linkfest – 09/08/13

Digesting Milk in Ethiopia: A Case of Multiple Genetic Adaptations“A team of geneticists from UCL, University of Addis Ababa and Roskilde University have shown that five different alleles are found in the Ethiopian population that cause adult lactase production, one of which is newly confirmed.” – h/t andrew badenoch!

Friendship and Natural Selection“More than any other species, humans form social ties to individuals who are neither kin nor mates, and these ties tend to be with similar people. Here, we show that this similarity extends to genotypes. Across the whole genome, friends’ genotypes at the SNP level tend to be positively correlated (homophilic); however, certain genotypes are negatively correlated (heterophilic). A focused gene set analysis suggests that some of the overall correlation can be explained by specific systems; for example, an olfactory gene set is homophilic and an immune system gene set is heterophilic.” – via charles!

Scientists to sequence genomes of hundreds of newborns

Bone dates ‘earliest northerner’, say archaeologists in Liverpool“Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Nottingham analysed a leg bone found in Cumbria and found it to be more than 10,000 years old.” – [winter is coming….]

Convergent evolution seen in hundreds of genes“Bats and dolphins may have developed echolocation via similar mutations.”

Darkness in Anthropology: A Conversation with Napoleon Chagnon“Probably the single most anthropologically unacceptable thing I did was to take ‘biology’ seriously…. I began using commonly known ways to ‘measure’ relatedness between organisms — Sewall Wright’s coefficient of inbreeding and its extended concept, the coefficient of relatedness. This was very unusual in cultural anthropology. In short, I was discussing Yanomamö kinship with *the biological meaning* of kinship in mind — at a time when the vast majority of cultural anthropologists assumed that ‘kinship’ and ‘the biological meaning of Yanomamö kinship’ were, at best, only vaguely similar and any allusion to this was generally ‘suspect.’ But since ‘kinship’ was traditionally a central focus of anthropological theory, I began developing ways to show precisely, using my meticulous genealogies on the Yanomamö, that people took sides in fights according to how closely *genetically* they were related to each other and fought against people they were *less related to genetically*. Many of the most prominent anthropologists held the extreme view that ‘kinship’ among humans had *nothing* to do with the biological meaning of kinship as is assumed in the fields of biology, genetics, or animal husbandry. A common claim was something to the effect that ‘whatever kinship among humans was about, it was NOT about biology.'” – h/t g-nice!

Penn Biologists Show That Generosity Leads to Evolutionary Success – stewart and plotkin “examined the outcome of the Prisoner’s Dilemma as played repeatedly by a large, evolving population of players. While other researchers have previously suggested that cooperative strategies can be successful in such a scenario, Stewart and Plotkin offer mathematical proof that the *only* strategies that succeed in the long term are generous ones.”

Confusions about race: A new installment [pdf] – from neven sesardic. – h/t holtz!

Why Do Black Women Have A Higher Risk of Death from Heart Disease Than White Women? – more atypical symptoms than white women, apparently.

How Inbred are Europeans? – now that’s my kinda post! (^_^) – from jayman.

Arabs and Liberal Democracy: A Primer – @thosewhocansee.

On the Relevance of Science to Morality“[I]ssues of morality can’t be answered by scientific experiments because there are no such entities as issues of morality…. Moral emotions are part of the behavioral repertoire of several species of animals, including human beings.” – helian makes me smile. (^_^)

The Clannish World of Organized Crime“[T]he way clannishness and OC go hand in hand like described above can’t be a coincidence. Rather, it makes perfect sense given the very definitions of these concepts. Clannishness is taking care of yourself and your group, often with violence, at the expense of other people and society. OC can be described in the exact same way.” – oh, yes. – from staffan.

Obesity in Germany: The fault-line divides the nation again – from agnostic.

Why are we the naked ape?“Loss of body hair was a long-term evolutionary trend in ancestral hominids and even ancestral primates, being perhaps a response to a greater need for social signaling. In ancestral humans, the selection pressure seems to have gone through three stages, initially targeting infants and only later women and then men.” – from peter frost.

Are girls too normal? Sex differences in intelligence“Girls are more normal, boys are more extreme, so there are more boys at extremes, and the more extreme the extremes, the more boys.” – from dr. james thompson. – [are girls too normal? – i’m not! (~_^) ]

Spot The Alpha – heh! – from heartiste (who else?).

National stereotypes of business meetings – @steve sailer’s.

Individualism and Collectivism: U.S. State Comparison – from benjamin david steele.

Racial Differences in Masculinity-Femininity? – @the occidentalist. h/t jayman!

The New Science of Mind“Any discussion of the biological basis of psychiatric disorders must include genetics. And, indeed, we are beginning to fit new pieces into the puzzle of how genetic mutations influence brain development.”

