Archives for posts with tag: pacific islanders

The human migration out of Africa left its mark in mutations“The farther from Africa, the more of them there are.” – h/t billare! – see also: Distance from sub-Saharan Africa predicts mutational load in diverse human genomes.

Genomic Evidence Establishes Anatolia as the Source of the European Neolithic Gene Pool“Kum6 shows a strong population continuity with present-day Sardinia. Kum6 expresses connections to the central Eurasian gene pool. Kum6 shares notable affinity with the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old southern European. Genetic affinities to both East and West suggest continuous contact with Anatolia.”

Ancient Irish had Middle Eastern ancestry, study reveals“Genetic researchers find evidence of mass migration to Ireland thousands of years ago.” – see also: Neolithic and Bronze Age migration to Ireland and establishment of the insular Atlantic genome. and see also from razib: The Gaels Were from Scythia. and from dienekes: Bronze Age people from Ireland had steppe ancestry and R1b. – (my mtDNA hapologroup [more here] — H13a1a — is rather rare in ireland, but is most common in daghestan and may have arisen there. the parent group H originated in the near east.)

The Residents of Vanuatu, Then and Now“Analysis of skulls in the oldest known cemetery in the South Pacific suggests that the earliest inhabitants of Vanuatu may have descended from Asian and Polynesian populations, while modern residents share more physical similarities with people in Melanesia.”

The evolution of the age at menarche from pre-historical to modern times“Data from skeletal remains suggest that in the Paleolithic female menarche occurred at an age between 7 and 13 years, early sexual maturation being a trade-off for reduced life expectancy. In the classical, as well as in the medieval years, the age at menarche was generally reported to be at about 14 years, with a range from 12-15 years. A significant retardation of the age at menarche occurred in the beginning of the modern times, soon after the industrial revolution, due to the deterioration of the living conditions, most studies reporting menarche to occur at 15-16 years. In the 20th century, especially in the second half of it, in the industrialized countries, the age at menarche decreased significantly, as a result of the improvement of the socioeconomic conditions, occurring between 12-13 years. In the present times, in the developed countries, this trend seems to slow down or level-off.” – h/t neuroskeptic!

Why parenting may not matter and why most social science research is probably wrong and How to Find a Parenting Effect – from brian boutwell! – from the first article: “Whether it’s a study purporting to link some aspect of parenting to child development, or a study intended to link some new diet fad to weight loss, the results are unclear if they did not control for genetics. Lest someone put words into my mouth later, this does *not* mean that every correlation reported by social scientists is the result of correlated genetic influences. The point, however, is that we have spent decades churning out correlations and we have no idea whether the findings were polluted by unmeasured genetic factors. That’s frightening, especially since public policies have been built on some of these potentially illusory correlations. The standard way of doing business in the social sciences ignores genetic influences, and has for years. Be careful which findings you cling to. Most social science research can only reveal associations; which is important, no doubt, but I presume you want to know something about causality also (i.e., if you eat bacon everyday what’s the chance that it’ll *cause* you to get cancer; that sort of thing). To even begin approximating causality (assuming you cannot do an experiment, which you can’t with most social science research), you must account for all confounding factors—genes included.”

Discontinuity in the genetic and environmental causes of the intellectual disability spectrum“[O]ur results suggest that most severe ID is a distinct condition, qualitatively different from the preponderance of ID, which, in turn, represents the low extreme of the normal distribution of intelligence.”

Heritability of autism spectrum disorders: a meta-analysis of twin studies – between 64-91%.

Progress and promise in understanding the genetic basis of common diseases

The Concordance and Heritability of Type 2 Diabetes in 34,166 Twin Pairs From International Twin Registers: The Discordant Twin (DISCOTWIN) Consortium – h/t amir sarislan! who tweeted: “Heritability of Type 2 Diabetes 72% (95% CI: 61–78%).”

Clinical Genetics Has a Big Problem That’s Affecting People’s Lives“Unreliable research can lead families to make health decisions they might regret.”

Schizophrenia and violence“[T]here are startling new results from a large, representative sample of Norwegians [swedes, i think-h.chick], showing that the rate of violence is about 7 times higher in schizophrenics as compared to controls, and 3 times higher for those with bi-polar disorder.” – from dr. james thompson.

How Time Preferences Differ: Evidence from 53 Countries“Time discounting correlates with innovation, environmental protection, innovation, etc.” – h/t rolf degen!

