Blog Profile / Evo and Proud

Filed Under:Academics / Anthropology
Posts on Regator:259
Posts / Week:0.7
Archived Since:October 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

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

Kinder, gentler speech

A highwayman - by Glen Campbell (source). Before the rise of the State, and its pacification of social relations, the top man was the one who dominated the local group through a mixture of violence, bombast, and charisma. Before theShow More Summary

Did Europeans become white in historic times?

T?t?roaice – Petre Iorgulescu-Yor (source). Today, the steppes north of the Black Sea lie within the European world—politically, culturally, and demographically. Not so long ago, they were home to nomads of Central Asian origin. A new...Show More Summary

Population differences in intellectual capacity: a new polygenic analysis

PISA test documents at a German school (source: Theo Müller). PISA and IQ tests are informing us about differences in intellectual capacity by country. Meanwhile, genetic studies are informing us about genomic differences by country....Show More Summary

The paradox of the Visual Word Form Area

Luke the Evangelist (source: British Library). In the past, only a minority could read long texts of cursive writing. But many more could read short texts of block writing. The Visual Word Form Area (VWFA) is a specialized part of the brain that helps us recognize written words and letters. Show More Summary

Replacement or continuity?

Inuit meat cache, Kazan River (source: Library and Archives Canada / PA-101294). Because of their high meat diet, hunters produce more body heat than farmers do. Natural selection has thus favored certain mtDNA sequences over others in hunter-gatherers. Show More Summary

Burakumin, Paekchong, and Cagots

This is the first of a series of ebooks. You can access it here. Below is the foreword.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Foreword The Burakumin of Japan, the Paekchong of...Show More Summary

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