Monthly Archives: October 2014

Centum and Satem

I may well be wrong, but there’s no point in waiting until they dig up and sequence every last body in Eurasia. Time to stick my neck out. Here’s my current best guess concerning the Indo-European expansion: It all started … Continue reading

Posted in Dietary adaptations, European Prehistory, Genetics, Indo-European, Linguistics | Tagged , , , | 100 Comments

Yamna and Corded Ware

I hear some interesting things from the recent ASHG conference, mostly from Razib Khan. It seems that the dead have spoken again: it turns out that the genetic transition in northern Europe  coincides with the advent of the Corded Ware/Battleaxe … Continue reading

Posted in European Prehistory, Genetics, Genghis -Khan effect, Indo-European | 45 Comments

Ketosis as a way of life

There’s a new article out in ASHG that discusses a regional selective sweep in CPT1A, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A, which plays an essential role in fatty acid metabolism. A mutation has become extremely common, with a gene frequency > 50%, in … Continue reading

Posted in Dietary adaptations, Eskimo, Genetics | Tagged | 67 Comments

Ust’-Ishim & the Old Race

There’s a new report out in Nature, on the DNA results from a 45,000 AMH skeleton found in Western Siberia.  It’s the oldest radiocarbon-dated modern human outside Africa and the Middle East. The Neanderthal admixture is there,  about the same … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, European Prehistory, Genetics, Neanderthals | Tagged | 30 Comments

The Experts

It seems to me that not all people called experts actually are.  In fact, there are whole fields in which none of the experts are experts. But let’s try to define terms. You might say that an expert is someone … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 171 Comments

The Advent of Cholera

Most of this is stolen from William MacNeill’s Plagues and Peoples. Cholera seems to have existed in the Ganges delta for a long time, but it only spread to the rest of the world fairly recently.  An unusually severe epidemic … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 117 Comments

The Coming Plague

Laurie Garret has an article out in the Washington Post.  She say that there’s no point in trying to block the spread of Ebola by travel bans. The problem is, she’s full of crap.  Look, there are two possible scenarios.  … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 218 Comments

Draft of paper about Amish

Mike Weight and I have a draft of a manuscript about responses to personality tests by Amish and non-Amish young men from the same county in Indiana. We have mentioned this material before on the blog. The paper is getting … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 48 Comments

The Road Not Taken

A lot of people are bothered by the idea of biological determinism – the idea that given the genetic hand they’ve been dealt, and the environment they experienced, their path in life was essentially inevitable.  When you consider the fates … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 87 Comments

Disaster in the South Pacific

The 1918 influenza pandemic hit every country on Earth – well, almost every country. It missed American Samoa entirely, which is interesting.  It’s even more interesting when you notice that it hit the neighboring islands of West Samoa harder than … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 137 Comments