Archive for April, 2004

Hot or Not?: Genes vs. Culture & Taste

Culture and individual taste do not play large roles in who people consider attractive. [update added] At least according to Nancy Etcoff in her book Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty. Here’s a portion of the sub-chapter entitled Universal Beauty: Despite racism, misperceptions, and misunderstandings, people have always been attracted to people of […]

I’m not well read

Abiola points me to the list below of “Great Books.” Not surprisingly, I’ve hardly read any of them (the ones I have are in bold), and most of that is due to high school English teachers. When I read fiction, I read genre “literature” (to my girlfriends’ chagrin), and Cosma summarizes my reasoning well…. Also, […]

“Hard Seculars” vs. “Cultural Creatives”

A few quick off-the-cuff observations to follow-up on my post The “Secular” Party. As I note, outright god(s)-deniers/doubters are a small minority within the liberal/Left/non-traditional/non-religious sector of the American demographic. Socializing with people on the Left part of the political spectrum, Blue America that is, you can discern some of the divisions if you look […]

Scholarship competitions & cymru genes

Check out Global Beauties, some sort of pan-pageant site. Lots of “news” and of course pictures, pictures, pictures…. Here is a fluffy piece about Welsh beauty genes. I remember the first time I saw Catherine Zeta-Jones, it was the summer of 1998, and was walking through the living room of my apartment in college, and […]

Italian “Creationists”

A press article on the “ban” on teaching evolution to primary & secondary school kids. Though I think it’s good to get the general paradigm in your head, it seems some people who oppose the ban are being a little over-dramatic (Italians, over-dramatic, no!), for instance, one scientist asserted “…that waiting until high school to […]

Fellow Travellers

Over at VDARE The Derb asks: Why is a Second Amendment supporter much more likely than not to favor restrictions on abortion, when guns and fetuses are completely different things? The answer, of course, is that both opinions have a common source in the psyche. They are both particular expressions of a general cast of […]

Living longer, staying healthier

In my post All is vanity… I mentioned that there is recent evidence that people are not only living longer but staying healthy for longer, so that the cost to health services of an ageing population is less than has been feared. I have found a good reference for this point here. Posted by David […]

DNA: another twist

In my post DNA: a new twist? I mentioned that forensic science services in Britain were extending their techniques for DNA ‘fingerprinting’. The London Daily Telegraph today (28 April) mentions another new development under the headline ‘Serial rapist’s DNA is traced to West Indies’. A serial burglar and rapist has been operating in the London […]

Evolutionary psychology at work

A few months ago I put in a plug for Scott Atran’s new book, In Gods We Trust[1], but I didn’t realize that he has tried to get some of his ideas applied. Here is an abstract of an op-ed that he wrote after the Madrid bombings where he argues that we are not facing […]

The “Secular Party”

First Things has an article up that argues that the Democratic is informed by a “Secular” paradigm, just as the Republicans are now the party of traditional Christians. Two points: 1) There’s “Secular,” and then there is secular. I’ve never seen a survey that indicates more than 5% of Americans are atheists or agnostics, usually […]

Assortive mating in action

A high rate of marriage among deaf individuals can explain the increased frequency of connexin deafness in the United States. The article highlights the importance of assortive mating, as it notes that “85 percent of individuals with profound deafness marry another deaf person.” So the result of this is that though the frequency of this […]

McDonald on the Green

Randy says: If there are many noble and good things in your ideology of choice, though, and if you think that your ideology should be known for these things instead of for horrible crimes, you can’t simply ignore your ideology’s connection to and responsibility for those crimes, for by so doing you passively collaborate in […]

All is vanity…

I notice that I’ve been posting on GNXP for just over a year now. Naturally a lot of the posts have been minor or ephemeral, but in my vanity I think some of them are still worth reading. So for the benefit of new readers here is a guide…. If the links don’t work, try […]

Italian anti-evolutionism (it’s not always better in Europe!)

It seems that Italy is dropping evolution from primary & middle school curricula. Panda’s Thumb points me to this usenet summation. The author seems to have an anti-laissez-faire orientation that suffuses his critique, but neverthless, I think it is interesting to note that the Vatican has made peace with Darwin, but there still remains a […]

Libertarian nuances?

Over at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen asks Is the welfare state good for growth? (via ParaPundit), and comes up with a even-handed & nuanced answer. Speaking of nuance and subtlety, those are qualities that libertarians are often accused of not possessing, and frankly, often they (we?) are guilty as charged! A few observations: 1) Non-libertarians […]


I highly recommend Cosma Shalizi’s Notebooks if you have a few hours to kill (a link under “Science Blogs”). You can find entries on signal processing, Chuang-Tzu and Economics. Certainly one of the most prominent Afghan-Tamil-Italian American thinkers on the web! Posted by razib at 07:28 PM

Layers of civilization

Aziz comments on the civilizational gap between “the West” (defined as the cultures who worship the One True God of Abraham) and those of “the East” (in particular, the Confucian East). Though I think Aziz highlights a real difference, the article which he references about the wrath that the recent Japanese hostages found when they […]

Gene controlling brain size

Got a forward about this article, Reconstructing the evolutionary history of Microcephalin, a gene controlling human brain size. Abstract & excerpts below. Reconstructing the evolutionary history of Microcephalin, a gene controlling human brain size. Evans PD, Anderson JR, Vallender EJ, Choi SS, Lahn BT. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago, […]

Affirmative Action Around the World

Commentary has a review of Thomas Sowell’s Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study. Speaking for myself, when I first began to read Sowell’s books back in the mid-90s, I experienced a literal mind-quake, and nothing has been the same since. Posted by razib at 10:07 PM

Gene flow through the North African corridor & more

HPGL @ Stanford has a new paper up at their site titled The Levant versus the Horn of Africa: Evidence for Bidirectional Corridors of Human Migrations (PDF). Samples from Egypt & Oman tend to show an affinity with West Eurasian haplogroups with some admixture of Sub-Saharan ones, but the article focuses on the dynamics in […]