Author Archives: gcochran9


Randall Parker proposed (to me and also to Razib Khan) recommending books that might do for Christmas gifts.  Here are my suggestions –     The Princeton Companion to Mathematics   From Alexander to Actium:        Stalingrad: The Fateful … Continue reading

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Instinctive Fears

It is easier to develop a phobia about snakes than electricity or carbon monoxide, probably because we have built in neurological mechanism that confer that propensity. Likely most animals have a similar propensity to develop a fear of fire: or … Continue reading

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World Without Stars

Some recent work suggests that most galaxies have too many gamma-ray bursters, such that most planets get hosed every so often, making complex life practically impossible – as if it wasn’t already.  It seems that low levels of heavy elements … Continue reading

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Inferior Faunas

I mentioned South American paleontologists defending the honor of their extinct animals, and pointed  out how stupid that is. There are many similar cases: Jefferson vs Buffon on the wimpiness of North American mammals (as a reader pointed out),  biologists … Continue reading

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something hidden

You’ve probably heard of Afrotheria. A line of placental mammals expanded into all kinds of niches, back when Africa was an island continent. Elephants, hyraxes, manatees, tenrecs, aardvarks,  elephant shrews,  and golden moles are the existing members of Afrotheria.  There … Continue reading

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Bake Sale

You can now make tax-deductible contributions to the blog, and you really should.  Here are two ways: 1.  Mail a check, made out to West Hunter Incorporated.  Send it to Gregory Cochran 6708 Loftus Ave, NE Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109 … Continue reading

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Faster than Fisher

There’s a simple model of the spread of an advantageous allele:  You take σ, the typical  distance people move in one generation, and s,  the selective advantage: the advantageous allele spreads as a nonlinear wave at speed  σ * √(2s).  … Continue reading

Posted in Denisovans, Dietary adaptations, European Prehistory, Evolutionary Medicine, Genetics, Indo-European, Linguistics, Neanderthals, Skin color | Tagged | 70 Comments