linkfest – 09/22/13

Flies see the world in slow motion, say scientists“Flies avoid being swatted in the same way Keanu Reeves dodges flying bullets in The Matrix, by watching time pass slowly, research suggests. The smaller an animal is, and the faster its metabolic rate, the slower time passes for it, scientists found. This means that across a wide range of species, time perception is directly related to size, with animals smaller than us seeing the world in slow motion…. ‘It’s tempting to think that for children time moves more slowly than it does for grown ups, and there is some evidence that it might…. People have shown in humans that flicker fusion frequency is related to a person’s subjective perception of time, and it changes with age. It’s certainly faster in children.’ – mind. blown.

Poverty Can Trump a Winning Hand of Genes“When psychologists first started studying twins, they found identical twins much more likely to have similar IQs than fraternal ones. They concluded that IQ was highly “heritable”—that is, due to genetic differences. But those were all high SES twins. Erik Turkheimer of the University of Virginia and his colleagues discovered that the picture was very different for poor, low-SES twins. For these children, there was very little difference between identical and fraternal twins: IQ was hardly heritable at all…. Richer children have similarly good educational opportunities, so genetic differences among them become more apparent…. But for poor children, haphazard differences in educational opportunity swamp genetic differences.”

Shy male birds keep closer ‘friends’“Shy male great tits have fewer ‘friends’ but build stronger bonds than bolder birds, researchers have found.” – speaking of birds: Warblers begin migrating after interbreeding.

Ancient genomes mirror mode of subsistence rather than geography in prehistoric Europe (preprint) – @dienekes’.

Pornography addiction leads to same brain activity as alcoholism or drug abuse, study shows“Cambridge University scientists reveal changes in brain for compulsive porn users which don’t occur in those with no such habit.”

Redneck Psychiatrists“Schizophrenia is more common in men than women – about 1.4 to 1. It’s more common in the lowest SES groups, although that may be downward drift. Schizophrenia is considerably more common among people of African ancestry…. Schizophrenia seems to be more common among people that grew up in cities – about twice as common.” – from greg cochran.

Stronger Sexual Impulses, Not Weaker Self-Control, May Explain Why Men Cheat More Than Women, Study Reveals

Painful and extreme rituals enhance social cohesion and charity“The study of 86 males in Mauritius found both observers and performers of the Kavadi were more charitable than those who only participated in the collective prayers. The researchers also found that higher levels of pain were positively associated with larger donations and a more inclusive self-identity.”

DNA Double Takechimeras! and other neat stuff.

Why parents think your partner isn’t good enough“[P]arents tend to give more resources to children whose partners provide less support, and that this leads to a conflict over mate choice…. ‘Parents are equally related to all of their children, whereas children value themselves more than their siblings — so each child wants to get more than their fair share of parental resources.’ This means that the children are willing to settle for a mate who is less caring than their parents would ideally like.”

The Social Life of Genes“Your DNA is not a blueprint. Day by day, week by week, your genes are in a conversation with your surroundings. Your neighbors, your family, your feelings of loneliness: They don’t just get under your skin, they get into the control rooms of your cells. Inside the new social science of genetics.” – h/t you know who you are!

Lifestyle Influences Metabolism via DNA Methylation“An unhealthy lifestyle leaves traces in the DNA. These may have specific effects on metabolism, causing organ damage or disease. Scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München have now identified 28 DNA alterations associated with metabolic traits. This world-first epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) of modified genes and metabolites has been now published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.”

From Slavs to slaves. Part II“With the Christianization of Eastern Europe, the trade in fair-skinned women and boys came to an end.” – from peter frost.

The Books Interview: David Epstein – author of The Sports Gene.

In Defense of Neanderthals – from jim goad.

UC Davis research finds Neandertals, not modern humans, made first specialized bone tools in Europe

Who Was Eating Salmon 45,000 Years Ago in the Caucasus?“Neandertals Probably Not as Rigid in Their Diet as Thought” – h/t hbd bibliography!

You’ll never be Chinese“Except where there is economic benefit to be had, communities do not act together, and when they do it is only to ensure equal financial compensation for the pollution, or the government-sponsored illegal land grab, or the poisoned children.”

The £29 DNA dating test that takes a swab of your saliva to find your perfect partner – they’re looking at hla genes. note that this is not an endorsement!

bonus: Sending food to Africa to solve famine is barmy, says Sir David Attenborough as he blames overcrowding for crisis

bonus bonus: The British babies made in India“The surrogate mothers of India’s Akanksha Clinic eagerly await their 600th delivery. But is there an ethical price to pay?” – is there a biological price to pay?

bonus bonus bonus: Sex Jihad raging in Syria, claims minister“A Tunisian minister has revealed local women are travelling to Syria to undertake ‘sex jihad’ by giving battlefield comfort to Islamist fighters battling the regime…. ‘After the sexual liaisons they have there in the name of “jihad al-nikah” – (sexual holy war, in Arabic) – they come home pregnant,’ Ben Jeddou told the MPs. “ – ooohhh-kay.

bonus bonus bonus bonus: joey prusak – good guy! (^_^)

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Dinosaur feathers found in Alberta amber“Feathers believed to be from dinosaurs have been found beautifully preserved in Alberta amber. The primitive, hair-like feathers known as protofeathers likely belonged to theropods — dinosaurs similar to tiny Tyrannosaurus rexes — that roamed the swampy forests of Alberta 80 million years ago….”

