Monthly Archives: January 2019

Space and time

David Reich, in his book,  made an important point that I noticed but did not emphasize. The plus variants for educational attainment are getting rarer at a rapid pace in Iceland and the US ( and probably all other developed … Continue reading

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Why did they ever think that?

In the 20th century ( and still today) a lot of time was wasted on psychological theories assuming that family environment in early life had a strong influence on personality and smarts. Why did anyone ever believe that?    

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If you can’t be a good example: Venezuela

then you’ll just have to serve as a horrible warning. Since people are attracted by stupid ideas like moths to a flame, it may be that leaving certain flaming piles of shit around for all to see would maximize global … Continue reading

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Reich is to archaeologists as Luis Alvarez was to

Paleontologists.  A lot of parallels. I read a number of books on the asteroid-extinction theory and the controversy around it, including several by paleontologists.  I was not impressed by them.  Although, to be fair, I don’t remember the paleontologists accusing … Continue reading

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Primitive tribesmen complain about technologically superior invaders

There is a new article in the New York Times Magazine (Is Ancient DNA Research Revealing New Truths — or Falling Into Old Traps?) , in which some  pinhead repeats  complaints about David Reich crushing his enemies [archaeologists] , driving … Continue reading

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Why it is important to be sensitive to the feelings

Of indigenous people, when doing archaeology or work on ancient DNA.  Because sometimes they’re in a position to stop you.  But shouldn’t you really, really care about hurting their feelings, when you find that they didn’t emerge from a giant … Continue reading

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More on gene flow

That guy on the internet was dead wrong in thinking that there was enough gene flow in human prehistory to materially interfere with local adaptation. For a polygenic trait, that would take something like a couple of percent a generation.  … Continue reading

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What’s the word for this?

Was a watching a mystery, one in which a major clue was the unknown perp being left-handed.  So my wife said a particular actress on the show  was obviously the villain.  I asked how she knew: Turned out they’d gone … Continue reading

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The Great Divorce

Jeff Bezos isn’t my favorite guy, but he has ability and has built something useful. And an ugly, contested divorce would be harsh and unfair to the children, who have done nothing  wrong. But I don’t care.  The thought of … Continue reading

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Common deleterious recessives: info for Taleb.

There are two reasons that you might see common deleterious recessive alleles in a population. Founder effects or other bottlenecks:  the population is so small that some ungood mutations have become unusually common, just by chance. The total number of … Continue reading

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