Personality, cognitive/psychological traits and psychiatric resilience: A multivariate twin study“Neuroticism evidenced the largest phenotypic and genetic relationship with resilience, and accounted for nearly all of the phenotypic and genetic variance between resilience and the other traits.”

Polls and Elections Some Folks You Just Can’t Reach: The Genetic Heritability of Presidential Approval“The model is tested using twin data to estimate the genetic heritability of presidential performance evaluations and finds that presidential approval has a strong genetic component.” – h/t andrew sabisky!

Status Decreases Dominance in the West but Increases Dominance in the East“Across two experiments, having high status decreased punishment by American participants but increased punishment by Chinese and Indian participants. Moreover, within each culture, the effect of status on punishment was mediated by feelings of being respected. A final experiment found differential effects of status on punishment imposed by Asian Americans depending on whether their Asian or American identity was activated.” – h/t timothy bates!

Assortative Mating for Educational Level in Parents of Public School Children (N > 7000 Individuals) in the Lagos State, Nigeria“Approximately 61.5 % of the parents had spouses at the same level of education. More mothers than fathers married upward in educational level. The assortative mating coefficients for educational level were .52–.61 across respondents’ classes, .51–.62 across six school districts, and .57 (.55–.59) in the total sample. Overall, these results were very similar to the findings from Western or Asian samples, providing evidence to support the robustness of human mating pattern in educational attainment across different cultures and ethnic groups.”

‘The Bell Curve’ 20 years later: A Q&A with Charles Murray“The lesson, subsequently administered to James Watson of DNA fame, is that if you say it is likely that there is *any* genetic component to the black-white difference in test scores, the roof crashes in on you. On this score, the roof is about to crash in on those who insist on a purely environmental explanation of all sorts of ethnic differences, not just intelligence. Since the decoding of the genome, it has been securely established that race is not a social construct, evolution continued long after humans left Africa along different paths in different parts of the world, and recent evolution involves cognitive as well as physiological functioning.”

Why Some of the Worst Attacks on Social Science Have Come From Liberals“In the halls of social-science academia, where liberals [have a numerical advantage], it’s telling that some of the same sorts of feeding frenzies occur. This should stand as a wake-up call, as a rebuke to the smugness that sometimes infects progressive beliefs about who ‘respects’ science more. After all, what both the Bailey and Chagnon cases have in common — alongside some of the others in Galileo’s Middle Finger — is the extent to which groups of progressive self-appointed defenders of social justice banded together to launch full-throated assaults on legitimate science, and the extent to which these attacks were abetted by left-leaning academic institutions and activists too scared to stand up to the attackers, often out of a fear of being lumped in with those being attacked, or of being accused of wobbly allyship.”

Small families are better for kids, new research says – hmmmm. – see also: The Quantity-Quality Trade-Off And The Formation Of Cognitive And Non-Cognitive Skills.

edge question 2016: What Do You Consider The Most Interesting Recent [Scientific] News? What Makes It Important? – john tooby’s response: The Race Between Genetic Meltdown and Germline Engineering. – h/t steve stewart williams!

Oldest Hoabinhian site discovered in SW China“The oldest Hoabinhian culture, an important technological adaptation by hunter-gatherers to the humid tropical and subtropical environments of southeast Asia some 43,500 years ago, was identified in southwest China’s Yunnan Province. Discovered at Xiaodong Rockshelter, it is the first-ever Hoabinhian site to be found in China, according to a research team at the Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology.”

Palaeolithic stone tools found in Iranian Kurdistan

bonus: Do Dogs Know Other Dogs Are Dogs?“This is not a philosophical riddle. Despite their highly variable appearance, dogs can recognize each other by sight alone.” – woof!

bonus bonus: Carrie Fisher: I had sex with Princess Leia fans – what happens at comic-con STAYS at comic-con! (~_^) – h/t razib!

and the tweet of the (last) week…! (~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. carrie fisher. you’re welcome! (~_^) )

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from the u.k.’s telegraph (links added by me):

“Euroscience Open Forum 2012: DNA gene testing ‘will screen out lovers'”
13 Jul 2012

“Couples will soon be able to choose their life partner solely based on the compatibility of their genes instead of through love, a scientific conference has heard.

“Due to the falling cost of DNA testing Britain is on the cusp of a new era of eugenics, according to a leading British scientist.

