linkfest: 05/19/14

a linkfest! remember those?! (~_^)

Mexican skeleton gives clue to American ancestry“Naia’s mitochondrial DNA reveals genetic signatures in common with modern Native Americans, despite her very different skull shape. ‘You can never exclude that Native Americans have more than one group of ancestors,’ says Chatters. But his team’s data, he points out, are consistent with the idea that Native Americans evolved from Siberian ancestors…. The new DNA results indicate that the very different skulls of modern Native Americans have evolved on North American soil.” – see also jennifer raff.

Ancient faeces reveal origins of Puerto Rican natives“DNA isolated from 1,600-year-old fossilized stools suggests migration from the Andes.”

An excess of X-chromosomal diversity in Africans“‘Results show that X/A diversity is similar within each continental group but notably lower in European (EUR) and East Asian (ASN) populations than in African (AFR) populations.'” – @dienekes’.

Religiosity is negatively associated with later-life intelligence, but not with age-related cognitive decline – from stuart ritchie et al. – “Religious belief was negatively associated with intelligence in old age. Neither religious belief nor attendance was related to cognitive decline.”

The relationship between Microcephalin, ASPM and intelligence: A reconsideration“At the population-level IQ and Microcephalin correlate significantly (.790 and .847). Microcephalin significantly predicts population differences in IQ. Microcephalin significantly predicts infectious disease burden. Vice versa in the case of Microcephalin. Microcephalin increased disease-resistance allowing access to new cognitive niches.” – from woodley et al. – h/t lars penke!

Problems with the theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence and What racial differences are wholly environmental? – from elijah.

Woodley leads with an abstract“‘The Victorians were Still Cleverer than us: Expanding the Dysgenic Nexus'” – @dr. james thompson’s blog.

Processing speed and ageing: Elliot Tucker-Drob – also @dr. james thompson’s blog.

Molecular genetic contributions to socioeconomic status and intelligence“21% of the variation in education, 18% of the variation in socioeconomic status, and 29% of the variation in general cognitive ability was explained by variation in common SNPs (SEs ~ 5%). The SNP-based genetic correlations of education and socioeconomic status with general intelligence were 0.95 (SE 0.13) and 0.26 (0.16), respectively. There are genetic contributions to intelligence and education with near-complete overlap between common additive SNP effects on these traits (genetic correlation ~ 1). Genetic influences on socioeconomic status are also associated with the genetic foundations of intelligence. The results are also compatible with substantial environmental contributions to socioeconomic status.”

Longevity Gene May Enhance Cognition“Mice with the KLOTHO gene variant lived longer and were smarter.”

Short men are likely to live longer because they carry the ‘longevity gene’, scientists reveal – short japanese men… “The so-called ‘longevity gene’ FOXO3 has been proven to enhance lifespan in animal tests but has never before been linked to variations in height in humans. A new scientific study, the largest of its kind and involving more than 8,000 aging American-Japanese men in Hawaii, conclusively showed a direct connection between short height and long life. FOXO3, they found, leads to smaller body size during early development and a longer lifespan overall. Short men were also more likely to have lower blood insulin levels and less likely to get cancer.” – h/t eddy elmer!

“Squid Ink” and Heritability, Changeability, and Cultural Shifts – A Quickie – from jayman.

Why the Japanese Think Westerners Smell Bad (Well, One Reason)“These results show a very strong association between someone with the ancestral allele which results in wet earwax, and strong body odor.” – from razib.

The Most Feminine Country in the World – feel sorry for staffan!

The Creativity of Civilisations“A part of the variation in ‘civilisational accomplishments’ is certainly due to the different regional evolution of ability. Nonetheless, *holding ability constant*, it looks like scale effects also account for a big part of the variation.” – from pseudoerasmus.

Cooperation in Ethnically Diverse Neighborhoods: A Lost-Letter Experiment“We find strong support for the negative effect of ethnic diversity on cooperation. We find no evidence, however, of in-group favoritism.” – h/t rene bekkers!

Amorality of selected countries“What Jonathan Haidt terms ‘WEIRD’ societies (read the modern West) tend to the least judgmental, followed by East Asia and the more European nations of Latin America, with sub-Saharan African and Muslim countries the most morally righteous (!). Descartes wept.” – from the awesome epigone.

The coerced consensus“What is going on in academia when demonising and silencing your opponents has become so acceptable? It’s not just climate change. The nature-nurture debate is also policed by zealots, although less so than in the 1970s when any mention of genes and behaviour led to accusations of fascism…. Truly, the old joke is becoming ever more true: what’s the opposite of diversity? University.” – from matt ridley.

