Brown-skinned, blue-eyed, Y-haplogroup C-bearing European hunter-gatherer from Spain (Olalde et al. 2014) – @dienekes’. – also: European Hunter-Gatherers, Blue Eyes and Dark Skin? – from razib. – also: Hunter-gatherer European had blue eyes and dark skin – “Genetic tests reveal that a hunter-gatherer who lived 7,000 years ago had the unusual combination of dark skin and hair and blue eyes.” – h/t ed west! – also: Tar-Zan* and Korak and Shades of Pale from greg cochran.
Y-chromosome “Adam” was not necessarily human – “From the point of view of population genetics, there is absolutely no reason that the common ancestor of all human Y chromosomes must have existed in an individual that we would identify as ‘human’.”
Genomic variation in sharing between siblings – “Visscher et al make really nice use of this slight variability in how much of the genome sibs share to learn about how much variation in height within a population is due to genetic variation. They use the fact that sibs who share slightly more of their genome (>0.5) should have more similar heights, than sibs who share less of their genomes (<0.5). This allows them to partition out how much of the resemblance between siblings is due to a shared environment, as opposed to shared genomes…. It also makes me wonder if sibs are actually unconsciously, weakly aware of these subtle genomic differences (through their similarity in a range of traits, including height etc). I could imagine doing a study where siblings (or others) are asked to assess how similar they are/feel, and then assessing whether this is weakly correlated with the fraction of the genome shared. I keep meaning to followup on this idea with some popgen theory to assess how this might play out in modifying kin-selection and altruism between sibs and other relatives." – from graham coop [this guy].
HBD Chick Lays it Down on HBD – “I say can’t we just stick to seeking out the truth, whatever that is….” – hear, hear! – from jayman.
Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome – “[T]he gut microbiome can rapidly respond to altered diet, potentially facilitating the diversity of human dietary lifestyles.”
300,000-year-old hearth found: Microscopic evidence shows repeated fire use in one spot over time – “Scientists discovered in the Qesem Cave, an archaeological site near present-day Rosh Ha’ayin, the earliest evidence — dating to around 300,000 years ago — of unequivocal repeated fire building over a continuous period. These findings help answer the question and hint that those prehistoric humans already had a highly advanced social structure and intellectual capacity.” – h/t razib!
The new European phenotype: expansion into the Middle East – from peter frost.
Chimpocentrism and reconstructions of human evolution (a timely reminder) – h/t neuroskeptic! who said: “Beware ‘chimpocentrism’ in studies of human evolution.” – see also: Chimps have undergone more positive selection than humans – from adam benton.
Genius in the genes – from dr. james thompson.
On Dolphins, Big Brains, Shared Genes and Logical Leaps – “‘It looks like ASPM evolved adaptively in all mammals…. It could be that ASPM is a general target of selection in episodes of brain evolution and isn’t specific to large brains.'”
Rates of atheism/agnosticism by ethnicity – from the awesome epigone.
Why Are Women More Liberal Than Men? – @the chateau.
Comparing Warfare Deaths per Capita in 18th vs. 20th Centuries – “[T]he 20th century was only a bit more violent than the 18th century.” – from mike anissimov.
La ciencia estúpida – “La mayoría de los grandes científicos y filósofos no eran lo que diríamos tipos agradables. Tampoco eran políticamente correctos según el canon normal. Prácticamente ningún filósofo o científico anterior a la escuela de Frankfurt podría dar hoy una clase pública sin la amenaza de ser molestado por una turba emancipatoria. Hume, Darwin, Voltaire, Locke, Kant (no digamos ya Platón o Aristóteles) hoy no podrían ser contratados en la universidad de un país occidental.” – from eduardo zugasti.
Genome of longest-living cancer: 11,000-year-old living dog cancer reveals its origin, evolution – “A cancer normally lives and dies with a person, however this is not the case with a sexually transmitted cancer in dogs. In a new study, researchers have described the genome and evolution of this cancer that has continued living within the dog population for the past 11,000 years.”
Why the masculine face? Genetic evidence reveals drawbacks of hyper-masculine features – “[A]round half the variation in both male and female facial masculinity could be attributed to additive genetic variation…. The extensive genetic variation in masculinity makes more plausible the idea that choosing to mate with a masculine man can result in more attractive offspring. But the genes that made a male face more masculine did not make it more attractive. Worse, these same genes made female faces more masculine and thus less attractive. Families that make manly-looking sons tend also to make masculine-looking daughters.”
Casting Out The Devil – “[C]onservatives generally think that liberals are misguided, and live in deep denial of obvious truths about human nature and the way the world actually works (as opposed to the way they think it *ought* to work), liberals view conservatives not just as misguided, but as *morally evil*.” – from malcolm pollack.
Bones from human sacrifice at Tenochtitlan ceremonial complex – “Fragments of human bones that exhibit cut marks and prolonged exposure to fire have been discovered through various excavations in the Sacred Precinct of Tenochtitlan (located in Mexico City). These skeletal remains are from individuals, such as children, slaves and captured warriors, who were sacrificed during religious festivals. – cannibalism! – h/t charles mann!
It’s not just ancient Roman propaganda: Carthaginians really did sacrifice children – “‘We like to think that we’re quite close to the ancient world, that they were really just like us – the truth is, I’m afraid, that they really weren’t.'”
Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality – “Does assortative mating contribute to household income inequality? Data from the United States Census Bureau suggests there has been a rise in assortative mating. Additionally, assortative mating affects household income inequality.” – h/t chuck ross!
Social status influences Democrats’ — but not Republicans’ — support for reducing inequality – “Low wealth Democrats supported legislation to reduce economic inequality significantly more than both high wealth Democrats and Republicans. ‘Whereas Republicans tended to sponsor legislation that supports economic inequality regardless of their wealth, wealth predicted sponsoring behavior for Democrats,” the researchers explained.’ Specifically, high wealth Democrats tended to sponsor fewer pieces of legislation that reduce economic inequality than did their lower wealth counterparts.”
Dark lands: the grim truth behind the ‘Scandinavian miracle’ – “Take the Danes, for instance. True, they claim to be the happiest people in the world, but why no mention of the fact they are second only to Iceland when it comes to consuming anti-depressants?” – h/t claire lehmann!
Islam’s Baby Problem – @28 sherman.
Life as a Nonviolent Psychopath – “Neuroscientist James Fallon discovered through his work that he has the brain of a psychopath, and subsequently learned a lot about the role of genes in personality and how his brain affects his life.” – this guy again. h/t ray sawhill!
A Sexual-Decision Flowchart That Makes Everything Simpler for Medieval Men – h/t jayman! (who’s prolly very glad he doesn’t live in the middle ages. (~_^) )
bonus: US Army considers replacing thousands of troops with robots – “The US Army is studying whether robots could take the place of thousands of soldiers”
bonus bonus: Scotland had a glacier up to 1700s, say scientists