Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

May 22, 2019

Indian Elections 2019 Thread

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 8:24 pm

Open Thread, 05/22/2019

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 12:07 pm

Sometimes friends ask me about history books (usually scientists). For early modern Europe, Tim Blanning’s The Pursuit of Glory: The Five Revolutions that Made Modern Europe: 1648-1815 is excellent. Read it!

One of the reasons I stay on Twitter is direct-messages (DMs). In many ways, it is superior to emails. But over the last few days, I’ve tried an experiment: I’ve stopped Tweeting and responding to people.

The DMs keep flowing. To be frank, this is a positive mental development. The public space on Twitter is dominated by self-righteous sociopaths. There’s no point in fighting because there are so few willing to step out and battle against sociopathic behavior, which is encouraged. This is endemic in political and journalistic Twitter, but it’s common science-Twitter now as well.

It. is. done.

I’m going to start using Pinboard again for my bookmarks.

Podcast you should listen to this week, Two Psychologists Four Beers, with Brent Roberts.

May 12, 2019

Open Thread, 05/12/2019

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 4:50 pm

A History of Korea: From “Land of the Morning Calm” to States in Conflict is very cheap on Kindle right now. Seems less propagandistic (unwittingly to be fair) than some other Korean histories I’ve read. Basically, Korean histories seem less interesting in detaching from nationalism as they’re writing, and it can get grating (everyone has opinions, but you don’t want them leaking through all the time).

If you haven’t, you might want to check out my podcast interview with an epigeneticists who takes a dim view of some of the hype in the field. If you are a geneticist you’ll have all this before of course, whether you agree with it or not.

Harvard Drops Harvey Weinstein Lawyer as a Faculty Dean. A contrary take from Harvard students: ‘With Us or Against Us’: Current, Former Winthrop Affiliates Say Faculty Deans Created a Toxic Environment Stretching Back Years. Basically, some people who I know who were at Winthrop house are telling me that the administration took the move because the protests gave them the opportunity. It’s an interesting epistemological question here for all these ‘culture war’ conflicts. A lot of the time the underlying dynamics are more prosaic and personal than what you might read in the media, but it’s not in anyone’s interest to surface that.

Here’s reader survey as a .csv. No big surprises. Though some of you don’t want me to post about Game of Thrones. Well, that will a “done” thing soon anyhow. I doubt I’ll be blogging ten years from now when Martin comes out with the next book… (if…)

Evolution unleashed: Is evolutionary science due for a major overhaul – or is talk of ‘revolution’ misguided?. Kevin Laland. The usual response is “niche construction isn’t new.”

Evaluation of the Diagnostic Stability of the Early Autism Spectrum Disorder Phenotype in the General Population Starting at 12 Months.

Shadi Hamid is getting dragged on Twitter for working with a “Christian Zionist” organization (Shadi disputes the characterization). The weird thing is a lot of the critics are journalists who work for AJ+, which is a subsidiary of Al Jazeera Media Network, which is run by a royal family that rules a Salafi state, Qatar. There are good things and bad things about Qatar. But journalists who work for a techno-reactionary absolute monarchy should perhaps be careful about pointing fingers from their glass houses.

Asia Bibi: Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy case. The utilization of these laws to target minorities by people with personal disputes is really familiar, though the consequences are more extreme than what you would see in the West. A lot of the time the public is even tacitly aware of the personal nature of the original dispute, but they back the idea of blasphemy laws so much that innocence is no defense.

New podcast on anthropology and archaeology, The Arch and Anth Podcast.

Why falsificationism is false. Since I know a little philosophy of science I have known that Popper is passe within philosophy of science for a long time. But it is surprising to many scientists.

Is species a social construct? Some people have argued that rejecting the species concept by biologists is a deepity. The issue that biologists have is that the public has a different perception of what species are than what biologists have. The public perception derives from folk biology, augmented by stuff like the Bible (species = “kinds”). This drives biologists crazy.

5-HTTLPR: A POINTED REVIEW. Been hearing this from friends since 2007 or so.

Variable prediction accuracy of polygenic scores within an ancestry group. Important.

Pakistani Christian girls trafficked to China as brides. China’s demographic problems are going to leave a huge shadow over Asia.

Noah Carl’s response.

Comparing signals of natural selection between three Indigenous North American populations.

Don’t Let Students Run the University and Academe’s Extinction Event Failure, Whiskey, and Professional Collapse at the MLA.