Ability to delay gratification may be linked to social trust“A person’s ability to delay gratification — forgoing a smaller reward now for a larger reward in the future — may depend on how trustworthy the person perceives the reward-giver to be, according to a new study….”

Bigger and healthier: European men grow 11cm in a centurybigger is better! (~_^)

A Game of Homs“What striking about Syria is how so many people insist on speaking about it in profoundly moralistic, Manichaean terms. This is complete nonsense, given that its civil war isn’t a showdown between democracy and dictatorship, but an ethnic and religious conflict. Here’s a more realistic guide.” – really good stuff from anatoly!

Ed West interview: debating the ‘illusions’ of a diverse society

America’s greatest days lie ahead – provided she is true to herselft.greer says: “Daniel Hannan(!) reviews America 3.0 and its Emmnauel Todd theory of America.”

Children with behavioral problems more at risk of inflammation“Children with behavioral problems may be at risk of many chronic diseases in adulthood including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, as well as inflammatory illnesses (conditions which are caused by cell damage).”

Slaughtered bodies stripped of their flesh – a gruesome glimpse of Iron-Age massacre at UK’s largest hill fort“Hundreds if not thousands stripped of their flesh and chopped up, say archaeologists.”

Carbon dating shows ancient Egypt’s rapid expansion“The powerful civilisation of ancient Egypt took just a few centuries to build, according to a radiocarbon dating study that sets the first solid chronology for the period…. Archaeologists have assumed it developed gradually from the pastoral communities that preceded it, but physicist Mike Dee from the University of Oxford and his colleagues now suggest that the transition could have taken as little as 600 years.” – see also A chronology of ancient Egypt @dienekes’.

Declassified spy photographs reveal lost Roman frontier“Declassified spy photography has uncovered a lost Roman Eastern frontier, dating from the second century AD. Research by archaeologists at the Universities of Glasgow and Exeter has identified a long wall that ran 60 kilometers from the Danube to the Black Sea over what is modern Romania. It is considered the most easterly example of a man-made frontier barrier system in the Roman Empire.” – trajan’s rampart!

Melting Snow Reveals Iron Age Sweater“A boat neck sweater made of warm wool and woven in diamond twill was a dominating fashion trend among reindeer hunters 1,700 years ago, according to researchers who have investigated an extremely well preserved Iron Age tunic found two years ago under melting snow in Norway.”

bonus: Underwater volcano is Earth’s biggest“Tamu Massif rivals the size of Olympus Mons on Mars.” – cool!

bonus bonus: Evidence Found for Planet-Cooling Asteroid 12,900 Years Ago – which triggered the agricultural revolution…?

bonus bonus bonus: Making Sense of the Syrian Rebels’ Order of Battle

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Two years after Libya’s revolution, government struggles to control hundreds of armed militias – h/t mark krikorian! see also: Special report: We all thought Libya had moved on – it has, but into lawlessness and ruin. =(

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Car-theft epidemic at the border with Poland [and germany] – “Brandenburg police has repeatedly scolded German car owners for being naive. ‘They simply park their cars in the street….'” – imagine that!

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: The city that went to the dogs: With 60,000 on the streets, there is one stray for every 31 people in Bucharest

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Poll: Majority Of Americans Approve Of Sending Congress To Syria – heh! (~_^) – via mr. mangan, esq.

(note: comments do not require an email. wtf is this weird web-tower thing?)

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65 Comments

  1. By the way I notice that our friends Hawks, Wang, Cochran, and Harpending are sited at the very end of that paper on Friendship and Natural Selection.

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  2. Rushton pointed to research on phenotypic similarity of friends in his papers on Genetic Similarity Theory.

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  3. The paper (and map) on collectivism vs. individualism across US states has a major outlier that seems to poke holes through genetic causation: Utah. Overwhelmingly descended from Yankees. Scandinavians, Dutch, Welsh, and cities in the England midlands like Scheffield. Most of the Americans were farmers; most of the Europeans were city dwellers, or small free holders living close to cities.

    In other words, the exact type of people who should be genetically pre-disposed to individualism.

    Except they are not. They always seem to answer these questions (pg.285 ) in the collectivist way:

    “When raising children is it more important to a) teach them to be independent-minded b) teach them obedience and respect for authorities?

    Why might that be? One very obvious answer that has little to do with genetics…..

