linkfest – 04/07/13

A Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies Five Loci Influencing Facial Morphology in Europeans“Our results also suggest that the high heritability of facial phenotypes seems to be explained by a large number of DNA variants with relatively small individual effect size, a phenomenon well known for other complex human traits, such as adult body height.”

The Genetic Correlation between Height and IQ: Shared Genes or Assortative Mating?“In this study, we used a large (total N = 7,905), genetically informative dataset to understand why two potentially sexually selected traits in humans—height and IQ—are correlated. We found that both shared genes and assortative mating were about equally important in causing the relationship between these two traits.”

ScienceShot: Monkey Smiles Are Contagious“Previously, only humans and orangutans had been shown to quickly and involuntarily mimic the facial expressions of their companions, an ability that seems to be linked to empathy.”

No evidence for higher testosterone in black compared to white adolescent males – @race/history/evolution notes.

Brain scans decode dream content“Researchers have decoded the content of people’s dreams using brain scanning technology”

Fertility and Happiness: A Global Perspective and A Fat World – With a Fat Secret? – from jayman (he was on a roll this week!).

Genes behind obesity mapped in large-scale study“An international research team has identified seven new gene loci linked to obesity.”

Is Psychometric g a Myth? – @human varieties. see also Is the g Factor a myth? from steve sailer.

Darwin: Are the races of man separate species or merely separate subspecies? – from steve sailer.

Inbreeding, race replacement, genetic disease, “diversity” – @race/history/evolution notes.

Wyld Stallyns and House O’Rats and Undecidable Propositions – from greg cochran (he was also on a roll this week!).

Have We Evolved to Be Nasty or Nice? – from matt ridley.

Shocker — married mothers smarter than single moms – from the awesome epigone.

Sex, models and housework – b.s. king takes a critical look at the (suspicious) maths behind that “sex and housework” story that made the rounds recently.

The Parsis“At present, we simply don’t know enough about Parsi history to understand what social and psychological characteristics may have been favored during the long centuries between the arrival of this community in India and its encounter with the British from the 17th century onward.” – from peter frost.

Mankind’s Collective Personalities – from john derbyshire.

Polynesian mtDNA in extinct Amerindians from Brazil – @dienekes.

Religiosity and fear of death: a three‐nation comparison“Overall, the patterns in all three countries were similar. When linearity was assumed, there is a substantial positive correlation between most religiosity measures and fear of death…. [F]emales were more religious and feared death more than did males, and Muslims expressed considerably greater fear than did members of any other major religion.” – @mein naturwissenschaftsblog.

Researchers see antibody evolve against HIV

Shocker: Colorado shooter on prescription psychiatric meds – @mangan’s.

The average human vagina – yes, there’s a lot of variation down there (sorry, no exciting pics @the link!).

Great Scientist ≠ Good at Math“E.O. Wilson shares a secret: Discoveries emerge from ideas, not number-crunching” – hmmmm. i still think that (*ahem*) being able to do maths is an awfully handy skill in biology, not to mention population genetics.

Could playing ‘boys’ games help girls in science and math?“[M]en and women with either a strong masculine or androgynous gender-identity fared better in mental rotation tasks.” – so, the women who were more guy-like were better at the mental rotation tasks. duh!

Global E-mail Patterns Reveal ‘Clash of Civilizations’“The global pattern of e-mail communication reflects the cultural fault lines thought to determine future conflict, say computational social scientists.”

In Praise of Kinship“You don’t have to be a relativist to see that one-size individualism can’t fit all cultures, or that clannish bonds are often deeply fulfilling.” – wsj review of mark weiner‘s book, The Rule of the Clan. see also What Modern Democracies Should Understand About Clan-based Societies Explored in New Book by Rutgers–Newark Law Professor.

bonus: The secret superdads: More than a dozen UK sperm donors have fathered 20 or more children EACH“Five-hundred men have sired more than 6,100 children in Britain”

bonus bonus: French people mired in ‘collective depression’“A new survey published on Thursday found that 70 percent of them see their country as afflicted by a ‘collective depression’, with two thirds believing that France is ‘in decline’…. ‘This deep French depression is explained in large part by a sense of lost identity.'”

bonus bonus bonus: Xenophobia has no effect on migrants’ happiness, says study

bonus bonus bonus bonus: An Emergency Hatch for Baby Lizards“Unborn lizards can erupt from their eggs days early if vibrations hint at a threat from a hungry predator, new research shows.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Lego pulls toy following accusations of being anti-Islamic – but Lego denies discontinuing Jabba’s Palace over race claimspreviously.

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Boy, 17, builds DNA testing machine [polymerase chain reaction machine] in his bedroom to find out why his younger sibling has ginger hair

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Chinese president urges openness, respect for diversity – of types of governments! (~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. baby lizards! awwwww!)

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29 Comments

  1. I really do think the idea of different human populations having different tolerances to carb heavy diets due to evolutionary history is a plausible and even likely one.

    There’s one glaring problem with it, though.

    Agriculture first arose in the Fertile Crescent, well before the East Asians domesticated rice. And yet Syrians, Egyptians, and Iraqis – despite their relative poverty – are as pudgy as your average Westerner.

    Reply

  2. Mangan’s article on psychiatric medications was inane. I don’t know if he will moderate my comment out, so I will post it here as well: “The article and comments are simply stupid, showing no understanding of mental illness nor medication. I will go farther: they are really quite amazingly stupid. Yes, I understand that this means you will think that I just don’t get it and don’t understand and have been convinced by whatever flavor of establishment pharma/medicine/education/psychology that your paranoia leads you to. Too bad. Learn to listen and think. Antipsychotic medications are prescribed for people who are already psychotic. They do not cause psychosis. You spin convenient theories because you haven’t bothered to do the relatively simple homework of learning about the subject.

    Do you think that casts cause broken legs? The development of aspirin led to an increase in pain? Dentistry causes tooth decay?

    Does taxing people a lot make them rich? Did the improvement in roads cause automobiles to magically appear? I don’t blame the guns for the crimes. Neither do I blame the treatments for psychosis.

    For those who would rather know the truth: http://greatdanefilm.dk/web/Janssen-cilag/npa2011_13012011/npa_09.html

    I’ll check the other links later. But that one is in my wheelhouse.

    Reply

  3. “The Genetic Correlation between Height and IQ: Shared Genes or Assortative Mating? – “In this study, we used a large (total N = 7,905), genetically informative dataset to understand why two potentially sexually selected traits in humans—height and IQ—are correlated. We found that both shared genes and assortative mating were about equally important in causing the relationship between these two traits.”

    If attractiveness has both a positive relation to fertility and some negative relation to genetic load then wouldn’t past assortative mating on attractiveness lead to a reduction in load and a consequent increase in height and IQ?

    .
    “ScienceShot: Monkey Smiles Are Contagious – “Previously, only humans and orangutans had been shown to quickly and involuntarily mimic the facial expressions of their companions, an ability that seems to be linked to empathy.”

    I think this is connected to violence also and why some / most people pull their punchs.

    .
    “No evidence for higher testosterone in black compared to white adolescent males”

    Surprised at this if black people have earlier puberty unless that was controlled for?

    .
    “Brain scans decode dream content – “Researchers have decoded the content of people’s dreams using brain scanning technology”

    lol, that could be embarrassing.

    .
    “bonus: The secret superdads: More than a dozen UK sperm donors have fathered 20 or more children EACH – “Five-hundred men have sired more than 6,100 children in Britain”

    It would be interesting to see what they looked like i.e. symmetrical faces etc.

    Reply

  4. AK
    ” And yet Syrians, Egyptians, and Iraqis – despite their relative poverty – are as pudgy as your average Westerner.”

    Good point.

    Reply

  5. AVI

    “They do not cause psychosis.”

    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/SSRIs-(selective-serotonin-reuptake-inhibitors)/Pages/Side-effects.aspx

    “Hyponatraemia

    A drop in levels of sodium (salt) is a side effect that occurs in elderly people. This is known as hyponatraemia. It leads to a build-up of fluid inside the cells of the body, which can be potentially dangerous.

    Severe hyponatraemia can cause the following:

    •psychosis (being unable to tell the difference between reality and your imagination)”

    Are there any *separate* medical conditions that effect sodium levels in the young?

    If a young person had one of those separate conditions as well as whatever mental problems they had could an SSRI create the same effect it can have in elderly people?

    Reply

  6. @anatoly – “And yet Syrians, Egyptians, and Iraqis – despite their relative poverty – are as pudgy as your average Westerner.”

    my bet is on sugar for those populations — and to a large extent ours. no shortage of coca cola, etc. in those countries (well, maybe in syria today and parts of iraq).

    Reply

  7. @g.w. – “‘Brain scans decode dream content – “Researchers have decoded the content of people’s dreams using brain scanning technology”

    “lol, that could be embarrassing.”

    ha! (^_^)

    Reply

  8. @g.w. – “‘No evidence for higher testosterone in black compared to white adolescent males’

    “Surprised at this if black people have earlier puberty unless that was controlled for?”

    don’t know. i do know that this is something that the fellow behind race/hist/evo notes has posted about frequently and seems convinced of, i.e. that black males don’t have, on average, higher testosterone levels than white males. i haven’t followed his argument/links all that closely though.

    if that’s correct, then the higher rates of violence amongst black males must have to do with something else. low average iq? lack of forward planning/impulsiveness? something(s) else?

    Reply

  9. hubchik
    “that black males don’t have, on average, higher testosterone levels than white males.”

    I may be misunderstanding but if black people go through puberty earlier then black boys must have higher average levels than white boys *at certain ages* if you don’t control for stage of puberty i.e. i had a hairy chest at 11 but most kids didn’t.

    For example say puberty adds one point of testosterone per year from the start date up to a maximum of 10 but on average puberty starts at age 8 for black boys and age 10 for white boys then

    Age: black t level / white t level
    08: 1/0
    09: 2/0
    10: 3/1
    11: 4/2
    12: 5/3
    13: 6/4
    14: 7/5
    15: 8/6
    16: 9/7
    17: 10/8
    18: 10/9
    19: 10/10

    It just occurred to me how multiple studies could get differing results – testing at different ages without controlling for stage of puberty.

    .
    “if that’s correct, then the higher rates of violence amongst black males must have to do with something else. low average iq? lack of forward planning/impulsiveness? something(s) else?”

    I think there’s lots of different reasons but earlier puberty could be part of it as it gives you a competitive advantage – bigger, more muscle etc. Within ethnic groups i wouldn’t be at all surprised if the early developers were most of the bullies.

    Reply

  10. re- religiosity and the fear of death

    Maybe religious people have greater reason to fear death? (As in “be careful, you just might get your just desserts.”) Lots of people think it’s the other way around. But then they aren’t religious, so how would they know?

    Reply

  11. Not sugar Could mitochondrial efficiency explain the susceptibility to adiposity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in South Asian populations? -“which may also be relevant to other warm-climate adapted populations.”

    Testosterone “The main flaw here is that the black-white difference in testosterone levels shrinks after 24 years of age, is gone by the early 30s, and seems to reverse at older ages. [..]Young black Americans with high t levels were likely to test positive for HSV-2 and to have their samples removed from the NHANES III serum bank. ”

    Controversial Ideas: Does Semen Act As an Antidepressant to the Recipient? “Next up, Researchers studying artificial insemination have found that the makeup of seminal fluid changes depending on what the donor was doing when he provided the sample. “If they’re using their imagination to achieve the necessary sexual arousal to ejaculate, Gallup says, “the sample is not nearly as potent than if they’re watching explicit video pornography.””

    Reply

  12. About the link to the 17-year-old who built the DNA testing machine…

    I’m not sure what stands out more: his ingenuity or his kid brother’s hair! Dear Lord, you should have posted a picture of that. I’ve never seen hair like that before in my life.

    Reply

  13. Greying Wanderer,

    “Surprised at this if black people have earlier puberty unless that was controlled for?”

    They controlled for Tanner stage.

    Also, in the US black boys enter puberty earlier but don’t finish puberty earlier than white boys, and this difference should have little bearing on older adolescents.

    For example, in the Bogalusa study:

    “The mean age (Table 1) of black males
    compared to white males at Tanner stage II by either staging
    method is significantly lower, suggesting that black males
    enter puberty before their white counterparts. At Tanner
    stage V by either staging method black and white males
    again show a significant difference in mean age with blacks
    being older, possibly indicating that they finish puberty later
    than white males
    .”

    “I may be misunderstanding but if black people go through puberty earlier then black boys must have higher average levels than white boys *at certain ages* if you don’t control for stage of puberty”

    Yes this is probably true for early stages, but not later stages.

    hbd chick,

    “if that’s correct, then the higher rates of violence amongst black males must have to do with something else. low average iq? lack of forward planning/impulsiveness?”

    Differences in IQ appear to explain most of the black-white difference in criminlaity.

    seantodroy,

    If large black-white differences in circulating testosterone actually existed, I’d still expect significant differences to be found even if the scenario made up by Peter Frost in which “Young black Americans with high t levels were likely to test positive for HSV-2 and to have their samples removed from the NHANES III serum bank.” were correct. Besides the fact that it was never demonstrated that any samples were removed due to testing positive for HSV-2, any actual correlation between circulating testosterone and STDs would be far from perfect.

    And you’d still have the Bogalusa study to rationalize away.

    Reply

  14. Old black men have lower IQ’s than young black men.

    link

    A similar reversal with age has been noted in U.S. studies. African Americans have a clear testosterone advantage over Euro-Americans only from puberty to about 24 years of age. This advantage then shrinks and eventually disappears at some point during the 30s (1). The pattern then seems to reverse at older ages (Ellis & Nyborg 1992; Gapstur et al. 2002; Nyborg 1994, pp. 111-113; Ross et al. 1986; Ross et al. 1992; Tsai et al. 2006; Winters et al. 2001).”

    The above is from a post on a study done in Senegal which happens to be the most polygynous country on earth . I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that Senegal is where the best examples of the most extreme type of black African are found.

    Reply

  15. n/a

    “Also, in the US black boys enter puberty earlier but don’t finish puberty earlier than white boys, and this difference should have little bearing on older adolescents.”

    That’s what i was thinking. It just struck me that not taking age / stage of puberty into account might be the cause of any conflicting results between different studies in the past.

    .
    Sean
    “The main flaw here is that the black-white difference in testosterone levels shrinks after 24 years of age, is gone by the early 30s”

    Again couldn’t that reflect the different starting age of puberty?

    It’s interesting to me because the black kids at my school (majority black) were noticeably more aggressive than the white kids *on average* but it wasn’t universal and there wasn’t an absolute difference i.e. there were white boys as or more aggressive – me for instance – we were just a smaller percentage, say 5% of the white kids vs 20% of the black kids or something of that order.

    Reply

  16. Andrew
    “How about MAOA-2R? 10 times more common in blacks than whites”

    For various reasons i think that’s more related to lethality rather than violence per se e.g. carrying weapons.

    Reply

  17. @n/a – “Differences in IQ appear to explain most of the black-white difference in criminlaity.”

    interesting! thanks.

    i would’ve guessed that impulsivity (i.e. being what we used to call “tempermental”) was somehow at play here, too. but that’s just a guess.

    Reply

  18. @dahlia – “I’m not sure what stands out more: his ingenuity or his kid brother’s hair! Dear Lord, you should have posted a picture of that. I’ve never seen hair like that before in my life.”

    heh! (^_^) yeah, that’s quite a head of hair, isn’t it?! the redness is only the half of it. (~_^) (love red hair, btw. don’t have it myself. dr*t!)

    Reply

  19. My comment yesterday was unnecessarily rude. I also made statements that were accurate but likely to be misunderstood.

    There are meds prescribed by psychiatrists which are abusable: stimulants like Adderall or anxiolytics like Xanax. Taken in recreational doses, these can make your thinking very bad. Of course, just about any medication can make you delirious if you take enough of it, if it doesn’t shut down your kidneys or liver first. I don’t think it is those meds that anyone here was referring to, but it is fair to make the allowance that yes, you can get a prescription for Adderall, take more than you should, and act in ways you wouldn’t normally. Psychosis is another matter.

    Antidepressants sometimes have the side effect of sending one into hypomania, or more rarely, mania. That’s not good, but that’s not psychosis. The clear meaning of the discussion was that antidepressants were the “real” cause behind the high-profile shooters. There isn’t evidence for that. The further implication that modern wusses just can’t handle the normal stressors of life and so resort to medications with dangerous side effects too quickly, is a popular idea that also doesn’t have much going for it. The 19th C Scots preachers thought the younger generation was a deteriorated group because their mothers no longer made that black oat bread for them. There’s science for you. We always think that we used to be tougher. If you track your own genealogy, including the various siblings in each generation, you might change your mind on that.

    As for the antipsychotic medications, any discouraging people from taking what they need will increase the overall danger of our society and screw up their lives to boot. I’ve had 4000 patients, and never seen antipsychotic medication make anyone psychotic. I’ve seen them not work. I’ve seen them not work very well. I’ve seen them give people very nasty side effects, usually around muscle movement. But if you took antipsychotic medication, you’d just get sleepy.

    There are disorders that don’t respond especially well to medication. In those cases, prescribers try to chop away at what symptoms they can, trying to offer some relief. Parents, schools, and patients themselves will ask for these. Because their lives suck and the “side effects” of not taking them include homelessness, unemployment, divorce, suicide, isolation, and freezing to death in the snow.

    I’ve had 35 years of patients not taking their medication and coming into hospital, then taking their medications and getting their lives back. When the culture at large tries to find reasons to discredit that, because they think having a positve attitude, or eating garlic, or any other method of giving themselves moral credit for having good genes, I take it personally. I’ve got kids looking for any excuse to go off the only treatments that will make them better.

    GW and Anon. Out of millions of people, you do get some of everything. Out of 4000 patients I haven’t seen it. If you are concerned about the danger to society or the cost of caring for the helpless, any discouragement of people from taking the medications that they need is way, way, up the list, beggaring other concerns. Being black, being poor, being an illegal immigrant – none of these compare in suffering or cost to society to mental illness. SSRI’s do have a worse record in activating mania. But even there, they do not seem to create it. Family histories and genetic vulnerabilities are still much stronger factors.

    Reply

  20. AVI
    “GW and Anon. Out of millions of people, you do get some of everything. Out of 4000 patients I haven’t seen it. If you are concerned about the danger to society or the cost of caring for the helpless, any discouragement of people from taking the medications that they need is way, way, up the list, beggaring other concerns.”

    Sure i understand that and can see the point – apart from anything else given the number of people who’ve been on them the number of mass shootings is very small.

    .
    “SSRI’s do have a worse record in activating mania. But even there, they do not seem to create it. Family histories and genetic vulnerabilities are still much stronger factors.”

    What do you think about the point related to sodium? If SSRIs can induce psychosis in elderly people somehow related to sodium levels then if there was a *separate* rare condition effecting sodium in young people then couldn’t someone with that condition *and* the mental illness react in a similar way?

    Again, given the number of people who’ve been on these pills *if* there is any connection to the mass shootings then it would have to be a rare connection but a simple test for that sodium-related condition – if one exists – could stop that individual getting that type of medication while not effecting everyone else.

    Reply

  21. “The mean age (Table 1) of black males compared to white males at Tanner stage II by either staging method is significantly lower, suggesting that black males enter puberty before their white counterparts. At Tanner stage V by either staging method black and white males again show a significant difference in mean age with blacks being older, possibly indicating that they finish puberty later than white males.”

    Interesting. Prolonged puberty development might indicate that Blacks have more puberty related shape change than Whites, by the end of puberty. Enter earlier, experience the same rate of change, finish later and there should be more total change in that period.

    To the extent puberty influences neurodevelopment, you could have the same story there.

    Reply

  22. Re Nasty or Nice “So long as there is little geographic mobility, clusters of networked kin and friends develop, putting an advantage on being nice”.

    That is in line with what Martin Nowak says about cooperators always losing out in well mixed highly connected populations, but thriving when there is low connectivity because that enables cooperators to form the tightly connected huddles where cooperation works best.

    Reply

  23. You can literally smell testosterone,the derivatives of it anyway:”Axillary odour is attributable mainly to the microbial conversion of androstadienol and androstadienone (which are secreted by the apocrine glands) to 5a- androstenone, 5af-androst-16-en-3a-ol,and 5a-androst-16-en-3a-ol. ” It modulates women’s attributions of men’s attractiveness, and makes men back off. Axillary odour would be stronger in high testostene populations.

    .

    Reply

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