linkfest – 05/19/13

J.P. Rushton’s theory of ethnic nepotism [pdf] – “Ethnic nepotism due to similarity is a weak social force compared to social identity. However its pervasiveness makes it a potential driver of evolutionary and social change, a potential borne out by sociological studies of the impact of ethnic diversity on social cohesion and public altruism. Genomics confirms the theory for interactions within populations with sufficient genetic diversity, such as ethnically mixed societies. GST [genetic similarity theory] applied to ethnicity is promising for further research in evolutionary social science because it unifies evolutionary and behavioral mechanisms in a single theory.” – from salter and harpending. h/t hbd bibliography!

Tibet – looks like selection for adaptations to high-altitude living in tibetans started waaaay back. – from greg cochran. see also: The genome sequence of Tibetan antelope sheds new light on high-altitude adaptation.

The Connection Between Tipping and Corruption (and Tribalism)“[C]ountries in which tipping is common are more corrupt than others, according to the Corruptions Perceptions Index (CPI).” – from staffan – h/t jayman!

Corruption influences migration of skilled workers“Countries that have higher levels of corruption struggle to attract and retain skilled workers….”

A fascinating map of the world’s most and least racially tolerant countries“Anglo and Latin countries most tolerant…. India, Jordan and Hong Kong by far the least tolerant…. The Middle East not so tolerant…. Racial tolerance low in diverse Asian countries…. Pakistan, remarkably tolerant, also an outlier.” – h/t nelson!

The Call of the Clan“Why ancient kinship and tribal affiliation still matter in a world of global geopolitics.”mark weiner in foreign policy.

The Ancestral Logic of Politics: Upper-Body Strength Regulates Men’s Assertion of Self-Interest Over Economic Redistribution“In studies conducted in Argentina, Denmark, and the United States, men with greater upper-body strength more strongly endorsed the self-beneficial position: Among men of lower socioeconomic status (SES), strength predicted increased support for redistribution; among men of higher SES, strength predicted increased opposition to redistribution.”

High-Testosterone Competitors More Likely to Choose Red“[M]ales who chose red as their color in a competitive task had higher testosterone levels than other males who chose blue.”

Complex Societies before Agriculture: Göbekli Tepe – from peter turchin.

Why Humans Took Up Farming: They Like To Own Stuff – hmmmm.

New discovery of ancient diet shatters conventional ideas of how agriculture emerged“[P]eople living in Xincun [southern subtropical china] 5,000 years ago may have practised agriculture –before the arrival of domesticated rice in the region.”

“More Genomes From Denisova Cave Show Mixing of Early Human Groups” – @race/history/evolution notes.

Geoffrey Miller: ‘Why the seduction crowd picked up on my work’ – ’cause it works? (~_^)

The evolution of lying.

‘Overspending Has Become a Modern Form of Mating Deception’“Living beyond one’s means can make dating easier, but it leads to problems as a relationship gets more serious.” – h/t geoffrey miller.

“Nice guys finish last.” Really? What does the research say? – from barking up the wrong tree.

Company creates DNA test that reveals whether you carry the redhead gene – (^_^)

bonus: In Defense of Jason Richwine“His resignation is emblematic of a corruption that has spread throughout American intellectual discourse.” – charles murray is sick of it. me, too!

bonus bonus: Malaria Infected Mosquitoes Express Enhanced Attraction to Human Odor – more miiiind control!

bonus bonus bonus: Water bubbling deep in Canadian mine may be oldest on Earth“A reservoir deep underground in Canada holds water that may be 1 billion years old, possibly the oldest water on Earth, researchers say.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Unusual Offshore Octopods: The See-Through “Glass” Octopus [Video]

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linkfest – 01/22/12

Penn Researchers Help Solve Questions About Ethiopians’ High-Altitude Adaptations“[A]ll three groups’ [andeans, tibetans, amharans] adaptations appear to involve different genetic mutations, an example of convergent evolution.”

Yeast suggests speedy start for multicellular life“Single-celled organism can evolve multicellularity within months.” – whoa.

