Open Thread, 11/17/2019

Just noticed that the Kindle version of Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past is $4.99. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do it sooner rather than later.

The Dark Psychology of Social Networks. Perhaps a little alarmist. One thing is clear is that now most people are on the internet, median conversation is probably not as elevated (people are stupid). But there are structural and cyclical aspects of this. Ecosystems eventually all collapse.

Population-specific and transethnic genome-wide analyses reveal distinct and shared genetic risks of coronary artery disease.

‘I Will Never Be German’: Immigrants and Mixed-Race Families in Germany on the Struggle to Belong. In college, I had a philo-German friend whose mother was a German immigrant. His father was a Japanese American. He learned German in college to supplement what he learned from his mother and maternal grandmother (his grandmother was, to be frank, an unrepentant fan of Adolf Hitler). In his junior year, he went to do study abroad in Germany.

When he came back I asked him what he thought, since he had loved the idea of Germany and German culture (he had been into techno). He got angry, and explained he dealt with a lot of casual racism, and people would complain about how many “Chinese people” there were now in Germany around him in German, assuming he didn’t know German (they were complaining about him, as he looked visibly Asian, albeit he did actually favor his mom’s side in appearance). I never asked him about Germany after that.

History as a giant data set: how analysing the past could help save the future. Glad to see Peter Turchin getting some love. Of his older books, I really recommend Historical Dynamics: Why States Rise and Fall. I’ll be honest and that I thought Peter was full of it when he made his pessimistic predictions in 2010. He could be wrong still, but he wasn’t offbase to be worried.

Human Origins in Southern African Palaeo-wetlands? Strong Claims from Weak Evidence. Measured response. This is how it should be done.

Elevated polygenic burden for ASD is associated with the broad autism phenotype.

Five Polling Results That May Change the Way You Think About Electability. The fact that socially moderate downscale young Democrats don’t get a lot of “woke” language dovetails with Rob Henderson’s piece, Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class—A Status Update. Freddie DeBoer wrote something along the lines of language being a way to maintain class privilege many years ago. The eternal rectification of names is the game of gentleman.

Got a copy of The Han: China’s Diverse Majority. China’s important. Know more. Not less.

A/T/N polygenic risk score for cognitive decline in old age.

Evidence for Early European Neolithic Dog Dispersal: New Data on Southeastern European Subfossil Dogs from the Prehistoric and Antiquity Ages.

At Tennessee Titans Games, the Fiercest Tailgaters Are Kurds.

Impact of admixture and ancestry on eQTL analysis and GWAS colocalization in GTEx.

Sex-specific genetic effects across biomarkers.


24 thoughts on “Open Thread, 11/17/2019

  1. So the default assumption is that nobody has a right to an ethnically homogenous homeland (except God’s Chosen, of course) ?

    If so, then truly we are in Kali Yuga.

  2. German identity can be ethnicity or about citizenship. Those two are simply not the same, they never were.
    Its simple, there are ethnic Germans without a passport and those with citizenship of different ethnicity.

    As for negative experiences: In some Eastern German regions its generally save, but more likely for a coloured person to experience some sort of verbal “racism”.

    In Western German cities it became dangerous for white people and in fact for all. Simply because there was too much of an unfiltered, low level, problematic mass immigration around 2015 during the refugee crisis and before already.

    Like the German-Indian said, there was a change between 2010 and now.
    Like I said before, I know Afghans from the first asylum seekers after the collapse of the Afghan state. All decent people.
    If I compare them with the majority of guys which came in the last years, thats not even comparable!
    Its like getting low level delinquents directly from the worst youth prisons around the world.
    Even some people which supported “open doors” and helped refugees personally changed their mind.
    No district wants these people, they end up in the big cities and cause big trouble. Of course even among those the majority is not all that bad, but its about frequencies and behaviour in public. They really stick out.
    I guarantee you to not feel save in a park they occupy, threaten people and sell drugs. Regardless of who you are, you wont like to have them around you. And this falls, unfortunately, back on all people looking that way. You can change that by talking, to show the difference…

    So there are a lot of these recent immigrants living from welfare, being generally criminals and a lot of Islamists as well. Terror attacks by asylum seekers included. Education and IQ is very low too. If I look at people from Kabul, I sometimes even wonder where they got those from…

    That’s the reason sentiments changed in the last years. Otherwise the article is a complete misrepresentation.
    I knew some half-black people in the 80s already and none of them had the identity of a “suppressed black”. That came with the American style propaganda and hip hop culture.
    This “Ghetto” ideology was very bad everywhere. In the USA and Europe. The attitudes of those groups identifying with this subcultures seriously deteriorated.