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  4. @t.greer – “The paper (and map) on collectivism vs. individualism across US states has a major outlier that seems to poke holes through genetic causation: Utah. Overwhelmingly descended from Yankees. Scandinavians, Dutch, Welsh, and cities in the England midlands like Scheffield.”

    yup. although most of those groups you mentioned, except for maybe the dutch (unless you meant the coastal dutch), were all some of my “in-betweener” outbreeders, i.e. not the longest-term outbreeders. the long-term outbreeders — the true individualists — were (are) found in south-/southeastern england, the netherlands (but not along the coast, i.e. not the frisians), belgium, ne france, nw germany, and parts of northern italy.

    see:

    clannish or not?
    the myddle people
    the radical reformation

    (i could be wrong, though. (^_^) )

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  5. “Many of the most prominent anthropologists held the extreme view that ‘kinship’ among humans had *nothing* to do with the biological meaning of kinship as is assumed in the fields of biology, genetics, or animal husbandry. A common claim was something to the effect that ‘whatever kinship among humans was about, it was NOT about biology.’”

    It is disturbing that a lot of what is taught in universities is untrue.

    Reply

  6. The article on German obesity didn’t convince me; the theory seems Lamarkian. He explains current disparities in obesity rates across Germany as the result of historical differences in diet, without explaining how a carb-heavy diet among lowland Germans translated into a genetic predisposition to obesity among the same population. If anything, the starch-heavy diet should stimulate the evolution of resistance to obesity, and modern-day lowlanders should be thinner.

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  7. @jonathan – “If anything, the starch-heavy diet should stimulate the evolution of resistance to obesity, and modern-day lowlanders should be thinner.”

    unless there hasn’t been enough time/strong enough selection (to weed out those who get obese — you can still reproduce quite sucessfully prolly before dying from some obesity-related disease). dunno.

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    1. @hbdchick:

      Perhaps that’s true, but that still doesn’t answer the question of why the lowlanders’ historically starchy diet should cause them to be congenitally predisposed to obesity today, when presumably there is no longer a disparity in diet across the country. Or are lowland Germans still eating a starchier diet than highlanders? I don’t think that’s what he’s claiming, but it’s the only explanation that makes sense.

      Reply

  8. @b.b. – “Rushton pointed to research on phenotypic similarity of friends in his papers on Genetic Similarity Theory.”

    yes! he sure did. (^_^)

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  9. @hbdchick: What did you think of Helian’s piece? I’m not sure I buy his “morality doesn’t exist” assumption, and without that assumption his critique doesn’t make sense.

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  10. Thanks for linking chick!

    Re-obesity question. There is a remarkable correlation between obesity rates and habitational altitude that is independent of diet.

    People who live high up just seem to have an easier time of it keeping in shape.

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  11. @AK: Thanks! That makes more sense; I expect the evolutionary explanation is that you need to be thinner to get around in hilly areas, or if the air is thinner. This would mean, of course, that the explanation of different obesity rates by historical dietary differences is a red herring and the disparity we see only accidentally correlates with diet.

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  12. “However, when it comes to understanding “good” and “evil” as things, science is, indeed, useless. It is not possible to investigate objects that don’t exist using the scientific or any other method.”

    What exists are ‘reactions’. Mention cousin-marriage to your average indigenous Brit and the reaction is of the lemon-sucking variety. Or to spread the net wider, people’s reactions to say a parent-child liaison.

    Where does that reaction come from? From social mores fine-tuning the adrenal system over many generations. But the more has become a biological reaction.

    Whether that biological reaction is good or bad, science doesn’t tell us, but as long as people react that way within a culture, then the ‘bad’ that is incest is scientifically measurable within that culture, is it not?

    Reply

  13. “They’re jobless, and when their unemployment benefits expired, they turned to auto theft. If it were you or me, we’d probably do the same”

    What kind of a nut is he? I wouldn’t do the same.

    There is also another phenomenon — German car owners driving to Poland and abandoning their cars here, and there returning home and claiming they were stolen, to get an insurance:

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  14. re: Confusions about race: A new installment

    Concerning the issue of how many races there are and the fact that there are no clear demarcations of where one race ends and another begins, a counter-analogy (is thqt a word?) just occurred to me, namely, the color spectrum. When we look at the spectrum of white light there is no clear demarcation between violet and blue, or red and orange, or green and yellow. Yet who would argue that violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red are not distinct colors? I would imagine this particular illustration must have been used in the past and I find it particularly persuasive, even if Neven Sesardic doesn’t avail himself of it in his very fine discussion and review of the subject.

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  15. Re: the Lewontin’s fallacy

    One of the more persuasive counter-analogies, to me at least (probably I’m an odd-ball here, and even mistaken in this regard) concerns the differences between men and women. Their genetic differences pale in comparison to their genetic similarities.

    Take height for instance, namely, the proposition that men are generally taller than women. “Constructivists” would argue that unless every man is taller than every woman this particular trait is not a valid distinction between the sexes. Ditto for penuses and vaginas given inter-sexual births (around 1%).

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  16. @luke lea
    Great minds think alike :) I was very dissapointed when I first time realised that color analogy was created years before I have first think about it :) I used to use the analogy with sweet: what perceived as “Sweet” is generally different between different people, surely; also things gradually change from sweet into non-sweet. Yet sweet things definetely exist and we may say that something is less or more sweet.

