Archive for December, 2003

Genetics of taste

Article here for those interested in the genetics of taste (kind of old, 1998). Here are some interesting points: The incidence of taste blindness to PTC/PROP varies around the world, from 3% in western Africa to >40% in India (see MIM 171200). Approximately 30% of the adult Caucasian population of North America are taste blind […]

In Praise of Patterns

Caveat, this is a rough draft, but it’s been a rough draft for weeks. I just don’t have the time to flesh out everything right now, but I thought I’d submit it before my previous post was forgotten. The general points are pretty obvious, I encourage readers to offer more. A few weeks ago I […]

The Salafi ~ Communist analogy taken further

Today, everyone notes that Islamist parties rarely have majority support in any Islamic country (though plural majorities can be found in places like Turkey, and by evolutionary, not revolutionary, Islamists). If you look at the history of Communism, you see that like Islam, Communist parties rarely had broad-based popular support. Rather, a hard core (the […]

World of Values

Thought readers might find this chart from The World Values Survey interesting…. Posted by razib at 10:31 PM

Metaphor for the new Age of Religious Wars

Occassionally on this blog a dispute erupts over the negatives of “fundamentalist Hinduism” (Hindutva). I think that comparing this movement to “fundamentalist Islam” (roughly speaking, the Salafi/Wahhabi International funded from Saudi Arabia) can give us a little perspective. In the 1970s Jeanne Kirkpatrick differentiated between a Totalitarian (Communist) and Authoritarian (Right-leaning despotic) regimes, and argued […]

God is Great…for now

While I’m blogging about Islam…. A few weeks ago, “jimbo” asked me if a sincere believing Muslim could be a liberal democrat (emphasis on the small caps here!). Thrasymachus also seemed to offer the opinion that Islam is just designed better and won’t throw out all sorts of oddities like liberalism, science, etc. Since I’m […]

Alcohol consumption & relative fitness

Steve Sailer has been asking about the genetics of alcohol from a geographical angle. I’m curious, but another thing I’ve always wondered (and related to the question about Muslims and alcohol he is asking), I have read that many Mediterranean people drank alcohol (diluted) because it acted as a sterilant in urban situations where bad […]

Cold Mountain, conscription and war

Just went and saw the film Cold Mountain. Earlier in the day I read Abiola note that “it is the height of absurdity that an entire movie could be made about the American Civil War without putting any focus on the central issue at stake in that war.” Well, I think there was a nominal […]

Hierarchy of responsibility, moving on down the totem pole….

Our local anti-Brahmin activist on GNXP sent me this link about the decline of a people who are Aryans par excellence (schadenfreude?). It seems that only 1/3 of Indian Parsis are marrying other Parsis, and those are marrying late! Many are copulating outside the faith, with unclean non-Aryans like Steve LaBonne. If you google this […]

“Medieval” Africa

This War Nerd column about the Tutsi-Hutu conflict is pretty good. It gives a brief intro to the Bantu demic expansion that is well sketched out in Guns, Germs and Steel, though I think he simplifies when he terms the Tutsi “Bantu.” Though they now speak the same language as the Hutu, they were probably […]

Pretty baby all mixed up….

Follow-up to my entry on mixed-race people in fashion & entertainment, I noticed today that the this year’s winner of “Cutest Baby” for BabyTalk magazine was a girl with bright blue eyes, frizzy brown hair and tawny skin. It seems highly likely that the baby was of mixed African and European heritage. They showed the […]

My lucky number is pi

An interesting article on irrationality, inter alia. “In short, the evolutionary design features of the human brain may well hold the key to our penchant for logic as well as illogic.” Consider the following problems: Problem 1: “Imagine that you are confronted with four cards. Each has a letter of the alphabet on one side […]

What’s in a century?

From a site on “group cohesion”: As regards optimum group size, Fukuyama (1999 : 213) suggests that it cannot reasonably exceed fifty to one hundred members, since the various biological mechanisms for detecting ‘free-riders’ in groups were developed in our evolutionary past in hunter-gatherer societies, which must have been around that size. … Now, a […]

The Future of People

Today’s survey: In the next 100 years, will people be more intelligent, or less intelligent? A few weeks ago I posed a series of “order of magnitude” thought experiments about the future of people.  I didn’t get much response, probably because they were thought experiments, and not multiple-choice surveys where people could just click to […]

The Men with Guns

In the year 107 BCE the Roman general Gauis Marius began to recruit soldiers into the legions from the "head count" (urban poor) of Rome. Prior to this point the rankers in the legions had been propertied farmers, but due to military catastrophes and the resultant deficits in manpower from this class, property qualifications were […]

A mixed bag in fashion….

Mixed race is hot says an article in The New York Times. They assert that the “P & G” look (blonde & blue-eyed) is in decline. Numbers? I’m all willing to believe this, but how hard can it be to do a survey of the top selling fashion/women’s magazines and check out the the phenotypic […]

In honor of David B. – IQ & religion (by country)

Waiting for Christmas Eve deliveries at my girlfriend’s office, kind of bored, so I decided to plot IQ vs. “religion important” (data taken from Lynn & Vanhanen & the Pew survey). I got a correlation of -0.886. I converted the excel to HTML below. Original excel file + chart is here -0.886151153 Correlation between two […]


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, etc. to all. One common saying around this time is “Jesus is the reason for the season.” People who assert this might benefit from exploring the historical origin of Christmas to see that it is more complex than that (the site linked is by the way evangelical Christian-there are traditional Roman […]

Immigration “Reform”

The headline says Immigration Reform on Bush Agenda. Hope? Could godless be right? Is the wind shifting…. OK, first paragraph: President Bush plans to kick off his reelection year by proposing a program that would make it easier for immigrants to work legally in the United States, in what would constitute the most significant changes […]

What is the reason for the season?

Many Christians today bemoan the debasement of the true meaning of Christmas. They remind others what the real reason for the season is quite often. But is the birth of Christ the reason Christians celebrate this holiday? Actually, as some of you may know, the most common consensus is that Christmas was a conversion of […]