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: ‘Rotating moon’ filmed by Nasa – video

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Is this the most extraordinary human brain ever seen? – yikes. =(

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

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32 Comments

  1. As well, I don’t buy the pornography addiction part, especially with such a tiny sample (and who were they?). I’m sure “Neuro Skeptic” will be on the case.

    Reply

  2. @jayman – “the press loves any story where nurture trumps nature”

    yes. yes, they do.

    i took these results as just indicating, once again, that once you optimize people’s environment, the effect of genes come to the fore. of course iq is less heritable when individuals have poorer nutrition, etc. — i.e. all the things that go with lower ses. not a big surprise — but it is interesting to see some actual results for this.

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  3. “Poverty Can Trump a Winning Hand of Genes – ”

    With the blank slate unravelling i think we’ll be a seeing a lot of these.

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  4. @grey – “With the blank slate unravelling i think we’ll be a seeing a lot of these.”

    the poor dears. it’s going to be so disheartening for them. (~_^)

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  5. “It’s tempting to think that for children time moves more slowly than it does for grown ups, and there is some evidence that it might”

    I’ve always thought this was pretty obvious. Having my time wasted as a child was tortuous in a way it’s quite anymore.

    Marginal Revolution had a post on this a year or two back. Someone estimated that half of your perceived life was over before you hit 30 because of time perception effects.

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  6. ‘It’s tempting to think that for children time moves more slowly than it does for grown ups,

    I think that’s right. When I was in grammar school the five minutes between 2:55 and 3:00 when the final bell rang lasted an hour.

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  7. re: Sex Jihad raging in Syria, claims minister

    Somehow I doubt this. Unless there are temporary marriages involved, it would violate Sharia wouldn’t it?

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  8. “Flies avoid being swatted in the same way Keanu Reeves dodges flying bullets in The Matrix, by watching time pass slowly, research suggests”.

    Mind blown. Yes, and deepening respect for Mr Miyagi.

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  9. Luke
    “Somehow I doubt this. Unless there are temporary marriages involved, it would violate Sharia wouldn’t it?”

    there’s a saudi preacher who put out a fatwa saying temporary “pleasure marriages” were acceptable for rebel fighters in the Syrian war so it’s possible.

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  10. “….. by giving battlefield comfort to Islamist fighters battling the regime…. ‘After the sexual liaisons they have there in the name of “jihad al-nikah” – (sexual holy war, in Arabic) – they come home pregnant,’ Ben Jeddou told the MPs. “

    Selection for cruelty, extreme violence overtime in islam?

    Reply

  11. “the picture was very different for poor, low-SES twins. … Differences in the environment, like whether you lucked out with a good teacher, seemed to be much more important.” I’ll bet there was no evidence at all that teachers mattered – that’s surely just a guess? Or an example of arse-licking the readership?

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  12. > Flies avoid being swatted in the same way Keanu Reeves dodges flying bullets in The Matrix, by watching time pass slowly, research suggests.

    How to measure /how/ they perceive something? Not possible. You can only measure their powers of perception and reaction. How to know they are aware of time or of anything at all? I don’t dispute that they may have better time-resolution in detecting flickers than I do, just as an eagle’s vision has better spatial resolution than mine.

    Are they actually aware of time, and see it go 7x slower? It wouldn’t shock me, I just don’t think it’s knowable.

    btw new War Nerd is fascinating. Both in its own right, and in his goose-gander left-right contortions being more prominent than ever.

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  13. “Schizophrenia seems to be more common among people that grew up in cities ”

    IIRC doesn’t that apply to all psychological disorders – if you live in a high density city you’re more likely to have a psychological disorder than if you lived in a low density village?

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  14. @grey – “My experience is women have an equal (or stronger) sex drive than men around the time they’re ovulating and less strong the rest of the time.”

    *ahem* uh … yeah. (*^_^*)

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  15. @visitor – “Selection for cruelty, extreme violence overtime in islam?”

    nah. probably not. you’d need for this to be happening a LOT, and there are no indications of that.

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  16. @rs – “btw new War Nerd is fascinating. Both in its own right, and in his goose-gander left-right contortions being more prominent than ever.”

    ack! i don’t have access. =( i guess one of these days i’ll have to fork over the $$ and subscribe.

    Reply

  17. @aab – “IIRC doesn’t that apply to all psychological disorders – if you live in a high density city you’re more likely to have a psychological disorder than if you lived in a low density village?”

    oh, i dunno! interesting if so.

    Reply

  18. It’s possible, but personally, I’ll wait for replication on that “Poverty Trumps Genes” story. It’s just too pat.

    Reply

  19. “The £29 DNA dating test that takes a swab of your saliva to find your perfect partner”

    But since a considerable percentage of young western women are using hormonal contraception (the Pill):

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0193123.html

    and the Pill appears to override women’s natural MHC-controlled odour preferences in mates:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18700206

    the results of this ‘£29 DNA dating test’ may be at odds with what the Pill-using women think they prefer in terms of a mate.