Unraveling ancestry, kinship, and violence in a Late Neolithic mass grave. This week’s episode of The Insight will be with two of the corresponding authors of this paper.

Discovery of ongoing selective sweeps within Anopheles mosquito populations using deep learning. A podcast of The Insight in a few weeks will drop with the last author, Andy Kern. Though we talked about pop-gen and machine learning a lot, the last 15 minutes ended up about the issue of how pop-gen needs to reform itself in terms of large collaborations instead of small competing labs.

May 10, 2019

Open Thread – Brown Pundits

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 6:43 pm

Please keep the other posts on topic. Use this for talking about whatever you want to talk about.

May 5, 2019

Open Thread, 05/05/2019

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 3:12 pm

I don’t know what’s going on with the plugins on this website, but one of them is causing the issues with memory. Will keep looking into it.

Starting to read The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall. This book, along with Nicholas Christakis’ Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society, book and E. O. Wilson’s The Deep Origin of Societies were negatively reviewed in Nature. Knowing who the reviewer was it was predictable, just like it the review of Robert Plomin’s book was predictable when you saw who it was assigned to. I don’t think this is a coincidence.

A useful book, India: Brief History of a Civilization.

The Secular Jihadist podcast did an interview (for patrons only) with Tom Holland. Not sure I’ll read In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire because one thing that always comes through is how little we know about the first century of Islam once one applies the critical-rationalist lens that is taken for granted in Western historiography (and yes, I’ve read Robert Hoyland’s work).

You Will Never Smell My World the Way I Do.

Differential gene expression is associated with degeneration of mating-type chromosomes in the absence of sexual antagonism.

Multilevel selection in groups of groups.

Insights about variation in meiosis from 31,228 human sperm genomes.

When do individuals maximize their inclusive fitness?

Tracking Five Millennia of Horse Management with Extensive Ancient Genome Time Series.

Meta-analytic evidence that sexual selection improves population fitness.

May 3, 2019

Open Thread – Brown Pundits

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 11:29 pm

Please keep the other posts on topic. Use this for talking about whatever you want to talk about.

April 28, 2019

Open Thread, 04/28/2019

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 3:27 pm

Reading The Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades. A bit too many names and battles (narrative), rather than social and economic dynamics. But it’s a good inversion of the traditional narrative, and illustrates just how chaotic and fractions the Islamic world in the last decades of the 11th-century was. Western European society was coming back to Roman levels of density and complexity after 1000 A.D., and for various reasons, the last half of the 11th-century was a period of disunity in the lands of Islam, so the Crusades were timed very fortuitous for the Franks.

Speaking of the Crusades, Christopher Tyreman’s God’s War: A New History of the Crusades is one of my favorite books (I remember staying up to 3 AM on worknights reading this book). But for some reason, it has much worse Amazon reviews than Thomas Ashbridge’s The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land. Does anyone know why?

Interesting historical fantasy I stumbled across, The City of Brass. The author is a white ethnic woman from New Jersey who converted to Islam as a teen, and now has a last name which is associated with Bengali Brahmins (she also pronounces very peculiarly). The reviews are good, but I’m not a fan of historical fantasy. Mixing the real and fantastic doesn’t appeal to me.

Dante is still selling 30x WGS for $229 as of this writing. No, I have no idea how Dante works in regards to this price point. But apparently, it’s not a fraud.

Speaking of personal genomics, this week on The Insight I’ll be talking to Rodrigo Martinez, an officer at Veritas. Follow the link above to see the different ways you can subscribe.

Endgame is worth watching.

Speaking of podcasts and the like, I’m told that three people on a single Extremely Offline podcast that will go live next month will all have been podcasts on the Browncast. Can you guess who? It shouldn’t be too hard.

Evolutionary dynamics of culturally transmitted, fertility-reducing traits.

A genetic hazard score to personalize prostate cancer screening, applied to population data.

This thread is worth reading:

Gencove announces Phase I SBIR grant to validate polygenic risk score estimation from low-pass sequencing.

Angiosperm speciation speeds up near the poles. “Overall, our results show that speciation rates follow an opposite pattern to global variation in species richness.”

The continuing impact of an ancient polyploidy on the genomes of teleosts. “…lend support to recent suggestions that the TGD was the source of a morphological innovation in the structure of the teleost retina.”

Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution. Michael Behe has a new book out. Richard Lenksi has responded in detail on his weblog.

I read Darwin’s Black Box and Michael Denton’s Evolution: A Theory in Crisis 20 year ago. Not convinced. That being said, people without a scientific background can be impressed easily. I still remember the stupid reader who incredibly blown-away by the pig-headed sophistry in R. J. Stove’s Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution. I read the book because the reader was impressed, and the reader was someone who I didn’t have a strong opinion about. I came away concluding that the reader must be kind of a moron since the book itself was just plain ignorant in the literal sense.

I’m still trying to place a piece in The Federalist on evolution. They gave me a few suggestions. Friends who have read my draft were already impressed, so I’m 90% sure I can get this placed in the conservative media. I actually interviewed the author of this piece, Why One-Third Of Biologists Now Question Darwinism, for the Browncast. The podcast will go live tomorrow.

Genome-wide sexually antagonistic variants reveal long-standing constraints on sexual dimorphism in fruit flies. This is a really interesting paper. The citations are interesting too.

Efficient use of genomic information for sustainable genetic improvement in small cattle populations.

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing and Potential Loopholes in Protecting Consumer Privacy and Nondiscrimination.

April 26, 2019

Open Thread – Brown Pundits

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 11:28 pm

Please keep the other posts on topic. Use this for talking about whatever you want to talk about.

Also, I’ve posted a new linguistic podcast on the patron page. It’s 1 hour and 20 minutes, and really dense with information and wide-ranging. There were five people, but I didn’t say much, and Zach was mostly asking questions. So there were three with a huge amount of knowledge engaging with each other. I have to say that this serves as a good model/example for future podcasts.

April 21, 2019

Open Thread, 04/12/2019

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 3:52 pm

Just a reminder for people to check in on The Insight this week. Lots of talk about Denisovans between Spencer and myself. We’ve also got a follow-up podcast scheduled with a researcher working in Denisovan genomics in a few weeks (we’re on Spotify now by the way).

Our three new hires at George Mason economics. These look good.

Sri Lanka Suicide Bombings Targeting Christians Kill Hundreds. The most likely culprits seem to be a jihadist group active in southern South Asia.

A Transient Pulse of Genetic Admixture from the Crusaders in the Near East Identified from Ancient Genome Sequences. I think the “Crusader genes” are hard to find in the Near East because the collapse of the Latin kingdoms was gradual enough that “Franks” and their scions mostly managed to get out and go back to Western Europe.

Whole-genome reference panel of 1,781 Northeast Asians improves imputation accuracy of rare and low-frequency variants.

Anxious Times In Pakistan’s Pagan Valley.

Why One-Third Of Biologists Now Question Darwinism. I’m writing a response to this piece for The Federalist. Rather than a response to Intelligent Design, I want to represent what evolutionary biology really is.

Evidence for Early European Neolithic Dog Dispersal: New Data on South-Eastern European subfossil dogs from Prehistory and Antiquity Ages.

April 19, 2019

Open Thread – Brown Pundits

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 11:27 pm

Please keep the other posts on topic. Use this for talking about whatever you want to talk about.

April 15, 2019

The end of the Kalash is nigh

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 6:32 pm

Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all the Kafir Kalash bend the knee to the one true God!

I think anyone who has given it any thought knew that this was inevitable and just a matter of time. That time seems to be now. The Kalash compensated for conversion with higher endogenous fertility, but if it is true that educated young women are converting to Islam, their ability to reproduce their numbers will decrease rapidly.

Anxious Times In Pakistan’s Pagan Valley Rising Islamic Influence Pressures An Ancient People:

Naveed is a member of the Kalash, a pagan community known for their fair skin that has long inhabited this area near the border with Afghanistan. The Kalash people, many of whom believe they are the descendants of the armies of Alexander the Great, have held on to their religious beliefs and colorful rituals for centuries, even as a sea of Islam has encircled them.

But the unique traditions of the Kalash are coming under mounting cultural pressure as the pace of conversions to Islam accelerates within Pakistan’s smallest ethnoreligious community. The Kalash population currently numbers between 3,000-4,000, and locals estimate that some 300 of their members have converted to Islam over the past three years, The Washington Post reported in November. Some local reports, however, have said the figure is not that high.

First, to preempt genetic comments: the Kalash do not descend from Europeans like Alexander’s Macedonians, as such. Rather, they are a mix of Indo-Aryan steppe ancestry, with a base of Iranian farmer (the largest component probably), along with a residual but non-trivial amount of indigenous deep South Asia ancestry (AASI in other posts). It is probably fair to say that they are among the most Indo-Aryan peoples in the Indian subcontinent, but the recent work on the Ror people indicates that some Jatt groups are similar.

