linkfest – 01/03/ thecurrentyear

The human migration out of Africa left its mark in mutations“The farther from Africa, the more of them there are.” – h/t billare! – see also: Distance from sub-Saharan Africa predicts mutational load in diverse human genomes.

Genomic Evidence Establishes Anatolia as the Source of the European Neolithic Gene Pool“Kum6 shows a strong population continuity with present-day Sardinia. Kum6 expresses connections to the central Eurasian gene pool. Kum6 shares notable affinity with the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old southern European. Genetic affinities to both East and West suggest continuous contact with Anatolia.”

Ancient Irish had Middle Eastern ancestry, study reveals“Genetic researchers find evidence of mass migration to Ireland thousands of years ago.” – see also: Neolithic and Bronze Age migration to Ireland and establishment of the insular Atlantic genome. and see also from razib: The Gaels Were from Scythia. and from dienekes: Bronze Age people from Ireland had steppe ancestry and R1b. – (my mtDNA hapologroup [more here] — H13a1a — is rather rare in ireland, but is most common in daghestan and may have arisen there. the parent group H originated in the near east.)

The Residents of Vanuatu, Then and Now“Analysis of skulls in the oldest known cemetery in the South Pacific suggests that the earliest inhabitants of Vanuatu may have descended from Asian and Polynesian populations, while modern residents share more physical similarities with people in Melanesia.”

The evolution of the age at menarche from pre-historical to modern times“Data from skeletal remains suggest that in the Paleolithic female menarche occurred at an age between 7 and 13 years, early sexual maturation being a trade-off for reduced life expectancy. In the classical, as well as in the medieval years, the age at menarche was generally reported to be at about 14 years, with a range from 12-15 years. A significant retardation of the age at menarche occurred in the beginning of the modern times, soon after the industrial revolution, due to the deterioration of the living conditions, most studies reporting menarche to occur at 15-16 years. In the 20th century, especially in the second half of it, in the industrialized countries, the age at menarche decreased significantly, as a result of the improvement of the socioeconomic conditions, occurring between 12-13 years. In the present times, in the developed countries, this trend seems to slow down or level-off.” – h/t neuroskeptic!

Why parenting may not matter and why most social science research is probably wrong and How to Find a Parenting Effect – from brian boutwell! – from the first article: “Whether it’s a study purporting to link some aspect of parenting to child development, or a study intended to link some new diet fad to weight loss, the results are unclear if they did not control for genetics. Lest someone put words into my mouth later, this does *not* mean that every correlation reported by social scientists is the result of correlated genetic influences. The point, however, is that we have spent decades churning out correlations and we have no idea whether the findings were polluted by unmeasured genetic factors. That’s frightening, especially since public policies have been built on some of these potentially illusory correlations. The standard way of doing business in the social sciences ignores genetic influences, and has for years. Be careful which findings you cling to. Most social science research can only reveal associations; which is important, no doubt, but I presume you want to know something about causality also (i.e., if you eat bacon everyday what’s the chance that it’ll *cause* you to get cancer; that sort of thing). To even begin approximating causality (assuming you cannot do an experiment, which you can’t with most social science research), you must account for all confounding factors—genes included.”

Discontinuity in the genetic and environmental causes of the intellectual disability spectrum“[O]ur results suggest that most severe ID is a distinct condition, qualitatively different from the preponderance of ID, which, in turn, represents the low extreme of the normal distribution of intelligence.”

Heritability of autism spectrum disorders: a meta-analysis of twin studies – between 64-91%.

Progress and promise in understanding the genetic basis of common diseases

The Concordance and Heritability of Type 2 Diabetes in 34,166 Twin Pairs From International Twin Registers: The Discordant Twin (DISCOTWIN) Consortium – h/t amir sarislan! who tweeted: “Heritability of Type 2 Diabetes 72% (95% CI: 61–78%).”

Clinical Genetics Has a Big Problem That’s Affecting People’s Lives“Unreliable research can lead families to make health decisions they might regret.”

Schizophrenia and violence“[T]here are startling new results from a large, representative sample of Norwegians [swedes, i think-h.chick], showing that the rate of violence is about 7 times higher in schizophrenics as compared to controls, and 3 times higher for those with bi-polar disorder.” – from dr. james thompson.

How Time Preferences Differ: Evidence from 53 Countries“Time discounting correlates with innovation, environmental protection, innovation, etc.” – h/t rolf degen!