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  17. > collectivism vs. individualism across US states has a major outlier that seems to poke holes through genetic causation: Utah

    Mormons are self-selected into a novel religion and society — indeed, one that was at odds with the encompassing society for a long time. Their ingress into Mormonism almost undoubtedly had a mix of heritable and nonheritable determinants. In spite of all regressions towards means, they are certainly gonna have somewhat different traits from the mother race. That difference will mostly be narrow-sense heritable, probably.

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  18. T. Greer

    “Why might that be? One very obvious answer that has little to do with genetics…..”

    I think a possible counter to that is “genetics when?” Religion can preserve a time and place.

    For example FBD marriage in the bits of the muslim world that were part of the original caliphate.

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  19. @rs – “Mormons are self-selected into a novel religion and society…. In spite of all regressions towards means, they are certainly gonna have somewhat different traits from the mother race.”

    yes. and at least some of the ancestors of the populations that the mormons arose out of had also self-selected themselves into new religions a couple of hundred years earlier (puritans, quakers?).

    i’m sensing a pattern…. (~_^)

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  20. @luke – “Concerning the issue of how many races there are and the fact that there are no clear demarcations of where one race ends and another begins, a counter-analogy (is thqt a word?) just occurred to me, namely, the color spectrum.”

    @szopeno – “Great minds think alike :) I was very dissapointed when I first time realised that color analogy was created years before I have first think about it :)”

    it’s so funny that you guys have mentioned this, because i never heard of — or thought of — this color spectrum analogy wrt race until the other day when i saw hbd bibliography mention it on twitter. and it’s so OBVIOUS! and it’s such a great analogy. gonna use it all the time, now! (^_^)

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  21. @bnk – “Whether that biological reaction is good or bad, science doesn’t tell us, but as long as people react that way within a culture, then the ‘bad’ that is incest is scientifically measurable within that culture, is it not?”

    yes, but like you say, it’s our actions and reactions that are “good” or “bad” according to our own and others’ judgements. you can’t go out and measure “morality” in the same, direct way that you can, say, the mass of elements.

    @bnk – “Where does that reaction come from? From social mores fine-tuning the adrenal system over many generations. But the more has become a biological reaction.”

    nicely put! (^_^)

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  22. @anatoly – “Re-obesity question. There is a remarkable correlation between obesity rates and habitational altitude that is independent of diet.

    People who live high up just seem to have an easier time of it keeping in shape.”

    huh! very interesting. i had no idea! someone should tell agnostic.

    (slay many dragons yesterday? (~_^) )

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  23. @jonathan – “What did you think of Helian’s piece? I’m not sure I buy his ‘morality doesn’t exist’ assumption, and without that assumption his critique doesn’t make sense.”

    i liked it!

    Reply

  24. I read the article on the biology of race. At first I was delighted to see the arguments put forward to dispel the constructionist myths. Then I asked myself, ‘why is all this philosophy necessary?’ I should think that anyone who has taken a biology exam at 16 or 18 would already have a pretty good idea that where morphology differs, so too does behaviour. It simply isn’t possible to split an organism up and say this is biological, this isn’t.

    The fact that the philosophers have had to step in to salvage human science in the face of political coercion is testament to the success of that political force.

    on the other hand, I equally do not understand why there is such resistance to adapting to a new social world.

    In about 1990, the entire lexicon changed. In the disability sector certain words were replaced. But the sector continues.

    Likewise, the AAA introduced this idea of geographic ancestry to replace race. When I first looked at this I thought, ‘what does it matter? the divisions are still Africa, East Asia, Europe etc, it’s just the wording that has changed.’

    What the continued insistence on using the old lexicon has done is to allow the denigration and denial of Europeans. Because refusing to adopt ethnic terms has allowed colours to become the denominator.

    I have yet to see an HBD graph that it would be possible to dismiss on political grounds, if the terms used were those of ethnicity.

    The word race does have unpleasant connotations. I think it’s a good idea to move forward with research untainted by genuinely inhumane behaviours of the past. I know what it is like to feel offended by labels because currently the labels English, British and European are not allowed to mean ‘ethnicity’, and that has only been possible because of colour coding. So equally I can understand people feeling offended simply by the mention of the word race.

    In addition, the original meaning of the word race was as something fixed. but it isn’t. There are a lot of people in the UK now who simply cannot be attributed to a geographic ancestry. Ethnicity is mutable. isolation creates new forms as does admixture.

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  25. @HBD Chick & T. Greer:

    “yup. although most of those groups you mentioned, except for maybe the dutch (unless you meant the coastal dutch), were all some of my “in-betweener” outbreeders, i.e. not the longest-term outbreeders. the long-term outbreeders — the true individualists — were (are) found in south-/southeastern england, the netherlands (but not along the coast, i.e. not the frisians), belgium, ne france, nw germany, and parts of northern italy.”

