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!)

linkfest – 03/24/13

extra-long [insert dongle joke here] linkfest this week since there wasn’t one last sunday (sorry, dog ate it…). note that there (probably) won’t be one next sunday either, ’cause i’ll be too busy hunting for easter eggs…. (^_^)

Common DNA Markers Can Account for More Than Half of the Genetic Influence on Cognitive Abilities“In the same sample of 3,154 pairs of 12-year-old twins, we directly compared twin-study heritability estimates for cognitive abilities (language, verbal, nonverbal, and general) with GCTA estimates captured by 1.7 million DNA markers. We found that DNA markers tagged by the array accounted for .66 of the estimated heritability, reaffirming that cognitive abilities are heritable. Larger sample sizes alone will be sufficient to identify many of the genetic variants that influence cognitive abilities.” – via race/history/evolution notes.

Genotypes over-represented among college students are linked to better cognitive abilities and socioemotional adjustment“The present study investigated … genotype frequencies of 284 SNPs covering major neurotransmitter genes in a sample of 478 Chinese college students, comparing these frequencies with those of a community sample (the 1000 Genomes dataset)…. Results showed that 24 loci showed Hardy–Weinberg disequilibrium among college students, but only two of these were in disequilibrium in the 1000 Genomes sample. These loci were found to be associated with mathematical abilities, executive functions, motivation, and adjustment-related behaviors such as alcohol use and emotion recognition.” – via … somebody … can’t remember who. sorry!

Genes and Smarts – from the derb.

Why Bacteria Commit Suicide“[I]nfected individuals self-destructed before they could spread the virus to others.”

Evolution via Roadkill“Cliff swallows that build nests that dangle precariously from highway overpasses have a lower chance of becoming roadkill than in years past thanks to a shorter wingspan that lets them dodge oncoming traffic. That’s the conclusion of a new study based on 3 decades of data collected on one population of the birds. The results suggest that shorter wingspan has been selected for over this time period because of the evolutionary pressure put on the population by cars.”

‘Out of Africa’ Story Being Rewritten Again“Our early human ancestors may have left Africa more recently than thought, between 62,000 and 95,000 years ago, suggests a new analysis of genetic material from fossil skeletons.” – see also Mitochondrial DNA tree calibrated with ancient DNA @race/history/evolution notes and Revised timescale of human mtDNA evolution from dienekes.

How Social Darwinism Made Modern China“A thousand years of meritocracy shaped the Middle Kingdom.” – good stuff from ron unz. see also the derb and peter frost and anatoly.

Does the Clark-Unz model apply to Japan and Korea? – from peter frost.

Did evolution give us inflammatory disease?“[S]ome variants in our genes that could put a person at risk for inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis, have been the target of natural selection over the course of human history.” – original research article.

Genes may be reason some kids are picky about food“The study looked at 66 pairs of twins between ages 4 and 7 years old, and found that genes explain 72 percent of the variation among children in the tendency to avoid new foods, while the rest was influenced by environment.”

A Tale of Three Maps – from jayman.

Dan Freedman’s babies and National Character – from greg cochran @west hunter (buy the e-book!).

HVGIQ: The Bahamas – from jason malloy.

The Personality of Tribalism – from staffan.

Remembering Stephen Jay Gould: Bully and Boob – from steve sailer.

Depicting reality or escaping from it? – the awesome epigone asks a good question/makes a good point about something in steven pinker’s Better Angels.

Assortative mating and shared life history strategy – from mr. mangan.

Uh-Oh… – malcolm pollack on why there’s not so much “diversity” in silicon valley: “It’s because Silicon Valley … *is* a meritocracy — you just can’t fake being good at writing code, solving complex engineering problems, or designing high-tech gadgetry….”

Was inbreeding common among early humans? 100,000-year-old deformed skull adds evidence to theory of ‘very small’ communities“The discovery adds to growing evidence that early humans inbred often” – prolly because populations were small. see also Abnormalities in Pleistocene Homo from dienekes.

Moral Matter – the neuroscience of morality.

Crime and punishment: From the neuroscience of freewill to legal reform

Men programmed to avoid sex with best friends’ wives: study“Researchers suggest guys may have a biological predisposition against hitting on their best friends’ partners…. A University of Missouri study has found that adult males’ testosterone levels dropped when they were interacting with the marital partner of a close friend.”

Downton Abbey: Earl of Grantham maximizes inclusive fitness – @occam’s razor.

Experts Say Food May Contribute To Anger, Violent Behavior“Pace and other nutritionists say if you eat plenty of fish, eggs, beans, fruits and green leafy vegetables, you should have the nutrients you need. However, people who tend to eat a diet loaded with processed or packaged foods could find themselves more easily irritated.”

Women abused as children likelier to bear autistic child

One of Us – animals are people, too.

Text mining uncovers British reserve and US emotion“An analysis of the digitized texts of English-language books over the past century concludes that, since the 1980s, words that carry emotional content have become significantly more common in US books than in British ones.”

