linkfest – 06/24/12

Welsh people could be most ancient in UK, DNA suggests

Genomics and African queens“[The researchers] found that the genomes of some Ethiopian populations bear striking similarities to those of populations in Israel and Syria, a potential genetic legacy of the Queen of Sheba and her companions.”

Opiate of the Male Masses“How big of a problem, really, does pornography cause for men?” – from dennis mangan.

Study suggests poor mothers favor daughters“Poor mothers will invest more resources in daughters, who stand a greater chance of increasing their status through marriage than do sons…. On the contrary, mothers who were better off financially favored sons over daughters.” – an example of the trivers-willard hypothesis. research article. h/t linton! (^_^)

Liberalism rankings by country – from the audacious epigone.

Study Finds People Who Believe In Heaven Commit More Crimes“A study published in the scientific journal PLoS One by University of Oregon’s Azim Shariff and University of Kansas’s Mijke Rhemtulla finds that people who believe in hell are less likely to commit a crime while people who believe in heaven more likely are to get in trouble with the law.” – i thought the concepts of heaven and hell usually went together?

Declining testosterone levels in men not part of normal aging, study finds“‘Men who had declines in testosterone were more likely to be those who became obese, had stopped smoking or were depressed at either clinic visit.'”

bonus: Never-before-seen microbes found in Chile’s desert

bonus bonus: All 786 Known Planets To Scale – from xkcd. (^_^)

bonus bonus bonus: EU should ‘undermine national homogeneity’ says UN migration chief“Peter Sutherland told peers the future prosperity of many EU states depended on them becoming multicultural.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Jogging in forest twice as good as trip to gym for mental health

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traditional family systems in medieval britain and ireland

remember emmanuel todd’s traditional family systems, 1500-1900? here they are again:

i wanted to try to extend this map back to the medieval period. here’s what i’ve got for the british isles after the arrival of the anglos, saxons and jutes (and frisians?) and after they converted to christianity. so, ca. 800-900s to maybe the 1200s. something like that (see color key above – note that i haven’t updated areas outside the british isles to reflect what was going on in those places during the medieval period):

pretty much all of ireland remained having todd’s endogamous (patriarchal) community families throughout the middle ages. in fact, todd is somewhat misleading in including ireland as a stem-family country between 1500-1900 since apparently the stem family didn’t really appear in ireland until after the 1850s. hmmmm.

western regions of britain — western scotland, wales and cornwall — also stuck with the endogamous community family system throughout the middle ages. so did the peoples in the anglo-scottish border areas — the border reivers. in fact, they were clannish right up through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries — at least! — when many of them emigrated to what would become the u.s.

east anglia and kent, as we recently saw, also had community families in the medieval period, but they (i think) married out more, so they would be classified as exogamous community families. joint families were common in medieval east anglia and kent, but not so much crazy, infighting clans. there was also little manorialism in east anglia and kent compared to central england, but more than in places like scotland or ireland. remember that the manor system relied on nuclear families and, coupled with the oubreeding demands of the christian church, manorialism broke down genetic relatedness and extended family systems in the population.

the heartland of manorialism in england was central englandmercia and wessex. this is where there was the greatest number of manor estates — the most tenant farmer peasants and others bound to the land in service to a manor — the hardest push for outbreeding and nuclear families. interestingly, this is where hackett fisher’s cavaliers and indentured servants came from, sorta maintaining in the new world the ages old tradition of masters and servants from this region of britain.

i may not be right in delineating central england as having “absolute nuclear families” during the medieval period. perhaps they had more stem families, i’m not sure. what they definitely didn’t have, though, were extended community families of any sort.

not sure what was going on in northeast scotland.

sometime between the middle ages and the modern period, the community family systems disappeared (for the most part) and nuclear and stem families became the norm throughout the british isles.

previously: todd’s family systems and the hajnal line and emmanuel todd’s absolute nuclear family and east anglia, kent and manorialism

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two brothers or eight cousins

from h.r. loyn’s “Kinship in Anglo-Saxon England” [pg. 197]:

There is a great text in the Welsh laws that tell us that a man who killed another, and who wished to make proper amends, paid one-ninth of his victim’s blood-price to the offended kindred. His mother and father paid another ninth, and his brothers and sisters a further ninth again. The remaining two-thirds was to be found by the kindred to the seventh degree — some recensions say the ninth — and two-thirds of that in turn was to come from the paternal kin, one-third from the maternal. The blood-feud group in other words was ego-centered, differed from individual to individual, and was elaborate in structure. Descendents of the great-grandparents of great-grandparents on both sides would be involved.

“The lawyers of western Norway, the men of the fjords, the Gulathing, were even more specific. They tell how the blood-price, the wergild was to be paid. We follow patiently, even placidly, to the third knee. There are minor complications, but when the principle is grasped that for purposes of payment and of receipt of compensation descent through the paternal kin is reckoned as one degree more potent than descent through the maternal, things are straightforward. The son of a maternal aunt was grouped with the son of a paternal uncle’s son, and both were to receive half a mark from the slayer, if the slain man were of hauld rank…. The complexity increases as the degree of kinship decreases. The lawman does his best for us. He did his sums well with only a rare slip. At the fourth knee, we are told, kinsmen received in the maternal kin 18 2/3 pence a head, the same as the fifth knee on the paternal side. At the tenth knee the compensation had dwindled to 2 2/15 pence on the maternal side. At the thirteenth the paternal kinsman received one penny only, with a pitiful 2/3 of a penny for the corresponding rank on the maternal side. Dare we say ‘de minimis non curat lex’?”

this all sounds like inclusive fitness in reverse! or the flip-side of inclusive fitness.

rather than deciding which relative(s) you ought to save from drowning by working out how many genes you (probably) share with them (a calculation that almost no one does in real life of course), these are calculations for compensation to a slain man’s family depending upon either the degree of relatedness to the dead man or to the killer. but they follow the same pattern as genetic relatedness: you’re most related to yourself so you have to pay/get the most compensation; your parents are some of the next people most closely related to you genetically, so they have to pay/get the next greatest amount in compensation, and so on and so on.


we really are just a bunch o’ primates. (^_^)

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