Open Thread, 04/07/2019

So Kingdoms of Faith: A New History of Islamic Spain is worth it for the first 2/3 of the book. The last 1/3 is a bunch of stuff about the Emirate of Granada that’s hard to keep track of. If you didn’t know that in 1500 most of the Muslim communities of the peninsula outside of Granada were in the kingdom of Aragon, then this book is worth reading, as it explains the reasons for this.

The Brown Pundits podcast is going to release a bunch of stuff in the next few days (already on Patreon page). Readers of this weblog will probably appreciate the conversation with Zaid Jilani the most. We talk about whether Matt Yglesias really believes the stuff he puts out there. Zaid has some insights. The podcast could have gone much longer because it’s interesting to talk to someone who doesn’t have paint-by-the-numbers answers to everything.

Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not is interesting because it’s starting to convince me of the importance of ideas and doctrine in religion in terms of material consequences! Need to think more deeply on this. But recommended.

China’s Hard Edge: The Leader of Beijing’s Muslim Crackdown Gains Influence. “He promoted education in Chinese instead of in Tibetan, and offered financial and other incentives to encourage interracial marriages.” Forced assimilation and demographic absorption have been a past Chinese tactic.

Quantifying the contribution of sequence variants with regulatory and evolutionary significance to 34 bovine complex traits.

Gene-level heritability analysis explains the polygenic architecture of cancer.

Genome-wide association study reveals sex-specific genetic architecture of facial attractiveness.

‘There are no black people on Game of Thrones’: why is fantasy TV so white? People criticize Quillette for publishing predictable stuff…but the point that’s not brought up is how ‘respectable’ media regularly publish predictable clickbait to pay the bills.

A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy. Maybe we’ll die of infectious diseases rather than heart disease or cancer?

Raptor genomes reveal evolutionary signatures of predatory and nocturnal lifestyles.

Genetic Associations with Mathematics Tracking and Persistence in Secondary School.

Genomic Prediction of Depression Risk and Resilience Under Stress.

U.S. Urges Immediate Halt to Military Operations in Libya. What’s going on in Libya again? Another mess we forgot….

This week on The Insight I’m talking to Alex Young about the missing heritability. He’s going to be putting up a blog post this week too.

5 thoughts on “Open Thread, 04/07/2019

  1. Fascinating look at present day cultural-religious interchange in Bengal:

    “But today, it is not a mandir movement that is resulting in political gains for the BJP. Instead, the state and its people are shifting from left-wing soft radicalism to right-wing soft Hindutva. The reason: The state has a 30 per cent Muslim population and Mamata Banerjee’s consolidation of the Muslim vote bank — from allowances to imams to the latest controversy over polling dates during Ramzan — has become an issue for the Bengali bhadralok. ”

    https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/lok-sabha-elections-west-bengal-bengalis-kolkata-tmc-mamata-banerjee-5642499/

  2. Razib, Jason: Just off the wire;

    “Fossil Evidence of New Human Species Found in Philippines: Teeth, bones unearthed in a limestone cavern part of a previously unknown human species that roamed the island about 50,000 years ago” By Robert Lee Hotz April 10, 2019

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/evidence-of-new-human-species-found-in-philippines-11554915601?mod=trending_now_1

    In a handful of fossilized teeth and bones, scientists say they’ve found evidence of a previously unknown human species that lived in what is now the Philippines about 50,000 years ago. The discovery deepens the mystery of an era when the world was a melting pot of many different human kinds on the move.

    Small-jawed with dainty teeth, able to walk upright but with feet still shaped to climb, these island creatures were a mix-and-match patchwork of primitive and advanced features in a unique variation of the human form, the scientists reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.

    * * *

    The researchers formally named the newly discovered species Homo luzonensis in honor of the island where they found it. They unearthed the fossils from the floor of an immense limestone cavern called Callao Cave.

    * * *

    Using a technique called uranium-series testing, which measures the rate of radioactive decay in a sample, the scientists determined that the bones dated to a time between 50,000 and 67,000 years ago.

    The creature’s teeth, toes and finger bones appear to mix aspects of the other human species in existence elsewhere at the time, including Homo sapiens, Denisovans, Neanderthals, Homo naledi and Homo floresiensis, …

    The scientists also have been unable to isolate DNA from the bones and teeth that could be used to understand how closely they were related to other human species.

    “The area is sub-tropical and wet and that makes the preservation of DNA really difficult,” said Dr. Mijares in the Philippines. * * *

  3. Razib, regarding your recent comments about the sad state of Twitter: I have realized that its whole format is almost like it were tailored to aggravate the schism between the current culture war partizans. It’s easier to pack an insult into a single tweet (than to start any constructive dialogue), and even easier to retweet (for the laughs) the most stupid/obnoxious tweet you can find from the opposite camp. Moreover it seems that even supposedly intelligent people are at their worst when in Twitter (apart from a few exceptions).
    For these reasons, I have added twitter.com to my browser’s BlockSite blacklist.

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