looking for altruism genes

so, the tidbit of info in the previous post about the mccoy clan being predisposed to von hippel–lindau disease (75% of the mccoy clan have had tumors on their adrenal glands — says so in wikipedia so it must be true), got me to thinking about what sorts of congenital conditions might offer clues to “genes for altruism” a la cochran, hardy & harpending [pdf].

re. the mccoys and von hippel–lindau disease:

“Some descendants of the McCoy family (involved in the Hatfield-McCoy feud of Appalachia, USA) as well as the Elliotts have VHL. In an article appearing in the Associated Press, it has been speculated by a Vanderbilt University endocrinologist that the hostility underlying the Hatfield–McCoy feud may have been partly due to the consequences of von Hippel–Lindau disease. The article suggests that the McCoy family was predisposed to bad tempers because many of them had a pheochromocytoma, which produced excess adrenaline and a tendency toward explosive tempers.

hmmm. excess adrenaline. that could certainly be beneficial if the sort of altruistic behavior you need to have to be reproductively successful is the kind where you’re willing to go out and fight the competing clan on behalf of your own.

so i started thinking about everybody’s favorite aggressively tribal inbreeders — the arabs — and aaaall the congenital disorders they have and if any of them might be related to adrenalin and/or the adrenal glands.

here’s one — congenital adrenal hyperplasia:

“Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) refers to any of several autosomal recessive diseases resulting from mutations of genes for enzymes mediating the biochemical steps of production of cortisol from cholesterol by the adrenal glands (steroidogenesis)…. CAH is a genetic disorder in which girls are masculinized because the adrenal glands secrete large amounts of androgen during prenatal development. The extra androgen does not affect a baby boy’s physical development, but in baby girls it can enlarge the clitoris so that it resembles a penis….

“Most of these conditions involve excessive or deficient production of sex steroids and can alter development of primary or secondary sex characteristics in some affected infants, children, or adults.”

so here’s a genetically recessive condition — so, like sickle cell anemia, you need to have two copies of the “bad” allele to have the condition — that masculinizes girls ’cause the female fetus is exposed to lots of androgen. and male fetuses are not affected? at all? couldn’t they be “extra” masculinized in some way? maybe that’s not the case, but it sure makes me wonder.

and androgen certainly has interesting effects on the brain:

“Circulating levels of androgens can influence human behavior because some neurons are sensitive to steroid hormones. Androgen levels have been implicated in the regulation of human aggression and libido.”

well, what do you need to survive in a warring clannish/tribal society but high levels of aggression? amirite?!

the world-wide incidence of CAH is 1:14,199 live births. in kuwait it’s 1:7,000 and amongst moroccan jews it’s between 1:5000-1:7000 (i know, i know — they’re not arabs — but they’re part of the same sort of clannish, inbreeding society being in morocco). there are also apparently high rates in egypt (alexandria), but i don’t know what the prevlance is. it’s also considered a problem in tunisia, jordan, oman, uae and saudi arabia.

here’s a breakdown of the prevalence in several populations:

1:282 – yupik eskimos of southwestern alaska
1:2,141 – edit: la reunion, france (or la reunion, france? see comments.)
1:5000-1:7000 – moroccan jews
1:7,000 – kuwait
1:10,866 – france (whites)
1:10,866 – italy (whites)
1:14,500 – new zealand
1:15,800 – japan
1:17,098 – scotland

carriers of one allele related to CAH often exhibit “symptoms of androgen excess.”

androgen excess? aggression? high prevalence in the arab world? clannish/tribal societies? possible “genes for altruism”?

dunno. just a thought.

previously: hatfields and mccoys and which altruism genes?

(note: comments do not require an email. chaaaaaaarge!)

56 Comments

  1. “1:282 – yupik eskimos of southwestern alaska”

    There is a high rate of violent crime in parts of northern Canada where Inuit are a majority. I always assumed it was related to the high rate of alcoholism among the Inuit.

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  2. @ihtg – “I think that La Reunion Wikipedia link is pointing to the wrong La Reunion.”

    you could very well be right.

    i first had it linking to la reunion the caribbean island (which would perhaps make more sense given the numbers), but the abstract said so specifically “la reunion, france” that i decided to take them as literally as possible (as only an aspie can do (~_^) ). i’ve only got access to the abstract, so … i dunno!

    i wondered maybe if there was some weird pocket of CAH in a little corner of france somewhere. -??-

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  3. With the 1:282 – yupik eskimos of southwestern alaska it would be interesting to see the incidence rates as we move up from the area of the Arabian Peninsula through Asia to the Bering Straight.

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  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_genetics_of_Jews

    Ashkenazi Jews hit the world peak of 1/6 “carrier frequency” for nonclassical congenital adrenal hyperplasia. For that would probably equal a prevalence of 1/36 assuming random mating.

    “Late onset (nonclassical) CAH

    The androgen excess is mild enough that virilization is not apparent or goes unrecognized at birth and in early childhood.

    However, androgen levels are above normal and slowly rise during childhood, producing noticeable effects between 2 and 9 years of age.

    Appearance of pubic hair in mid-childhood is the most common feature that leads to evaluation and diagnosis. Other accompanying features are likely to be tall stature and accelerated bone age (often 3–5 years ahead).

    Often present are increased muscle mass, acne, and adult body odor. In boys the penis will be enlarged. Mild clitoral enlargement may occur in girls, and sometimes a degree of prenatal virilization is recognized that may have gone unnoticed in infancy.”

    Also somewhat on topic :

    http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/05/21/0956797611435133.abstract – “Men With Wider Faces (prenatal androgenisation) Are More Generous to Their In-Group When Out-Group Competition Is Salient”

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  5. I think they mean La Réunion (pop. 800,000), the island in the Indian Ocean which is a French overseas territory, like Guadaloupe and Martinique are in the Caribbean.

    Wiki: Ethnic groups present include people of European, African, Malagasy, Indian and Chinese origin as well as many of mixed race. …It is not known exactly how many people there are of each ethnicity since there is a ban on ethnic censuses in France.

    This is off the topic, HBD Chick, but could you possibly take a look at the comment here by Audacious Epigone? He was wondering if anyone has looked for a numeric correlation between inbreeding and corruption (like via the Transparency Int’l numbers). I have not myself, have you?

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  6. This is somewhat off-topic, but Dienekes has a blog covering a new paper on neolithic farmers that suggests the males formed a sort of gang that allocated and defended the best farmland. This might indicate that in-breeding effects of social structure go back to the beginning of agriculture.

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  7. A bit off topic, but perhaps you could devote some time to the differences between Japan and China. China is a country in which the people prey on each other unmercifully. In Japan the boss can walk down the street with a suitcase full of cash — payday is Friday and everyone is paid in cash — and no one will touch him. In Chian he wouldn’t get two blocks.

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  8. @Luke Lea:

    Yeah I wondered what was up with China vs Japan. Clearly the Chinese have had a more recent history of inbreeding. The Japanese are famous for their ability to work together. Perhaps they are more outbred, but their evolution took a different path than did NW Europeans, such that they didn’t develop such a concern for other ethnicities.

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  9. @luke – “A bit off topic, but perhaps you could devote some time to the differences between Japan and China.”

    @jayman – “Yeah I wondered what was up with China vs Japan.”

    yes, i must look at japan (and more at china!). i’ve read a little about mating patterns in japan, but not much. there were a bunch of studies done that involved checking for consanguinity rates right after wwii (u.s. and japanese researchers checking to see if it was radiation or inbreeding causing birth defects – sad), so there’s some good data for the early twentieth century and since then. i included some of that in a previous post.

    as recently as the 1950s there was an 8% first-/second-cousin marriage rate in urban areas in japan. presumably that was even greater in rural areas as well as in the past — but you never know. i really don’t like to presume anything with mating patterns because if i’ve learned anything it’s that they really can fluctuate or just downright change.

    i’ve also seen some other research on japanese mating patterns in which some villages married very, very endogamously — almost no one married outside the village for generation after generation. i have no idea how widespread that practice was.

    i presume that traditional cousin marriage in japan was of the mother’s brother’s form which is common in asia and not the arab type (fbd), but i don’t know that for sure, either.

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  10. @luke – “China is a country in which the people prey on each other unmercifully.”

    i wonder if the cut-throat behavior of the chinese comes from their long history of landlordism in which only the successful peasant farmer survived (as opposed to the european manorialism system in which everyone of the manor was considered “family” and even the not-so-capable would at least be looked after). it sounds like there was often little security in their landlord system. that plus very high population numbers would make anybody cut-throat.

    toss in the inbreeding and clannishness and you don’t get a very “nice” society.

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  11. @bob – “This is somewhat off-topic, but Dienekes has a blog covering a new paper on neolithic farmers that suggests the males formed a sort of gang that allocated and defended the best farmland. This might indicate that in-breeding effects of social structure go back to the beginning of agriculture.”

    i saw that, thanks! that was interesting! it’s interesting that the men seemed to be from the same place/related while the women were brought in from elsewhere. cool stuff!

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  12. @m.g. – “I think they mean La Réunion (pop. 800,000), the island in the Indian Ocean which is a French overseas territory, like Guadaloupe and Martinique are in the Caribbean.”

    ok, ok — i’ll change it to the caribbean island! (^_^) (i still would like to peek inside the article to make sure, though….)

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  13. @rjp – “With the 1:282 – yupik eskimos of southwestern alaska it would be interesting to see the incidence rates as we move up from the area of the Arabian Peninsula through Asia to the Bering Straight.”

    that would be interesting!

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  14. @matt – “Ashkenazi Jews hit the world peak of 1/6 ‘carrier frequency’ for nonclassical congenital adrenal hyperplasia. For that would probably equal a prevalence of 1/36 assuming random mating.”

    interesting!

    “However, androgen levels are above normal and slowly rise during childhood, producing noticeable effects between 2 and 9 years of age.”

    that’s the sort of thing i was thinking of — might higher androgen levels=greater aggression (which could be particularly beneficial if directed towards outsiders).

    @matt – “‘Men With Wider Faces (prenatal androgenisation) Are More Generous to Their In-Group When Out-Group Competition Is Salient'”

    yeah — cool, huh?!

    question is (or questions are): do some populations have wider faces than others? if so, are they more inbred? and are they more aggressive towards outsiders?

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  15. @hbd chick: question is (or questions are): do some populations have wider faces than others? if so, are they more inbred? and are they more aggressive towards outsiders?

    Yeah, I got into a bit of a discussion with a guy at Frost’s blog about this, where he claimed that the narrower the face, the less androgenised the population and the more likely to behave in a cooperative fashion (of course, the paper I linked says it isn’t so simple), where I was basically claiming that there were a load of other confounding factors, and so it wouldn’t really line up, in terms of between pop differences.

    (Also, he was kind of confusing the total facial index with the upper facial index (which is what these broad faced = androgenisation studies are really measuring), which was annoying).

    I still think that, between populations, BUT it is interesting that there have been changes in the European and East Asian populations in the Neolithic in the direction of narrower and taller faces….

    http://www.paleoanthro.org/dissertations/Michael%20Masters.pdf – page 100 and page 137 “Most changes in (European) skull morphology throughout (the last 3000 years) involve shape modification, and more specifically a shift toward brachycephalization and an increase in the facial index (a narrower vertically elongated facial form)

    and http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oa.1190/pdf“In general, from the Neolithic to the present day, (Chinese) cranial height decreases, the face and the nose gets narrower, the orbits become narrower and higher.”)

    (which is also kind of interesting because the long term evolutionary trend has been to shorter and broader faces).

    Seems like that lines up with the idea of these populations experiencing population booms and thus being drawn into a world where ingroup kin-selected altruism isn’t as reproductively effective as it used to be, for the reasons Greg Cochran describes – http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/your-countrys-not-your-blood/. Maybe together with the rule of law punishing aggressive individuals.

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  16. “This is somewhat off-topic, but Dienekes has a blog covering a new paper on neolithic farmers that suggests the males formed a sort of gang that allocated and defended the best farmland.”. -bob

    They probably did have rights but I didn’t see anything about fighting.

    One thing we learned from a recent study on the trb farmer from Sweden, is that, one ethnic group wasn’t conquering the other ethnic groups, and getting rid of the other men in order to invite the other women. They probably just kept to their own land without fighting their neighbors. The same may be true within the ethnic group.

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  17. “They probably did have rights but I didn’t see anything about fighting.”

    Given their initial low level of technology and robustness of crops the early spread of farmers might have been limited to just those spots which were the most suitable. Until the land started to fill up creating more competition for resources the initial expansion might have been more peaceful than people imagine.

    The colonization of America might be a suitable model for the European neolithic in some ways but it was founded on a very large pre-existing pool of potential colonists in Europe. What would a European colonization of America look like if it had started in say the 12th century with a much smaller and much slower migration?

    I think it might have been a much slower coastal and riverine hop-expansion with the indians having much longer to adapt and maybe long enough for an Apache kingdom with armoured knights to fix a frontier somewhere around the Mississippi?

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  18. The earliest agricultural societies — so-called horticultural societies — tend to be matrilineal and/or matrilocal with a lot of female goddesses. (No evidence of matriarchies however!) Later, with political state formation it was just the other way around.

    The way I’ve always accounted for this in my own mind, probably mistakenly, is that early horticultural practices (using hoes and digging sticks before the plow or draft animals) were probably an evolutionary development of the “gathering” side of the hunter/gatherer economy (since gathering was traditionally women’s work). I imagine this development might first have occurred in weaker groups who were forced to marginal hunting and gathering grounds as a result of demographic pressure and competition for survival, though it doesn’t really matter.

    The switch to patrilineal kinship and male gods on the other hand coincides with the rise of political states. I see the rise of the state as being the natural result of the military conquest and subjugation of horticultural societies by outside groups, often pastoral tribes who were already patrilineal and understood something about the domestication of animals (of which the conquest and subjugation of other human beings is a natural extension).