    I often wonder about the discipline, dignity and values the older generation had, also those of blacks and e.g. Turkish immigrants have too. Its now an elite phenomenon, while the mass is much lower throughout all ethnicities. But particularly in some minorities and when drugs are involved, which is part of this dumbed down attitudes.

    As for your friend, I don’t know what he experienced, but with some regional exceptions in Eastern Germany, the East Asians are seen in a rather positive way.
    No wonder, they are intelligent, adapt fast without losing their dignity and distinction, are productive and cause no serious troubles.

    But like a German-African once told: She thought that coming to the village of her African father would be like coming home and leaving “racism” behind.
    Instead all people stared at her, some even laughed and said things she did not understand until someone explained to her the children called her “whitey, whitey”.

    Or someone from my circle of acquaintances which was German-Indian, the daughter of a guru. She was always treated as a foreigner and when the father died it became really nasty. She never wants to go back and hated it.

    Also some African American-German which never experienced any serious racism in Germany and really saw the difference in Brazil and the USA.

    So Germany might be, even with all this self-destruction, still not the most tolerant place on Earth, but thats all relative and depends on the exact place and people, as on the own perspective and behaviour of a foreigner and the exact background.
    Like in the USA too I guess.
    The USA are not just Seattle, L.A. and New York after all…
    So does it make a difference to be in Cologne or the countryside of Saxony.

  3. RK: I know that you have caught a lot of crap for trying to salvage the word “race” in a biological context and I hope what follows doesn’t revive that or concern about that. If you think it problematic, then the obvious thing to do is to ignore &/or delete this. That said …

    Recently you have written about deep structure in ancient human populations in Africa, most likely extending to before the appearance of AMH perhaps 300K years ago. Would you write something about the implications of this for biological race? I am thinking about comparing the use of “race” in modern America to distinguish those with any or predominantly sub-Sarahan ancestry from those whose ancestry is entirely from Europe, west Asia and perhaps north Africa with the way you wish the word were used, and particularly, what, if anything, this deep structure implies for how Americans typically think about race. To begin (but not end with) does it make sense to consider African-Americans (as colloquially defined) to be a race in the biological or genetic sense that you have tried to resuscitate?

    Somewhat tangential to this topic, the NYT recently had an interesting piece which I don’t notice in your sidebar. It is about distinguishing the descendants of American slaves* from others of African descent (an issue I first recall hearing a lot about during Obama’s first presidential campaign). Those pushing for this approach argue for considering this group as an ethnic group, much like we distinguish among different white ethnic groups in the US (or Canada). Those of West Indian descent, though also the descendants of slaves SFAIK, would be a different ethnic group, and descendants of more recent immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa would be others.*

    The story is at

    Anyway, I often enough disagree with your non biological/genetic commentary and even more often learn from it, so I am hoping I can encourage you to write about these issues.

    Thank you

    *The article uses the term “American Descendants of Slavery”, ADOS, but from the discussion there, I think this is a slight misnomer, since a distinction considered important is between descendants of slavery in the US and all others of (sub-Saharan) African descent: Descendants of American Slavery, DOAS, strikes me as more precise.

  4. African Americans are an ethnicity, what else? They are a complex mixture of different Subsaharans, Europeans and Amerindians with a history and customs on their own.
    They are no race because they are mixed and quite obviously a Muslim from Nigeria is not the same as a descendent from American slaves of Baptist confession.

  5. On the topic of mixed race identity, my wife, who is Colombian, recently received her 23andme results. I must admit to having been surprised by these, as I’d been fairly confident in telling her that I thought her Amerindian ancestry would be relatively low, perhaps in the order of 10-15% or less, as she looks pretty much completely European. We lived in Spain for a number of years, and the Spanish, who can be a bit snobbish about Latin Americans, always assumed she was pure Spanish. Then her results came back almost 30% Amerindian. Is it possible there has been positive selection in favour of visibly European traits in some Latino populations? Strikes me as something that could be examined empirically. Certainly there is a lot of discrimination within Latin America in favour of people who look whiter.

  6. 30 percent is not much more than one quarter. Add to that the fact that American Indians being the result of mixture of a population which had weak Mongoloid traits and one which was Proto-Caucasoid.
    If you ever compared Brazilian Indians, they are quite diverse and some rather half-way Caucasoid by default.

