Monthly Archives: July 2014

Biology and Human Capital

I don’t pretend to be an economist.  If I had been, I’m sure that I too would have been unable to see the big real-estate bubble back in 2008, even though crazed Californians  were flipping houses all around my neighborhood. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Education | 194 Comments


Mitanni, controlling northern Syria and southeastern Anatolia, was a major player in the Bronze Age Near East from 1500 BC-1300 BC.  They contended and negotiated with the Hittites and the Egyptian New Kingdom. Most of the population seems to have … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments

Secondary Crops

There are weeds that gradually came to resemble the crop they infested.  When they were recognizably different  from the crop species, people pulled them up or separated out their seeds – automatically selecting for weeds that loo0ked more and more … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments

501 (c)(3) : The Adventure Begins

The Dark Lords of the IRS have proclaimed that West Hunter Incorporated has Federal tax-exempt status. Contributions, including various forms of real property,  are deductible.  For details, write West Hunter’s purpose is the advancement of education and science in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 87 Comments

Last Survivor

Over about 2500 years, the Middle Eastern farmers occupied almost all of Europe. That migration seem to have a single origin:  genetically they seem quite similar, even as far as north as southern Sweden. The indigenous foragers didn’t disappear instantly, … Continue reading

Posted in European Prehistory, Linguistics | 88 Comments

Let No New Thing Arise

Thinking about it, it seems that disease burden for Europeans got worse and worse with time.  Some have said that the first farmers in the Middle East wouldn’t had any increase at all in infectious disease over foragers.   That’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 61 Comments

Old Europe’s Remnants

Although we know quite a bit about the artifacts, ways of making a living, and recently even the DNA of  Europe’s first farmers, we don’t know anything about their language or much about what they thought or believed in.  Old Europe was … Continue reading

Posted in European Prehistory, Indo-European | 39 Comments

Rasmus Nielsen

The paper on the Denisovan origin of one of the key altitude-adaptation genes (EPAS1) in Tibetans is now out (lead author Emilia Huerta-Sanchez,  senior author Rasmus Nielsen). It’s on a Denisovan haplotype.   Likely Denisovans occupied a lot of East … Continue reading

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Denisovans, Genetics | 22 Comments

The Veeck Effect

Once upon a time, I wrote about the Veeck effect of the first kind. I suppose that I owe the world an essay on the Veeck effect of the second kind, which corresponds to putting a midget up to bat. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments