Archive for March, 2011

Income and IQ

As I noted in my recent post on Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, Gladwell ignored the possibility that traits with a genetic component, other than IQ, might play a role in determining success. His approach reminded me of a useful paper by Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis from 2002 on the inheritance of inequality. Bowles and Gintis […]

Dawkins on Kin Selection

Back in 2004 I wrote a summary of Richard Dawkins’s oft-cited article ‘Twelve Misunderstandings of Kin Selection’. At that time the article was not, as far as I could see, available on the internet or in any easily accessible reprint. However, I have found that a free online pdf is now available, and anyone interested […]

Altruism in Persistent Groups

There is one last loose end to tie up before concluding my series on George Price. In a previous post I discussed the meaning of altruism in biology, and the distinction between strong and weak altruism. With strong altruism the altruist obtains no benefit from its own actions, whereas with weak altruism it does, though […]

Animal Sea Crossings, Hippo Bleg

Via Razib, I checked out Clive Finlayson’s The Humans Who Went Extinct. On the human migration to Australia, Finlayson writes: The long-tailed macaque, primate beachcomber par excellence, can teach us another lesson. These monkeys have managed to establish viable populations on a number of remote islands over a wide area of south-east Asia. They even […]

Your genes, your rights – FDA’s Jeffrey Shuren misleading testimony under oath

Update: Welcome Instapundit readers! Please make sure to follow the very thorough discussion/debate over at Discover Blogs, where this has been cross-posted. End Update Over the past few days I’ve been very disturbed…and angry. The reason is that I’ve been reading Misha Angrist and Dr. Daniel MacArthur. First, watch this video: In the very near […]

Crisis in human genetics?

It is a bit over a year since Geoffrey Miller wrote this piece foreshadowing a crisis in conscience by human geneticists that would become public knowledge in 2010. The crisis had two parts: that new findings in genetics would reveal less than hoped about disease and that they would reveal more than feared about genetic […]

Genetic distance and economic development

The History and Geography of Human Genes has probably influenced the way I think about human evolution more than any other book. Even though it is getting old at a time when masses of population genetic data are being accumulated, a flip through the maps depicting the geographic distribution of genes provides a picture that […]

Defining Biological Altruism

I am writing a series of posts on the work of George Price. For the most recent one, with links to the others, see here I was planning next to cover Price’s treatment of group selection, but this raises side issues more conveniently dealt with separately. A previous post here considered what is meant by […]