    So this equals less than one quarter classic East Asian. Can be obvious, doesnt have to be at all.

    Yet some selection might have taken place as well for lighter pigmentation and finer features. This is, however, a general trend of social selection if there is no counter-culture. Like a “potato-nose” is no ideal among pure Europeans themselves, without any clear “racial discrimination” based on “prejudices”.
    That’s a common misconception, like if some talk about how Korean beauty ideals being the result of Western cultural dominance alone and such crap.

    The only thing I heard about Brazil is they really care more for a lighter skin, like in e.g. Thailand too. But thats not even the main difference for Mestizos I’d say. This is more an issue with Subsaharan ancestry.

    The importance of the (bigger) buttocks in Brazil, which friends which were there confirmed as a cultural peculiarity of some regions at least, is clearly Subsaharan African derived. So even in their beauty ideals some subcultures of the region are actually mixed.

  7. My RSS feed just generated a whole bunch of content attributed to Razib Khan and with links containing “GeneExpressionBlog”, but don’t actually appear here. They are:

    A Weird, Orbital Dance Keeps These Moons of Neptune From Hitting Each Other

    Africa is Splitting in Two, Creating Dozens of Volcanoes
    The process of rifting in Africa means that the continent is slowly breaking apart and with that comes lots of volcanoes, some with the potential for massive explosive eruptions.

    Astronomers Catch Water Erupting from Plumes on Jupiter’s Icy Moon Europa
    Astronomers made the first direct measurement of water vapor in Europa’s atmosphere. It’s the best evidence yet for water plumes erupting from the icy moon.

    New Study Estimates How Many Children in Europe Were Born From Adultery
    The rates of extra-marital birth are low overall, the study authors find. But they also depend on where you live.

    As a Vast Swath of Australia Burns, the View From Space is Truly Frightening

    Is the Human Olfactory Bulb Necessary?

    What is Dark Matter Made Of? These Are the Top Candidates
    Decades out of the gate, scientists still don’t know what makes up the bulk of the universe’s matter. But they have some strong contenders.

    Black Holes Orbiting Even Bigger Black Holes Might Also Be Eating Each Other

    NASA Instrument Spots Its Brightest X-Ray Burst Ever
    A Type I X-ray burst from a star generated a burst of X-rays more extreme than astronomers had ever seen before.

    A New, Prehistoric Fossil Sheds Light on How Birds Took to the Skies
    The bird’s fossil was found with its 3D structure intact — a rare find that helped paleontologists glean insights into the development of flight.

    Zoonoses: The Diseases Our Cats and Dogs Give Us
    Zoonotic diseases can jump from animals to humans. While it’s rare to get infected by our pets, there are a host of pathogens to watch out for.

    With a Floating Bead, This Device Makes Truly 3D Holographs
    Inspired by old-school TV’s, the machine uses ultrasound to move a bead quickly enough to create seamless images.

    Ancient Egyptians Didn’t Farm Ibises, They Just Mummified Them
    The Egyptians mummified millions of ibises as offerings to the god Thoth. Now, scientists look at where all those birds came from.

    Ancient Proteins Tell Story Of Gigantopithecus, Largest-Ever Primate

    20 Things You Didn’t Know About the Amazon
    A forest, a company, a mighty river.

  8. I’m now seeing the feed for Sailer include all sorts of garbage articles by different writers at Unz. So I think something broke at feedly, but I don’t know why that would happen to Razib since he’s on his own site.

  9. – anyone have thoughts on this?

    Estimate of about 1/5 -> 1/3 SD in traits (IQ and height) being possible today through GWAS+embryo selection. Then goes on to talk about likelihood of this happening.

    My thoughts would be that the gain on a country level could be substantial – 3 points is pointed as small in article, but would allow country like US to “catch” Japan/South Korea in about 2-3 generations, if applied across whole population. But individual level IQ->advantage path within society being fairly low probably makes this prohibitive for most individuals to invest and see “return” for their offspring (as well as other issues with how this coincides with natural conception).

  10. @Matt: If ignoring legal, ethical and technical existing problems, this would be great news.
    However, from an individual position, this would mean a general change in attitude towards artificial conception. It would be quite a change in attitudes and of course, for many manipulating genes would be the best option if they have defects or lack positive variants altogether.
    So this is just part of an even bigger future effort to improve individual lineages and the gene pool.

