linkfest – 06/10/12

Consanguinity and Corruption“Computing simple, unweighted averages for each country for which studies and surveys have been conducted and subsequently recorded on consang.net and then comparing them to Transparency International’s 2011 Corruptions Perception Index yields a correlation of .44 (p = 0).” – from the awesome epigone! see also steve sailer.

Does cooperation require both reciprocity and alike neighbours? – the answer is yes: “The researchers conclude that human societies can best achieve high levels of cooperative behaviour if their individuals interact repeatedly, and if populations exhibit at least a minor degree of structure.” – in other words, if the members of a society are related to some degree.

Re-Examining the “Out of Africa” Theory and the Origin of Europeoids (Caucasoids) in Light of DNA Genealogyopen access [pdf].

An Asian Origin for Human Ancestors?“Researchers agree that our immediate ancestors, the upright walking apes, arose in Africa. But the discovery of a new primate that lived about 37 million years ago in the ancient swamplands of Myanmar bolsters the idea that the deep primate family tree that gave rise to humans is rooted in Asia. If true, the discovery suggests that the ancestors of all monkeys, apes, and humans—known as the anthropoids—arose in Asia and made the arduous journey to the island continent of Africa almost 40 million years ago.”

Exercise benefits black girls less than whites, study shows“Physical activity seems a nearly sure way to prevent obesity in white adolescent girls, but does not have the same effect on African American girls, researchers say…. The study … falls in line with research that finds black women oxidize fat more slowly in response to exercise, and that their resting metabolic rates are lower than those of white women.”

[White] Americans’ heads have been growing, scientists say“Over the last 150 years or so, it appears that skulls got narrower from side to side by about 5 to 7 millimeters, and higher from top to bottom by an average of nearly 10 millimeters, Jantz said. And the overall size of the head has, on average, increased by an amount equivalent to the size of a tennis ball, he said.”

Menstrual huts protect Dogon men from cuckoldry“Women who practise the traditional Dogon religion, unlike those who are Muslim or Christian, spend five days a month around the time of menstruation in a highly visible ‘menstrual hut’. Strassmann tested paternity in 1700 Dogon father and son pairs and found that those who practised the traditional religion were four times less likely to be raising someone else’s son than those who practised Christianity.”

Lady Liaisons: Does Cheating Give Females an Evolutionary Advantage?“‘This is one of the most careful and most robust studies to explore whether polyandry is adaptive in females,’ says Tommaso Pizzari, a University of Oxford biologist who was not involved in the research. ‘The answer is: not really.'” – at least not in canadian song sparrows.

bonus: Plants may be able to ‘hear’ others

bonus bonus: Parasitic plants ‘steal’ genes from their hosts

bonus bonus bonus: Skeletons treated for vampirism found in Bulgaria – vampires!

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

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13 Comments

  1. About the exercise and obesity study, I am not at all surprised. Where people put on fat on their bodies—especially women—is largely genetically determined. It wouldn’t surprise me that Blacks were predisposed to gain weight even when physically active. A quick look at Africa today shows why. I think studies in racial differences in weight gain are useful into shedding light on to what’s going on, and hopefully will allow people to see that their a lot less in control than they think.

    About the Dogon menstrual huts, I am not at all surprised that well, they work. ;P As we know, culture is an expression of the underlying biology, and this practices must serve some purpose. Knowing exactly when your wife was fertile probably is a huge leg up in stemming cuckoldry.

    And keeping with the theme of infidelity, genes responsible for male infidelity in humans and other mammals have been identified (AVPR1A). I don’t know if that particular gene is responsible for causing a penchant for infidelity in women, but behavioral genetic studies have shown that that tendency is strongly heritable in women (as is most everything). I have thought that it is possible that a taste for multiple sex partners may in fact serve no evolutionary purpose in women, but I’m not quite sure on that one yet. Research into all these things has been confounded by the researchers’ unwillingness to consider the race factor (hence, recent evolution).

