linkfest – 01/14/13

late linkfest again! sorry. (*^_^*)

Group Selection (and homosexuality) and Homosexuality, epigenetics, and zebras – from greg cochran. also, from jayman –
A Gay Germ? Is Homophobia a Clue?

The Trouble with Epigenetics (Part 1)“[E]ven though epigenetic mechanisms may be involved in maintaining some stable traits over the lifetime of the animal, they are just that: mechanisms. Not causes. Epigenetics is not a source of variance, it is part of the mechanism whereby certain environmental factors or experiences have their effects.” (in other words, epigenetics is not magic.)

DNA ‘identichip’ gives a detailed picture of a suspect“The VisiGen team tested the chip on more than 3000 DNA samples collected around the world, and found that it was 99 per cent accurate at predicting gender. The chip also predicted European or East Asian ancestry with an accuracy of 97 per cent, and African ancestry in 88 per cent of cases. However, it was only 63 per cent accurate at predicting blond hair….”

What did our ancestors look like?“A new method of establishing hair and eye colour from modern forensic samples can also be used to identify details from ancient human remains….”

Black homicide rates by state – from the awesome epigone. compare to his White homicide rates by state. also, from hail: White Murder Rates by U.S. State, 1960 (vs. 2010).

People With Brown Eyes Appear More Trustworthy, But That’s Not The Whole Story“‘Brown-eyed individuals tend to be perceived as more trustworthy than blue-eyed ones,’ explain the authors. ‘But it is not brown eyes that cause this perception. It is the facial morphology linked to brown eyes.'” – see also dienekes.

Networking Ability a Family Trait in Monkeys“Social behaviors have been acted on by natural selection”

Cheating — and getting away with it“Scientists have found a gene that allows amoebae to pass on more than their fair share of their genes but doesn’t make them less fit in other ways”

Banded mongooses structure monosyllabic sounds in a similar way to humans

America’s Real Criminal Element: Lead“New research finds Pb is the hidden villain behind violent crime, lower IQs, and even the ADHD epidemic.” – maybe.

Darwin Was Wrong About Dating – maybe.

How Did Humans Figure Out That Sex Makes Babies?

bonus: #overlyhonestmethods is the PostSecret of the science world, and it is amazing – heh. (^_^)

overlyhonestmethods

bonus bonus: Why I Am Not an Atheist – from kanazawa.

bonus bonus bonus: Immigrant mothers in Britain could be aborting unwanted girls, ministers admit after study of birth rates

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Why is gingerism so common in Britain? – from ed west.

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: China’s one-child law: Less competitive adults?

(note: comments do not require an email. now that’s what i call a BIG turban!)

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22 Comments

  1. “Epigenetics is not a source of variance”

    Oh, right. We live in bizarro world where Blogs > Peer-reviewed science

    Reply

  2. Here’s an excellent article, by Jerry Coyne, on why Lamarckian epigenetics is pretty much irrelevant.

    Kanazawa is one of the great trolls.

    Reply

  3. “America’s Real Criminal Element: Lead”

    Round and round in circles we go – shame about all the people who have to die to maintain the blank slate nonsense.

    .
    “Darwin Was Wrong About Dating”

    I hate this constant disingenuous lying BS.

    “Take the question of promiscuity. Everyone has always assumed — and early research had shown — that women desired fewer sexual partners over a lifetime than men.”

    It didn’t show women *desired* fewer partners it showed they’d had fewer or said they’d had fewer. It only makes Darwinian sense for women to have less sexual desire than men when they’re not ovulating. When they’re ovulating they should have the same – i’d say more – and they do. When they’re ovulating it makes sense – if the decision was solely based on maximizing pregnancy potential – for women to go into a crowded bar and bend over the pool table and three guesses what kind of sexual fantasies women have when they’re ovulating? In reality there’s more to successful reproduction than getting pregnant hence why they don’t do that but that’s when women are most drawn to casual sex.

    Women should desire less sexual partners for 3/4 of the month and more for 1/4 of the month with men wanting the same amount over the whole month.

    .
    “But in 2003, two behavioral psychologists, Michele G. Alexander and Terri D. Fisher, published the results of a study that used a “bogus pipeline” — a fake lie detector. When asked about actual sexual partners, rather than just theoretical desires, the participants who were not attached to the fake lie detector displayed typical gender differences. Men reported having had more sexual partners than women. But when participants believed that lies about their sexual history would be revealed by the fake lie detector, gender differences in reported sexual partners vanished. In fact, women reported slightly more sexual partners (a mean of 4.4) than did men (a mean of 4.0).”

    Which in any case shows the opposite of what they say it shows. The fact that men lie about their number of sexual partners is evidence they do *desire* more sexual partners than women. The fact that the average man *gets* less than they desire should be no surprise to anyone.

    .
    “In 2009, another long-assumed gender difference in mating — that women are choosier than men — also came under siege. In speed dating, as in life, the social norm instructs women to sit in one place, waiting to be approached, while the men rotate tables. But in one study of speed-dating behavior, the evolutionary psychologists Eli J. Finkel and Paul W. Eastwick switched the “rotator” role. The men remained seated and the women rotated. By manipulating this component of the gender script, the researchers discovered that women became less selective — they behaved more like stereotypical men — while men were more selective and behaved more like stereotypical women. The mere act of physically approaching a potential romantic partner, they argued, engendered more favorable assessments of that person.”

    That doesn’t prove anything either way. In Darwinian terms women being more choosy than men has to involve the risk of reproduction so the decision has to be on sex or not sex and that decision has to take into account things like contraception.

    .
    “Those results seemed definitive — until a few years ago, when Terri D. Conley, a psychologist at the University of Michigan, set out to re-examine what she calls “one of the largest documented sexuality gender differences,” that men have a greater interest in casual sex than women.”