    Having got my kids in a natural way, although I think technical efforts are the only way for humans into a better future and higher chance for survival on the long term, I feel somewhat alienated by the practise.
    We did everything possible and legal here to prevent defects with prenatal diagnostics (was lucky anyway), but that was all very crude in comparison to future possibilities.
    Yet if we would have needed support for getting pregnant, we would have used it and selection before Implantation seems to be just as natural if you have to do this anyway.

    So I think for most people the biggest step will be the artificial Implantation. If you see the cells outside of the body, selecting and even manipulating seems to be a rather low hindrance if you havent been indoctrinated before and the positive effects for your future kid seem to be certain.

    To abort an existing Embryo is for me more of an emotional problem.

    My approach at least.

  11. re: the race question. fundamentally the problem is that when geneticists say “race does not exist” educated people think “structure does not exist.” this a serious confusion. if you are going to replace race, don’t replace it with a misunderstanding. my own position is that the race term is useful, but needs to be modified.

    but since 2015 or so the wokening/radicalization in academia probably makes this untenable and a new word needs to be used.

    also, since the wokening i don’t really care to convince people. everyone seems a two-faced liar anyway, so sulla knows best. being earnest means you are loser 🙂 you’re going to be proscribed or be cheering on the proscriptions in the age to come. argumentation is very old-fashioned! [though i keep the old spirit of the 20th-century alive on these comments hopefully]

  12. It doesnt matter which term one uses and whether the major racial groups being considered subspecies or just regional variants of one subspecies. What really matters is that the broadscale 19th century classification scheme is still valid, because it grabs the most important regional groupings of humans by ancestry and adaptation.

    Its just easier in the USA to deny that, because many people are so mixed and African American is more an ethnosocial category anyway.
    American people live in a high tech consumers society in which physical and psychological differences have significant, but much less drastic consequences.

    If Nilotics would have to survive as foragers in the Arctic zone and Inuit in South Sudan, the qualitative differences of race and culture for a given environment would become empirically evident out of a sudden.

    The whole debate, instrumentalised by cultural Marxism from the start and with a lot of fake science, is only possible in the modern post-industrial environment. They blame “racism” on Western modernity, when in fact their race denial and politics would be unthinkable in any other societal configuration.

  13. Inuit in some ways surviving in South Sudan pretty similar to Native Mexicans really.

    One of the things about recent Holocene and Late Upper Paleolithic expansions is that as we know about them, they make it a bit more difficult to talk about what is an adaptive character. Many East Asian characters of phenotype thought to be adaptive to North Asian environments, but we don’t know if the actual “Ancient North Eurasians” who turn out to be living in those environments shared those characters. If they did not, then the case for those being adaptive characters for that environment is weaker.

    Similarly in Africa, West African-related expansion replaced many genetically “Khoi-San” like people…

    What can be secured as adaptive characters net of known population expansions?

  14. @Matt: No, because of a variety of reasons.
    Indians in Mexico had adapted step by step while marching down and they were probably never as cold adapted as Inuits to begin with. Also, they don’t live in an environment like South Sudan, the habitat is different. In comparable zones in Africa you don’t have the Nilotic type either. Add to that, they were no foragers or herders, but farmers in Mexico when the European arrived.

    South Sudan is characterised by dry heat and high UV radiation. The Arctic region is the exact opposite. So are the racial adaptations.
    The Inuit type was adapted to keep heat, the Nilotic type to release heat. There are obviously many other differences, but on a worldwide scale these two are pretty much the respective extremes, which was the main point of my argument.
    Inuits would surely do better than Nilotics, because even from Arctic expeditions we know Negroids had more often frostbites and the lack of UV would be devastating too. Not even starting about culture and survival strategies. In the end, if such an exchange would take place and they survive, they would start adapt, becoming more similar to the old inhabitants of the region. Also depending on the survival strategy they use of course, because that also makes a difference as well.

    “One of the things about recent Holocene and Late Upper Paleolithic expansions is that as we know about them, they make it a bit more difficult to talk about what is an adaptive character. Many East Asian characters of phenotype thought to be adaptive to North Asian environments, but we don’t know if the actual “Ancient North Eurasians” who turn out to be living in those environments shared those characters. If they did not, then the case for those being adaptive characters for that environment is weaker.”

