Archive for June, 2008


PZ Myers outlines synteny. RPM says he’s kind of wrong. Check out the definition in Wikipedia. Since RPM came down on me for confusion on this term I knew he would bring this up. I don’t really care much about which definition is “correct,” but I thought I’d point interested readers to the debate….. Labels: […]

Your generation was more into sexualizing young girls

Remember that better time when college coeds frolicked on the quad lawn, safe from the eyes of older males, who were drawn instead to the allure of a mature woman? Indeed, doesn’t it seem like nowadays, in our Girls Gone Wild culture, we shove females into the sexual spotlight at ever younger ages? That’s what […]

Increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases amongst the older

Doubling Of Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Over-45s In Under A Decade. Dare we say an “epidemic???” If you want to push the envelope of course, She was 82. He was 95. They had dementia. They fell in love. And then they started having sex. In any case: While the numbers of infections identified in younger […]

Bygone brunette beauty: Fashion in hair color

Long-time readers know that one of my beliefs that I’ll stop at nothing to prove is that blond women are not sexier than brunettes, whatever other appeal they obviously have for many men. Point-estimates of the current popularity of blond hair neglect the fact that standards of beauty can change over time — within boundaries, […]

Heritability of voting

Genetic Variation in Political Participation: The decision to vote has puzzled scholars for decades…The results show that a significant proportion of the variation in voting turnout can be accounted for by genes. We also replicate these results with data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and show that they extend to a broad […]

A blog on Roman History & Archaeology, etc.

Something new in my RSS over the past few weeks, PhDiva. Feel free to mention blogs of note or that you find interesting (or your own blog) in the comments….

In Our Time, The Arab Conquests

On this week’s In Our Time they’re talking about the Islamic conquests. The author of When Baghdad Ruled and The Great Arab Conquests is one of the guests, so if you meant to read the books but never got around to it for whatever reason, might be worth a listen. As I told a friend […]

EDAR again

There have been a number of posts on this site regarding EDAR–in summary, a non-synonymous SNP has swept up to high frequency in East Asian populations via positive selection, and appears to account for some variation in hair form. The evidence for function in hair form comes largely from an association study on hair thickness. […]

Your generation was more violent

Previously we found that your generation was sluttier, so we turn now to another great threat to civilization — violence (between individuals). As before, our concern is with whether violent crime rates are increasing or decreasing, and not so much with the absolute level: it is easier to screw up civilization than it is to […]

Comparing across American religions

The Pew US Religious Landscape Survey has come out with its second week of survey results, now focusing in more detail on the beliefs of various groups. Nice way to compare across groups. I’ve collected and reformatted a selection of responses and their frequencies for four groups, Evangelicals (excluding Historically Black Churches), Mainline Protestants, Catholics […]

Web-based Collaboration Software


Hope for freaks

Shyness drug could boost confidence; life might get a lot less fun for normals if this pans out…. H/T Marginal Revolution.

Expel the 7R?

Dan at Genetic Future, a great guy, has another DRD4 post up. He has reproduced a chart from an article in The Economist which shows a trend where a higher frequency of the 7R (ADHD correlated variant) is found in groups which have migrated a greater distance. He asks whether “the “novelty-seeking” behavior associated with […]

Are the unchurched criminals?

43% of young men who never go to church have a record, according to the Inductivist: The same kind of pattern holds here. For men, 43% of those who never go to church have been arrested, while only 13% of the most frequent attenders have. The corresponding percentages for females is 14% and 8%. The […]

Religion & politics of American faculty

A post at my other weblog on a survey that came out last year. Nothing too surprising except for the disciplinary breakdowns…. Labels: Religion

The benefits of the bad: they “hit it” (males at least)

Bad guys really do get the most girls: But being just slightly evil could have an upside: a prolific sex life, says Peter Jonason at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. “We have some evidence that the three traits are really the same thing and may represent a successful evolutionary strategy.”…This observation seems to […]

Rapid evolution of a gene duplicate

One mechanism for the generation of new genes in the retrotransposition of mRNA back into the genome, creating a new, intronless copy of the parental gene. The majority of these copies, lacking proper promoters, end up as “processed pseudgenes“. A neat paper recently published in PLoS Biology, however, demonstrates that a new gene generated by […]

Dogs, behavior & genomics

A reader pointed me to this paper, Single-Nucleotide-Polymorphism-Based Association Mapping of Dog Stereotypes: …Analysis of other morphological stereotypes, also under extreme selection, identified many additional significant loci. Less well-documented data for behavioral stereotypes tentatively identified loci for herding, pointing, boldness, and trainability. Four significant loci were identified for longevity, a breed characteristic not under direct […]

Did America matter for the Industrial Revolution?

Made in America? The New World, the Old, and the Industrial Revolution. Greg Clark is one of the authors. Robin Hanson has the summary up. Labels: Economics

Genetic Relatedness

John Hawks on what it means to be human. RPM objects to an assertion John makes about the relationship of distant cousins; worth reading. It’s an interesting exploration of a subtle topic; we’ve covered these issues when discussing ethnic nepotism. In Narrow Roads of Gene Land W. D. Hamilton alludes to the fact that molecular […]