Evolution and Existentialism, an Intellectual Odd Couple“On the basis of evolutionary existentialism, I would therefore like to suggest the heretical and admittedly paradoxical notion that, in fact, we need to teach more disobedience. Not only disobedience to political and social authority but especially disobedience to some of our troublesome genetic inclinations.” – hmmmm….

Forbidden City“The left-wing stranglehold on academia.”

bonus: Life found deep under the sea“Oceanic-crust microbes survive on hydrogen and carbon dioxide.” in other microbial news: Mariana Trench: Deepest ocean ‘teems with microbes’“The deepest place in the ocean is teeming with microscopic life, a study suggests.”

bonus bonus: Palestinian Mother Speaks Out About Daughter’s Honor Killing“[H]onor killing defendants [are] usually given light sentences. Three years in prison was the stiffest in these cases. Life sentences or execution were never a consideration…. Offenders receive reduced sentences pursuant to Article 18 of Penal Code no. 74 of 1936, which is entitled ‘Necessity.’ The article provides for ‘leniency in punishment for crimes that offenders have committed in order to avert consequences, which could cause irreparable damage to their honor, money, or the honor of those such offenders are obliged to protect.'”

bonus bonus bonus: The Hate List“[T]he [$]PLC’s site explains that it counts counted ‘1,007 active hate groups in the United States in 2012,’ including ‘organizations and their chapters.’ But ‘The Year in Hate and Extremism’ did not make the ‘chapter’ distinction explicit. It is rarely drawn out in the organization’s frequent media appearances, nor was it mentioned in a letter from the SPLC to the Justice Department warning of the growing threat.” – see also What’s hate got to do with it? @bad data, bad!

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Amazing photographs reveal the lost world of the Omo tribes of Ethiopia

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: A Tiny Village Where Women Chose to Be Single Mothers“30 years ago in this bucolic village in northern Vietnam, the fierce determination of one group of women to become mothers upended centuries-old gender rules….”

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Cannibals of the Past Had Plenty of Reasons to Eat People

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Phallus-shaped fossils identified as new species [insert dongle joke here]

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Global Internet Porn Habits Infographic – ‘sup finnish people?! and romanians and hungarians (“mom and son”?!)?!

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: i love the ukrainian parliament. no, i really do! (~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. double dongle.)

oh noes meerkitties!

they’s inbreeding too much!:

Meerkat survival ‘threatened by inbreeding’

Researchers spent 20 years studying data from almost 2,000 meerkats living in clans in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert.

They found almost half of the animals showed some evidence of inbreeding.

Meerkat pups that are inbred are smaller, lighter and less likely to survive in the wild than their counterparts….

Newborn pups were weighed and measured, their DNA analysed and their parentage determined.

The researchers found that 44% of the meerkats studied showed some evidence of inbreeding.

In the wild, the desert mammals live in clans of up to 50 individuals, where subordinate adults help parents care for their offspring [altruism].

The scientists’ work showed that closely related meerkats never breed with each other [westermarck], but that inbreeding occurred between more distantly related individuals who were unfamiliar with one another, perhaps because they lived in separate groups….

i sooo wish one of these researchers would look at genetic relatedness and kin selection/altruism in these meerkats. i’ve been wishing that for a long time now, but i didn’t know if they had the genetic data or not. now i know they do. come on, researchers! please?

research article: Inbreeding and inbreeding depression of early life traits in a cooperative mammal

(note: comments do not require an email. super-altruistic meerkitty. *sniff*)

linkfest – 01/29/12

Caffeine Alters Estrogen Levels in Younger Women“In white women, for example, coffee appears to lower estrogen, while in Asian women it has the reverse effect, raising levels of the hormone.”

The self-domestication hypothesis: evolution of bonobo psychology is due to selection against aggression“[T]he self-domestication hypothesis provides a plausible account of the origin of numerous differences between bonobos and chimpanzees, and note that many of these appear to have arisen as incidental by-products rather than adaptations. These results raise the possibility that self-domestication has been a widespread process in mammalian evolution, and suggest the need for research into the regulatory genes responsible for shifts in developmental trajectories in species that have undergone selection against aggression.”

The Sub-Saharan African Dental Complex“[A]round 80,000 years ago, this population [in east africa] began to expand northward and eventually into Eurasia. Meanwhile, the same expansion was taking modern humans westward and southward into other parts of Africa.” – @evoandproud.

Explanations of rape“Given a robbery, criminals are more likely to use the opportunity to sexually assault a female victim if she is young.” – @the inductivist.

And your little dog, too! – from greg cochran. peter frost challenges. (~_^)

It Could be Culture, part I (The NAEP Black-Mixed-White gap) and It Could be Culture, part II (The NAEP Black-Mixed-White gap) – from chuck, the occidentalist.