    That’s not true because we know physiological differences and reaction differences which tell us what kind of adaptation took place. Why the Mongoloid core type was so extremely cold adapted is open to debate, but the main reason might have been a geographical trap in a highly challenging region. So they had to adapt more extremely to the cold and not losing energy, preventing frostbites, because they couldn’t evade, while, let’s say ANE, could. Its not about the climate zones as they are now alone, but as they were when the adaptation took place.
    If the ANE had an excellent food supply, good cultural adaptation and if it got really bad they just evaded the coldest spots, they might have been in a very different situation to Proto-Mongoloids which seem to have been pushed into a corner in which they either adapted more drastically or die.

    The end result is, in any case a cold adaption which MAKES IT EASIER to survive. I mean the first modern humans which lived in subarctic regions were not fully adapted neither. They were probably darker skinned, had longer legs, lost more heat and were generally physiologically and psychologically not optimal adapted. But because of human ingenuity it was enough. Yet once they lived in the new environment, even among those surviving, the ones with the cold adaptation had more surviving offspring per generation. Its not all or nothing most of the time, but better or worse adapted. All humans can live everywhere, even with Palaeolithic cultural means, but some do better than others. That’s the real point.

    “Similarly in Africa, West African-related expansion replaced many genetically “Khoi-San” like people…”

    Khoisan survived the best in the temperate zone of South Africa. I think that speaks for itself. Negroids which are adapted the best for the tropics had to cross that line and they did so exactly when Europeans came. One advantage both Negroids and Caucasoids had, Khoisan not, was disease resistence. Negroids are best adapted to Malaria of all racial groups (so North of the line in South Africa), Europeans had immunological advantages to smallpox. The San were never a match, physically or culturally, for the Bantu expansion, but the Khoikhoi, a more mixed, physically stronger group of herders, were not helpless in the face of the Bantu expansion.

    But when the Europeans landed, their population collapsed even though they were largely save from Malaria in South Africa, mainly because of smallpox. So the Europeans helped the Bantus to colonise the temperate South African region by eliminating the strongest locals and starting with their own colonisation late:

    If you combine endemic Malaria and tropical climate zones, you get the distribution of Negroid in Africa pretty accurately, like

    Its like in Italy, where you get Eastern Mediterranean ancestry proportions with a similar combination of Malaria and climate. Northern Europeans were just not as good adapted to the diseases and climate of Southern Italy. You can read that in Roman “slave guides” even. Like don’t use the Germanics in the Southern Latifundia, they don’t do that well in the bright sun and in dry places with a lack of constant water supply. So if the buyer was clever, he used the Northern slaves in the North, the Southern in the South.

  15. @obs, I think there’s a lot of circularity in your reasoning on “Mongoloid adaptations”. Old anthropologists thought that East Asian features must be adapted to cold climates, because East Asian people are found there in Siberia and then particular story makes those East Asian people found there a “core” type.

    Then the argument becomes that even if we now know that they possibly were not living there, East Asian features generally *must* still be results of adaptation to cold somewhere else, and we just don’t know where, and if ANE people living in that environment turned out not to have those features, it must be explained by some sort of story whereby those adaptations were inhibited by low selective pressures.

  16. @Matt: First we KNOW that the Caucasoid and Mongoloid sphere were largely isolated from each other during the LGM. Compare with this quite instructive map on the vegetation in this era:

    You can see that the East Asian steppe-tundra is fairly isolated in all directions and forms a smaller area in comparison to the more Western Eurasian habitable zone. Some maps even suggest that in this Eastern region there was a phase of more constrictions resulting in high competition in an extreme and limited habitat.

    Also, we deal with cold adaption in the Mongoloid core type, that’s not even debatable. The traits don’t make any sense otherwise. The combination of flat-long noses, increased subcutaneous fatty tissue, loss of facial-body hair, which their ancestors (compare with Ainu and Sibirian Proto-Caucasoids) still had, shorter legs, lower transpiration, less/smaller perspiratory and apocrine glands, physiological heat storage etc.

    So this has zero to do with “old anthropologists”, because there are plenty of studies on East Asian physiology and I found not a single trait which is contradictory to the model of “cold adaptation”.

    Also, just think about North African Caucasoids, they can simply protect their skin with clothes and this changes the intensity of the selective pressure. The Western groups were not as isolated and could evade, also we know little about their cultural strategy. So we still don’t know the details, but the isolation in a very cold and rather isolated geographical “trap” seems to be likely. They adapted successfully and overcame this challenge.

  17. Obs – Why would loss of facial and body hair be adaptive in a cold climate? If you can manage an answer of 10,000 words or less, it would be greatly appreciated.

