linkfest – 10/20/13

Skull Fossil Suggests Simpler Human Lineage“Early, diverse fossils — those currently recognized as coming from distinct species like Homo habilis, Homo erectus and others — may actually represent variation among members of a single, evolving lineage. In other words, just as people look different from one another today, so did early hominids look different from one another, and the dissimilarity of the bones they left behind may have fooled scientists into thinking they came from different species.” see also: Skull of Homo erectus throws story of human evolution into disarray @the guardian. see also john hawks: The new skull from Dmanisi. and greg cochran: All One Species?

speaking of species: Roe Deer × Domestic Sheep“This rather distant cross, which represents a case of interbreeding between separate mammalian families (Cervidae × Bovidae) was reported in the last decade of the 18th century by the Finnish academic Carl Niklas Hellenius (1745-1820), also known as Carl Niklas von Hellens (or af Hellens).” – say what?!

Mysterious Ancient Human Crossed Wallace’s Line“Scientists have proposed that the most recently discovered ancient human relatives — the Denisovans – somehow managed to cross one of the world’s most prominent marine barriers in Indonesia, and later interbred with modern humans moving through the area on the way to Australia and New Guinea.”

Blood-filled mosquito is a fossil first – JURASSIC PARK!!

Mysterious Minoans Were European, DNA Finds“The Minoans, the builders of Europe’s first advanced civilization, really were European, new research suggests…. ‘They were very similar to Neolithic Europeans and very similar to present day-Cretans,’ residents of the Mediterranean island of Crete.”

People Born With Certain Gene More Likely to Suffer Cognitive Decline After Heart Surgery“Long-term memory loss, difficulty understanding verbal or written communication or impaired ability to pay attention may still occur five years after heart surgery if a patient has a certain gene variation…. This gene was found to be related to a decline in cognitive capabilities compared to those who do not have the variation…. ‘Our study found that if a patient has this gene variation (APOE4), that person is more likely to have cognitive decline five years after surgery.'” – h/t hbd bibliography!

Genetics of eye colours in different rural populations on the Silk Road“[R]egression tree analysis showed that individuals carrying a given combination of haplotypes have a significant probability to show a blue or green/grey iris colour as compared with brown, with a gradient from west to east.” – h/t neuroskeptic!

Scanning for Recent Human Evolution

Evolution is not a one-way road towards complexity“[T]he fact that the highly complex larval muscular bodyplan is so similar in both groups [aplacophorans and chitons] but is only carried over into the adult stage in one of them — the chitons — strongly suggests that the common ancestor of both groups was of similar complexity; thereby implying that the worm-like groups lost these complex traits and became secondarily simplified over evolutionary time.”

Genomics England and the 100,000 genomes

National Geographic Agrees: The Human Alpha Male Is Real – from heartiste. see also “Manosphere” Community Beliefs: Truths and Nonsense from jayman.

Japan: A north-south cline in mental and behavioral traits – from peter frost.

What I actually said about genes, IQ and heritability“Rational public debate about genes and intelligence…has proved impossible in Britain and America….”

Heritability estimates and the analysis of variance“In terms that R.A. Fisher might have used, if you plant different strains of wheat in uniformly well ploughed, well mixed, well fertilised soil, then the differences between the different strains will be due to their inherent qualities, and not the vagaries of the soil. On the other hand, if the soil varies considerably then the yields will vary partly because of seed quality, and partly because of soil quality.” – from dr. james thompson.

Intelligence is just another privilege you inherited from mummy and daddy“[I]t is considered bad form for the clever to point out that their advantage is inherited. Yet this has the effect of giving the intellectually privileged the false idea that they have earned their advantage, and eroding the feeling of *noblesse oblige* that the wealthy once felt when they knew their fortune depended on luck. Rather we should regard intelligence as just another privilege you inherit from mummy and daddy…. That would make the world a more, not less, just place.” – from ed west.

The Stability of Intelligence From Age 11 to Age 90 Years: The Lothian Birth Cohort of 1921“The correlation of Moray House Test scores between age 11 and age 90 was .54 (.67 when corrected for range restriction).” – h/t john durant!

Can political polarization become baked in through assortative mating? – @steve sailer’s.

On the Unbearable Lightness of Objective Morality“Evolved behavioral predispositions are the ultimate reason for the existence of human morality. Absent those predispositions, our morality as we know it would cease to exist.” – from helian.