Second, the fact that they are not Muslim to this day is simply due to the contingencies of history. The Afghan conquest of nearby Nuristan in the last decade of the 19th century resulted in the wholesale conversion of the pagans of that region. The fact that the Kafir Kalash were on the British side of the border meant that they were spared forced conversion.

And so almost magically deep into the 21st century, we got a window into the world of Indo-European customs and practices of the descendants of the Andronovo and Sintashta cultures, relatively isolated from the primary stream of what became Hinduism to the south and east and Zoroastrianism to the west (both of which interacted with non-Indo-European indigenous elements). The sun is setting on these people, whether through forced conversion, or the attractiveness of modernization and assimilation into the dominant culture of Pakistan.

In a few generations, they will be but faint memories to their descendants, and a single thread of the many threads of human cultural history will vanish forever.

The end of the Kalash is nigh

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 6:32 pm

Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all the Kafir Kalash bend the knee to the one true God!

I think anyone who has given it any thought knew that this was inevitable and just a matter of time. That time seems to be now. The Kalash compensated for conversion with higher endogenous fertility, but if it is true that educated young women are converting to Islam, their ability to reproduce their numbers will decrease rapidly.

Anxious Times In Pakistan’s Pagan Valley Rising Islamic Influence Pressures An Ancient People:

Naveed is a member of the Kalash, a pagan community known for their fair skin that has long inhabited this area near the border with Afghanistan. The Kalash people, many of whom believe they are the descendants of the armies of Alexander the Great, have held on to their religious beliefs and colorful rituals for centuries, even as a sea of Islam has encircled them.

But the unique traditions of the Kalash are coming under mounting cultural pressure as the pace of conversions to Islam accelerates within Pakistan’s smallest ethnoreligious community. The Kalash population currently numbers between 3,000-4,000, and locals estimate that some 300 of their members have converted to Islam over the past three years, The Washington Post reported in November. Some local reports, however, have said the figure is not that high.

First, to preempt genetic comments: the Kalash do not descend from Europeans like Alexander’s Macedonians, as such. Rather, they are a mix of Indo-Aryan steppe ancestry, with a base of Iranian farmer (the largest component probably), along with a residual but non-trivial amount of indigenous deep South Asia ancestry (AASI in other posts). It is probably fair to say that they are among the most Indo-Aryan peoples in the Indian subcontinent, but the recent work on the Ror people indicates that some Jatt groups are similar.

Second, the fact that they are not Muslim to this day is simply due to the contingencies of history. The Afghan conquest of nearby Nuristan in the last decade of the 19th century resulted in the wholesale conversion of the pagans of that region. The fact that the Kafir Kalash were on the British side of the border meant that they were spared forced conversion.

And so almost magically deep into the 21st century, we got a window into the world of Indo-European customs and practices of the descendants of the Andronovo and Sintashta cultures, relatively isolated from the primary stream of what became Hinduism to the south and east and Zoroastrianism to the west (both of which interacted with non-Indo-European indigenous elements). The sun is setting on these people, whether through forced conversion, or the attractiveness of modernization and assimilation into the dominant culture of Pakistan.

In a few generations, they will be but faint memories to their descendants, and a single thread of the many threads of human cultural history will vanish forever.

Open Thread, 04/15/2019

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 12:01 am

After reading Jared Rubin’s Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not I can say I highly recommend it. Not necessarily because I’m entirely convinced by the thesis, which is quite subtle, but can be reduced to the proposition that religious elites in the Islamic world were never marginalized to the same extent that religious elites in the Christian world were, and so there did not emerge and economic elite which dictated changes in cultural and state amenable to their interests (and therefore, economic growth).

I don’t know if I’m going to fully review Rulers, Religion, and Riches, because I’m still thinking about all the arguments. But, I can recommend it because there are so many interesting subsections. Early on figure 1.1 and 1.2 show the most populous cities in Europe and the Islamic world in 800 and 1300. These data confirm that Europe lagged the Islamic world in 800, but had caught up by 1300. You should have already known this, but Rubin’s focus on data clarifies and solidifies much.

Though I was already sympathetic to the assertion that the timing of the Protestant Reformation was causally connected to the expansion of printing, again Rubin’s quantitative analyses convince me further. As a skeptical of Max Webber’s model, I find Rubin’s argument for why Protestantism was correlated with early modern economic growth much more persuasive (read the book!).