    I haven’t had the time to follow this too closely, but one has to keep in mind racial factors as well (did the paper examine the races separately)?

    As well, Utah and the Mormons are a great example of how one group (New England Puritans) can fission into two. Mormons set off from their Yankee cousins, but there’s no reason to suspect that that separation wasn’t systematic. Founder effects could be behind the differences we see.

    T. Greer, you don’t get give genetics enough credit! ;)

    Reply

  26. @jayman – “…did the paper examine the races separately….”

    dunno, ’cause i didn’t look at the paper closely, either (i just looked at the pictures! (~_^) ). probably not.

    @jayman – “Mormons set off from their Yankee cousins, but there’s no reason to suspect that that separation wasn’t systematic.”

    precisely! it was like another radical reformation — after their ancestors had reformed radically, too. (^_^)

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  27. Scratch the obesity-altitude comment; I see it’s been covered! :)

    I’ll have to process these and give my thoughts on them. I’ll get back to you.

    I do have one more thing for you, which I’ll head over to another post to deliver!

    Reply

  28. “As well, Utah and the Mormons are a great example of how one group (New England Puritans) can fission into two. Mormons set off from their Yankee cousins, but there’s no reason to suspect that that separation wasn’t systematic. Founder effects could be behind the differences we see.”

    Could But how do you prove it?

    Also worth noting that the group you really want to look at are the English folks. Between 1840 and 1850 the Church blossomed from 17,000 members to 51,000 members. The vast majority of that growth was from England and Wales, with immigration from Scandinavia and the Netherlands picking up steam after that time.

    Reply

    1. @T. Greer:

      “‘“As well, Utah and the Mormons are a great example of how one group (New England Puritans) can fission into two. Mormons set off from their Yankee cousins, but there’s no reason to suspect that that separation wasn’t systematic. Founder effects could be behind the differences we see.’

      Could But how do you prove it?”

      It’s rather self-evident, is it not? Unless you believe conversion to Mormonism was completely random (it wasn’t) then they are a select group. So it goes without saying, less any “environmental” factors…

      Reply

  29. @jayman,

    FTR, and IIRC, I first saw the altitude-obesity correlation study via your Twitter feed. So feel free to take the credit. :)

    @chick,

    I thought you liked dragons – why would you want me to slay them? ;) Anyhow only things I “slew” was a tree trunk and a fencing mask.

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  30. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/?p=3077#.Ui9H7K44YzQ

    Tribalism resembles the typical behavior of male to safeguard its territory. Tribalist societies do not work as well as a society universalist (to collective suicide) precisely because men with higher testosterone start to fight for their” territory” resulting in crime, gangs, corruption, enforcement of laws and rules that society apply only to subordinates).

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  31. Isn’t the obvious explanation for the obesity-altitude correlation the amount of extra calories you have to use to walk uphill vs across flat land? (obvious doesn’t mean that it’s correct, but I would think that’s the first thing to look at.)

    The fact that uplands usually have inferior transportation infrastructure and a more “outdoorsy” culture could play a part.

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  32. Looking at the games theory study about generosity raises more doubts than it settles. Taking a long view of history, yes, it does appear that generous groups beat selfish individuals. The rise of Christianity seems exemplary here. But in the world today there are freeloaders everywhere who do not suffer for it, and it is hard to envision how these people are going to be bred out with our current permissive social policies(as opposed to the kinds Gregory Clarke wrote of). I hope they are correct, but can’t shake the feeling that the Penn guys are overlooking some great detail. For sure, this is the most important social issue of our times, because globalization is raising the stakes so high. We have to be careful that we don’t deceive ourselves with a comforting story to let ourselves continue on a status quo with a terrible endgame.

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  33. @Jayman
    “The cause is unclear, but there appears to be an inverse relationship between obesity and altitude:…It’s anyone’s guess why this relationship exists – feel free to take a stab at it.”

    I keep coming back to the idea of a historical-farming cline i.e. the number of centuries since the bulk of a population’s diet was grains, then that cline would be both latitudinal and altitudinal and both German mountaineers (higher altitude) and Lithuanian flatlanders (higher latitude) might be at a similar spot on the cline. In the obesity-altitude case an inability to fully process grains may be helping them?

    And on the other hand if that grain cline exists the effects may not be direct. What i keep wondering about is the seeming correlation with spirits i.e. populations with a lower ability to metabolize alcohol (assuming that follows the historical farming cline) being more inclined to get addicted to firewater i.e. Whiskey & Vodka, and that having an indirect effect on other health issues e.g. heart atacks.

