Category Archives: Book Reviews

Live Not By Lies

The Genomics of Race and Identity Reich starts out strong, telling the story of his work on identifying African-origin alleles that drive increased prostate cancer risk in African-Americans – and the dumbshit responses he got from his colleagues. He mentions … Continue reading

Posted in Ashkenazi Jews, Book Reviews, Genetics | 179 Comments

Who We Are: #4 Denisovans

In Chapter 3, Reich talks about the discovery of the Denisovans, a sister archaic group to the Neanderthals that lived in eastern Asia. It all started out with a pinky bone found in a cave in southern Siberia. The DNA … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Book Reviews, Denisovans | 63 Comments

“Who We Are: #3 Neanderthals

In Chapter 2, Encounters With Neanderthals, David Reich talks about his work in analyzing the first successfully sequenced Neanderthal genomes, and the discoveries that led to. Reich’s team, with Nick Patterson making an especially important contribution, found that Neanderthals were … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Book Reviews, Neanderthals | 55 Comments

Guns, Germs, and Steel revisited

Jared Diamond’s thesis, in Guns, Germs, and Steel, is that regional differences in civilizational achievement are entirely caused by biogeographical factors, while regional differences in ability have had no effect. It isn’t that he believes that there are no such … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, GGS | 207 Comments

Old T-Rex

I’ve just finished Testosterone Rex, by Cordelia Fine. In this book, she argues against the existence of innate psychological differences between the sexes. She does not want her readers to believe that men and women have different natures – apparently … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 221 Comments

Bad Teacher

I just read “The Battle For Room 314”, Ed Boland’s account of a year teaching at a NYC high school. Boland had been an admissions officer, done fundraising for nonprofits – but wanted to DO GOOD, and of course go … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Education | Tagged | 149 Comments

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes

Svante Pääbo has a book out, Neanderthal Man, in which he recounts his adventures sequencing ancient DNA.  He has had three big successes: the first successful sequencing of Neanderthal mtDNA in 1997, the first sequencing of the Neanderthal nuclear genome, … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Book Reviews, Denisovans, Genetics, Neanderthals | 117 Comments