‘Rules’ may govern genome evolution in young plant species“Scientists have often wondered if there are ‘rules’ that govern patterns of evolution, and data for Tragopogon polyploids suggest that such rules may actually operate at the genetic level.”

IQ Ceilings? – from jayman.

When it Comes to Accepting Evolution, Gut Feelings Trump Facts – and religious belief – “[I]ntuitive cognition has a significant impact on what people end up accepting, no matter how much they know…. [E]ven students with greater knowledge of evolutionary facts weren’t likelier to accept the theory, unless they also had a strong ‘gut’ feeling about those facts…. For the subjects of this study, belonging to a religion had almost no additional impact on beliefs about evolution….”

Race and self-enhancement – from the inductivist.

Do smart people lie more? – the inductivist, on a roll this week!

Gossip isn’t all bad — new study finds its social and psychological benefits – most importantly, it makes you feel better. (~_^)

Do some cultures have their own ways of going mad? – via amren.

Into the mind of a Neanderthal

bonus: Data suggests people using pseudonyms leave better comments – pseudonyms rock!

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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….”

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linkfest – 11/27/11

Gene Variants May Factor into Impulsivity, Substance Abusenrxn3.

Vitamin D and Northern Natives“[B]ecause northern natives have long inhabited high latitudes, natural selection should have progressively reduced their vitamin-D requirements. There is in fact evidence that the Inuit have compensated for decreased production of vitamin D through increased conversion to its most active form and through receptors that bind more effectively.” – from peter frost. cool!

Nudge thyself“Economists have more to learn from the natural sciences if they are to claim a realistic model of human behaviour.”

Climate change actually boosts human evolution as it forces us to move to new areas and work together

Neuroscience Challenges Old Ideas about Free Will“‘New questions also seem silly many times until a new perspective is accepted. I think we will get over the idea of free will and and accept we are a special kind of machine, one with a moral agency which comes from living in social groups. This perspective will make us ask new kinds of questions.'”

Brain cell genomes show their individuality

IQ Affirmation and Denial in the Times – from dennis the menace mangan.

Deliberate Practice – Necessary But Not Sufficient“We found strong evidence that abundant DP is necessary (but not sufficient) and estimated that the minimum requirement to achieve master level is 3,000 hours of DP. We also review evidence showing that other factors play a role in chess skill: general cognitive abilities, sensitive period, handedness, and season of birth.”

When Humans First Plied the Deep Blue Sea – 40,000 year old tuna catch in east timor.

Genome-wide Association of Copy-Number Variation Reveals an Association between Short Stature and the Presence of Low-Frequency Genomic Deletions“Our results suggest that in individuals undergoing copy-number analysis for clinical indications, short stature increases the odds that a low-frequency deletion will be found. Additionally, copy-number variation might contribute to genetic variation in stature in the general population.”

The First North American Migration—Not a Strait Route? – clovis = soul-train solutrean?

The ABCC9 of Sleep: A Genetic Factor Regulates How Long We Sleep“ABCC9, a known genetic factor in heart disease and diabetes, also influences the duration of sleep in humans.”

bonus: Alabama Law Pays Off: Unemployment Down Sharply After Crackdown on Illegal Aliens via amren.

bonus bonus: Life began with a planetary mega-organism“[I]n order to cope, the early cells must have shared their genes and proteins with each other. New and useful molecules would have been passed from cell to cell without competition, and eventually gone global. Any cells that dropped out of the swap shop were doomed. ‘It was more important to keep the living system in place than to compete with other systems,’ says Caetano-Anollés. He says the free exchange and lack of competition mean this living primordial ocean essentially functioned as a single mega-organism.”

bonus bonus bonus: Diversity of Life Snowballed When Ancient Earth Was Frozen Solid

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best two sentences from steve sailer…

eveh. (or, at least, this week!):

“The true White Man’s Burden turns out to be his intellectual distaste for reality, his need to believe in universal principles, even (or especially) when they are conspicuously counterfactual. The more disastrous your ideals, the more pure your heart must be and the more evil your doubters.”

yeah. what is with us? dudes!