    I discuss this scenario in the context of the Adam and Eve story here, which I interpret as an early example of a political allegory (using the word allegory in the original sense). If true then the allegorical intent was eventually forgotten or possibly suppressed under the influence of political and religious authorities This is just a guess, nothing more.

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  19. @luke – “The earliest agricultural societies — so-called horticultural societies — tend to be matrilineal and/or matrilocal with a lot of female goddesses.”

    there are a lot of matrilineal societies in sub-saharan africa. i wonder if they have/had a lot of female goddesses?

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  20. @g.w. – “Until the land started to fill up creating more competition for resources the initial expansion might have been more peaceful than people imagine.”

    what did the hunter-gatherers make of these newly arrived people, though? strangers! most mammals don’t tolerate unknown individuals in their territories … although maybe that only happens when territories are full. i dunno.

    @g.w. – “The colonization of America might be a suitable model for the European neolithic in some ways but it was founded on a very large pre-existing pool of potential colonists in Europe.”

    and, also, the europeans arriving in america were very advanced technologically speaking. they could settle pretty much anywhere, couldn’t they? unlike the folks back in the neolithic.

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  21. @matt – “Seems like that lines up with the idea of these populations experiencing population booms and thus being drawn into a world where ingroup kin-selected altruism isn’t as reproductively effective as it used to be, for the reasons Greg Cochran describes….”

    yes. but i think prof. cochran is missing out on the point that altruism can be “jump started” with a little (ok, a LOT) of inbreeding.

    a population boom + altruistic acts for strangers = an overall reduction of altruism genes in the population, however if the population members practice a lot of inbreeding or revert to inbreeding, the frequencies of “genes for altruism” will (or can) increase pretty rapidly.

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  22. “Until the land started to fill up creating more competition for resources the initial expansion might have been more peaceful than people imagine”

    How would you describe the trb? I think they were pretty populous. But despite their expanding into other peoples area, they did not mix much with the locals. I think that suggests a peaceful plight for land.

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  23. Well… At the very least it implies that the trb folk weren’t killing of the meso men and inviting their wives when they expanded.

    You might suppose that trb folk would act the same way towards their own people.

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  24. “But despite their expanding into other peoples area”

    I think that’s the key point though. How precisely is that true if initially the farmers were limited to a fairly small range but they could maintain a much larger population density within that range?

    Imagine a terriotory divided into a 4×4 grid of equal blocks with HGs able to maintain a population of 60 in each block. Say early intrusive farmers could only successfully farm in one of those blocks but they could maintain a population of 600 in that one block. If so the dynamics then are
    – the HGs are only displaced in one spot in the grid
    – at the point of conflict the farmers have a major advantage in concentrated numbers
    – (possibly) the loess soil the farmers wanted might not be the most desirable from a HG point of view

    So there would be conflict but i think it would take the form of
    – Farmers set up a walled colony on a coast or river with good defensive terrain on loess soil
    – HGs raid from the forest but can’t take the colony
    – The farmers don’t want 90% of the HG terriotory
    – (Possibly the block the farmers want isn’t the best for foraging anyway)

    So i don’t think it would have been peaceful in a kumbayah sense but in a simple cost-benefit sense i think it’s likely to have been mostly a stand-off comprising a mixture of trading interspersed with raiding

    If so the competition for resources, and resultant violence, wouldn’t start in earnest until either
    1) all the suitable farming blocks were taken and expanding farming populations led the farmers to start fighting each other over existing settlements*
    2) improvements in crops or farming techniques expanded the number of blocks the farmers could take off the HGs pushing the HGs into a corner where they had to fight en masse

    *I think the first case of farmers fighting over already settled farming blocks is likely to have been an east to west ripple in a sequence i.e.
    1)
    – Anatolia fills up
    2)
    – Excess Anatolians colonize Greece until filled up
    3)
    – Anatolians and Greeks fight
    – Some excess Anatolians and Greeks colonize Southern Italy until filled up
    4)
    – Anatolians and Greeks fight
    – Greeks and Southern Italians fight
    – Some excess Anatolians, Greeks, Italians colonize Iberia until filled up
    5)
    – Anatolians and Greeks fight
    – Greeks and Italians fight
    – Italians and Iberians fight
    etc

    I don’t think the idea of an advancing exterminationist wave makes any sense at all during the *early* farming expansion into HG terriotory simply because the famers couldn’t use most of the land

    .
    hubchik
    “the europeans arriving in america were very advanced technologically speaking. they could settle pretty much anywhere, couldn’t they?”

    yes they could farm pretty much everywhere except deserts whereas in neolithic europe the proportions might have been the opposite*

    (*or possibly varying with latitude.

