Archive for January, 2006

Fuller full of himself

The Guardian has a piece titled Steve Fuller: Designer trouble, in reference to testimony that the aforementioned professor gave to the Dover court. After reading the article I have to say that I’m not surprised that he testified, he seems to not be of any camp aside from that of Steve Fuller, and oh how […]

Perception of change, reality or illusion?

Over at my other weblog I have posted an item titled Blogs of the Union in response to a call from Radio Open Source (listen live to see if Brendan notes my BOTU). The gist of it is that I believe we are the last generation of the old human, and might be the first […]

Horse, donkey, and zebra karyotypes

Evolutionary movement of centromeres in horse, donkey, and zebra: Centromere repositioning (CR) is a recently discovered biological phenomenon consisting of the emergence of a new centromere along a chromosome and the inactivation of the old one…Even more surprisingly, five cases of CR have occurred in the donkey after its divergence from zebra, that is, in […]

Volokh on Rape

Imbler Volokh does an admirable job of correcting the math regarding rape statistics and demolishes the claim, made by the Women’s Center, that 2,000 rapes occur every 5 minutes. What he didn’t touch on, I will, and that is the demography of the victims. I’m quite sure that John Derbyshire must have had these FBI […]

The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics

I have a long review of The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics at my other blog. The take home message is that scientists are dumb, just not as dumb. Remember, evolution does not shape perfection, just good enough….

The Boy Crisis in Education and Serial Monogamy

I’ve been cruising through the feminist blogosphere of late and in the past few weeks there have been three stories on the Crisis in Boy’s Education that have captured their interest, the first from The New Republic, the second in Newsweek, and the last in The Boston Globe. The tone has ranged from outright hostile […]

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma St.


An ancient story

I’ve talked about MHC before. 1 It is important because it has a key role in the adaptive immune system and is illustrative of an important dynamic in evolutionary genetics, balancing selection, which perpetuations extreme polymoprhism within populations. Over time a functionally constrained locus which has an important fitness effect should fix toward the most […]

Intelligence in UK declining?

Today’s London Sunday Times (January 29) has an article in the Education section on new research which claims that British children’s ‘intelligence’ has declined dramatically in the last 30 years. If the link works, the article is here. The research is by Profs. Adey and Shayer of King’s College London. Adey claims, based on a […]

Peter Frost, dark men & fair women

Since very few of you have likely read Fair Women, Dark Men: the Forgotten Roots of Racial Prejudice by Peter Frost, I’d like to you point you to his website, where he introduces many of his ideas in a series of essays. Steve also has an essay on based on Frost’s ideas, and you might […]

Disease & ethnicity

In the news…Parkinson’s gene of large effect found in Jews and North African Arabs and group differences in lung cancer rates controlling for variables (or are they?). I am more intrigued by the Parkinson’s result because my understanding is that North African “Arabs” are Arabicized Berbers by and large. There is some implication that the […]

Harvard vs. MIT

I was in Cambridge for a weekend, and I made up this saying (after consultation with friends who are grad students at Harvard and MIT): Harvard students know how to seem smartMIT students know how to be smart And while I’m at it, I just thought of this: Know the name of your enemyBut nothing […]

10 questions for Judith Rich Harris

Judith Rich Harris is author of The Nurture Assumption and the forthcoming No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality. My questions are in bold. 1) One criticism some of my readers made about ‘The Nurture Assumption’ is that it did not take evolution into account enough, will we see more evolutionary-historical considerations at play […]

Nick Wade

Nicholas Wade did an interview with PLOS Genetics a few months ago. You might be interested, as he has a new book coming out, Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of our Ancestors. I am doing a review for a magazine so I have a copy, and the galley has a lot more in […]

Beyond SNPs – Structural variation in the human genome

Nature Reviews Genetics has a review of the emerging evidence for massive amounts of structural variation in the human genome. Abstract: The first wave of information from the analysis of the human genome revealed SNPs to be the main source of genetic and phenotypic human variation. However, the advent of genome-scanning technologies has now uncovered […]

Uncertain scales

There has been talk about cannibalism on this weblog before. A school of anthropologists have been trying to argue for a few decades that legends of cannibalism are simply myths that are used to dehumanize the “Other.” Some scholars, like Jared Diamond, disagree with this assessment very strongly and assert that the analysis is not […]

A note on “Science Blogs”

Some of you have probably read the recent article about “Science Blogs” in The New York Times. I announced that I was starting a sister blog to this weblog about a week ago. A few points of note: 1) There will be many posts that you can find there that you won’t find here. Though […]

Evolution, religion and psychology

As some of you might know, Intelligent Design and evolution are becoming issues in Utah. Before we move on, this from Ron Numbers The Creationists might be instructive: …in 1935 only 36 percent of the students at the Mormons’ Brigham Young University denied that human beings have been “created in a process of evolution from […]

Cheap genome, part II

The Harvard Crimson reports on George Church’s attempt to develop super-cheap genomic sequencing, though this time he’s giving a $10-20,000 price point quote instead of $1,000. Scientific American has a subscription only piece.

Omega-3 affects IQ and behavior

Another research group is reporting a correlation between consumption of omega-3 PUFAs during pregnancy and the IQ of children. Looking at the effects of omega-3 intake on 9,000 mothers and their children, the team found mothers with the lowest intake of the essential fatty acid had children with a verbal IQ six points lower than […]