Archive for November, 2005

Classic evolutionary biology texts

Mark Ridley’s companion website to his book Evolution has some sample chapters from the Great Books of evolutionary biology. The Fisher, Haldane, Kimura and Wright chapters are the ones I would focus on, but, you all know my biases in terms of what interests me in evolutionary biology.

Covering up your face and smothering liberalism

This long feature about the tendency for many young Muslim women to veil themselves in Europe is interesting. Granted, the author clearly abhors the trend, and much of the text is impressionistic, but with the Shabina Begum affair, it seems apropos. Back when I was a pretty doctrinaire libertarian I used to joke about Maggie […]

Functional Variant in a Bitter-Taste Receptor (hTAS2R16) Influences Risk of Alcohol Dependence

A new study in The American Journal of Human Genetics which relates to taste sensitivities and alcoholism: …Individuals with the ancestral allele K172 are at increased risk of alcohol dependence, regardless of ethnicity. However, this risk allele is uncommon in European Americans (minor-allele frequency [MAF] 0.6%), whereas 45% of African Americans carry the allele (MAF […]


I was checking out NuSapiens and noticed that he’d been nominated for Best New Weblog on something called The Weblog Awards. First, congrats to Nu, he is certainly one of “Our Crowd.” Second, on a lark I decided to see if gnxp popped up, and I noticed that Jeff of Beautiful Atrocities nominated us for […]

Pinker on Ashkenazi IQ

Steven Pinker is lecturing on Ashkenazi IQ in New York City in 2 days. If any GNXP reader who lives in New York wants to check it out and report back on what he says, the tickets are $11. Via Steve. Labels: IQ

Unnatural groups

We have talked in detail about the problems with group selection before, so before someone assumes that I am promoting that thesis in the generality I want to caution that I am not. But, it occurred to me today that I am convinced that a high ratio of intergroup:intragroup variance on cultural shibboleths is attainable. […]

Ethnic Segregation in Britain: Part 2

In a recent post I commented on some research by Ludi Simpson and colleagues. I said I would return to the claim by Simpson that the main factor in the growth of the ethnic minorities in Britain is the age structure of their population, and not continuing immigration or higher fertility. Simpson’s press releases say, […]

Ancient and Recent Positive Selection Transformed Opioid cis-Regulation in Humans

Ancient and Recent Positive Selection Transformed Opioid cis-Regulation in Humans: …In addition, the pattern of linked nucleotide and microsatellite variation among and within modern human populations suggests that recent selection, subsequent to the fixation of the human-specific mutations and the peopling of the globe, has favored different prodynorphin cis-regulatory alleles in different parts of the […]

Clarification on “roots”

Jim Bender links to my post where I express some frustration with tree based thinking in terms of human ancestry. He says, “I take that to mean that there is a great deal of mixing between the so-called races over time” [my emphasis]. Terms like “great deal” are insufficiently precise. Fst 0.2 is often used […]

A Genetic and Cultural Odyssey

As promised, I did read A Genetic and Cultural Odyssey, the biography of human geneticist L. L. Cavalli-Sforza. I have to say that it was a very uneven work, but neither of the two authors are writers by profession (an anthropologist and geneticist). The main thing I took away from the book was that I […]

Islands and Shifting Balance?

Living the Scientific Life has a great summary of this recent paper which suggested that islands can serve as sources for biological diversity via back-migration to continental sources. Am I the the only one to think of the Shifting Balance Theory? To be succinct, Sewall Wright and R.A. Fisher spent several decades disputing (PDF link) […]

I am not a Muslim

Just a reminder everyone, I am NOT a Muslim. Just saw a reference to me as a “Muslim guy” on a comment board in regards to evolution vs. creation (pointing to this site as a good read on the topic). I do not regard Islam as an ethno-religion like Judaism or Hinduism. Unlike the latter […]

An evolutionary education

RMP over at EvolGen is starting a series called Detecting Natural Selection. I know a substantial subset of readers don’t come out of a science background, so I think some might find it of interest. The first entry is up, if anything is a surprise, read the whole thing (eventually).

University Channel

Something new “A collection of public affairs lectures, panels and events from academic institutions all over the world — for you to view, listen to, stream or download.” … not to be confused with the ResearchChannel

Man is more than one tree

This is a short post which I will elaborate on later in a broader biological context, but Richard Sharpe’s comment is something I want to respond to real quick: “If Greeks are Caucasian, then…Just how do you designate yourself….” First, I’m not white, my ass is a rich brown, ergo, I’m not “Caucasian.” The nerdy […]

The New White Flight

I didn’t know this article in The Wall Street Journal was free, but it is, so I’ll link to it: The New White Flight: In Silicon Valley, two high schools with outstanding academic reputations are losing white students as Asian students move in. Why? To some the article might be revelatory. This quote is very […]

Ethnic Segregation in Britain: Spin or Substance?

There is a common belief that in Britain the different ethnic groups are becoming increasingly concentrated into different geographical districts, as ‘white flight’ reduces the proportion of whites in inner city areas, while ethnic minorities cluster together. The Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, recently expressed the fear that Britain is ‘sleepwalking […]

Infidel Guy on TV

For those of you who watch television, The Infidel Guy will be on ABC’s Wife Swap next week. Apparently Reggie’s wife is switching places with a pastor’s wife, should be pretty tweaky.

Luca Cavalli-Sforza biography

I just found out recently that a biography of Luca Cavalli-Sforza was published this spring, A Genetic and Cultural Odyssey. I’ll probably be reading it over the Thanksgiving weekend, but I thought I’d give people a heads up around here since I suspect I’m not the only fan. The History and Geography of Human Genes […]

Immigration conversation

As a naturalized American citizen, I point you to Michael Blowhard’s immigration post.