    It also appears that the Pill may also cause women to choose more feminine men as partners:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17934-has-the-pill-changed-the-rules-of-sexual-attraction.html#.UkCKodIdzVI

    Of course we can only speculate what role, if any, the Pill has played in the massive rise in divorce rates over the last 40+ years. But it could plausibly play a role if women are meeting their husbands while they are on the Pill and later when they come off it and their MHC-controlled odour preference system starts working properly again they discover that they suddenly lose sexual attraction towards their husband. Who knows.

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  20. I’m noticing HBD creeping in sheepishly in mainstream discourse. It used to be unmentionable; now one can mention it, provided one does so in a context that doesn’t make it overly plausible. E.g. check out the following reference in The Economist:

    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21586578-americas-income-inequality-growing-again-time-cut-subsidies-rich-and-invest

    “The gap in test scores between rich and poor children is 30-40% wider than it was 25 years ago: given that the distribution of innate intelligence is unlikely to have shifted so much in a generation, that suggests that rich youngsters are benefiting more than ever from their economic and social advantages. ”

    I find it telling that the author even mentions the possibility that innate intelligence may have something to do with inequality, even if (s)he goes on to pooh pooh it. It’s almost as if HBD-based explanations for our current social problems are too widely believed now to ignore completely, even by The Economist.

    Check out this from the same issue:

    http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21586581-economist-asks-provocative-questions-about-future-social-mobility-american

    Tyler Cowen is getting close to Steve Sailer ground (not unnoticed by the great Steve himself). TE also did a relatively sympathetic review of Murray’s “Coming Apart” last year.

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  21. > ack! i don’t have access. =( i guess one of these days i’ll have to fork over the $$ and subscribe.

    At least its cheap, but yeah the thing really is downright tawdry, and the lack of comment debates on War Nerd is a drag. Right, he’s so hopelessly far beyond the rest of us… and then they complain about not making money.

    He’s not the madcap he was. Nothing can be the same eternally. His analysis is as good as ever.

    Though there are actually a few things of some interest that are not by Dolan.

    You should see Children of Paradise on hulu, its a chick flick nonpariel — the official Greatest by French critical acclaim. I watched it 12 times so far. For more macho fare, Ashes and Diamonds (don’t miss the rest of the great Wajda WWII trilogy, so you can learn the importance of giving your life for Jews). Classic film is really hit and miss. Carnival in flanders is a bore. L’Aventura is more boring than any aventura I been on. Fellini, Bergman? My eyes! Le quatro cents coups? Ah kind of I guess.

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  22. > that suggests that rich youngsters are benefiting more than ever from their economic and social advantages.

    Yeah probably as much as 3%.

    The other 97% being increased associative mating plus immigration of haute-Brahmins, Soviet Jews, Mestizos, and assorted 86-IQ types along with approximately zero 100-IQ types.

    Actually, I don’t rule out epigenetic inheritance at all. Weak effects could happen over two generations, even. I don’t think its very likely to be very important, but its the one thing I’ve ever seen hereditarian ‘crowds’ act dogmatic about.

    Also there are more kids born abroad, today, who are not quite native speakers. That will be a fairly considerable cause of the increased variance.

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  23. apropos of nothing Sailer seems vaguely open to the idea that tutoring can help on real, seriously pure IQ tests. I haven’t studied the matter closely, but generally I hear the opposite.

    The fact that people will fork over proves nothing.

    Achievement tests, yes of course, totally different story.

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  24. even if a woman’s peak horniness were equal to a man’s (how could one know?), there are two obvious reasons, other than self-control, to explain why men might cheat more. choosiness and percieved cost of discovery. cheating is a risk. it involves a reward as well as a possible cost. men consider sex with an average woman to be a greater reward than women consider sex with an average man. men are likelier to set a lower bar for potential cheating partners, and thus have more opportunity. in my experience, women are more likely to forgive cheating than men. certainly such would make evolutionary sense.

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  25. “even if a woman’s peak horniness were equal to a man’s (how could one know?), there are two obvious reasons, other than self-control, to explain why men might cheat more”

    If a woman’s peak horniness was equal to a man’s *for a week in every month* that provides an even simpler possible explanation for why women might cheat 1/4 as much.

    If women ovulated *all month* then they might cheat the same amount.

    Reply

  26. For the porn thing, as predicted, Neuroskeptic did indeed tackle it:

    Hardcore Neuro-Porn – Neuroskeptic | DiscoverMagazine.com

    This the key takeaway about much of the neuroscience that makes it into the news:

    We neuroscientists would get an interesting finding – another data point to ponder in our attempts to figure out what these areas of the brain do. But normal people expecting a ‘take home message’ will be disappointed because as of yet, we’re just not sure what most brain activity means.

    ‘What porn does’ is not a question neuroscience can answer yet. A brain scan won’t tell us; if anything can, it’s one of the few human inventions older than pictures of naked people – observing and thinking about human behaviour.

    Reply

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