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  34. @t.greer – “Also worth noting that the group you really want to look at are the English folks. Between 1840 and 1850 the Church blossomed from 17,000 members to 51,000 members. The vast majority of that growth was from England and Wales….”

    any idea which english folks? from any particular region/s in general? thanks!

    Reply

  35. @anatoly – “I thought you liked dragons – why would you want me to slay them? ;)”

    yeah — i just wanted to know if i should be mad at you or not. (~_^)

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  36. @bleach – “Isn’t the obvious explanation for the obesity-altitude correlation the amount of extra calories you have to use to walk uphill vs across flat land?”

    @grey – “…that cline would be both latitudinal and altitudinal and both German mountaineers (higher altitude) and Lithuanian flatlanders (higher latitude) might be at a similar spot on the cline.”

    how about burning calories to keep body temperature up in cold climates? that would apply to both high altitude and high latitude. maybe.

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  37. When I started an aquarium I soon learned that cold blooded animals need a fraction of the calories that warm blooded animals need, since we have the inefficient need to waste energy to keep ourselves warm. Iirc humans spend about 60% of our calories on body heat. It’s easy to see this percentage could change based on altitude — certainly it changes based on body size. Small mammals like shrews can starve to death in a matter of hours.

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  38. re: Friendship and Natural Selection, I thought this story was interesting:

    Survey of Chinese Students at Indiana University Reveals Challenges of Integration – See more at: http://www.tealeafnation.com/2013/07/chinese-students-in-the-u-s-describe-challenges-of-cross-cultural-friendship/#sthash.5wqr1l70.dpuf

    How well are Chinese integrating into American society generally. We hear of few problems, we know there is intermarriage, but how about friendships? Does anyone here have a close Chinese friend?

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  39. @luke – “Does anyone here have a close Chinese friend?”

    i used to have a couple of chinese friends — from china (well, one from taiwan) — not close friends, though, although we hung out a lot (in the same circle). always felt that something was slightly … off … with our friendships. that things didn’t quite gel. quite possibly something with me, although i haven’t found that with friends from other ethnicities. not with japanese folks at all.

    not in touch with those chinese friends anymore. drifted apart.

    (p.s. – oh, gosh. i forgot. i even dated a chinese guy once! and by dated i mean went out on two or three dates. again, relating to him just seemed kinda off, even though he was a very nice guy.)

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  40. I have a few very close Chinese friends, and we gel pretty well because we’re all into video games, comics and cartoons. They’re all into trying out sweets from Asia that I can’t eat because I’m vegan — but they’re obsessed with bubble tea and random sweets and Korean BBQ restaurants and expensive Japanese smartphones and customizing their cars. And I have no interest in mahjong. Only discrepancies with them.

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  41. “Why Do Black Women Have A Higher Risk of Death from Heart Disease Than White Women?”

    Interesting. I know a pregnant black (African) woman, aged only 30, who suffered a stroke (3 weeks ago). She was not obese or even overweight and had no known health problems. All the other patients in the stroke ward at the hospital were elderly white people in their 70s and 80s. Apparently there appears to be an increased prevalence of pregnancy-induced hypertension among women who share the same HLA DR antigen with their partner, as compared with normal pregnancy. [If this is true then populations which marry closely should be at much higher risk – don’t know any stats on this].

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  42. @chris – “I know a pregnant black (African) woman, aged only 30, who suffered a stroke (3 weeks ago).”

    oh, jeez. that’s not good. =/ hope she’s ok/going to be ok.

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  43. @andrew – “I have a few very close Chinese friends, and we gel pretty well because we’re all into video games, comics and cartoons.”

    all of those would appeal to me — maybe i just had the wrong chinese friends. (~_^) with me it always felt like our senses-of-humor didn’t match (like, at all!), but maybe that was just me. hard to tell. small sample size — n=3 or 4? out of 1.something billion! (~_^)

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  44. @jayman – “Well, there’s Stephan Guyenet’s idea about central heating possibly causing the uptick in obesity.”

    huh. interesting idea. but…

    stephan said: “I’ve used heat in my bedroom about 20 times over the last three years…. The winters aren’t particularly cold in Seattle, and I leach heat from downstairs, but the temperature nevertheless fluctuates between 45 and 55 F for several months of winter, with occasional excursions below 40 F (I’ve awakened with a crust of ice on the *inside* of my windows).”

    …no way! nuh-uh! i would be DEAD! i like it hot. (^_^) (note: i’m not obese.)

    Reply

  45. 1. On Chinese friends and friendship-

    I do have close Chinese friends. But then again, I have made a point to do so. I often talk with them about the difficulty integrating in America life. Most first generation immigrants identify very strongly as ‘Chinese’ and continue to do so as long as they live. By second gen they start calling themselves ‘Asian’ just as much as they do ‘Chinese.’ In this sense they integrate quite well within the general Asian American mileau.