“Prof Armand Leroi, of Imperial College London, said that within five to ten years it will be common for young people to pay to access their entire genetic code.

“He told the Euroscience Open Forum 2012, in Dublin, that a desire to have a healthy baby will lead more to request access to the view the genes of any prospective partner.

“Armed with this information, the couple could then use IVF to screen babies with incurable diseases.

“While it was unlikely people will have the ‘luxury’ of using the technology to design babies, by their intellect or eye colour, they would instead focus on stopping genetic diseases.

“Addressing a session titled ‘I human: are new scientific discoveries challenging our identity as a species’, he said the cost of genetic sequencing was falling so quickly that ‘it is going to become very, very accessible, very, very soon’….

“He said eugenics were already available, with tens of thousands of unborn babies with Down’s syndrome and other illnesses being aborted every year.

“He told the conference on Thursday: ‘These processes are very well established in most European countries.

“‘Many of the ethical problems that people raise when they speak of neoeugenics are nought once you offer gene selection or mate selection as a eugenic tool.'”
_____

meanwhile, in tonga:

“Tonga’s Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala marries cousin”
12 July 2012

“The heir to the throne of Tonga in the South Pacific has married his second cousin in the capital Nuku’alofa.

“Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala and his bride, Sinaitakala Fakafanua, both in their 20s, waved to cheering crowds as they left church after the wedding…..

“Marriage between cousins is seen as a way of keeping the royal bloodline strong in Tonga….”

felicitations to the happy couple! (^_^) (seriously!)

previously: ivy league selective breeding

(note: comments do not require an email. tonga – the friendly islands?)

in the south pacific:

“Warring Pacific tribes swap two young children to end violent feud”

“In a move designed by Vanuatu tribal chiefs to heal the rift, a young boy and girl will be exchanged between the groups – a practice that has not taken place on the island for more than 200 years.

“Warring tribes on the tiny Pacific island of Tanna have agreed to swap two children to settle a long-running land dispute that descended into violence.

“The clans, who have been arguing over property rights on the island for more than two decades, revived the ancient and controversial custom of child swapping in an attempt to end hostilities after the feud turned violent and several people were injured in a brawl.

“Such a child swap has not taken place in more than 200 years.

“Seth Kaurua, from the Vanuatu Council of Chiefs, said the feud between the two tribes had been going on for 27 years, but the chiefs had to step in when it turned violent and several people were injured….

“The aim of the exchange was to ‘build a bridge between the two tribes and make the relationship stronger….’

“Exchanging children is rare in Tanna, and frowned on by the court system, but it is does take place from time to time. It is not uncommon on the island for a female child to be given away to replace a lost family member – for example if a child is killed in a car accident, the driver could offer one of their own children as reparation….

“While the child does not have to move to its new tribe immediately, they will grow up in the knowledge that they no longer belong to their parents, and will eventually have to leave, Mr Kaurua said.”

from another article on the story:

“Vauatu and dispute settled through child swap”

“WILSON: So does the child typically maintain contact with both families?

“KAURUA: Yes, the child will always stay wherever he wants, he or she can go to the other family as well as the other family, so that’s how, I’m saying it’s like building a bridge across the two different families….

“WILSON: How is the child or the family involved, how are they selected?

“KAURUA: The child is normally selected from the family that is the ringleader to that particular violence.”

fair enough.

child swapping in the form of hostages and fosterage was pretty common in medieval europe — hostages amongst the carolingians and fosterage in the “celtic” fringe for example. in fact, fosterage seems to have lasted into the late eighteenth-century in remote parts of scotland (i know — that last phrase is redundant).

back to the south pacific — tanna sounds like a fun place! it’s the home of the john frum cargo cult! and another cult that i hadn’t heard of until just now — the prince philip movement!:

“The Prince Philip Movement is a religious sect followed by the Yaohnanen tribe on the southern island of Tanna in Vanuatu.

“The Yaohnanen believe that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the consort to Queen Elizabeth II, is a divine being; the pale-skinned son of a mountain spirit and brother of John Frum. According to ancient tales the son travelled over the seas to a distant land, married a powerful lady and would in time return. The villagers had observed the respect accorded to Queen Elizabeth II by colonial officials and came to the conclusion that her husband, Prince Philip, must be the son from their legends….”

(note: comments do not require an email. just keep your nal-nal club to yourself!)