Highlights from ‘GNXP 2005′

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Well, 2005 certainly proved to be a compelling year here at GNXP. From the Larry Summers “scandal” to Ashkenazi intelligence “overclocking” and on to Bruce Lahn’s research — the year was definitely not a dull one!

Below the fold are some highlights from ‘GNXP 2005′ — this collection is by no means comprehensive — and, no doubt, I’ve left out some really great posts. But, we were spoiled for choice this year and it was difficult to narrow this list down as much as I did. Enjoy! — and see you in 2006.


JANUARY

Anti-Racist Multicultural Math
On getting rid of “old, stodgy racist math” in Newton, Massachusetts.

Drive your kin before you….
Kin-slaughter and increasing individual reproductive capacity (a la Genghis Khan).

A different sort of r strategy in Europeans? -and- The “fertility inversion”
A gene inversion which seems to confer greater fertility most common in Europe (21%), followed by Africa (6%), then Asia (1%).

Much ado about women & Larry Summers
Summation of GNXP’s take on the Larry Summers ‘scandal’.

Ethnic Genetic Interests
On Frank Salter’s idea that every individual has a genetic interest in copies of his own ‘distinctive genes’ found in close relatives AS WELL AS in the wider population.

FEBRUARY

Ladies’ Choice
Jinn’s readers’ poll: Which Intellectual Superstar of Gene Expression Would You Rather Sleep With?

Race is obsolete…?
The battle over race in biomedical research.

Genetic variation is a fact of life
On “Heritibility and genetic constraints of life-history trait evolution in preindustrial humans.”

“Gene expression” might matter
For those who haven’t heard, biology is complex — the genome is not an exact blueprint for how the organism will develop.

Gene + environment interactions….
Nature and nurture and social constraints.

Crime and Punishment
A look at UK prison stats on women from ‘ethnic minorities’.

Taste and behavior genetics
Capsaicin (!) tasters and non-tasters.

MARCH

An explication of assumptions
Blank slate vs. Evolutionary Psychology vs. Human Biodiversity (and so on…).

Love, lust and attachment
On human pair-bonding.

Male brain ~ more sons vs. female brain ~ more daughters?
“Engineers have more sons, nurses have more daughters.”

Colon Cancer is a Socially Constructed Disease
An example of genetic medicine revealing how internal traits can vary from group to group.

APRIL

Dissolving the dominance of dominance
Good reasons for focusing on the idea that in diploid organisms two copies of a given gene are expressed on any locus (rather than the dominant-recessive concept).

Evidence for natural selection between populations
Evidence of selection between three populations — European Americans, African Americans, and Han Chinese from Los Angeles.

More on Social Mobility
LSE study on 8 countries shows highest social mobility in Scandinavia, lowest in the US.

Slow and diverse food
Diet and human biodiversity — Razib on Gary Nabhan’s “Why Some Like it Hot.”

MAY

What’s your s?
The basic paradigm which population geneticists arguing for Out-of-Africa vs. !Out-of-Africa are working with is faulty.

Measuring Genetic Diversity: Lewontin’s Other Fallacy -and- Measuring Genetic Diversity: Part 2
How genetic diversity ‘between populations’ is measured.

Out of Africa by coast…once…maybe???
mtDNA variation in isolated “relict” populations (?) in southeast Asia supports the view that there was only a single dispersal from Africa, most likely via a southern coastal route.

IQ Irrelevancies
Alex’s list of his favorite “arguments against using IQ instruments.”

The Middle Model
Genomics refutes an exclusively African origin of humans.

Altruistic punishment
What is altruistic punishment and why is it important?

JUNE

Group Selection (oh no, not again!)
Why ‘group selection should be regarded as an explanatory last resort.’

Overclocking
On Cochran, Hardy and Harpending’s Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence. Don’t miss the discussion.

The Urban Sink
Civilization, urbanization and selection.

Bad science?
On criticisms of Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence.

The history of the Jews…a very special people…sort of
On Howard Metzenberg’s Unnatural History of Jewish Population Genetics (a review of Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence).

Breakin’ free of biology?
On the reality of the Biological Species Concept.

JULY

Through the rugged roads of gene land
Razib delves into Epistasis and the Evolutionary Process.

Model rising….(?)
Early modern humans (Out of Africa) and admixture with regional archaic humans.

The paths of polygyny….
Musings on polygyny and the Naturalistic Fallacy.

Inducing disgust
Ewwwww!

Expertise, knowledge….
Biology is a big field. How to keep up with the latest?!

Some musings on patent law
TangoMan on patents, genes and the Common Heritage of Mankind.

Not genes and not environment
Monozygotic twins are not really identical and neither are C. elegans individuals — even when genes and environment are held constant.

Reader survey….
Everything you ever wanted to know about GNXP regular readers!

