Monthly Archives: December 2013


I was looking at the blog stats, and although our readers are widely distributed (179 countries and statelets) , there are nations we haven’t heard from. So, if any of you get the chance, pass the good word on to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 28 Comments

In the first place

We hear a lot about innovative educational approaches, and since these silly people have been at this for a long time now, we hear just as often about the innovative approaches that some idiot started up a few years ago … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Uncategorized | 60 Comments

Assortative Mating, Class, and Caste

I have an old blog post here about assortative mating and how it can mimic very strong selection. Greg and I are just finishing a manuscript on the issue, and we would be interested in any comments and criticisms you … Continue reading

Posted in assortative mating, Genetics | 96 Comments


Heterosis, hybrid vigor, is an increase in function in a hybrid offspring.  This effect is responsible for the greatest practical successes of genetics.  It has greatly increased the yield of maize, and, more recently, that of rice.   It’s also important … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 122 Comments

Government intrusion on privacy

  My younger boys interviewed a state senator, for a merit badge, and it turns out that he knew that there was a loose board that allows one to go directly from the linen closet to the bathroom, without using … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 31 Comments


The Basques are the only people in Western Europe that have a non-Indo- European language. In fact, there is no clear relationship between Basque and any other existing language: it is an isolate, as far as we know. The Basques … Continue reading

Posted in Amerindians, European Prehistory, Genetics | 79 Comments

Inherited memories

In a recent paper in Nature Neuroscience, Dias and Ressler trained mice to fear the smell of acetophenone.  They claim that this reaction was passed on to their offspring, and to the following generation. I don’t believe a word of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 81 Comments


I’m going to use words, rather than equations, so this is going to be a bit sloppy. For our purposes, aging is the gradual decline of biological function that leads to increasing mortality with time.  Threescore and ten, and all … Continue reading

Posted in Evolutionary Medicine, Genetics | 75 Comments

Ancestral Journeys

Jean Manco has a new book out on the peopling of Europe, Ancestral Journeys.  The general picture is that Europeans arise from three main groups: the Mesolithic hunters (Hyperboreans),  Levantine farmers, and Indo-Europeans off the steppe.   It’s a decent … Continue reading

Posted in Amerindians, Book Reviews, European Prehistory, Genetics | 67 Comments