7,500-Year-Old Fishing Seines and Traps Discovered in Russia – evidence for permanent mesolithic settlements in russia.

bonus: Lazy HBDers – @steve sailer’s.

bonus bonus: No Need to Panic About Global Warming“[M]any young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted — or worse.” – gee. that sounds familiar.

bonus bonus bonus: How all the greatest thoroughbreds can be traced back to ONE horse 300 years ago“‘Speed gene’ traced back to single 17th century British mare”

(note: comments do not require an email. to infinity and beyond!)

linkfest – 01/08/12

The Distance Between Mars and Venus: Measuring Global Sex Differences in Personality“The idea that there are only minor differences between the personality profiles of males and females should be rejected….” – via dennis.

Why We Lie

Is Intelligence in the Genes?“[T]he concept of general intelligence is just a morally neutral statistical observation about human behavior.”

Attitudes toward blacks by race/ethnicity“Whites have nicer views of blacks than Hispanics do, and they have a much more positive view of blacks than black have of themselves.” – from the inductivist.

Genome Study Points to Adaptation in Early African-Americans – african-americans still evolving (just like french-canadians!). will this evolution never end?! – via steve sailer.

Majority Groups Support Assimilation — Except When They’re Not Majorities“[R]egarding national life [in the u.s.], whites prefer assimilation and blacks pluralism…. But … ‘When blacks were the dominant group, in a majority group position, they preferred assimilation in that environment,’ says Hehman.”

Capitalist whites, socialist blacks, libertarian youths – @the audacious epigone.

Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes – Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact

bonus: Humans in Big Gatherings – big graphic.

bonus bonus: Dogs read our intent“Dogs pick up not only on the words we say but also on our intent to communicate with them….”

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

the criminality of goats

the latest from nigeria:

“Police arrest goat accused of armed robbery”

“Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.

“Vigilantes seized the black and white goat, saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into an animal to escape after trying to steal a Mazda 323.

“‘The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. They pursued them.

“‘However one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat,’ Kwara state police spokesman Tunde Mohammed said.

“‘We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody….'”

(if you read the rest of the article, you’ll see that the police are not 100% convinced about the criminal-turns-into-goat tail tale. thankfully!)

this story reminded me of the animal trials which happened in medieval europe. yes, you read that right — animals on trial:

“Animals and insects faced the possibility of criminal charges for several centuries across many parts of Europe. The earliest extant record of an animal trial is the execution of a pig in 1266 at Fontenay-aux-Roses. Such trials remained part of several legal systems until the 18th century.

“Defendant animals appeared before both church and secular courts, and the offences alleged against them ranged from murder to criminal damage. Human witnesses were often heard and in Ecclesiastical courts they were routinely provided with lawyers (this was not the case in secular courts, but for most of the period concerned, neither were human defendants). If convicted, it was usual for an animal to be executed, or exiled….

“Animals put on trial were almost invariably either domesticated ones (most often pigs, but also bulls, horses, and cows) or pests such as rats and weevils. Creatures that were suspected of being familiar spirits or complicit in acts of bestiality were also subjected to judicial punishment, such as burning at the stake, though few if any ever faced trial.”

thank god for the flynn effect!

(note: comments do not require an email. speaking of goats — see!)

linkfest – 06/05/11

Religious Experiences Shrink Part of the Brain“The study, published March 30 in PLoS One, showed greater atrophy in the hippocampus in individuals who identify with specific religious groups as well as those with no religious affiliation…. The results showed significantly greater hippocampal atrophy in individuals reporting a life-changing religious experience. In addition, they found significantly greater hippocampal atrophy among born-again Protestants, Catholics, and those with no religious affiliation, compared with Protestants not identifying as born-again.”

An Epidemic of False Claims“Competition and conflicts of interest distort too many medical findings”

Autism May Have Had Advantages in Humans’ Hunter-Gatherer Past, Researcher Believes

Atheists and the Big 5 personality traits“[A]theists are disagreeable and open to new things.” from the inductivist.

Scientists find BEES suffer from negative emotion

Non-independent mutations present new path to evolutionary success“Mutations of DNA that lead to one base being replaced by another don’t have to happen as single, independent events in humans and other eukaryotes, a group of Indiana University Bloomington biologists has learned after surveying several creatures’ genomes…. [They] found that across the board, about three percent of new mutations are ‘multi-nucleotide mutations,’ or MNMs, perhaps the result of a single, error-prone DNA polymerase making two or more mistakes as it made its way down the chromosome.”

Will Neuroscience Challenge the Legal Concept of Criminal Responsibility?

Female Australopiths Left Home Once Mature, Males Didn’t“Teeth from ancient human ancestors suggest that females joined new social groups once they reached maturity.”

Asphalt may have poisoned ancient Americans

Women have a little less sex and a couple more partners than they did 20 years ago – from the audacious.

Color Red Increases the Speed and Strength of Reactions

Researchers characterize epigenetic fingerprint of 1,628 people

Human Brain Limits Twitter Friends to 150“The number of people we can truly be friends with is constant, regardless of social networking services like Twitter, according to a new study of the network.” – the dunbar number again!

Californian dolphin gang caught killing porpoises

bonus: Quantum mechanics rule ‘bent’ in classic experiment