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Blog Profile / Evo and Proud

Filed Under:Academics / Anthropology
Posts on Regator:325
Posts / Week:1.1
Archived Since:October 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Not getting the point

Samuel George Morton, an early American anthropologist. He fudged his data to suit his preconceived ideas on race, according to Stephen Jay Gould. It later turned out that Gould was the fudger. (source) Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) is still seen as a great evolutionary biologist, if not one of the greatest. Show More Summary

How the pacification of Europe came to an end

John Locke: “every man, in the state of nature, has a power to kill a murderer […] such men are not under the ties of the common law of reason, have no other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey...Show More Summary

Making Europeans kinder, gentler

Hanged, drawn, and quartered. (source) Although the Middle Ages were, in the imagination of our contemporaries, “the time of the gallows,” the reality was appreciably different (Carbasse, 2011, pp. 38-39) Like many well-meaning people, I once considered the death penalty a relic of a more barbaric age. Show More Summary

Just for show?

Of all humans, male and female, European women have the whitest skin and the most diverse range of hair and eye colors. Are European physical characteristics really female characteristics? (source) People of European origin have an unusually diverse palette of hair and eye colors. Show More Summary

Can antiracism reform itself?

Nelson Mandela shakes hands with Frederik de Klerk, 1992. Antiracist iconography is focused on past struggles, like the fight against apartheid. Yet the world is now a very different place (source). After five centuries of growth, the...Show More Summary

More thoughts. The evolution of a word

Are you assaulting me because I’m White ? How do you react to this poster? Is it antiracist or racist? Why? The word “racist” is so common today that you may have trouble imagining a time when neither the word nor the concept existed. Show More Summary

Thoughts on the Paris spring

Antifa badge (Norway). Antiracism is now part of a legally enforced system of values and norms. Its followers are surreptitiously becoming the underlings of authority, even to the point of becoming a secret police that does the regrettable but necessary “dirty work.” ( source ) Something is happening in France. Show More Summary

Cultural modernity and behavioral modernity

Where’s the beard? And the headscarf? In this photo from the 1980s, the Tsarnaevs look secular and modern (Source: Paris Match) Much has been made of radical Islam and its role in shaping the mental makeup of the Tsarnaev brothers. During their formative years, however, they were scarcely even nominal Muslims. Show More Summary

Where do those tensions come from?

Home sweet home in the Scottish borderlands. This was one of the last regions of Britain to be pacified and brought under State control. People lived in fortified homes where the second floor could be reached only by an external ladder that could be pulled up. Show More Summary

The gay germ hypothesis

Incidence of chlamydia, a major cause of infertility. The high polygyny rate among the “female farming” peoples of sub-Saharan Africa may have favored the evolution of STDs. Is this where we should look for the precursor of the hypothetical “gay germ”? (source) Heritability for male homosexuality is low to moderate (30 to 45%). Show More Summary

Pathogen-stress theory

A Paris suburb, on the eve of the French Revolution. The shift to democracy and individualism began under conditions of high pathogen prevalence and long before modern sanitation (source) Is stress from parasites a major cause of psychological differences among humans? Yes, if we are to believe a popular theory in evolutionary psychology. Show More Summary

The Parsis

A Parsi woman in traditional costume, painted by Raja Ravi Varma (source) The Parsis are renowned for achievement in many areas of life—trade, education, philanthropy, and popular culture. Yet they number only about 100,000 in the entire world (Wikipedia, 2013). Show More Summary

Final thoughts on the Clark-Unz model

Bandit with traditional tattoos (source). In premodern China, who enjoyed the most reproductive success? The thrifty hardworking farmer? Or the local bandit/warlord? In my last post, I asked how well the Clark-Unz model of selection applied to Japan and Korea (Unz, 2013). Show More Summary

Does the Clark-Unz model apply to Japan and Korea?

Syngman Rhee in 1905 and later South Korea’s first president (1948-1960). Though born into a rural family of modest means, he was of yangban and even royal lineage (source). Why is mean IQ higher in East Asia than elsewhere? Ron UnzShow More Summary

East Asia's Farewell to Alms

“‘How could any man in our village claim that his family had been poor for three generations? If a man is poor, then his son can’t afford to marry; and if his son can’t marry, there can’t be a third generation” China’s poor were continually...Show More Summary

Low-hanging fruit?

Labrador retriever running an obstacle course. Can dog intelligence shed light on human intelligence? (source) My last post described a Chinese project to identify the many genes that contribute to normal variation in human intelligence. Show More Summary

It's not because research is cheaper there

Robert Plomin on the genetics of various mental traits (source) A Chinese research team is looking for genes that explain why IQ is higher in some people and lower in others: Studies show that at least half of the variation in intelligence quotient, or IQ, is inherited. Show More Summary

Regulation of emotions and gene-culture co-evolution

Facial expressions in Manga (Japanese) comics. East Asian culture strongly regulates the expression of emotions, particularly in their impact on other people. (source) Humans have had to adapt not only to physical environments (climate,...Show More Summary

The Visual Word Form Area - part II

Dr. Kimberly G. Noble has studied the Visual Word Form Area of children in New York City schools (source). The VWFA seems more hardwired in higher SES children. The Visual Word Form Area (VWFA) is a brain region that specifically recognizes written words. Show More Summary

Why are girls and boys maturing earlier?

For girls, the age of puberty has been falling since the 19th century. The same period has seen a similar decline for boys ( source ) In the United States and other Western countries, girls have been reaching puberty at earlier and earlier ages. Show More Summary

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