US regions exhibit distinct personalities, research reveals“Americans with similar temperaments are so likely to live in the same areas that a map of the country can be divided into regions with distinct personalities, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. People in the north-central Great Plains and the South tend to be conventional and friendly, those in the Western and Eastern seaboards lean toward being mostly relaxed and creative, while New Englanders and Mid-Atlantic residents are prone to being more temperamental and uninhibited, according to a study published online by APA’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.”

Book Review: Why Evolution Is True (2009) by Jerry Coyne – book review from staffan.

Neanderthals Used Toothpicks to Alleviate the Pain of Diseases Related to Teeth, Such as Inflammation of the Gums – h/t andrew badenoch!

Women like their men with low voices, but only for a night“[W]omen were more attracted to men with low-pitched voices, which are produced by larger vocal cords. However, the research also showed women believed men with deeper voices were more likely to cheat.”

Epigenetics: How to alter your genes – well, you don’t really alter your genes with epigenetics, but your gene expression.

Oops! Etruscan Warrior Prince Really a Princess

bonus: Analysis of Racist Red Lobster Receipt Casts Doubt on Original Story and More restaurant receipt handwriting analysis – total race hoax – @gucci little piggy.

bonus bonus: New botox super-toxin has its [dna] details censored

bonus bonus bonus: Evolutionary Question Answered: Ants More Closely Related to Bees Than to Most Wasps. see also: Key to Ants’ Evolution May Have Started With a Wasp.

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Fossil scans reveal origins of teeth“Tooth-like structures originated from outer-body coverings.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: A new law of biology: All mammals pee for about 21 seconds @Why Evolution is True.

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Top Ten New Species: Snub-Nosed Monkey, More

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Thirty million people are slaves, half in India

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Greek authorities appeal for help in finding real family of girl found in Gypsy camp.

(note: comments do not require an email. birds with mustaches!)

21 Comments

  1. Those Etruscans are interesting. Their supposed gender equality and women having multiple partners. Evolutionary psychology teaches us that women should be coy. Perhaps this has something to do with sexual dimorphism, or lack thereof. I’ve read that according to depictions men and women differ very little in stature. And looking at those sarcophaguses they sometimes look strikingly similar, the women being practically as broad-shouldered and muscular as the men, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Etruscan_sarcophagus.jpg

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  2. @staffan – “I’ve read that according to depictions men and women differ very little in stature. And looking at those sarcophaguses they sometimes look strikingly similar, the women being practically as broad-shouldered and muscular as the men.”

    interesting. i had no idea! thanks! (^_^)

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  3. “On the other hand, if the soil varies considerably then the yields will vary partly because of seed quality, and partly because of soil quality.”

    Compare: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

    There is a surprising amount of folk Darwinism in the Bible

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  4. More folk Darwinism:

    Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

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  5. Yet more prophesied case of “natural selection” for the trait of altruism in the Bible:

    “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’ . . . Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

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  6. @luke – “Gosh, I didn’t mean to shut down the discussion.”

    yeah – it’s all your fault! (^_^)

    @luke – “Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. . . . Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’”

    i think goats are getting a pretty bum rap here! i mean, what’s wrong with goats?! ok, so sometimes they eat the washing off the line, but otherwise they are intelligent and have a lot of spirit and personality! more than sheep(le) anyway (not that i’ve got anything against sheep…in principle).

    so, god’s gonna save all the unthinking, servile sheeple, but not the smart, independent-spirited goats? is that the take-home message here? hmmmmm….

    (~_^)

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  7. so, god’s gonna save all the unthinking, servile sheeple, but not the smart, independent-spirited goats?

    It’s just the idea of a sorting out that I find interesting when I think about the future. Given that these are Christian texts, it could be a process of self-selection. Sort of like sexual selection, but in a more wholesale way. Take the Mormons in Utah for instance. Only a certain kind of people would be attracted to a cult like that. Ideas themselves can be part of the environmental landscape which attract/select certain allels (in this case for a broad-based altruism) and repel others. I’m really reaching here, but you know I think ideas are important as a causative factor in evolution. Outbreeding may (in fact does) favor certain ideas (individualsim above all) yet ideas can also differentially attract certain sub-groups (of allels) within an outbred population. I’m really reaching here.