    I can think of one trait that is so marked that I can only think it must be adaptive: eyesight acuity in Australian Aboriginal people. In the absence of eye disease, it is not just better than in Europeans, it is 7 times better. This is so widely known by Australian eye doctors that they no longer bother to comment on it. Ask a 100% Aboriginal person to read an eye test chart, and they will rattle off the bottom line, no problem. They can see things on the horizon with the naked eye that Europids need binoculars to see.

    Greg Cochran tells me that Central Asians also have better eyesight than other populations, but nothing like as good as Aboriginal people.

  18. I’d also like to know why the scarcity of facial hair would be a cold adaptation. Isn’t this trait found across Mongoloids in general, including Native Americans? And could selection for neoteny explain it?

  19. @John: Its important to realise that you have to begin with all such comparisons at baseline. And the baseline is not Northern Caucasoids quite obviously, because that’s not were the core group of modern humans came from. A lot of physical and psychological adaptations follow a tendency from Southern human forms to Caucasoid to Mongoloid.

    So the decrease of sweat glands is from e.g. Negroid -> Caucasoid -> Mongoloid, parallel to sitting height/leg length. The reason is simple: In the cold you need less cooling, but you don’t wash yourself as often, wear layers of thick clothes and live in crowded places. Like during the Ice Age, I would assume the time you had to be in a cave or tent for long times would be very long. Whereas in lets say the African Savannah the times you have to be very closely together in a closed space would have been very rare and you could actually wash yourself more often, wore no or almost no clothes etc. I mean its like if you meet a person which is moving fast, speaks loud or smells more intensive in the open, its one thing, if you being for an hour in an elevator together on a hot summer day, its a again something completely different.
    And in the Ice Age people were surely in crowded tents and caves for prolonged periods of time, even many males. So anything which would improve your ability to get along in this stressful situation would be good. In modern times you have a similar situation in the military, which is why in Korea and Japan some being even exempted from military service if they have a stronger body odour. Because what is a masculine signal and bearable in the open and small groups, is a problem and causes aggressions in crowded, closed places. This relates to the decrease of body hair which increases body smell too by the way, not just the glands.

    Similarly, Inuits rarely washed their face in the Arctic winter, to keep the face greasier and cold protected. If you breath in an extremely cold environment, your beard frozes even and makes frostbites even more likely. Generally speaking your beard becomes dirty, scrubby and itchy too. So a strong facial hair is definitely not easier to handle in extreme cold, even on the contrary because of hygiene and icing. There is actually a turning point for the icing, because it might even help up to a certain point, but then, if you are out in the extreme cold for very, very long times, it makes it worse. That’s why no extreme cold adapted people have strong facial hair.

    Concerning vision, I know for a fact that among e.g. Europeans we have a truly wide range of vision with something approaching “absolute vision” for human standards. This means people in the normal range which have very good vision which other’s simply don’t have and its quite a difference.
    The difference to Aborigines is less about that its not present in e.g. European Caucasoids, but that the frequency is much higher in them. Why? Because they were under selection for that trait up to recent times, whereas mild deterioration of vision in more civilised, higher cultured societies seems to have been no longer of much importance any more. Even a tendency towards short sightedness spread e.g. in East Asians because it might have been associated with intellectual abilities or simply inbreeding and lack of selection, or a combination of all these and unknown factors.
    If something is no longer under strict selection, like not just good, but excellent vision and strong teeth, both being highly used and of vital importance in Australian Aborigines, then it begins to deteriorate, especially if other traits are more important for reproductive success. Some of the old abilities might be even contradictory to other, new demands, like energy saving and new body aesthetics.

  20. Razib, now that you seem to be fully enjoying the wonders of Admixtools (I saw on your other blog you’re getting into qpAdm), I was wondering if maybe you have any interest in shifting this blog to a harder genetics focus? Maybe you can put your thinking cap on and do a deep dive into trying to figure out what Basal Eurasian is (if even exists), how far back does the divergence between West and East Eurasians (and between Africans and Eurasians) really go, teasing out ancient African sub-structure more thoroughly, etc. God knows, if I had the means or the ability to learn Admixtools I would love to research these questions myself, but unfortunately I don’t. There’s really not a whole lot of amateurs out there (or even professionals, at least not on public forums) doing their own analysis – Chad’s blog is dead, Eurogenes is only interested in Indo-Europeans, etc.


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