    Women matching men in terms of agreeing to casual sex if they’re told the man is a film star or good in bed is more evidence of women being more choosy than men which contradicts their earlier point.

    .
    I think the truth is there are r-type and K-type behaviours and we all *used* to be r-type once and so those genes are still there in K-type populations but suppressed – so they are in *conflict*.

    Contraception allows women to indulge in limited r-type behaviour, especially when they’re ovulating, without risk of pregnancy hence the growing discordance in the sexual behavior of women and their reproductive behavior since the advent of contraception i.e. becoming more r-type sexually while staying K-type reproductively.

    In the past women / culture needed to suppress their / women’s r-type genes more strictly because of all the K-type reasons.

    Reply

  4. Interesting that the lowest rates of black homicide are lower than the highest rates of white homicide.

    Reply

  5. @Greying Wanderer:

    “But when participants believed that lies about their sexual history would be revealed by the fake lie detector, gender differences in reported sexual partners vanished. In fact, women reported slightly more sexual partners (a mean of 4.4) than did men (a mean of 4.0).”

    Very interesting! The game guys will love this…

    Reply

  6. @Greying Wanderer:

    “Interesting that the lowest rates of black homicide are lower than the highest rates of white homicide.”

    Interesting, but not surprising, when you think that the Blacks in those places are people like me.

    Reply

  7. The black homicide rate in mostly-white states may be even lower. Here in NH, a lot of the convicted felons in the state pen are (mostly) hispanics and (somewhat) blacks from northern MA who got caught at crimes here. With such a small black citizen population, that is probably a measurable amount. I’ll bet the same applies in Maine, Jayman. That black homicide rate is going to include a lot of guys from Lawrence, Lynn, plus the Sudanese and CAR in Portland. Not many Wiscasset AA’s up in Thomaston, I’ll bet.

    Reply

  8. The rates in states with small black populations are all over the place – Vermont’s rate is 10 times New Hampshire’s. That’s probably a function of randomness having a larger effect on a smaller population.

    Reply

  9. Jayman
    “Interesting, but not surprising”

    Surprising to me. I was working on the premise that people from somewhere in the middle of this kind of graph

    had kidnapped a bunch of people from the top end of the graph so although i was expecting differences – especially urban/rural – i was still expecting the lowest black average to be above the highest white average. Adjustment neccessary.

    Reply

  10. “i was still expecting the lowest black average to be above the highest white average”

    At a regional scale in the US (not neccessarily specific white populations who are still or only recently stopped being part of a clan warfare culture).

    Reply

  11. “Oh, BTW, be sure not to miss this post by Razib Khan:”

    Yes it is. The comment registration thingie doesn’t work for me over there, which is probably for the best as one less place to get into arguments, but i thought the roman posts were excellent.

    Reply

  12. @jl – “Here’s an excellent article, by Jerry Coyne, on why Lamarckian epigenetics is pretty much irrelevant.”

    that was a superb post! thank you very much for that link! i don’t get over to jerry’s blog often enough. maybe i should make a point of it from now on.

    Reply

  13. @g.w. – “It only makes Darwinian sense for women to have less sexual desire than men when they’re not ovulating.”

    yes, ovulation is the key there (i can testify to that! don’t tell anyone i said so, though…).

    @g.w. – “The fact that men lie about their number of sexual partners is evidence they do *desire* more sexual partners than women. The fact that the average man *gets* less than they desire should be no surprise to anyone.”

    bingo!

    @g.w. – “Contraception allows women to indulge in limited r-type behaviour….”

    the other thing related to contraception is that i hope these studies are controlling for whether or not their female subjects are taking the pill (and which kind) ’cause that alters behavior.

    Reply

  14. “i can testify to that! don’t tell anyone i said so, though..”

    your secret is safe :)

    Reply

  15. re: Group Selection and the evolution of altruism

    I am surprised Greg Cochran doesn’t address in the passage below the issue of sexual selection in connection with self-sacrificing — or, rather, self-endangering — behavior on the battlefield. For it is well-known that battlefield heroes, the ones that survive, get more women and therefore, quite possibly, produce more offspring, than cowards or ordinary fighters. This would be particularly true if the mortality rate of those displaying unusual courage and daring on the battlefield was low, i.e., less than the increase in their fertility rate. Battlefield heroes were like rock stars in former time, which was before the pill. Remember, too, that fertile women prefer alpha males during the period in their menstrual cycle when they are most likely to conceive, at least according to some modern research. Anyway, here is the passage:

    “You can imagine situations in which natural selection would favor an increase in frequency for a trait that aided group survival while hurting individual reproductive success – but it’s not all that easy. Here’s the problem: imagine a situation in which some individuals in the group have an allele that causes them to fight in a way that saves the collective – the catch is that some get killed in the process. Members of the tribe that don’t have this allele are saved as well, but they don’t pay the price. At the end of this fight, the frequency of the self-sacrificing allele has gone down, not up.”

    Luke Lea

    Reply

  16. Incidentally, I understand that sociopaths are particularly cool under fire or when exposed to danger, which is certainly the case during war. Since women prefer battlefield heroes this might help explain the incidence of sociopathy in our society, around one percent. I’ve only know a couple of battlefield heroes in my lifetime and both of them were sociopathic in my judgment. One was a real ladies man a la Jack Kennedy who was later killed in a helicopter crash in Cambodia — while trying to rescue his girlfriend! Of course this doesn’t mean all battlefield heroes are sociopaths. Senator Jim Webb testifies to that. His book “Fields of Fire” by the way is the best war book, most realistic, I’ve ever read (which admittedly is a very small number unless you want to include things like The Iliad and War and Peace, etc.). “Fields of Fire” is a great book.

    Luke Lea

    Reply

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