John Derbyshire is making it over at Secular Right. Since Andrew Sullivan linked you can imagine the way comments are going…. (Comments closed here)
Archive for April, 2009
See the press release. Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits and The Origins of Genome Architecture are excellent books (though set aside some time if you want to tackle the first).
Quantitative ecologist Peter Turchin’s Secular Cycles is not available for purchase, but you can get a final draft copy online. His previous books, War and Peace and War: The Life Cycles of Imperial Nations & Historical Dynamics: Why States Rise and Fall, prefigure many of the arguments that are fleshed out in Secular Cycles. Turchin’s […]
The Name’s Du Xiao Hua, But Call Me Steve: Given the nationalism I’ve witnessed in China, I was a bit surprised at how readily Chinese adopted Western names. (Even my Americanized parents were uncomfortable with the idea of me changing my name. They said I could do as I wished when I turned 18, though […]
The New York Times has an interesting little piece on bones, including a description of the unsettling genetic disorder fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva: When Harry Eastlack was 5 years old, he broke his left leg while out playing with his sister. The fracture failed to set properly, and soon his hip and knee had stiffened up […]
That’s what this piece in The New York Times seems to be implying. In other words, the various classes of H. erectus might be a sister clade to H. floresiensis, instead of the latter being derived from a branch of the erectine lineages (as Neandertals and our own species are). The reference to “primitive” features […]
One morning recently I woke up and suddenly thought I had solved the evolutionary problem of sex. About ten minutes later, I realised I hadn’t, and went back to sleep. But it may still be worth outlining the ‘solution’, first because understanding the fallacy in the solution helps clarify the problem itself, and secondly because […]
Chatting with my friend Jake Young.
Over at ScienceBlogs I have a post which highlights the bizarre likelihood that in China atheists are actually some more hostile to the precepts of godless Communism than the religious. I talked to Michael Vassar about this and he thought it was curious that Chinese atheists are probably among the segments of the world population […]
Cognitive skills affect economic preferences, strategic behavior, and job attachment: Economic analysis has so far said little about how an individual’s cognitive skills (CS) are related to the individual’s economic preferences in different choice domains, such as risk taking or saving, and how preferences in different domains are related to each other. Using a sample […]
Coat Color Variation at the Beginning of Horse Domestication: The transformation of wild animals into domestic ones available for human nutrition was a key prerequisite for modern human societies. However, no other domestic species has had such a substantial impact on the warfare, transportation, and communication capabilities of human societies as the horse. Here, we […]
Steve points out that Geoffrey Miller has a new book that’s going to come out soon, Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior. More directly related to the topic of sex and decision-making, The Heat of the Moment: The Effect of Sexual Arousal on Sexual Decision Making. Read the whole paper, but I have a figure […]
Political complexity predicts the spread of ethnolinguistic groups: Human languages show a remarkable degree of variation in the area they cover. However, the factors governing the distribution of human cultural groups such as languages are not well understood. While previous studies have examined the role of a number of environmental variables the importance of cultural […]
As a follow-up to the previous post on measuring the price-to-earnings ratio of composers, I’ve done the same thing for painters. The motivation is the same, and I’m still using the painter’s score in Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment to measure earnings (the more objective valuation). Here, instead of measuring price (the more fashion-driven valuation) with […]
Based on the comments on my previous post, I’m going to lay out an argument which I find reasonable for sequencing studies in human disease: Let’s follow Goldstein’s back-of-the-envelope calculations: assume there are ~100K polymorphisms (assuming Goldstein isn’t making the mistake I attribute to him, this includes polymorphisms both common and rare) that contribute to […]
Who I Am Depends on How I Feel: The Role of Affect in the Expression of Culture: We present a novel role of affect in the expression of culture. Four experiments tested whether individuals’ affective states moderate the expression of culturally normative cognitions and behaviors. We consistently found that value expressions, self-construals, and behaviors were […]
Steve points me to a profile of Greg & Henry, with a focus on Jewish genetics & smarts. Labels: IQ, Jews
Check out Ed Yong’s post on A Contemporary Microbially Maintained Subglacial Ferrous “Ocean”.
Just over two years ago, I wrote a brief post explaining why I find the “debate” about common variants versus rare variants in human medical genetics to be largely unhelpful. I concluded thusly, after explaining some of the rationale for looking for common variants that affect disease susceptibility: So am I then arguing in favor […]