Personality, cognitive/psychological traits and psychiatric resilience: A multivariate twin study“Neuroticism evidenced the largest phenotypic and genetic relationship with resilience, and accounted for nearly all of the phenotypic and genetic variance between resilience and the other traits.”

Polls and Elections Some Folks You Just Can’t Reach: The Genetic Heritability of Presidential Approval“The model is tested using twin data to estimate the genetic heritability of presidential performance evaluations and finds that presidential approval has a strong genetic component.” – h/t andrew sabisky!

Status Decreases Dominance in the West but Increases Dominance in the East“Across two experiments, having high status decreased punishment by American participants but increased punishment by Chinese and Indian participants. Moreover, within each culture, the effect of status on punishment was mediated by feelings of being respected. A final experiment found differential effects of status on punishment imposed by Asian Americans depending on whether their Asian or American identity was activated.” – h/t timothy bates!

Assortative Mating for Educational Level in Parents of Public School Children (N > 7000 Individuals) in the Lagos State, Nigeria“Approximately 61.5 % of the parents had spouses at the same level of education. More mothers than fathers married upward in educational level. The assortative mating coefficients for educational level were .52–.61 across respondents’ classes, .51–.62 across six school districts, and .57 (.55–.59) in the total sample. Overall, these results were very similar to the findings from Western or Asian samples, providing evidence to support the robustness of human mating pattern in educational attainment across different cultures and ethnic groups.”

‘The Bell Curve’ 20 years later: A Q&A with Charles Murray“The lesson, subsequently administered to James Watson of DNA fame, is that if you say it is likely that there is *any* genetic component to the black-white difference in test scores, the roof crashes in on you. On this score, the roof is about to crash in on those who insist on a purely environmental explanation of all sorts of ethnic differences, not just intelligence. Since the decoding of the genome, it has been securely established that race is not a social construct, evolution continued long after humans left Africa along different paths in different parts of the world, and recent evolution involves cognitive as well as physiological functioning.”

Why Some of the Worst Attacks on Social Science Have Come From Liberals“In the halls of social-science academia, where liberals [have a numerical advantage], it’s telling that some of the same sorts of feeding frenzies occur. This should stand as a wake-up call, as a rebuke to the smugness that sometimes infects progressive beliefs about who ‘respects’ science more. After all, what both the Bailey and Chagnon cases have in common — alongside some of the others in Galileo’s Middle Finger — is the extent to which groups of progressive self-appointed defenders of social justice banded together to launch full-throated assaults on legitimate science, and the extent to which these attacks were abetted by left-leaning academic institutions and activists too scared to stand up to the attackers, often out of a fear of being lumped in with those being attacked, or of being accused of wobbly allyship.”

Small families are better for kids, new research says – hmmmm. – see also: The Quantity-Quality Trade-Off And The Formation Of Cognitive And Non-Cognitive Skills.

edge question 2016: What Do You Consider The Most Interesting Recent [Scientific] News? What Makes It Important? – john tooby’s response: The Race Between Genetic Meltdown and Germline Engineering. – h/t steve stewart williams!

Oldest Hoabinhian site discovered in SW China“The oldest Hoabinhian culture, an important technological adaptation by hunter-gatherers to the humid tropical and subtropical environments of southeast Asia some 43,500 years ago, was identified in southwest China’s Yunnan Province. Discovered at Xiaodong Rockshelter, it is the first-ever Hoabinhian site to be found in China, according to a research team at the Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology.”

Palaeolithic stone tools found in Iranian Kurdistan

bonus: Do Dogs Know Other Dogs Are Dogs?“This is not a philosophical riddle. Despite their highly variable appearance, dogs can recognize each other by sight alone.” – woof!

bonus bonus: Carrie Fisher: I had sex with Princess Leia fans – what happens at comic-con STAYS at comic-con! (~_^) – h/t razib!

and the tweet of the (last) week…! (~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. carrie fisher. you’re welcome! (~_^) )



  1. Great list! Good to a see a Linkfest!

    “Heritability of autism spectrum disorders: a meta-analysis of twin studies – between 64-91%.”

    This illustrates the role of measurement error in heritability results and the limitations of meta-analyses (which are only as good as the studies that go into them). Especially when you consider this study that found high “comorbidities” in the “healthy” co-twin of those with autism.

    “Small families are better for kids, new research says – hmmmm. – see also: The Quantity-Quality Trade-Off And The Formation Of Cognitive And Non-Cognitive Skills.”

