Monthly Archives: August 2013

It Must Be Said

There are facts that were once known, sometimes generally known, that are now known to but a few.   Some of this information loss is caused by changes in occupational patterns –  farmers automatically know something about heritability, clerks and workers … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 129 Comments

Bari, 1943

  There is no really good general way of estimating which facts that another person has floating in his head without personal contact. The same is true for populations – people in general,  people in particular professions, etc. Sometimes,  though, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 30 Comments

The Masters of the Future

In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond argues that all human groups have equal mental capabilities – except for the inhabitants of New Guinea, who are clearly smarter than the human norm. If this is the case, there’s money to … Continue reading

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Adaptive evolution is an ongoing process, and can result in interesting changes  over historical time – and it has, because the human race, most of it,  has been experiencing drastically different environments in recent millennia, environments that are largely the … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics | 79 Comments

Linear Pottery – Linearbandkeramik

The Linear Pottery Culture is another important strand of European prehistory: they may be a major ancestral component of modern Europe.  They showed up around 5500 BC on the Middle Danube, possibly stemming from the Starčevo culture in the Balkans. … Continue reading

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NYTimes – Under New Standards, Students See Sharp Decline in Test Scores State education officials said, however, that they were concerned about the persistent gap between the performance of black and Hispanic students and their white and Asian counterparts. NYTimes … Continue reading

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There can only be one!

Dynasties decay.   The founder generally has a lot on the ball – tough, a natural leader, and canny campaigner – but his son is unlikely to be so exceptional.  Partly this is a manifestation of regression to the mean, and … Continue reading

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Raking a Table

Thinking about preparing for a course this Fall, I had a look at the current literature on assortative mating and found a pair of excellent papers on assortment by education [1,2]. Using census data they generated tables by decade from … Continue reading

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The politics of the military-intelligence complex

Back in the day, people used to worry about the military-industrial complex. About its influence, really: the idea was that politicians would support high levels of military spending in their state or district whether it made any sense or not.  … Continue reading

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Variable mutation rates- age of puberty

I’ve already talked about how high paternal age can  increase the per-year and per-generation rates.  There’s another factor that can cause  variation in the mutation rate: differences in the age of male puberty.  At least that seems likely, from what … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics | 24 Comments