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!)

hbd fallout

here’s a very thoughtful comment from jayman from the other day that you may or may not have seen (thanks, jayman!) [highlights added by me]:

“One might imagine that Europeans and Americans might realize the danger of immigration, especially from unstable parts of the world after events like these. But they, by in large, won’t. Certain forces will see to that. Why? Here’s something to consider: what would having a conversation about this topic entail? Even to make a justified argument against immigration from certain violent corners of the world mean acknowledging group differences. And if some groups can be more violent, less intelligent, less altruistic than others on average, etc, etc… The whole topic will come out. We’d like to think that this would happen in an organized manner, spearheaded by more cool-headed rational folks, but look at the record of how public commenters handle easily bungled truths.

“Back when groups differences weren’t so taboo in Western society, and one could talk about them openly, society was *also* more racist (this was pre-Civil Rights here in America). It is possible that in order for society to be aware of the reality of HBD, it must be actually be *racist*.

“Think of all the simmering resentment in Whites that are the victims of these crimes (as a Black man, I wouldn’t talk to this soldier’s family about now). And on top of that, imagine all the Whites that are not necessarily so politically correct about race. How would they react? (Here’s an example: Far-right extremists in eastern Germany quietly building a town for neo-Nazis.) And to be sure, folks like those here who simply view HBD as just another set of facts of nature don’t seem to be the majority of the people who do believe this stuff (judging from posters and commenters on the matter in the blogosphere). Sane, moderate thinkers seem to avoid this stuff like the plague. (Of course, this could just be the disaffected voices speaking loudest, but that is the appearance anyway.)

It could be that open knowledge of HBD will lead to racial violence – two-sided racial violence. (Indeed, oddly that might be predicted by Peter Turchin’s cliodynamics). It was remarked to me that certain elites might be well aware (or aware enough) of group biological differences but keep a lid on it because they fear what the result of open knowledge would be.

“Whether or not that’s a wise strategy, or whether or not you feel the truth being out there is more important – as I do – that is the probable mentality behind such things. I suspect that that is why the elite voices are quick to put the kibosh on any discussion of group realities when events like these occur, as they are sure to do. And perhaps it is with ‘justification’.

“Tribalism – even for Westerners – is big. Can you have a multiracial society in one that is honest about group differences? Europe kinda has a choice on that, but we here in America don’t. Will people *really* run with the understanding that differences *on average* don’t apply to every last individual, or will group solidarity rule the day? How will intelligent and completely inoffensive Blacks, for example, be treated by Whites then? The example of Chechens challenges the notion of treating people as individuals, because arguably they are so tribal and violent on average that even a modest number of them can cause problems (there are only 200 in America). But if they pose a problem in that way, what about other groups?

In the end, it might not matter because the pressure of immigration and problems like these might bring the issue to forefront anyway. But what if there is no way of avoiding that? What if releasing knowledge of HBD will just hasten this reckoning?

“These are important questions to consider. I can’t say I have answers for them.”

i agree — these are important questions. and i don’t have any answers either.

i am pretty sure about two things though:

1) hbd knowledge is coming down the pipeline … fast! … whether anyone likes it or not, and we’d better get prepared for it — maybe that responsibility should fall especially on the shoulders of those of us who, for whatever reasons, happen to be aware of hbd before most of the crowd; and…

2) humans s*ck.

we really do. just read a little history!

and, so, yes — it might very well get ugly and more tribal once all this hbd knowledge gets out there, but given that i’m pretty sure that’s inevitable, we’d better brace ourselves as best we can.

most ordinary mortals can’t handle the truth, but i’m actually a little (a very little) optimistic that a lot of people actually can grasp a basic understanding of “average,” and that they already apply that understanding in their daily lives wrt other people(s). i said it before, there is a sort-of “folk statistics” out there — most people “get” why yao ming is so interesting (’cause he’s an exception that proves the rule) — they even find the fact that a chinese guy is so tall kinda funny. and that’s an indication that they understand he doesn’t fit into the usual pattern that most chinese people on average are fairly short. it’s the contradiction that makes them giggle (no one laughs ’cause michael jordan is tall).

i think most people even manage this when they’re racist or bigoted against some group. i grew up amongst working class whites, and let me tell you something you’d never have guessed — PLENTY of racism/bigotry there! and not just about blacks or hispanics — italians don’t like the irish who don’t like the poles who don’t like the germans, etc., etc. BUT, there’s always “joe” down at work who’s ok. he’s not violent or lazy or corrupt or a drunk or stupid or dour. joe’s alright!

THIS is what should be drilled into kids in school — work with (what i think is) their natural aptitude for “folk statistics,” and get them to understand that, while there are averages when it comes to groups, they have to take each individual as they come. it should be possible to teach this (the truth! — which most people instinctively get) — i mean, they’ve managed to teach an untruth (that everyone is just the same) for the past … how many decades?

they also need to teach evolution more in school — a LOT more. evolution by natural selection. ’cause then everyone would understand that, yeah, while the chechens on average might be, comparatively speaking, a bit crazy violent, that’s just ’cause of their evolutionary history which they can’t be blamed for.

as for the rest? dunno. one thing’s for sure — continued mass immigration of unlike groups to the u.s. and europe is NOT going to make it all work out better in the future! =/

(note: comments do not require an email. keep calm and…)