Monthly Archives: February 2014

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 | 46 Comments

Death by Chocolate

I’ve been seeing some silly talk about the perils of GMO food here on this blog, but of course there’s much more of that out in the world. They’re full of it, of course, but that hardly means that there’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 141 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 | 58 Comments

“I regret studying social anthropology”

The best part of running a blog is the quality of many of the people who show up.  A recent customer, “A.J. West”, has a blog of his own here that our readers will surely enjoy. Periodically on this blog Greg … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 105 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 | 422 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 | 122 Comments

A novel mechanism for getting high

There is a new paper out that finds that Tibetans are the product of admixture between a Han-like population and a Sherpa-like population – and that the altitude-adaptive alleles come from the Sherpa side,  which split from the Han a … Continue reading

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Genetics | 20 Comments

If the Universe is a simulation

Cheat codes, among many other things.

Posted in Uncategorized | 50 Comments

Inferring an AQ

Back in December Greg and I posted a draft of a paper on assortative mating, class, and caste. We asked for input and we got a lot, for which we are grateful. In that manuscript we described a thought experiment … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 45 Comments

Breeding Value

I’m going to steal most of this example, to make a point. The numbers are chosen  for convenience. Measured IQ can be decomposed into two components – genotypic expectation and everything else, which means epistasis,  developmental noise, measurement error, environmental … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics | 114 Comments