Blog Profile / Evo and Proud

Filed Under:Academics / Anthropology
Posts on Regator:244
Posts / Week:0.7
Archived Since:October 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

The agricultural revolution that wasn't

Originally from south China, Austronesians spread successively outward to Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Was farming the secret of their success? Or was it their mental makeup? (source: French Wikipedia - Maulucioni) About 10,000 years ago, the pace of human genetic evolution rose a hundred-fold ( Hawks et al., 2007 ). Show More Summary

Dear Fred

In a recent post, Fred Reed asks: Why should I not indulge my hobby of torturing to death the severely genetically retarded? This would seem beneficial. We certainly don't want them to reproduce, they use resources better invested in healthy children, and it makes no evolutionary difference whether they die quietly or screaming. Show More Summary

A new start

When geneticist Davide Piffer examined IQ-enhancing alleles at seven different genes, he found that their average prevalence differed among human populations, being highest in East Asians and lowest in Mbuti Pygmies (photo used with author's approval) My weekly posts are now appearing on The Unz Review ( ). Show More Summary

From Nazi Germany to Middletown: ratcheting up the war on racism

Licensed under public domain via Wikimedia Commons Ruth Benedict (1887-1948), much more than Franz Boas, would define the aims of Boasian anthropology for postwar America. When Franz Boas died in 1942, the leadership of his school of anthropology passed to Ruth Benedict and not to Margaret Mead. Show More Summary

The Franz Boas you never knew

The anthropologist Franz Boas is remembered for moving the social sciences away from genetic determinism and toward environmental determinism. In reality, he felt that genes do contribute substantially to mental and behavioral differences... Show More Summary

The origins of guilt: Darwin and Freud

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How universal is empathy?

Bronislaw Malinowski with natives on the Trobriand Islands (1918 - source). Pro-social behavior seems to be a human universal, but is the same true for full empathy? What is empathy? It has at least three components: - pro-social behavior,...Show More Summary

Negotiating the gap. Four academics and the dilemma of human biodiversity

I’ve published a second article in Open Behavioral Genetics: “Negotiating the gap. Four academics and the dilemma of human biodiversity.” You can read it as a PDF here or as a caliber ebook here. The foreword is reproduced below. Comments are welcome. Show More Summary

A hair-color allele of Neanderthal origin?

Taiwanese aboriginal children, Bunun village (source: Jeremy Kemp). 60-70% of Taiwanese aborigines have a loss-of-function allele at the main hair color gene, MC1R, yet their hair is as black as humans with the original “African” allele. Show More Summary

A new allele for blond hair

Geographic prevalence of the new allele for blond hair ( Guenther et al., 2014 ). Just one of many alleles that create the European palette of hair and eye colors. There is a widespread belief that whatever made Europeans fair-skinned also gave them their unique palette of hair and eye colors. Show More Summary

Rice farming and gene-culture co-evolution

Rice paddies, China, circa 1917-1923 (source). To grow rice, you must cooperate with neighbors for irrigation and labor. Today, even with the shift to a post-agricultural society, Chinese from rice-farming areas display less individualism and more interdependence than Chinese from wheat-farming areas. Show More Summary

The puzzle of European hair, eye, and skin color

T aylor Swift (photo by David Shankbone). The physical appearance of Europeans seems to result from a selection pressure that acted primarily on women and only secondarily on men. This is especially true for highly visible traits on or near the face—the focus of visual attention. Show More Summary

Another Robert Chambers?

Robert Chambers (1802-1871). His anonymously published book, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), helped pave the way for public acceptance of Darwin’s theory of evolution. (source) I haven't yet read Nicholas Wade's book A Troublesome Inheritance. Show More Summary

A pathway to pro-social behavior

The digit ratio is the length of the index finger (2 nd finger) divided by the ring finger (4 th finger). It correlates with the degree of androgenization or estrogenization of fetal tissues, including the fetal brain. (source) As small...Show More Summary

What happened in the 1980s to reaction time?

A steady increase in reaction time seems to begin circa 1980 in Sweden, Great Britain, and the United States (h/t to hbd chick) Has reaction time been steadily increasing from generation to generation? This was the finding of a paper last year, which argued that mean IQ had fallen in Britain by 13 points since Victorian times (Woodley et al., 2013). Show More Summary

Small effects at many genes, but are the effects non-additive?

Allele dominance (source). A single copy of a dominant allele is as effective as two copies of a recessive allele. The current thinking is that intellectual capacity has increased in humans through new alleles that cause small positive effects at a large number of gene loci. Show More Summary

The novelty effect: a factor in mate choice

Series of facial images from clean-shaven to full beard (Janif et al., 2014) For the past thirty years, the tendency has been to study sexual attractiveness from the observer's standpoint, i.e., we choose mates on the basis of what's good for us. Show More Summary

Compliance with moral norms: a partly heritable trait?

Election poster from the 1930s for Sweden’s Social Democratic Party (source). Is the welfare state more workable if the population is more predisposed to obey moral norms? Do we differ genetically in our ability, or willingness, to comply with moral norms? Please note: I'm talking about compliance. Show More Summary

The riddle of Microcephalin

World distribution of the recent Microcephalin allele. The prevalence is indicated in black and the letter 'D' refers to the 'derived' or recent allele (Evans et al., 2005) Almost a decade ago, there was much interest in a finding that...Show More Summary

A bird in a gilded cage

My second ebook has been published in the online journal Open Behavioral Genetics. PDF version Epub version The following is a copy of the Foreword: Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza is a complex figure. On the one hand, he has publicly backed those who assert that human races do not exist. Show More Summary

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