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Blog Profile / Evo and Proud

Filed Under:Academics / Anthropology
Posts on Regator:306
Posts / Week:1.1
Archived Since:October 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

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

Seeing China plain

China's working-age population is now declining. As labor becomes scarcer, the business community will either take on the challenge of moving to a higher-wage, more capital-intensive economy... or lobby hard for immigration. (source)...Show More Summary

When was the split?

Genetic data suggest that ancestral East Asians diverged from ancestral Europeans long after the African/non-African split (source). This timeline, however, seems to be challenged by archaic DNA that is reputed to be 40,000 years old. Show More Summary

The Visual Word Form Area

Codex Suprasliensis ( source ). Texts were less reader-friendly in the past. An ability to read and write meant not only a good livelihood but also reproductive success. The Visual Word Form Area (VWFA) is a brain region that specializes in recognizing written words and letters. Show More Summary

Eye color, face shape, and perceived personality traits

Averaged face of blue-eyed male subjects (left). Averaged face of brown-eyed male subjects (right). Czech population. (Kleisner et al., 2010) Karel Kleisner’s team is continuing its work on eye color, face shape, and perceived personality traits: We tested whether eye color influences perception of trustworthiness. Show More Summary

First, sexual transmissibility and then ...?

Squamous cervix cells covered with rod-shaped bacteria, Gardnerella vaginalis( source ) Bacterial vaginosis is a common disease among reproductive-aged women: [It] is characterized by the loss of normal vaginal flora, predominantly hydrogen...Show More Summary

Looking back and ahead

Was the scientific revolution (1540-1700) due to an increase in trade and the discovery of the New World? Or were there just more people around who could understand and appreciate new ideas? (source) The past year has seen the deaths...Show More Summary

Year's end

Just horsing around? Or is there also a political message? It’s year’s end, and to date I’ve written nothing on the three themes I promised to blog about back in January. One reason was the need to comment on certain unforeseen events,...Show More Summary

Genetic pacification in medieval Europe

Homicide rates in England, 1200-2000 ( Eisner, 2001 ) States seek to pacify their territories by monopolizing the use of violence. With each passing generation, violent individuals are ostracized, imprisoned, or executed, their predispositions being thereby selected out of the gene pool. Show More Summary

Origins of English individualism

Did the end of the Middle Ages bring a rapid shift to individualism in English society? Or was something already going on beforehand? For most of human history and prehistory, our lives were based on kinship—economically, socially and even spiritually. Show More Summary

Obama: White America's bogeyman?

Total fertility by race, 1980-2010 ( source ). Is the end of White America being hastened by the Obama presidency? Or is it actually being postponed? Both the right and the left are trumpeting the Obama presidency as marking the end of White America. Show More Summary

The mysterious Ainu

Ainu men and Ainu woman, 18th century painting by Kodama Sadayoshi (source) The Ainu of northern Japan have long been a puzzle. With their bushy beards, profuse body hair, large sunken eyes, and robust facial features, they look more European than East Asian. Show More Summary

Are women changing color?

Tanned arm ( source ). Underarm skin color used to be a reliable measure of constitutive pigmentation (skin color before tanning). Is it still? After puberty, girls become lighter-skinned than boys. This sexual differentiation has been...Show More Summary

Are the cads outbreeding the dads?

Whom will she choose? ( source ) There has been much talk about two findings from a recent study: (a) boys reach puberty at different ages in different ethnic groups and (b) boys are reaching puberty earlier now than in the recent past. Show More Summary

A detour through Europe?

The lithic technology of southwestern France (c. 22,000-17,000 BP) strangely resembles that of the first paleo-Amerindians (c. 12,000). Some people speculate that early Europeans reached North America by crossing the Atlantic. The truth is even more incredible. Show More Summary

When Europeans turned white

No, that’s not a climatic adaptation (actress Lily Cole - source ) “European skin turned pale only recently”—such was the headline in Science five years ago. […] a new report on the evolution of a gene for skin color suggests that Europeans...Show More Summary

Now what?

Recent research, such as by historical economist Gregory Clark, suggests that differences in mental and behavioral traits cannot always be ascribed to different reproductive strategies, as Philippe Rushton suggested. There probably will never be a unified theory of human biodiversity … other than the theory of evolution by natural selection. Show More Summary

J. Philippe Rushton (1943-2012) R.I.P.

J. Philippe Rushton. February 8, 1989 ( source ) I first heard about J. Philippe Rushton in the mid-1980s. My mother would leave newspaper clippings about him on my desk, thinking I might be interested. I didn’t know what to think. Wasn’t...Show More Summary

Trans-species polymorphisms

A trans-species polymorphism. Some genetic polymorphisms are found in distantly related species, having persisted across multiple speciation events. (source) It is widely known that considerable genetic overlap exists between human populations, even those that are geographically distant from each other and quite different physically. Show More Summary

On paternal age and IQ

Do older fathers have dumber children? For the past millennium, paternal age has been relatively high in Europe west of the Hajnal line. Yet, if anything, mean IQ is higher there than elsewhere. H/T to JayMan (source) Greg Cochran has been running a series of posts on paternal age and IQ (here, here, and here). Show More Summary

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