    As the original farming package was developed in Anatolia it might originally only have been viable within a narrow latitude range so going back to the idea of a 4×4 grid of blocks then maybe
    – in Anatolia, Greece, Southern Italy and Southern Iberia maybe farming was viable in 12 out of 16 blocks and HGs were completely swamped and quickly (i.e. similar to the American example)
    – in the Balkans, Northern Italy and Northen Iberia *initially* maybe only 1 block was suitable increasing to 2 blocks then 4 after centuries of technique and crop improvements
    – in Northern Europe it might have been 0 blocks suitable at first increasing to 1 then 2 and then 4 over centuries of crop and technique improvements

    The slower speed allows for more inter-marriage between HGs and farmers the further north you go but also more time for the HGs / hybrid HG-farmers around the farming blocks to adopt pastorlism which could then spread north independent of farming. Both of these might change the proportions of HG to farmer in the final population.
    )

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  25. ” I don’t think the idea of an advancing exterminationist wave makes any sense at all during the *early* farming expansion into HG terriotory simply because the famers couldn’t use most of the land”

    What I’m saying is that while the trb weren’t fighting and mixing with the local hunter gatherers, they (trb) shouldn’t have been fighting each other for land and reproduction. For if they could expand into either area, why would they only choose one area and then fight for it?

    As you already suggested, one counter explanation would be that the trb (keep in mind we don’t have evidence of fighting) could have used up all the good farming land without causing any conflict/mixing with the local h/g. But I think it’s very unlikely for these things to both happen.

    Just to clarify, I have been coupling the ideas of population conflict and reproductive opportunity because I am addressing bob’s theory.

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  26. @ colonization of America might be a suitable model for the European neolithic…had started in say the 12th century

    Erik the Red 950-1003

    A BRIEF HISTORY OF ERIC THE RED

    [one voyage to Vinland]

    Eric the Red, … left … [Norway]…, on account of manslaughter…
    discovered on the sands…three skin-canoes, with three men under each.
    …They killed the eight men…
    …all fell into a slumber
    …A countless number of skin-canoes then advanced toward them
    …the Skrellings, after they had shot at them for a time, fled precipitately,
    …I have been wounded in my arm-pit

    [another voyage to Vinland]

    assembled a company of sixty men and five women,
    …They sailed out to sea
    …Skrellings were discovered.
    …The Skrellings…offered their wares, and were especially anxious to exchange these for weapons, but Karlsefni forbade his men to sell their weapons
    …caused a strong wooden palisade to be constructed
    …Skrellings came to them again…and brought with them the same wares
    …one of the Skrellings, who had tried to seize their weapons, was killed by one of Karlsefni’s followers. At this the Skrellings fled precipitately,
    …I believe they will visit us a third time,…and attack us.
    …The Skrellings advanced…and a battle was fought there, in which great numbers of the band of the Skrellings were slain.
    …they fled helter-skelter into the woods

    [another voyage to Vinland]

    Helgi and Finnbogi, and invited them to sail with their vessel to Wineland
    …each should have on ship-board thirty able-bodied men,
    …arrived in Wineland.
    …the folk began to disagree, …and the visits between the houses ceased; and thus it continued far into the winter.
    …they struck me, and handled me very roughly
    …I shall part from thee unless thou wreakest vengeance for this
    …proceeded directly to the house of the brothers, and entered it while the folk were asleep,
    …In this wise all of the men were put to death
    …she was anxious to screen her guilt.
    …rumours did …get abroad at last.
    …. “I have no heart,” says Leif, “to punish my sister, Freydis, as she deserves,
    …Hence it came to pass that no one from that time forward thought them worthy of aught but evil

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  27. princenuadha
    “Just to clarify, I have been coupling the ideas of population conflict and reproductive opportunity because I am addressing bob’s theory.”

    Yes, i didn’t mean to imply you were advancing the exterminationist theory. That was just a general comment.

    .
    sNoOOPy
    “A BRIEF HISTORY OF ERIC THE RED”

    i think that is a much more likely template for the neolithic expansion.

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  28. The Iroquois Wars

    “the Iroquois existed as a racial island among their Algonquin-speaking neighbors. The Iroquoian economy featured agriculture as well as hunting.
    …which the nomadic Algonquins could not yet do.
    …The Iroquoians…lived in permanent palisaded villages. This was for protection against the fierce Algonquins who constantly raided”

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  29. “…The Iroquoians…lived in permanent palisaded villages. This was for protection against the fierce Algonquins who constantly raided”

    I think people naturally latched onto the colonization of America as a model for the neolithic expansion in Europe but as the farming package was initially developed in Eastern Anatolia i think its initial viability would have been restricted to an east-west band of similar climate and latitude. If so then it seems to me that the east to west expansion taking in the rest of Anatolia, Mediterranean Islands, Greece, Southern Italy and Southern Iberia / North-West Africa could have been similar to the American model i.e. relatively fast and overwhelming, while the expansion northwards from those latitudes might have been much more like the Erik the Red and Iroquois scenario.

