Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lifting degeneracy

Some time ago I discussed the idea that Neanderthals were fucked-up because their low effective population size led to inefficient purifying selection. But the usual harmonic-mean effective population size is not quite right: for salvage mutations, things that somewhat correct … Continue reading

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Luke Blackburn

appears to have done something downright interesting: send vomit-soaked clothes, from people that had died of yellow fever, to various locations in the North during the Civil War, with the intent of triggering yellow fever epidemics. Didn’t work, since as … Continue reading

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“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”

Allen Guelzo wrote a book about the battle of Gettysburg “Gettysburg: The Last Invasion” , in which he says some confused things about smoothbores and rifles. One of my regular readers noticed and mentioned this some time ago. “Rifling bestowed … Continue reading

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Reverse salients

Edison thought in terms of reverse salients and critical problems. “Reverse salients are areas of research and development that are lagging in some obvious way behind the general line of advance. Critical problems are the research questions, cast in terms … Continue reading

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Sensitive Detection of gene flow

One problem with arguing with ignorant people is that they don’t usually have indicator lights that tell you exactly how ignorant they are.  This matters when you’re trying to explain something: it’s not always clear  how much goes without saying. … Continue reading

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Ashkenazi PRS

There are now a couple of surveys with Ashkenazi EA polygenic scores.  We don’t know that the populations were representative, but probably they weren’t far off. Scores correspond to an IQ of about 110. Personally, I’m still pulling for 112. … Continue reading

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Herbert West

Just ran into an interesting question from a biology problem set: ” Using the laws of thermodynamics, explain why it’s impossible to re-animate organisms that have died ( making Frankenstein’s monster and zombies impossible so we don’t have to worry … Continue reading

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