Monthly Archives: January 2016

Caught in the act

The fossil record is sparse. Let me try to explain that. We have at most a few hundred Neanderthal skeletons, most in pretty poor shape. How many Neanderthals ever lived? I think their population varied in size quite a bit … Continue reading

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He said he was high-caste

but that was just a lie.

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The Vasconic Program

The idea is that there used to be a related set of languages all over Europe, spoken by those early Sardinian-like farmers (Cardial Culture, LBK) before the Indo-Europeans showed up and trashed them. How to study that language family? How … Continue reading

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Perils of Incorrect Thought

A colleague pointed me to this essay by an academic who mentioned in a submitted paper that the possibility of biological differences among human groups ought to be considered.  His submission was firmly rejected in the face of “… expletives and … Continue reading

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Reparations

Some prominent pinheads have recently suggested racial reparations. I think it’s a hard sell, unlikely to happen – but I haven’t seen much talk of the likely consequences, probably because our public intellectuals have no idea what those consequences would … Continue reading

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The Birth of Britain

Recent studies considering modern and ancient DNA show that about 25-40% of British ancestry is Anglo-Saxon, with a high in East Anglia and gradual decreasing as you move north and west. While the Britons of Roman times look like the … Continue reading

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Timing the Wave

A recent paper in PNAS talks about ancient DNA results in Ireland. The story is getting to be a familiar one: 5000 years ago Ireland was inhabited by a Sardinian-like population, 4000 years ago by people pretty similar to the … Continue reading

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Survival of the Flattest

Genetic canalization is the extent to which an organism is buffered against the effects of mutations. Waddington said “developmental reactions, as they occur in organisms submitted to natural selection…are adjusted so as to bring about one definite end-result regardless of … Continue reading

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Idiot-Proof

I was looking at a recent survey of current knowledge in psychological genetics. The gist is that common variants – which can’t have decreased fitness much in the average past, since they’re common – are the main story in the … Continue reading

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