    Complete BS.

    I wonder if that particular Carrie Fisher quote is legit. Not that I doubt it.


  2. “intellectual disability entails tremendous personal costs for affected individuals and their families, as well as to society in terms of lost intellectual capital.” Even I rebel at the absurd coarseness of that economic point. Isn’t a mountain of human suffering enough? Does some autistic fool really have to make a (no doubt) bogus estimate of financial loss from “lost intellectual capital”?


  3. Why parenting may not matter and why most social science research is probably wrong and How to Find a Parenting Effect –

    Small families are better for kids, new research says – hmmmm. – see also: The Quantity-Quality Trade-Off And The Formation Of Cognitive And Non-Cognitive Skills.

    These two links would seem to point in opposite directions. OTOH, no matter how well inherited a trait is, if the environment doesn’t support it’s development (ie poor nutrition will cause stunted growth even if the person has the gene(s) for height).


  4. “Why parenting may not matter and why most social science research is probably wrong and How to Find a Parenting Effect –

    Small families are better for kids, new research says

    These two links would seem to point in opposite directions.”

    Of course they do – because one of the two is BS. See above.

    “OTOH, no matter how well inherited a trait is, if the environment doesn’t support it’s development (ie poor nutrition will cause stunted growth even if the person has the gene(s) for height).”

    The effect of environmental deprivation is generally oversold (though not completely baseless).


  5. Nice links (that came out lewd somehow).

    As for schizophrenia, I think it’s hard to tell how strong the link to violence is. As the post says, they found no genetic link specifically btw schizophrenia and violence, only one shared with substance abuse. This could boil down to poor impulse control leading to both drugs addiction and more overt display of symptoms which in turn leads to diagnosis.

    (Also, the distinctive categories of having a diagnosis or not leads to the same problem of underestimated heritability mentioned by Jayman regarding autism.)

    Interesting about Anatolian farmers. Makes me wonder how exaggerated the importance of cultural transmission is. People were probably much more clannish and territorial back then than they are today. Even if local hunter-gatherers picked up some agri skills, they would still always play catch-up.


  6. Although earlier research tracing mtDNA suggests that most Europeans are descendants of pre-farming Upper Paleolithic people. So I guess it must have been a bit of both…


  7. “Kum6 shows a strong population continuity with present-day Sardinia. Kum6 expresses connections to the central Eurasian gene pool. Kum6 shares notable affinity with the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old southern European. Genetic affinities to both East and West suggest continuous contact with Anatolia.”

    A lot of assumptions are being made about present-day Sardinians, in my opinion. It would be good if there were viable genomes from neolithic Egyptians available to sequence. HLA haplotypes may be hinting that gene flow wasn’t necessarily Anatolia -> Sardinia directly.

    This is the scenario that I think that I’m seeing [or not, as the case may be].

    1. Egypt –> Near East –> Anatolia –> Balkans –> rest of Europe?

    And separately, also:-

    2. Egypt –> Tunisia & Sardinia/Corsica –> Italy/S.France/S.Iberia/Balearics –> rest of Europe?

    Cardial Ware culture may have something to do with the latter scenario [again, in my opinion].


  8. “Ancient Irish had Middle Eastern ancestry, study reveals”

    Ballynahatty is found to be genetically close to present-day Sardinians, and secondarily S.Iberians. But are we 100% certain that present-day Sardinians are genetically largely the result of *direct* neolithic migration(s) from the Middle East?


  9. Would “1. Egypt –> Near East –> Anatolia” be a natural guess? I mean, the neolithic occurred in the Near East (and perhaps Anatolia?) before it happened in Egypt, so I’d guess more of a gene flow from the Near East to Egypt. But it would be just a guess.


  10. @ dearieme –

    Early gene-flow from Egypt to Near East, eg Natufian culture. Then later diffusion of farming from the Near East/Anatolia into Greece and then overland into Europe via Balkans plus some maritime migrations.

    The Egyptian/Sudanese-like HLA haplotypes which turn up in Sardinia are hardly found in the Near East, I think these might relate to the Sahara drying out during the Holocene and subsequent gene-flow, potentially including Cardial Ware culture.

    I believe that subclades of Y DNA E-M78 probably play a part in both of the above scenarios, eg E-V12; E-V22; and E-V65.

    And of course there is the mysterious ‘basal Eurasian’ element of the Early European Farmer genomes, which appears to be connected with NE African/Middle Eastern populations.


