linkfest – 01/18/16

Somebody was on Sulawesi before 118,000 years ago – from john hawks.

Human-Neanderthal relationships may be at root of modern allergies“Three genes inherited from our Neanderthal cousins may cause modern carriers to have an overly-sensitive immune system susceptible to allergies.”

Grisly find suggests humans inhabited Arctic 45,000 years ago“When they dated the remains [of the mammoth], the researchers got another surprise: The mammoth died 45,000 years ago. That means that humans lived in the Arctic more than 10,000 years earlier than scientists believed, according to a new study. The find suggests that even at this early stage, humans were traversing the most frigid parts of the globe and had the adaptive ability to migrate almost everywhere.”

DNA sequencing reveals the fate, and ultimate extinction, of Ötzi the Iceman’s maternal genetic lineage – h/t jason moore!

Genetic affinities of the Jewish populations of India“Consistent with the previous observations, we detected minor Middle Eastern specific ancestry component among Indian Jewish communities, but virtually negligible in their local neighbouring Indian populations. The temporal test of admixture suggested that the first admixture of migrant Jewish populations from Middle East to South India (Cochin) occurred during fifth century. Overall, we concluded that the Jewish migration and admixture in India left a record in their genomes, which can link them to the ‘Jewish Diaspora’.”

Conflict among honey bee genes supports theory of altruism – h/t steve stuart williams! who tweeted: “New genetic evidence provides strong support for kin selection theory.” – see also: Testing the kinship theory of intragenomic conflict in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

Review of: Hive mind: How your nation’s IQ matters so much more than your own (G. Jones) – from stuart ritchie. – see also here.

The Welfare Trait – dr. james thompson on adam perkins‘ book. make sure not to miss the series of follow-up posts!

A Review of Adam Perkins’s ‘The Welfare Trait’“Painstakingly, Perkins constructs his core argument: that the welfare state, the foundational institution of modern Britain (the Church of England having sadly declined), contains the seeds of its own eventual destruction. A large body of evidence, which Perkins reviews, supports the intuitive idea that habitual welfare claimants tend to be less conscientious and agreeable than the average person. Such habitual claimants also tend to reproduce at higher rates than the general population, a pattern found across nations and time periods. They also seem to adjust their fertility in response to changes in the generosity of welfare provision, having fewer children in times of austerity and more when governments turn on the spigot marked ‘spending’. Over time, therefore, the work motivation of the general population is lowered. This occurs through both genetic and environmental channels. Personality traits are substantially heritable (meaning that a decent percentage of the variation in these traits is due to naturally occurring genetic variation). Given this fact, habitual welfare claimants with employment-resistant personalities are likely to have offspring with similar personalities.” – from andrew sabisky.

Tell the truth about benefit claimants and the liberal left shuts you down“How neuro­biologist Dr Adam Perkins became a victim of the new McCarthyism.” – from toby young.

The left’s own war on science“The witch hunt against Napoleon Chagnon shows us what happens if scientists challenge the core beliefs of ‘progressives.’” – also from toby young.

Similar selection pressures on fluid g and educational attainment-related SNPs – from davide piffer.

Colorectal cancer more likely to affect minorities at younger age“Study shows US racial, ethnic groups under the age of 50 have increased risk.”

Genetic Correlation Between Schizophrenia and Epilepsy

Where Are We Now? – David Bowie and Psychosis – @mind hacks.

NatureNewsVietnam begins huge effort to identify war dead“World’s largest systematic identification project will use smart DNA-testing technology.”

Physics Has Einstein, Biology Has Darwin. Economics Has… – from david sloan wilson who tweeted: “It’s embarrassing that top economists who write about theory are clueless about evolutionary theory.”

Professors moved left since 1990s, rest of country did not – @heterodox academy.

A Single Mutation May Have Sparked Multicellular Life

Supernatural punishment: the common denominator“So here’s the question: Is religion evolutionarily advantageous…? I hypothesise that supernatural punishment was a very important promoter of cooperation and a way to reduce self-interest, which was vital to the evolution of human societies.”

Bronze Age houses uncovered in Cambridgeshire are Britain’s ‘Pompeii’

4,500-year-old rattles found in infant burial – in russia.

Tajikistan: Lawmakers Tighten Rules on Baby-Naming, Marriage“The stricter rules on marriage have been introduced partly as a way of reducing the incidence of disabilities among children, which officials argue are the result of intensive inbreeding. Consequently, marriage among cousins and cousins-once-removed will be forbidden.” – h/t the gazillion people who sent this to me! (^_^) (#BigInTajikistan)

aaaannnddd…the tweet of the week!:

(note: comments do not require an email. skepticism.)


  1. “the first admixture of migrant Jewish populations from Middle East to South India (Cochin) occurred during fifth century.”

    That’s interesting. Were there any obvious developments in the Middle East or India that might explain the timing?


  2. “It’s embarrassing that top economists who write about theory are clueless about evolutionary theory.” It’s also pretty embarrassing if top economists think that Einstein is comparable to Darwin in his revolutionary effect. For that you’d probably want to cite Newton.


  3. “Supernatural punishment: the common denominator – “So here’s the question: Is religion evolutionarily advantageous…? I hypothesise that supernatural punishment was a very important promoter of cooperation and a way to reduce self-interest, which was vital to the evolution of human societies.””

    That sounds like group-selection to me…


  4. I inherited a lot psychological traits of my aunt. Shared or familiar environment?? No way. 😉


  5. A comparison in this case of Einstein and physics to ???? and Economics might be correct. If only because Einstein helped explained much of what was observable but not explainable. In Economics, much is currently observable, but not very much has good explanation.
    Sadly what is needed is a really brilliant generalist. Someone who could look at things like physics, and chemistry (which conform to well understood rules and mechanisms) and biology (which follows well understood rules, but some of the mechanisms are not know – sure tell me which specific genes make up intelligence, or height or etc), but perhaps one of the best of those is now been dead since about 1727.


  6. Singapore have lower suicide rates??

    Seems a good place to investigate the relationship between climate and depressive or euphoric behavior because have a unusual combination, a smart and more introvert population in the middle of the world with a equatorial climate.


  7. If you really want try to understand reality you must need undertand about the nature of differences.


  8. @iffen – “No ‘Happy MLK Day?'”

    no “a whole lot of posts” (including my favorite saturday star wars, in case you hadn’t noticed), ’cause i haven’t been feeling so hot lately. (relapse! (>.<) ) i did tweet something, if that counts.


  9. “i did tweet something, if that counts”

    Good enough for me!

    I am not atwitter, yet. I’m thinking it is more for people who share many priors, or have a good idea of who the “others” are that don’t share theirs. I plan to have a look in a couple of years when I have more time. I definitely don’t want to take the chance that the revolution will play out on twitter without me.

    Yes, of course I noticed that we were in a linkfast. Great to have you back to a more normal routine and I sincerely hope it continues for you. I would send up a prayer for you, but that might not be in your interest. I have the impression that God is trying to show me who is in charge by confounding any requests that I send up.


  10. HBDchick, I went to the link on the Iceman Otzi and was surprised you’d not included this one as a bonus basically the stomach bacteria in humans tells where we came from. There is a difference between modern African and modern Asian. Modern Europe is a mix of both. Otzi is all Asian (read the link, it is more nuanced). But it means the African genetic contribution occurs after about 5300, well at least for those in the area where Otzi is.


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