any way related to their hunter-gather ancestry, that would be incredible….”

    i read about the high homicide rates in the baltic countries a couple of years ago and i remember thinking, what’s that about? you’d think that whatever they all have in common — that none of the surrounding populations share — would be a good candidate for the high homicide rates, but it doesn’t have to be, of course.

    @jayman – “Upon telling her about the hunter-gatherer refugia in Northern Europe, which apparently included some of the ancestors of the modern Balts, my gf became very proud of her Baltic ancestry. She kinda sees her people as been resistors of sorts, able to fend off the invaders coming in from the south and east, at least for awhile.”

    and so she should be! (and so should everybody be of their respective heritages.) (^_^)

    is there an “alamo” of the baltic states? someplace where a last stand happened. so we can shout out prisiminti, kad alamo! on lithuanian national day or whatever! (~_^)

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  25. @crassus – “Spring comes late up there, it’s just below the tree line. Most of the area is probably still covered in snow.”

    ah. ok! as my father would say: “snow — one of those four-letter words.” (~_^)

    @crassus – “And about being “world famous in Norway”…that’s a common expression over here….”

    i know it from the midwest — one of the expressions i grew up with. maybe some scandis brought it over with them. (^_^)

    Reply

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