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  30. @princenuadha – “I think that suggests a peaceful plight for land.”

    knowing how most social mammals behave — i.e. generally fighting one another over territory — i have a hard time picturing paleos and neos in europe NOT fighting over land, even if/though the newly arrived farmers were just restricted to certain, localized areas. i can’t think of a single species of mammal in which individuals tolerate unknown members of their own species in their territories. can’t see why it would be any difference in man.

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  31. @g.w. – “If so the competition for resources, and resultant violence, wouldn’t start in earnest until either
    1) all the suitable farming blocks were taken and expanding farming populations led the farmers to start fighting each other over existing settlements*
    2) improvements in crops or farming techniques expanded the number of blocks the farmers could take off the HGs pushing the HGs into a corner where they had to fight en masse”

    yes. the equivalent situation in other animals — and in very non-technical terms — is when an area simply becomes too full with individuals (of whatever species we’re talking about). (^_^)

    i saw a wildlife documentary ages ago about australia and there was a bit about dingoes and i remember this park ranger saying that there was a lot of dingoes in the park (because they benefited from food rubbish left behind by humans) and that they were very tolerant of one another … unless there was a drought and resources became scarce. then the dingoes would fight each other to the death for territory.

    it’s always a matter of numbers and resources.

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  32. @g.w. – “The slower speed allows for more inter-marriage between HGs and farmers the further north you go but also more time for the HGs / hybrid HG-farmers around the farming blocks to adopt pastorlism which could then spread north independent of farming. Both of these might change the proportions of HG to farmer in the final population.”

    clever thinking! i’ve got to contemplate this some more. (^_^)

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  33. @sNoOOPy – “A BRIEF HISTORY OF ERIC THE RED”

    @g.w. – “i think that is a much more likely template for the neolithic expansion.”

    yup. especially this bit (except for the math — what the…?):

    “Eric the Red, … left … [Norway]…, on account of manslaughter…
    discovered on the sands…three skin-canoes, with three men under each.
    …They killed the eight men…”

    @g.w. – “…as the farming package was initially developed in Eastern Anatolia i think its initial viability would have been restricted to an east-west band of similar climate and latitude. If so then it seems to me that the east to west expansion taking in the rest of Anatolia, Mediterranean Islands, Greece, Southern Italy and Southern Iberia / North-West Africa could have been similar to the American model i.e. relatively fast and overwhelming, while the expansion northwards from those latitudes might have been much more like the Erik the Red and Iroquois scenario.”

    that makes sense!

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  34. @hbd chick

    “i have a hard time picturing paleos and neos in europe NOT fighting over land, even if/though the newly arrived farmers were just restricted to certain, localized areas.”

    (I need to learn italization)

    I was responding to someone who, basically, said that men within the trb were fighting each other for land to get women. So he coupled the idea of fighting and reproduction.

    I then showed that wasn’t the case for trb men vs h/g men in Scandinavian neolithic, given how un-admixed that neo farmer (Gok4) was so deep into Europe. In other words, the ancestors of the trb weren’t mixing with the locals on their way to Sweden and once they got their.

    You may be correct in saying that the cultures fought each other, but it seems they didn’t fight each other then mate with the losing women.

    I think this dynamic is kinda cool because I think that people mostly kept to themselves.

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  35. “knowing how most social mammals behave — i.e. generally fighting one another over territory — i have a hard time picturing paleos and neos in europe NOT fighting over land”

    Yes i’m sure they fought all the time. I was thinking more of
    – the farmers expanding everywhere and exterminating the foragers
    – the foragers successfuly storming the farmer settlements after the walls were built

    I’m thinking there was much of a mexican stand-off with the farmers (at the beginning) not wanting most of the forager land because it wasn’t viable farmland yet (and in NW Europe a lot of it wasn’t viable until the heavy plough in the middle ages) and the foragers raiding but not capturing the farmer settlements.

    “I think this dynamic is kinda cool because I think that people mostly kept to themselves.”

    Yes, i keep imagining a neolithic tourist taking a trip from Sumer to Stonehenge hopping from one walled farmer settlement to the next.

    “(except for the math — what the…?):”

    yes i wondered about that :)

    Reply

  36. @princenuadha – “You may be correct in saying that the cultures fought each other, but it seems they didn’t fight each other then mate with the losing women.

    I think this dynamic is kinda cool because I think that people mostly kept to themselves.”

    that is interesting. is that just in the earliest waves of the neolithic farmer expansion into europe?