AUGUST

Drum’s swipe at the Right’s faux outrage
Evolution and politics makes for strange bedfellows….

People classify differently -and- “Asian” and “Western” thinking….
If it looks like a freshwater fish…and swims like a freshwater fish….

Pinker: A lie can’t be left unchallenged
“Summers…never suggested that every man surpassed every woman in mathematical ability….”

Cousin be perty, part n
On being more than kissin’ cousins….

Blonde Australian Aboriginals -and- Black and strawberry -and- Beyond MC1R
All about melanin and the expression of pigment in humans.

A tale of one ratchet
Razib on Tomasello’s The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition.

Cultured chimps
Chimps, humans and ‘cultural conformity.’

What Copernican revolution?
The sun revolves around the Earth…right?

SEPTEMBER

Non-adaptive immune adaptation?
Our innate immune system and admixture between proto-moderns and archaics.

Groups, price and culture -and- The importance of li and social conformity
On group selection and evolutionary cultural anthropology.

Canine theory-of-mind?
Do dogs have a ‘human-biased’ theory-of-mind?

Them and Us
Are we better equipped to deal with external threats rather than internal ones?

This is Bruce Lahn’s brain on ASPM and MCPH1 -and- Bruce Lahn (Scientist interview)
Researchers say human brain is still evolving.

Know thy enemy – “Newton’s rape manual”
TangoMan tortures himself with feminist ideas on science.

Dawkins on kin selection: a correction
DavidB rethinks the evolutionary advantages of incestuous matings.

OCTOBER

Demon primate -and- Orangutans gone wild
Marmosets are chimeras! And, developmentally arrested orangutan males that rape.

A prayer for the Emperor -and- The Sacral State (from Nov)
On state and religion and a pluralistic society. Razib looks at Sullivan’s The Impossibility of Religious Freedom.

Marriage, history, evolution and the unidirectional process….
“Why do people enter into love marriages in the first place?”

Trolley problem
Is the life of one American worth the life of several foreigners?

Genetics in the movies -and- Beyond the Punnett square, part n -and- Skin color loci – older work (from Dec)
DavidB on the “general disregard for genetics in films and TV” … and Razib’s addendum.

Small gains
Jason looks at the efforts of some parents to increase the height (via Human Growth Hormone) of their “vertically-challenged” sons.

Extremism in defense of precision is no vice -and- The True Believer revisited…. -and- I am a believer (from Sept)
Razib on his belief in science.

Chromosomes and evolution
David Boxenhorn muses on the evolutionary implications of chromosomes.

Quantitating the Cult
What, exactly, is diversity?

NOVEMBER

A wrinkled landscape -and- 8th grade math for the rest of us -and- Response, heritability and selection (R = h2 * S), little bits and reiterations
On correlated response, basic maths (don’t be afraid of the math!), and R = h2 * S.

ID vs. creationism, what’s in a name -and- The new center
On some differences between ID and creationism — and why that matters.

10 questions for Derb
Interview with John Derbyshire.

Never be so stupid -and- The bounds of discourse
Razib wastes 30 minutes of his time on someone who hasn’t done their homework.

Is Natural Selection a tautology?
DavidB answers – no.

Religion & evolution
Are religion and evolution at eternal enmity?

Genes and civilisation
Some reasons for being sceptical about any close links between genes and cultural achievement.

Unnatural groups
On the reflexive “groupishness” of humans.

Covering up your face and smothering liberalism
On Muslim women in Europe veiling themselves.

DECEMBER

10 questions for Armand M. Leroi -and- 10 questions for Warren Treadgold -and- 10 questions for Dan Sperber
That’s 30 questions, altogether!

Theological incorrectness – when people behave how they shouldn’t…sort-of -and- Intercultural variance
On our models of other groups & how individuals within those groups behave. And, on evoked and epidemiological aspects of culture.

We are born Manichaeans -and- The gods of the cognitive scientists
“Just how banal and conventional many of the cognitive processes are which result in normal theism.”

Nordic beauty wins again! -and- Gotta luv those Irish genes…
A little eye-candy.

Race is skin deep
On SLC24A5 and pigmentation in zebrafish and humans.

Endless forms most continuous
“Species are problems.”

The Anglican origins of neo-Darwinianism?
The relationship between religion and “neo-Darwinianism” — and why people do, or do not, accept evolutionary theory.

Evoking the season
“Culture is a bugger.”

2 Comments

  1. I have to say GNXP is currently one of my favorite websites. I might not comment on every thread, but I read everything that is posted here – and many of the comments.

  2. Razib, thank you for this site. It made my office hours bearable for the last year. Whenever I have to explain something to a colleague (who calls himself cowboy, by the way) for the 4th time, I remind myself that there is actually a group of people who dont talk about the same shit I have to talk about everyday. 
     
    (And of course, my favorite movie of the year is Brokeback Mountain.) 
     
    :)

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