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  2. And about the inbreeding and corruption thing, doesn’t it feel great to be right (as good as one can feel about this topic, that is, which is tragic, in the classical sense)? ;)

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  3. @jayman – “…as good as one can feel about this topic, that is, which is tragic, in the classical sense….”

    well, that’s the thing. i wish the inbreeding/corruption/etc. thing was all wrong, i truly do (don’t know how right it is yet actually, but i’m sure this is the right track). in many ways i wish all of human biodiversity was wrong and that it WAS all just a matter of culture or institutions or the natural resources available to any given population. the solutions would be soooo much simpler then. =/

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  4. @jayman – “A quick look at Africa today shows why.”

    absolutely.

    @jayman – “I think studies in racial differences in weight gain are useful into shedding light on to what’s going on, and hopefully will allow people to see that they’re a lot less in control than they think.”

    yup!

    @jayman – “About the Dogon menstrual huts, I am not at all surprised that well, they work.”

    i have puzzled (albeit not very hard) about menstrual huts for a long time (a LOT of peoples have similar systems). they never made any sense to me — all this business about women being “unclean” when they’re menstruating. i’m SO glad someone seems to have figured it out. (^_^)

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  5. And of course, the diet that various people have evolved to eat as opposed to what they are getting now makes a huge difference with regard to weight control. Weston Price touched on this topic a long time ago, as did Gary Taubes more recently. Large numbers of people in the world are just not cut out for high level consumption of grains and processed foods – perhaps no one really is (as I sit here eating pizza and drinking beer…)

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  6. @tschafer – “Large numbers of people in the world are just not cut out for high level consumption of grains and processed foods – perhaps no one really is….”

    no, prolly not. definitely not processed foods as those are really recent. presumably peoples from the fertile crescent (and wherever the h*ck rice was first domesticated — s.e. asia, right?) are more adapted to eating lots of grains than the rest of us.

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  7. Fig. 3 in the Klyosov-Rozhanskii paper is surprising. I need some explanation. They seem to be saying that the split between Africans and Eurasians occurred 160,000 years ago, which is very much older than I had thought. If this is true, then the split occurred in Africa. My understanding was that the split occurred after the Eurasian ancestors left Africa and occurred because of new environmental conditions.

    Can you explain?

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  8. @bob – “Can you explain?”

    nope. (^_^) i didn’t actually read the paper (busy weekend), just the abstract. looked interesting, tho, that’s why i posted it.

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  9. If I lived before paternity testing I would definitely prefer to be in one of those menstrual hut tribes.

    I wonder what happened after they took all those tests, did the researcher tell the men that they were raising someone else’s spawn?

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  10. @bleach – “I wonder what happened after they took all those tests, did the researcher tell the men that they were raising someone else’s spawn?”

    yeah, i wondered that, too! prolly not, i’d guess.

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  11. “i’m SO glad someone seems to have figured it out”

    i’m not sure it makes sense as the menstrual hut idea would require the men to count the days from the last period to when their wives were most fertile again. i can’t see most men doing that although their mothers and grandmothers might do it for their sons/grandsons i guess?

    i wonder if the researchers asked who did the counting?

    the skull thing is interesting. i read something about that happening in europe over a long period i.e. rounder heads to more rectangular. it would be interesting if the researchers broke it down as much as possible into white sub-identites i.e. was the change bigger in people with more south and east euro ancestry?

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  12. @g.w. – “i’m not sure it makes sense as the menstrual hut idea would require the men to count the days from the last period to when their wives were most fertile again. i can’t see most men doing that although their mothers and grandmothers might do it for their sons/grandsons i guess?”

    i could definitely see the other women in the family keeping track of these things.

    otoh, maybe it’s just a matter of absence making the heart grow fonder. the women spend five days in the menstrual hut. maybe their husbands are just “extra eager” when they return home and, so, more frequently get their wives pregnant?

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  13. maybe their husbands are just “extra eager” when they return home

    yes but that’s the bit i don’t get. they’ll be eager when their wives are at their *least* fertile. the eagerness has to last a bit longer :)

    http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/ate/womenshealth/207199.html

    “counting day one as the first day of menstrual bleeding…so the most fertile time is day 12 to day 16….The least likely time to conceive is from day one to day seven”

    so it seems to me if the menstrual hut idea works and they’re coming out at day 5 of their cycle then someone has to be counting the days and i can’t see men doing it.

    it’s not a big deal i just wonder if anyone asked the grandmas if they counted the days.

    Reply

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