linkfest – 09/30/12

Europeans did not inherit pale skin from Neanderthals“By analysing the genomes of 50 people with European ancestry and 70 people with sub-Saharan African ancestry, Beleza’s team could estimate when the three genes – and pale skin – first became widespread in European populations. The result suggested that the three genes associated with paler skin swept through the European population only 11,000 to 19,000 years ago.”

Is castration the secret to a long life?“Scientists believe they may have discovered the secret to longevity for men – but it comes at a painfully high price.” – yikes!

Inside the Cold, Calculating Libertarian Mind“[W]hen libertarians reacted to moral dilemmas and in other tests, they displayed less emotion, less empathy and less disgust than either conservatives or liberals. They appeared to use ‘cold’ calculation to reach utilitarian conclusions about whether (for instance) to save lives by sacrificing fewer lives. They reached correct, rather than intuitive, answers to math and logic problems, and they enjoyed ‘effortful and thoughtful cognitive tasks’ more than others do. The researchers found that libertarians had the most ‘masculine’ psychological profile, while liberals had the most feminine….”

Study: Having a Male Child Leaves Male DNA in Women’s Brains“The presence of the DNA persisted into old age and correlated with a slightly decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.” – original research article: Male Microchimerism in the Human Female Brain. see also greg cochran: Insidekick.

The Myth of Random Mating: Evidence of ancestry-related assortative mating across 3 generations in Framingham, MA. – via race/hist/evo notes.

Republican women judged more feminine than Democratic women – @the breviary.

Arab Autumn?“The Arab Spring, eighteen months on. Has a passion for freedom of speech, separation of religion and State, and the ‘free marketplace of ideas’ seized the Arab world?” – @those who can see.

Sex ratios of atheists, agnostics, and believers – from the awesome epigone.

The Leaks in the Pipeline Found? – jayman on the gender bias in science.

Couples who share the housework are more likely to divorce, study finds“Divorce rates are far higher among ‘modern’ couples who share the housework than in those where the woman does the lion’s share of the chores, a Norwegian study has found.” – hmpf. (^_^)

Mystery of Britain’s ‘Franken-mummies’“Two 3,000-year-old human skeletons dug up in the Outer Hebrides have been found to be a jigsaw of at least six different people who died hundreds of years apart.”

bonus: Cambridge librarian finds forgotten fungus Charles Darwin brought back on the Beagle (and it was still wrapped in his newspaper)

bonus bonus: The Weaker Sex“The sexual revolution’s legacy … ‘the paradox of declining female happiness.'”

bonus bonus bonus: Bitcoin ‘Pirate’ scandal: SEC steps in amid allegations that the whole thing was a Ponzi scheme

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


  1. About the logical libertarian thing, since engineers are often libertarian, and libertarians have a higher average IQ than most other political groups, one has to wonder how much autistic traits play a role in what these researchers found. Paul Ryan has often struck me as being somewhat on the spectrum, for example.


  2. The Triple Nine Society, which only allows members who have an IQ higher than 99.9% of the general public, released results of a survey answered by their members. The results? Ultra free market libertarian. They were against Government healthcare or business interference in the same way they were against drug war, gun control, and the War in Iraq. They advocated legalizing gay marriage, ALL drugs, an opt-out for Social Security, and to make Affirmative Action illegal. Although still the minority, a much larger than the general public support limiting the Federal Reserve or abolishing it. They also supported using the death penalty more often.

    Does this surprise you?

    More intelligent people are more libertarian on economic issues


  3. “It’s tough to prove gender bias.”

    No, it’s not tough at all – there’s an obvious, heavily advertised preference for women. It’s called affirmative action.

    “Inside the Cold, Calculating Libertarian Mind”

    I’d bet that article was written by a socialist since it contained two irrational jabs at conservatives.


  4. Re: libertarians

    Some people (libertarians) emphasize the importance of liberty, others (liberals ?) distributive justice. The hard thing is reconciling the two. But what fascinates me most is that you can’t have one if you ignore the other: unconstrained liberty can lead to liberty for the few (money is liberty) while over-emphasis on distributive justice can lead to poverty and tyranny and gross inequality as we saw in the old Soviet Union.

    I’m glad this is the way it is. Otherwise life would be a bore.


  5. Frankenmummies, wtf? The Druids must have been whacked. No one knows who they were, or… what they were doing…


  6. As a libertarian, I consider the “Cold and Calculating libertarian mind” article to be a fair and reasonable depiction of myself and of libertarians in general.


  7. Yeah…I’m plenty geeky and sort of a natural libertarian, I just decided I didn’t trust business and figured the Democrats were better at keeping them in check. I think libertarianism is sort of the natural geek political philosophy because it’s basically asocial–the government shouldn’t make anyone do anything.

    Also, that Republican vs Democratic women bit is pretty bad, actually–they looked at politicians. Who has a less natural appearance than a politician, whose every move has to be tailored to please audiences?

    If you looked at the general public, I’d guess Republican men are more masculine, but it’s a wash for women, because the Democrats are the ‘mommy party’ and have a more ‘caring’ philosophy. Care for the poor and all that. Republican self-reliance etc…much more manly.


  8. @sfg – “I just decided I didn’t trust business and figured the Democrats were better at keeping them in check.”

    i don’t trust BIG business (either) … but i don’t think the second part of your sentence there is correct. for example, picture in your mind (but not for very long): nancy pelosi.

    ’nuff said.


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