  11. Are you implying, cd09, that the Natufians came from Egypt? I didn’t know that. Is the evidence genetic or archaeological?


  12. This is my hypothesis, which is based more on genetic rather than archaeological evidence [there is *some* archaeological evidence, but not substantial, yet].

    This paper from Cruciani et al, although 9 years old, gives a reasonable summary in my opinion:-

    “The geographic and quantitative analyses of haplogroup and microsatellite diversity is strongly suggestive of a northeastern African origin of E-M78, with a corridor for bidirectional migrations between northeastern and eastern Africa (at least 2 episodes between 23.9–17.3 ky and 18.0–5.9 ky ago), trans-Mediterranean migrations directly from northern Africa to Europe (mainly in the last 13.0 ky), and flow from northeastern Africa to western Asia between 20.0 and 6.8 ky ago. A single clade within E-M78 (E-V13) highlights a range expansion in the Bronze Age of southeastern Europe, which is also detected by haplogroup J-M12. Phylogeography pattern of molecular radiation and coalescence estimates for both haplogroups are similar and reveal that the genetic landscape of this region is, to a large extent, the consequence of a recent population growth in situ rather than the result of a mere flow of western Asian migrants in the early Neolithic. Our results not only provide a refinement of previous evolutionary hypotheses but also well-defined time frames for past human movements both in northern/eastern Africa and western Eurasia.”


  13. Thank you. I suppose movement to and fro between Egypt and Palestine must be a near-constant of pre-history and history. It’s not a long walk.


  14. Men are more clannish than women. All this debate about nurture nature is much more about the men behavior than women because what we already know, men are more behaviorally diverse and extreme than women. Most of criminal, “losers” of all natures are men, the “left behind” are overwhelming male. If all women of the world live together I thought few problems would happen.

    About Brazil corruption

    Lulla is born in northwestern, a land with a lot of clannish marriage patterns in Brazil. The “coronelismo” in that region where powerful families had governed many times a entire region like Maranhão state, for example, where the family Sarney had ” governed” since a long long time.

    Dilma, a current “presidenta” is a daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant. Leftoid super elite, and I talking about those with European background, don’t look different than a clannish behavior. They are pathological altruists??? They no, of course there are a lot of social workers who are as pathological altruists because you know, environment change, behavior advantage change for better or for worst. Now they are as pathological altruists. But the super left elite look just Machiavellians and/ or opportunistics, a psychos, and not kind bourgeois bobos. These are part of sub-academic elite “sector”, university teacher, reasonably famous artists etc etc. Like a pyramids, those who are near to orus eyes know at “hbd level” or at “this level”.

    We are the true universalists here. Leftoids act exactly like a clannish but just without a race emphasis, at least by euros and other few identical types. What lefties always emphasized is the class and not the race.


  15. Little population mating patterns ”is likely that produce” higher behavioral intensity (specially if certain types of personalities were more selected) remotely analogous with hyper-”energy”-concentration in the birth of universe. Energies concentrated in little ”spaces” become intense while ”greater territories” produce less intensity and excess of this ”size” tend to reduce substantially the force of this ”intensity”.

    Just other incomprehensible bullshit, ;)


  16. Almost younger icelanders become literally atheists**

    Humm, seems, not so, because most of atheists and agnostics (seems) ARE ideologically secular-”humanists’.

    Seems there is a two type of agnostics and atheists, genotypical and phenotypical or suscetible-like.

    Secular ideology is a sophisticated religion OR cult (dogmalogy).

    Generally genotypical non-delusional people will tend to be depressed-like and (or, more enphasised on) lack of formal (current, shared, subconscious imposed) morality.

    Phenotypical non-delusional people just emulate, generally poorly, those original (extreme) genotypical (mental) non-delusional people.

    Social constructions maybe a relative reality for those who are predominantly subconscious about themselves (lack of self awareness and specially, awareness about their own vulnerabilities or weaknesses) AND ”localized” between the magical thinking-prone AND realistic thinking-prone spectrum.


  17. ”Heritability” studies are not heritability studies, period. Twins concordance are not the same that ”inter-generational transmission” the same way divisive distribution (aka, division) of inheritance is not the same that inherit it completely (individually talking… selfishly ;) )

    What people say race is just phenotypical**

    Phenotype is not just the visible genotype** (on average)

    Instinct would be genotypical behavior** intrinsic motivation*


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