Archive for May, 2004

More mitochondria

I mentioned that there is new evidence for the occasional inheritance of paternal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). I have now seen the original research report. by Y Kraytsberg et al, in Science, vol 304, 14 May 2004, p. 981. The results look pretty robust. Unlike earlier claims of paternal inheritance, which rested on statistical studies of […]

Was Cos right?

Most folks have probably now heard of the brouhaha Bill Cosby has started via his remarks at the NAACP’s shindig celebrating the golden anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. For those who have not, here is the gist of his comments summed up in one quote: Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic […]

Mitochondrial Steve?

There appears now to be good evidence that paternal mitochondrial DNA can occasionally be inherited. (See here.) That’s right: paternal mitochondria, from Dad’s little wrigglers. Sperms do contain mitochondria, but until now the usual doctrine (dogma?) has been that the egg always keeps them out, or kills them off if they manage to get in. […]

Reflections on the “God Module”

When I was an undergraduate in college I stumbled upon an article on the “God Module.” It was a very exciting moment for me because I was one of those individuals that just never “got” religion on an instinctive level. Tertullian’s quip “I believe because it is absurd” struck me as one of the most […]

Out of here….

Just a personal note, I’m off to Bangladesh for family business for two weeks starting tomorrow, so I won’t blog or be checking email after today. So if I’m ignoring your email, it’s because I’m not reading it…. P.S. I’ve set the front page to 14 days instead of 7, if you are curious why […]

HIV & Iran

BioMednet Central has an interesting article about the attitudes and knowledge of Iranian students about AIDS. Posted by razib at 04:49 PM

The black khans

A few posters made fun of Asma Gull Hasan’s assertion of Genghiside ancestry because she had the Mongolian Blue Spot. Here is a relevant point: Internationally: The prevalence of Mongolian spots varies among different ethnic groups. This condition is most common among Asians. It also has been reported in 80% of East African children, in […]

Cognitive perceptions of race

Here is a 3 year old article titled Perceptions of Race (PDF) by Cosmides, Tooby and Kurzban. A few caveats: 1) The authors do not seem to try very hard to eliminate normative judgements from their argument, which makes one a bit cautious about the reasons that they come to their conclusions (that is, is […]

Pop vs. Soda

Interesting re-work of the Pop vs. Soda map. Posted by razib at 09:32 PM

Privileges of a child

This morning I read the reviews over at Amazon for Asma Gull Hasan’s book. There were many people who didn’t like the book. Here is one review that I found interesting from a Saudi woman: Contrary to popular media stereotypes, Saudi women are more privileged than men (men need to drive, women get chauffers; men […]

More on JMS

This week’s issue of Nature (20 May) has a long obituary of John Maynard Smith by Eors Szathmary and Peter Hammerstein. The obit is also available online here. This is a Nature webpage dedicated to JMS, and includes a 15-page bibliography of his publications and a selection of his papers from Nature. Warning: even at […]

The unluck of the Irish

Study links folic acid gene mutation to birth defects. How do you remedy the problem? Folic acid supplements! Posted by razib at 09:06 PM

Democratic bimodalities

Steve has some data implying that smarter whites tend to vote a bit more Democratic (control-f “Q. Do smart whites vote Democratic?”). The effect isn’t as strong as many in the chattering class might presume. I think this has to do with selection bias and projection of the small sample, as Steve suggests. From what […]

Bow, wow

Pooch breeds identified by genes. Salient points: 1) One “ancient” branch, three recent ones, of canis familiaris.2) The importance of functional genes in effecting the phenotype of the dog. That is, the three recent clades look very different, even if their origin was on the order of hundreds, not thousands, of years. Note that “ancient” […]

Designing People

Imagine if you will – the combination of powerful software with genetic engineering and you might well be designing your own children with the help of softare from Play with their software and either create the most beautiful creatures we could imagine or screw it up and create some abomination Posted by TangoMan at […]

Cowgirls for Allah

Here is a Beliefnet interview with Asma Gull Hasan, author of Why I am a Muslim. To me, her life seems to typify an unstable equilibrium between the two worlds of traditional Pakistan (insert random Muslim culture) and 21st century United States. She is not easily identified as a Muslim woman because she wears no […]

Arthur & his wogs

Seems like the new King Arthur movie is more The Winter King than The Once and Future King. Arthur is a Roman defending Romano-British civilization ~500 and Guinevere seems to be a Pictish princess. The Saxons look suitably barbaric. Why the peculiar title? Arthur’s knights are Sarmatians, an Iranian people who occupied the same niche […]

Beyond Just-So

Excellent article (free registration) on the current state of evolutionary psychology. Via Steve Sailer. Posted by razib at 12:28 AM

Age of consent

In the post below on Blue vs. Red States, godless aired the possibility that Blue staters might be more open to reducing the age of consent, I was curious, so I looked the data from this site, and didn’t really find a pattern. Below are the states sorted by age of consents 16 and below, […]

Geek Culture

The Onion reports a story of a average woman at a Science Fiction convention becoming a relative hottie. Hilarious. Posted by scottm at 02:02 AM