Archive for October, 2006

Neandertal & H. sapiens sapiens interbreeding

Modern Humans, Neanderthals May Have Interbred: “To me, what happened is that the Neanderthals were [genetically] absorbed into and overwhelmed by modern humans coming into Europe from Africa, and they disappeared through this absorption,” Trinkaus said.…Examining the bones, Trinkaus discovered certain features that he believes are Neanderthal elements incorporated into this early Homo sapien. Features […]

Il Principe as a evolutionary force

The dynamics of Machiavellian intelligence. Abstract: The “Machiavellian intelligence” hypothesis (or the “social brain” hypothesis) posits that large brains and distinctive cognitive abilities of humans have evolved via intense social competition in which social competitors developed increasingly sophisticated “Machiavellian” strategies as a means to achieve higher social and reproductive success. Here we build a mathematical […]

But we’re all racist

Below the fold is the full text of a paper circa 1993 that reports that freshmen college students tend to misattribute political beliefs to professors on the basis of merely factual material presented in class. The results obviously extend to other areas. When Teaching is Evaluated on Political Grounds Stanley CorenPsychologyUniversity of British Columbia, Vancouver […]


Aziz comments on a RedState post on eugenics, etc. Of interest to GNXP readers? Perhaps.

Asian Nazis

I just wasted 15 minutes exploring the Uncyclopedia after seeing a referral from the entry on Asian Nazis. A lot of the other stuff is pretty funny too. Check out this snip from the entry on Bangladesh: Bangladesh holds the world record for the only country which has more people than mosquitos. Mosquitos are the […]

Intermediate progenitor hypothesis

A recent Perspective in Nature Reviews Neuroscience presents an alternative to the radial unit hypothesis of cortical expansion. As you may recall, one of the major alterations in gross brain structure as you move toward primates and those particular primates that we hold dear is the large increase in cortical surface area. The increase is […]

Buzsaki and Wilson

For the die-hards. I taped the Buzsaki and Wilson lectures at the Visualizing and Recording Large-Scale Ensembles short course at SFN. Quality isn’t really great and a lot of it doesn’t make sense without the slides, but, hey, it’s there if you want it:Buzsaki Intro and Lecture (mostly about multi-unit recording and unit isolation)Wilson Lecture […]

PhD scientist or fourth-grader?

The paper describing the sequence and analysis of the dog genome ends thusly: For millennia, dogs have accompanied humans on their travels. It is only fitting that the dog should also be a valued companion on our journeys of scientific discovery. The lamest line in a scientific paper ever?

John Derbyshire is no longer an Anglican

Derb has a long article up where he answers all the “religion questions” he’s had to deal with and chronicles his drift away from Anglican theism. Not quite Rod Dreher level of personal anguish, but Ponurru isn’t pleased….

Seeing what you want to see….

See What You Want to See: Motivational Influences on Visual Perception: People’s motivational states-their wishes and preferences-influence their processing of visual stimuli. In 5 studies, participants shown an ambiguous figure (e.g., one that could be seen either as the letter B or the number 13) tended to report seeing the interpretation that assigned them to […]

Immigration & the election

Steve’s newest column tackles the next election (and the likely shift toward the Democrats) and its relevance to immigration. Meanwhile, Derb has been talking up Lou Dobbs Democrats. I don’t know what to think about this. I haven’t talked about immigration much because I’ve been rather pessimistic of late…but now I’m not sure sure. Perhaps […]

The green bomb

The New York Times Magazine has a piece on the Iranian bomb and Islamic attitudes toward use of extreme measures in battle. In Infidels: A History of the Conflict Between Christendom and Islam Andrew Wheatcroft suggests that the Islamic attitude toward battle and war lagged the West in regards to a transition to rational and […]

Oh Nelly, oh….

I haven’t had regular access to cable television since July of 2004. I haven’t had regular access to a television since March of 2005. Overall this has been a good thing, I’ve read more, I’ve thought more, and oh yes, I’ve blogged more, than I would have. Nevertheless over the past few months I have […]

Pelican versus Pigeon: the Video

In case the newspaper photos weren’t enough, here is a video clip of the pelican-pigeon encounter. I doubt if the whole incident took anything like the 20 minutes claimed by some witnesses. Eye witnesses are notoriously bad at estimating the duration of events. Based on the video clip, I guess it may have taken up […]

Saxons, Vikings and Celts

I just received a review copy of Saxons, Vikings and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland. I won’t be talking about it until January as I’ve agreed to hold it until it starts being marketed after it’s published here in the states. But, I do think it is kosher if I report the […]

Black & white twins

We’ve received a lot of search engine traffic over the past few days because of the phenomenon of “black” and “white” fraternal twins (two cases within the last week). Aside from the original post on this blog, I’ve commented on it a few times at my other blog, here, here and here. Also, some of […]

Tail effects

There’s another article in Science about women and science. It appears to consist predominately of (1) rebuttals to straw-men arguments and (2) Lewontin-like claims that we’re all the same despite our differences. A great deal of the text deals with describing (without much detail) male-female differences on a variety of criteria. The magnitude of each […]

Neandertal genome sequencing

Afarensis points me to this new story in National Geographic about the Neandertal sequencing effort: A new study by geneticist James Noonan at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, however, reveals that modern humans and Neandertals’ most recent common ancestor probably perished about 400,000 years ago.…Noonan’s work represents a significant advance over earlier studies of Neandertal genetics, […]


On In Our Time with Melvin Bragg the host often asks his guests to give him a “flavor” of the debate amongst scholars. I always feel that this is acceptable when they are talking about history (e.g., The Diet of Worms), but somewhat bristle at the presumption when it comes to science (e.g., Galaxies). I […]

Viruses and memory

See Aetiology for the details.