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“man is not a rational animal…

…he is a rationalizing animal.” [source]

ed yong wrote about some neat self-deception research the other day (People don’t know when they’re lying to themselves.)

in his post, he highlighted a couple of high-profile (probable) self-deceivers, gaddafi and sheen, as examples of self-deceivers. which seems to illustrate that ed missed the point entirely: we’re aaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllll self-deceving self-deceivers! if not 24/7, then pretty d*mn close to it.

we’re rationalizers.

take religious belief, for example. if you ask them, most believers will tell you their reasons for believing. and most non-believers will tell you their reasons for not believing.

but religious belief is heritable! there’s probably very little rational thinking involved in “deciding” to be religious or not! the “reasons” given by these two groups are just after-the-fact rationalizations — people trying to explain to themselves, and others, why the h*ck they believe or not. the reasons might feel really real, but that’s the beauty of self-deception.

i remember when i became a non-believer (i’m an agnostic). it suddenly just dawned on me one day when i was a young teenager that we can’t possibly know for sure if there’s a god or not. i wasn’t thinking about the question. i hadn’t even been pondering about the issue beforehand. it just came to me — an epiphany. (or, a reverse epiphany, i guess.) there was no reasoning involved. it just sorta happened.

looking back on it now, i can see that my “moment of clarity” prolly had something to do with how my brain was developing at a time. it was on a trajectory that was, no doubt, mostly outlined by my genes. i grew up in an affluent western world, so most environmental factors, like poor nutrition, can be ruled out as having had any strong influence on my development. my genes were probably allowed to express themselves to their fullest, agnotic little selves. i even grew up in a typical religious household! not overly religious, but the family attended regular sunday services.

but, there was just something in my genome that made me think: hmmmmmm? (my a-religious tendencies come, i think, from one of my grandfathers who, reportedly, wasn’t much of a church-goer. he died when i was very small, so he couldn’t have been much influence on me.)

so, i never give anyone a reason for why i’m agnostic. when they ask why, i tell them that i just am. sometimes i throw in that my genes made me this way. (~_^)

humans are not rational creatures. far from it! a few of us try real hard to be, and on occasion maybe we sometimes succeed. most of the time we don’t. ’cause it ain’t easy to overcome nature!

a helluva lot (most?) of the reasons we consciously give to explain our actions do not reflect the reality of the situation. that is why reductionism works: all of the “causes and ideals” that people say they have are not truly explanatory, but merely after-the-fact rationalizations.

previously: “know thyself” and word iv

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linkfest – 01/16/11

Men With Macho Faces Attractive to Fertile Women, Researchers Find“Meanwhile, a man’s intelligence has no effect on the extent to which fertile, female partners fantasize about others, the researchers found. They say the lack of an observed ‘fertility effect’ related to intelligence is puzzling.” [sorry, geeks!]

The Kingdom in the Closet – لا تسأل ، لا تخبر also: Paedophilia ‘culturally accepted in south Afghanistan’

The Mathematics Of Beauty“The more men as a group disagree about a woman’s looks, the more they end up liking her.”

Lice DNA Study Shows Humans First Wore Clothes 170,000 Years Ago – ewwww!

Scent of a Woman’s Tears Lowers Men’s Desire – *sniff*

No love for outsiders – oxytocin boosts favouritism towards our own ethnic or cultural group“Carsten de Dreu from the University of Amsterdam has found that sniffs of oxytocin make us more biased towards peers from our own ethnic or cultural group, versus those from other groups.” also Depth of the Kindness Hormone Appears to Know Some Bounds from nicholas wade @the nyt.

Born This Way – funny gay blog. (^_^)

Taking the moral high ground: People are more generous ‘when positioned physically higher than others’

Slipping the ‘Cognitive Straitjacket’ of Psychiatric Diagnosis“Psychiatry’s diagnostic bible [the DSM] meets the awkward facts of genetics”

God’s little rabbits: Religious people out-reproduce secular ones by a landslide also Predisposition for Religion Can Spread Quickly

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