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!

(note: comments do not require an email. some ethiopian highlanders.)

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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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evolution for thee, but not for me!

heh.

WHO LIKES EVOLUTION? DISSOCIATION OF HUMAN EVOLUTION VERSUS EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY

“Recent media accounts have highlighted opposition to evolutionary theory among certain groups and individuals in the United States. At the same time, evolutionary psychology, which relies on evolutionary theory to explain and predict human behavior, remains a controversial academic discipline. In the following two studies, we investigated the relation between willingness to support evolutionary theory in general and willingness to support key tenets of evolutionary psychology. Our results revealed a double dissociation, whereby endorsers of human evolution displayed relatively weak support for claims derived from evolutionary psychology, whereas non-endorsers of human evolution displayed relatively strong support for such claims. This latter support remained strong, though diminished, when the relation between evolutionary theory and evolutionary psychology was made explicit to respondents. The results suggest that strong support or opposition regarding human evolution does not carry over into corresponding attitudes toward evolutionary psychology.

us folks of the altright|hbd-o-sphere have been aware of this … inconsistency … for some time. people have all sorts of cognitive dissonances, but this one is one of the most amusing — but infuriating as h*ll! — ones to me.

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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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