Category Archives: Genetics

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes

Svante Pääbo has a book out, Neanderthal Man, in which he recounts his adventures sequencing ancient DNA.  He has had three big successes: the first successful sequencing of Neanderthal mtDNA in 1997, the first sequencing of the Neanderthal nuclear genome, … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Book Reviews, Denisovans, Genetics, Neanderthals | 114 Comments

Heteropaternal Superfecundation

Sperm competition is a factor in some cases of paternal uncertainty, but there are also many cases in which it is not. For example, Daniel Boone’s wife had a daughter, Jemima, when he had been gone for more than a … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics | 119 Comments

The Son Also Rises

Greg Clark has a new book out, The Son Also Rises. His thesis, in short, is that moxie has high heritability. Most studies show fairly high social mobility from one generation to the next – but Clark finds (using surname … Continue reading

Posted in Ashkenazi Jews, assortative mating, Book Reviews, Education, Genetics | 69 Comments

Burning Seed Corn

According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett, writing in the Harvard Business Review, 33% of successful career women (business executives, doctors, lawyers, academics,  etc) in the 41-55 age bracket are childless. In corporate America, 42%.  I figure that the TFR of this … Continue reading

Posted in dysgenics | 91 Comments

Sperm competition

Mostly, people are talking about competition between sperm produced by different  males. In humans, this means women that are into speed dating. The non-paternity rate is an upper limit to the rate of sperm competition:  in many, probably most cases … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics | 143 Comments

Genetic Architectures

Dairy cattle eventually graduate to McDonalds, so there is some interest in the genetics of beef production in dairy breeds.  There is course more interest in the genetics of beef production in beef breeds of cattle. Usually you don’t find … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics | 15 Comments

Ethiopian altitude adaptations

I said a while ago that the altitude adaptations in Tibet were too damn good, more effective than those seen in Andean Amerindians, and so must have originated in a population that lived at high altitude for a long time.  … Continue reading

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Archaic humans, Genetics | 45 Comments

Arguing with Corn

In our first book,  when talking about the power of natural selection, I pointed out that selection is ubiquitous in domesticated species. I said that selection has let us grow more corn [maize], lots more corn. “You can’t argue with … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics | 57 Comments

Silver Blaze

The recent paper on three ancestral European populations has some truly interesting stuff buried deep in the supplements.   This is not the first time that this has happened: if you read the supplements to their big Neanderthal paper, back in … Continue reading

Posted in Amerindians, Ashkenazi Jews, Denisovans, European Prehistory, Genetics, Indo-European, Linguistics, Neanderthals | 417 Comments

Slow times in the New World

The pre-Columbian distribution of languages in the Americas is rather different from what we see in the Old World.  In Eurasia, Africa, and Australia, we mostly see large areas occupied by families of clearly related languages -  such as Indo-European, … Continue reading

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Amerindians, European Prehistory, Genetics, Linguistics | 121 Comments