Stanford scholar shows Koreans and Americans tackle moral dilemmas using different brain regions – very small sample size, but… “Korean participants showed greater activity in brain regions associated with intuition, approximation and emotions: the putamen, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the postcentral sulcus. Han posits that Korean participants consciously controlled their initial emotional reactions (such as disgust) to reach a decision that protected the largest number of people. In contrast, Americans took longer to ponder dilemmas that involved physically harming particular people. They also relied on brain regions associated with conflict management and, to a lesser degree, novelty: the anterior cingulate cortex and the frontopolar cortex. Han hypothesizes that Americans are exposed to socio-personal conflict more often than Koreans, whose society values social harmony over the expression of individual desires.”

bonus: Exclusive: Found after 500 years, the wreck of Christopher Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria – h/t charles mann!

bonus bonus: Orangutans Share Their Future Plans with Others“The apes can draft a plan and communicate it with their troop.” – ruh roh.

bonus bonus bonus: Whales Can’t Taste Anything But Salt – presumably they take salt on their popcorn! (~_^)

bonus bonus bonus bonus: ‘Biggest dinosaur ever’ discovered

(note: comments do not require an email. orangutan forward planning! (~_^))


  1. Regarding amorality, increased apathy is just a consequence of modern civilisation and parenting – the trends many HBD people nonetheless perceive as beneficial. That said the questions are unsatisfactory as they ignore the situations – for example asking “Do you personally believe that having an abortion is morally acceptable, morally unacceptable, or is it not a moral issue?” is not really adequate for guaging individual or cultural attitudes. The importance of situation might not matter much when discussing homosexuality, but with more complex moral issues such as abortion or divorce, it must be taken into account to receive a useful answer

    Just see the ‘pro-choice’ involvement in the outcry over Josie Cunningham to see how people who might’ve answered ‘acceptable’ because they’re thinking of womens health and rape victims, can get extremely negative when faced with women choosing abortion to suit a lifestyle choice – yet just look at the percentages for Britain. There was a few years ago a similar outcry in China over a woman claiming she was going to abort the child of her terminally ill husband, which led to even materialistic ‘Liba girls’ predominantly expressing negativity over her decision. Even in countries like the UK, which lack a US-style abortion debate, expressions of acceptibility (not the same as ‘I would do this myself’) are badges of social identity. The same surely applies on all of the other social issues that are perceived as tied to cultural, class, political or religious divides.

    Haidt of all people should know how much the answers will reflect prevailing cultural attitudes to morality as well as the commonplace arguments and emphasis political activists on both sides will resort to in different societies. In particular the influence of Buddhism in East Asia encourages a situational approach to ethics and a tendency away from dogmatism; which must have an effect on the difference between cultures on these answers.

    I’m also a bit concerned by the definition of ‘not a moral issue’ – what does that mean, in the context of any of the questions? Does it just mean whether the answerer has considered the subject in question as a moral issue?


  2. Shorter men and longevity.

    This pattern to seems to be only (generally) to ”yellow ones” right?


  3. comment on “the most feminine…”

    femininity, stands for a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life. Do you have evidence supporting this claim. I don’t think it’s true. As far as I know men were better at cooperating with each other than women are. It’s also usually men who sacrifice themselves for the sake of the group. As for the modesty and caring for the weak I have to point out a glaring paradox. Women are the biggest spenders of wealth on themselves. Just look at a mall and you can tell who uses resources on themselves more freely.


  4. ”femininity, stands for a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life. Do you have evidence supporting this claim. I don’t think it’s true. As far as I know men were better at cooperating with each other than women are. It’s also usually men who sacrifice themselves for the sake of the group. As for the modesty and caring for the weak I have to point out a glaring paradox. Women are the biggest spenders of wealth on themselves. Just look at a mall and you can tell who uses resources on themselves more freely.”

    Only for a certain degrees of ”effeminate” men (the common and gentleman western man), because the manly man tend to have very aggressive and competitive. They cooperate themselves to compete and eliminate the out competitors.
    The ‘femanly’ women tend to be complete non-aggressive but very competitive. They are masters in social competition. People who are in the extremes of the spectra, my thought, will tend to be very competitive. Is interesting thought that homos, nerds and lesbians seems aren’t competitive and majority them aren’t aggressive because they abdicate to typical gender-competition agenda. Probably, they are competitive and many them can be aggressive but not directly aggressive to individual competition. Off cours, i don’t talk about ”homo agenda” today, many of liberals are very stupid about real agenda behind of liberalism. They are useless idiot who believe to heart in liberalism agenda. Many them ”suffer” by ”abstract prison syndrome”.
    The northern western society are not feminine societies as Otto Weininger observe about jews. My opinion, the gentleman western northern european are slightly more effeminate that create the perfect ”man of the civilisation”.


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