    See the Pew Social Trends Report Rise of the Asian Americans, p. 91 (I think) for more data on this point. (As well as comparisons with other Asian ethnic groups. Japanese seem by far the best integrated…)

    2. On Mormons and British Mormons

    Jayman says:

    “It’s rather self-evident, is it not? Unless you believe conversion to Mormonism was completely random (it wasn’t) then they are a select group.”

    This is a circular argument.

    I am asking you to look at this from the perspective of someone who is skeptical of the HBD position generally. The default is to see collectivism as a learned behavior. If that is false and it is genetically determined, how could you prove it? You have provided a hypothesis: Mormons in Utah are collective focused because the process of conversion/immigration/staying faithful to the Church etc. back in England selected those English with a collectivist inclinations and those inclinations been inherited genetically by white Utahns today. That is a hypothesis. How can we test it?

    HBDchick asks where the Mormons in England came from. The library is useful on this point. Here I quote from Robert Lively’s essay “Some sociological reflections on the nineteenth century British Mission” (pp. 16-31) in Mormons in early Victorian Britain ed. Richard Jensen and Malcom Thorp (Salt Lake City: Utah U Press) 1989.

    “Concerning the geographic distribution of various religious groups, the census found… the largest number of Mormon branches in Greater London (London and Middlesex) – 36 followed by Wales — 32; the north Midland counties (primarily in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and Lincolnshire) –0; the West midland counties (the majority in Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, and Staffordshire) — 26; and the Norther counties of Cheshire and Lancashire — 24.” (p. 20-21).

    The census was taken in 1851 and was done to record all congregations in England. Lively comments earlier that the census almost certainly underestimated the number of branches (branch being a congregation) in Wales, perhaps by a factor of two.

    The converts were overwhelmingly poor, working class factory folks – notable because this was exactly the demographic other Churches could not get to the pews.

    So that is who they were: Factory hands from urban centers in Wales, London, and the midlands.

    It is also worth pointing out which kind of community they were joining: a radical, millenarian sect that was asking them to leave everything they ever knew so they could literally go build Zion on American sod. Not exactly the conservative, tie-and suits types that most people think of when ‘Mormons’ pop up today.

    Reply

  46. @t.greer – “How can we test it?”

    figure out what the “genes for collectivism” are, and then check different populations to see if they have different frequencies of said genes … and, obviously, check to see if collectivist societies have more of them or not.

    Reply

  47. @t.greer – “The library is useful on this point.”

    yes, thank you. i am familiar with — and very fond of — that institution. unfortunately, the nearest one to me is two-and-a-half hours away, so i don’t get there as often as i’d like.

    i asked you if you happened to know from where in england the mormons came from, because you seemed to be familiar with the topic, so i thought you might know off the top of your head. if you didn’t, you could’ve just said, “sorry, don’t know.” there was no need for sarcasm.

    @t.greer – “‘Concerning the geographic distribution of various religious groups, the census found… the largest number of Mormon branches in Greater London (London and Middlesex) – 36 followed by Wales — 32; the north Midland counties (primarily in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and Lincolnshire) –0; the West midland counties (the majority in Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, and Staffordshire) — 26; and the Norther counties of Cheshire and Lancashire — 24.'”

    very interesting! thank you.

    we’ll have to ignore london, unfortunately — major urban center that drew migrants from every part of britain — too difficult to discern any pattern from that.

    and then — interesting! — we’re left, once again, with the (likely in some cases, definitely in others) longer-term inbreeding english and welsh: wales, west midlands, northern counties. the very same regions that the quakers came from, in fact! interesting.

    Reply

  48. HBDchick-

    Sorry, didn’t mean to sound snarky. Wrote that real quick( in the library in fact!), ‘cuz I only had 20 or so minutes there before I had to run. I was trying to emphasize that the library proved useful to me on this count. Didn’t mean to sound demeaning – that was unintentional effect of quick writing and not rereading what was wrote. My apologies!

    Reply

  49. @t.greer – “My apologies!”

    no worries! (^_^) and thanks again for that info. i’ll definitely have to check out the mormons one of these days … and now i know where to start! (^_^)

    (i [we] really do have to move somewhere closer to a nice, BIG university library. in many ways, i really like being far from the madding crowds, but otoh, it can be a little frustrating sometimes!)

    Reply

  50. T. Greer

    “I am asking you to look at this from the perspective of someone who is skeptical of the HBD position generally. The default is to see collectivism as a learned behavior. If that is false and it is genetically determined, how could you prove it? You have provided a hypothesis: Mormons in Utah are collective focused because the process of conversion/immigration/staying faithful to the Church etc. back in England selected those English with a collectivist inclinations and those inclinations been inherited genetically by white Utahns today. That is a hypothesis. How can we test it?”

