Monthly Archives: January 2012

And your little dog, too!

As I have mentioned before,  the mtDNA of European hunter-gathers seems to be very different from that of modern Europeans. The ancient European mtDNA pool was about 80% U5b – today that lineage is typically found at 10% frequency or … Continue reading

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Lewontin’s argument

Richard Lewontin argued that since most (> 85%) genetic variation in humans is within-group, rather than between groups, human populations can’t be very different. Of course, if this argument is valid, it should apply to any genetically determined trait. Thus … Continue reading

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The Indo-European Advantage

In our book Greg and I devote a chapter to the hypothesis, developed with John Hawks and Doug Jones, that the expansion of Indo-European languages was driven by a biological change, an advantageous mutation, that enjoyed a large fitness advantage. … Continue reading

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The Hyborian Age

I was contemplating Conan the Barbarian, and remembered the essay that Robert E. Howard wrote about the  background of those stories – The Hyborian Age.  I think that the flavor of Howard’s pseudo-history is a lot more realistic than the … Continue reading

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My friend the witch doctor

Occasionally folks here bemoan political correctness. There is something like PC that pervades a lot of social science, anthropology in particular. For example a half century ago there was a lot of interesting anthropology about witchcraft, an interest of mine, … Continue reading

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Common Disease, Common Variant

Once upon a time, prominent geneticists put forth the notion that a given common disease was probably caused by a very limited number of alleles. If so, that would have made life easier: testing and drug development would have been … Continue reading

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Class, Caste, and Genes

An article by Sabrina Tavernise appeared in the New York Times a few days ago describing increasing perceptions of class conflict in America, and there is a lot of recent commentary in the press about this report from the Pew … Continue reading

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