    @princenuadha – “I need to learn italization”

    on wordpress it’s em inside the sideways carrot brackets. this one: <. and the opposite one. and to close the italization it's /em. (^_^)

    Reply

  37. @g.w. – “I’m thinking there was much of a mexican stand-off with the farmers (at the beginning) not wanting most of the forager land because it wasn’t viable farmland yet (and in NW Europe a lot of it wasn’t viable until the heavy plough in the middle ages) and the foragers raiding but not capturing the farmer settlements.”

    yeah, maybe. i need to think about this some more. ’cause, don’t you think the invading farmers from the middle east/fertile crescent would’ve had some serious “hostility genes” after thousands of years in the crowded middle east? maybe not. i dunno. and what about the hunter-gatherer populations of europe? couldn’t they have been like native south american tribes or the andaman islanders who automatically shoot arrows at strangers first and ask questions later? maybe not. maybe there was enough room in neolithic europe for the different groups to steer clear from one another.

    Reply

  38. @g.w. – “Yes, i keep imagining a neolithic tourist taking a trip from Sumer to Stonehenge hopping from one walled farmer settlement to the next.”

    that’s a cool picture! (^_^)

    Reply

  39. hubchik
    “don’t you think the invading farmers from the middle east/fertile crescent would’ve had some serious “hostility genes” after thousands of years in the crowded middle east? maybe not. i dunno. and what about the hunter-gatherer populations of europe? couldn’t they have been like native south american tribes or the andaman islanders who automatically shoot arrows at strangers first and ask questions later?”

    yes totally. i’m making a distinction between *effective violence* and violence – for example the kind of scene you see in films where a group are travelling up the amazon in boats and the local foragers come to the river bank and throw spears at them from long range while the guys in the boats shoot arrows back – violent but to very little effect. if you imagine pallisaded farming settlements connected by water with surrounding foragers who constantly raid but can’t *successfully* attack the pallisaded farming settlements and the farmers cant spend too much time chasing the foragers through the forests because they have to attend to their farms then you have a very violent but not very *effectively violent* mexican stand-off.

    going back to snoopy’s quotes

    “The Iroquoians…lived in permanent palisaded villages. This was for protection against the fierce Algonquins who constantly raided

    “The Skrellings…offered their wares, and were especially anxious to exchange these for weapons, but Karlsefni forbade his men to sell their weapons

    “…caused a strong wooden palisade to be constructed”

    “…The Skrellings advanced…and a battle was fought there, in which great numbers of the band of the Skrellings were slain…they fled helter-skelter into the woods

    If farmers spread to a terriotory where farming is only viable on a minority of the available land then i think this model is more likely than the US model – changing in the direction of the US model as and when more of the land was viable.

    (I also wonder if this as the root of a lot of elf/goblin/faun mythology.)

    Reply

  40. Another example would be European colonization in areas where they couldn’t farm e.g. the French Foreign Legion in their desert forts – perpetual violence with the Tuareg but neither side able to be apply *effective* violence.

    Reply

  41. @g.w. – “if you imagine pallisaded farming settlements connected by water with surrounding foragers who constantly raid but can’t *successfully* attack the pallisaded farming settlements and the farmers cant spend too much time chasing the foragers through the forests because they have to attend to their farms then you have a very violent but not very *effectively violent* mexican stand-off.”

    ah ha! gotcha. that does make sense.

    @g.w. – “I also wonder if this as the root of a lot of elf/goblin/faun mythology.”

    that could very well be! i also like the idea of homo floresiensis-types around the world being the source for those myths, but then there would have to have been more of those sorta little peoples around. (^_^) that may not have been the case.

    Reply

  42. “i also like the idea of homo floresiensis-types around”

    yes and me – one of the crusader urges i have to consciously suppress relates to the pygmies in the congo needing to have their own protected reserve because they get hunted by big’uns.

    Reply

  43. @g.w. – “one of the crusader urges i have to consciously suppress relates to the pygmies in the congo needing to have their own protected reserve because they get hunted by big’uns.”

    no need to suppress that. that’s just … nice! (^_^)

    Reply

  44. @hbd chick

    This shows the lack of mixing between farmer and hunter gathers. Also, I wouldn’t call the trb a first wave. The trb were pretty late in the euro neolithic.

    http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2012/04/ancient-dna-from-neolithic-sweden.html?m=1

    This shows the replacement of female lineages post neolithic, after the neolithic women had replaced h/g women. So it wasn’t farmer men fighting h/g men then marrying local women. It was men and women moving.

    http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2012/05/bell-beakers-from-germany-y-haplogroup.html?m=1

    All this lack of mixing suggests to me that there was less violence.