    I think there’s another possible explanation.

    Say you have a population which has an exogomous marriage form within an endogamous limit – say Anglicanism. Then 10% of that population breaks away to form a different religion.

    Now you have two groups marrying exogamously within their respective endogamous limits but one group is *nine times* bigger than the other.

    Roll on 200 years and the average relatedness of the smaller group is much higher than the average relatedness of the larger group simply because population size means there is more double-duty in the family tree of the smaller group.

    That theory would predict that even without any founder effect Mormons would be more collectivist because they have a closer average relatedness.

    Basically i think the sequence goes

    1) endogamous marriage

    – big gap –

    2) exogamous marriage
    a) with a small population for a short time
    b) with a small population for a long time
    c) with a large population for a short time
    d) with a large population for a long time

    examples
    1) Libya
    2a) currently dunno – historically most of the early Protestant sects
    2b) Mormons, Danes, Swiss, Icelanders? Jews?
    2c) Renaissance England? Japan?
    2d) Modern WEIRD countries

    Reply

  51. “That theory would predict that even without any founder effect Mormons would be more collectivist because they have a closer average relatedness.”

    I’m just assuming they do. If wrong then obv the theory will be wrong also :)

    .

    The 2a) category would fit most of hubchik’s “in-betweeners.”

    Reply

  52. @grey – “Now you have two groups marrying exogamously within their respective endogamous limits but one group is *nine times* bigger than the other.

    Roll on 200 years and the average relatedness of the smaller group is much higher than the average relatedness of the larger group simply because population size means there is more double-duty in the family tree of the smaller group.

    That theory would predict that even without any founder effect Mormons would be more collectivist because they have a closer average relatedness.”

    somewhere in here the concept of “effective population size” must come into play, but i’ll be d*mned if i know how (i really need to learn this sh*t at some point — if i’m able to).

    i bet at some “big enough” size — whatever that may be — a breakaway group wouldn’t be more collectivist because they wouldn’t have a closer average relatedness (depending on their mating patterns, obviously). no idea what size population that would be, but there’s probably some cut off, if you see what i mean.

    Reply

  53. hubchik
    “i bet at some “big enough” size — whatever that may be — a breakaway group wouldn’t be more collectivist because they wouldn’t have a closer average relatedness”

    Yes. If the two groups were 10,000 and 990,000 or 100,000 and 9.9 million (plus time) i think there’d be a difference but after some cut-off point in population size e.g. 6 million, 12 million, 24 million or whatever number it might be (plus time) the relatedness within exogamously marrying groups becomes too diluted to have a collectivist effect.

    Reply

  54. @T. Greer:

    “On Mormons and British Mormons

    Jayman says:

    “It’s rather self-evident, is it not? Unless you believe conversion to Mormonism was completely random (it wasn’t) then they are a select group.”

    This is a circular argument.

    I am asking you to look at this from the perspective of someone who is skeptical of the HBD position generally. The default is to see collectivism as a learned behavior. If that is false and it is genetically determined, how could you prove it?”

    It’s an advanced argument meant for someone that knows a thing or two about how the world actually is.

    For one, we know that all human behavioral traits are heritable. We also know that these include traits that differ between human groups (see How Much Hard Evidence Do You Need? « JayMan’s Blog. Ergo, it is reasonable to conclude that the differences between two human groups – even two groups that are highly related – such as New England Yankees and Mormons – has something to do with genetics.

    These are necessary conclusions. We know that religiosity and political orientation are heritable. As well, we know that personality traits – traits that would have existed in the early Mormon converts that led Mormonism to appeal to them – are also heritable. Hence, these traits must have played a role in the separation of Mormons from their Yankee brethren, and as such, must exist in their descendants today.

    That said, you’re correct, we don’t know which of the traits among present Mormons that differ from other Yankees stem from heredity. It is conceivable that some of that difference is due to some environmental source (“culture”).

    However, here’s the problem: it’s impossible to investigate non-genetic sources for the differences until you exclude the potential genetic sources. This is why the “environmentalist” line of reasoning is essentially bankrupt – most of the time, we can’t investigate possible non-genetic explanations because we can’t exclude all the possible genetic explanations. This is why I don’t waste my time with most “environmental” explanations.

    “You have provided a hypothesis: Mormons in Utah are collective focused because the process of conversion/immigration/staying faithful to the Church etc. back in England selected those English with a collectivist inclinations and those inclinations been inherited genetically by white Utahns today. That is a hypothesis. How can we test it?”

    A true test might have to wait until we’ve identified genes for the personality traits in question and perform the relevant genetic analysis. Comparing modern Utahns with “Yankee” New Englanders (good luck finding any pure-bred of the latter) and seeing if said genes are more frequent in modern Mormons might be one avenue.

    Reply

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