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  8. (continuing) The Puritans in America are an even better example. I can imagine self-selecting, self-segregating movements and groups like that arising in within the United States in the years ahead, based not on race or ethniticity (though there may be correlations) but on ideology. You already see it happening among SWPL liberals in places like Boulder and Portland or the whole state of Vermont. But that is a largely upper-middle-class phenomenon. I think we may see it in more middling parts of the bell curve as well — and would in fact favor it.

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  9. @luke – “It’s just the idea of a sorting out that I find interesting when I think about the future. Given that these are Christian texts, it could be a process of self-selection. Sort of like sexual selection, but in a more wholesale way…. Ideas themselves can be part of the environmental landscape which attract/select certain allels (in this case for a broad-based altruism) and repel others.”

    oh, yeah! i think you’re absolutely right. people joining various religious movements, sects, political parties, etc. — all self sorting. even moving from montana to nyc — or vice versa. ideas are definitely part of the environmental landscape, i agree. humans are obviously self-sorting for iq, personality types, behavioral traits … all that. steve sailer just had a post re. this, in fact.

    it’s funny to think about! (^_^)

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  10. Hoping to get Staffan’s input on this too,

    On the “US regions exhibit distinct personalities”, I’ve noticed what appears to be an ethnic correlate:

    Cluster 1 = areas with high German and Scandinavian ancestry.

    Cluster 3 = areas with high Irish and Italian ancestry

    Cluster 2, the West Coast, is interesting. I suspect the division here isn’t so much ethnic as it is self-assortment; people who are high in open to experience probably headed there to seek their fortunes (Anywhere But Here).

    According to this (U.S. Geography of Personality), the West Coast is predictably high on openness to experience but also introverted. This fits the loner image of these folks.

    Some of these are rather interesting, and not necessarily immediately fitting a pattern.

    As always, it would be great county-level maps and broken down by race…

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  11. I think the most interesting example were the English dissenters? Who were they and how were they different from the rest of the population? Especially the ones who emigrated to America. Their imprint on New England remains to this day, our cultural capital stuck way up there in the northeast corner of the nation, far, far away from Mexico and the West Coast where all the big demographic changes are occurring. From New England’s point of view the issue is largely abstract, theoretical — sort of like Calvanist theology.

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  12. @jayman – “the West Coast is predictably high on openness to experience but also introverted…”

    high on openness but introverted? that’s me! i should live on the west coast! (oh, wait…i did. (~_^) — all my neuroticism puts me in vermont, though.)

    @jayman – “Cluster 1 = areas with high German and Scandinavian ancestry. Cluster 3 = areas with high Irish and Italian ancestry.”

    that looks really right to me. we need more maps!

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  13. @luke – “I think the most interesting example were the English dissenters?”

    well, i think that the somewhat clannish puritans are some of my “in-betweeners” — i.e. a sub-population of english folks from east anglia (which didn’t experience much manorialism) who were not quite as outbred as the english from kent or sussex or the home counties (in and around london) and, so, were reactionaries to the more universalistic tendencies found in the reformation being put forward by more outbred sub-populations (see: the radical reformation).

    the puritans (along with other groups like the calvinists and anabaptists) were actually taking a step backwards — away from the more universalistic reformation. and, yet, they were more outbred/universalistic than other groups like the highland scots or the irish. in-betweeners.

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  14. “were reactionaries to the more universalistic tendencies found in the reformation being put forward by more outbred sub-populations”

    Interesting. From which population groups were the philosophers of the English and Scottish enlisghtenment — Bacon, Locke, Smith, Hume, etc. — drawn? How about Rousseau?

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  15. @luke – bacon’s ancestors came from east anglia — suffolk and essex — puritan country. in-betweeners (i think).

    locke’s parents seem maybe to have been from somerset in the southwest. they were both puritans! in-betweeners again (i think).

    smith’s parents seem to have been from lowland scotland (aberdeen, fife), so from an area likely less inbred than the highlands of scotland. they were … presbyterians (iow calvinists)? in-betweeners (i think).

    the hume family was from berwickshireborder country. should be pretty inbred, the humes! (compared to the southern english, anyway — not compared to today’s arabs, of course.)

    rousseau — middle-/upper-class family from geneva, switzerland. calvinists. in-betweeners. (my goodness! rousseau was a handsome fellow! (~_^) )

    so, mostly in-betweeners in that lot, plus one prolly with a rather inbred background. i should check this out some more!

    Reply

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