    Reply

  45. I should have said “…post neolithic, this happening after the neo women had already replaced the meso women.”

    Reply

  46. @princenuadha – “All this lack of mixing suggests to me that there was less violence.”

    couldn’t the lack of mixing mean that there was a lot of violence? maybe not effective violence, as g.w. says, but still violence?

    i mean, if the groups didn’t mix, maybe that’s ’cause they hated the sight of each other.

    dunno. this is the first time i’ve thought about it.

    Reply

  47. “couldn’t the lack of mixing mean that there was a lot of violence? maybe not effective violence, as g.w. says, but still violence?

    i mean, if the groups didn’t mix, maybe that’s ’cause they hated the sight of each other.”

    Lol, why so apocalyptic? Jk

    You’re right, it could have been that way too. Though we are… ummm, in new territory by finding this lack of mixing. One thing that was often proposed for replacement of populations was a male dominated migration that would fight local men and then take up the local women. Many people assumed that we would find female continuity as it is consistent with the above idea. Though, I’m not sure which idea came first as they are essentially different aspects, behavior vs dna, of the sane phenomena.

    Now it looks like there was often just a movement of families. So did this groups still fight each other but the men and women still refused to mix with the other men and women regardless of availability? I personally suspect the fighting wasn’t worth it given that we aren’t talking about a cut throat society that kills to fuck whoever.

    Or maybe we are just THAT racist.

    Reply

  48. “This shows the lack of mixing between farmer and hunter gathers”

    Those papers show the lack of initial mixing so they show the neolithic expansion process wasn’t a conquistador type event (at least in the north) with male invaders taking local women. Initially the farmers seem to have spread, like you say, as self-contained communities hopping along rivers and coasts through a surrounding sea of foragers. However the two populations did mix eventually as shown by the dna. The difference is in the proportions.

    Say for the sake of argument farmers have a pop. density ten times greater than foragers then
    – if farmers can spread to 80% of a region then the final relative pop. density will ~40:1
    – if farmers can spread to 60% of a region then the final relative pop. density will ~15:1
    – if farmers can spread to 40% of a region then the final relative pop. density will ~7:1
    – if farmers can spread to 20% of a region then the final relative pop. density will ~2.5:1
    – if farmers can spread to 2% of a region then the final relative pop. density will ~1:5

    so the farmer dna would end up ranging from 97.5% of the final total to 16% (or less if the foragers adopted the agricultural package (or the pastoral part of it at least) and increased their pop.density as a result).

    so the eventual mix depends on how much of a region is viable for farmers and how fast they can expand into it.

    The paper about Sweden shows modern Scandinavians are more descended from the foragers than the farmers so it seems the farmers arrived bringing their technology and domesticated animals with them but at that latitude the range they could successfully farm was small meaning their total population remained small which meant they couldn’t displace the original population in the way they might have further south. This gave time for the foragers to adopt the technology (or at least the pastoral element of it).

    .
    “All this lack of mixing suggests to me that there was less violence.”

    I think you’re right there was less of the kind of conan the conquerer type violence that was mooted in the past (and which probably produced the rather silly “pots not people” idea as a reaction) but i think terriotorial violence and threat displays are completely natural. There’s no difference between some neolithic foragers (or 19th century Tuareg) sneaking up to a pallisaded settlement and firing a few arrows or shots at it and teenage chimps forming into gangs, patrolling their troop’s borders and attacking any chimps they find from other troops.

    It’s simply marking terriotory.

    Reply

  49. @princenuadha – “Lol, why so apocalyptic? Jk”

    (^_^) well, i’m just going by most (all, prolly?) other animals. there’s a general tendency towards being hostile to outsiders. cultural anthropologists and the like get themselves all in a muddle trying to figure out why people generally don’t like “the other” when, if they just watched a few episodes of meerkat manor, all would become clear. (~_^)

    i.o.w., what g.w. said:

    “…i think terriotorial violence and threat displays are completely natural. There’s no difference between some neolithic foragers (or 19th century Tuareg) sneaking up to a pallisaded settlement and firing a few arrows or shots at it and teenage chimps forming into gangs, patrolling their troop’s borders and attacking any chimps they find from other troops.

    It’s simply marking terriotory.”

    and it’s not just marking territory, but even gaining more territory if possible.

    Reply

  50. @princenuadha – “Now it looks like there was often just a movement of families.”

    @g.w. – “Initially the farmers seem to have spread, like you say, as self-contained communities hopping along rivers and coasts through a surrounding sea of foragers.”

    cool!

    Reply

  51. @g.w. – “…but at that latitude the range they could successfully farm was small….”

    yup. arable land in sweden today is just 5.93% of the total land mass. not much to work with really.

    Reply

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