This week on The Insight I’ll be talking to Steve Stewart-Williams, author of The Ape that Understood the Universe: How the Mind and Culture Evolve. Most of the conversation revolves around evolutionary psychology, a topic I haven’t thought about much recently to be honest. The Ape that Understood the Universe is an irreverent, and broad-church, take on the discipline (there is not much mention of “cognitive modules” in the book).

On my other podcast, I dropped two recently that readers of this weblog might be interested in. First, one with Phillipe Lemoine, everyone’s favorite French philosophical “edgelord.” He has a blog post which I recommend to you, Polarization and misrepresentation of the outgroup.

Second, I talked to Zaid Jilani. Along with Leighton Woodhouse, he is behind the Extremely Offline podcast. Zaid is clearly a man of the Left, but he seems to have a traditionally liberal perspective on intellectual discourse. The most recent episode of their podcast featured a discussion between Mike Cernovich and Katie Herzog.

Was Thomas Kuhn Evil? Definitely overrated and not totally coherent, no?

Silicon Valley Housing Crisis Ensnares Stanford. More “cost-of-living porn.” Now I’m reading stories of hairdressers buying houses in Arizona and flying back on Southwest to San Francisco periodically.

Loss-of-function tolerance of enhancers in the human genome.

Genomic selection for lentil breeding: empirical evidence.

John Snow Emails 23andMe About His DNA Results. Genealogically he’s 12.5%. DNA is not magic!

Iran’s Revolution Reconsidered. I always thought it was known that the Iranian Revolution had an element of Platonism? Shia Islam did not turn as definitively against Hellenic thought as the Sunnis did after al-Ghazali.

Origin of elevational replacements in a clade of nearly flightless birds – most diversity in tropical mountains accumulates via secondary contact following allopatric speciation.

Macroevolutionary integration of phenotypes within and across ant worker castes.

Defining the genetic and evolutionary architecture of alternative splicing in response to infection.

By the I, I mentioned this on Twitter. 23andMe says I’m 97% “Broadly South Asian” and my parents are 99% “Broadly South Asian.” That broadly part clearly includes people with substantial East Asian ancestry, as is the norm among most Bengalis, especially those of us from the east. That’s fine, but the method they’re using is masking this from customers. I can see why they do this, but the PCA don’t lie, and we’re off-cline…. The admixture is just “old” (~1,500 years old).

Bayesian Estimation of Population Size Changes by Sampling Tajima’s Trees.

Multiple Deeply Divergent Denisovan Ancestries in Papuans. Many seem skeptical about the recent time estimate for late admixture. But the overall finding of structure is probably right on some level.

New Tides of History on Queen Isabella and the Reconquista.

Last week we dropped a podcast about the “missing heritability” with Alexander Young. He wrote a blog post exploring the issue. I also heard that PLOS has now invited him to write a comment on the topic! In a few weeks, I’ll be talking to John Greally about epigenetics.

Interview with Paul Coates, the father of Ta-Nehisi Coates. In the battle of ideas between the “ancients” and the “moderns”, sometimes the ancients were wiser.

New species of ancient human unearthed in the Philippines.

Coupled MCMC in BEAST 2.

April 14, 2019

Browncast Episode 30: Phillippe Lemoine on philosophy, politics, French immigration & The European Union

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 4:32 am
A creature of the night

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsyniTunes, Spotify,  and Stitcher. Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe at one of the links above.

You can also support the podcast as a patron (the primary benefit now is that you get the podcasts considerably earlier than everyone else…).

I’m toying with an “AMA” on a YouTube live stream for “Patrons” only another benefit. Since there aren’t too many Patrons it might be a simple thing to do if no one shows up!

But I would definitely appreciate more positive reviews. Many of you listen to us, but don’t leave any reviews!

Best with Bourdeaux

This week we talked to Phillipe Lemoine, a philosopher, pundit, and data scientist. Phillipe has his own blog, but I would also recommend his pieces in Jacobite magazine

Informally I think of this episode of the BrownCast as “frawg-talk.”. We addressed Phillipe’s intellectual journey, from computer scientist to philosopher of science to data scientist. How he got involved in various assorted issues, and hard-headed analysis of migration into France, as well as sanguine attitude toward the European Union.

April 12, 2019

Open Thread – Brown Pundits

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 11:27 pm

Please keep the other posts on topic. Use this for talking about whatever you want to talk about.

Already posted a new podcast, “Frawg-talk” on the Patron page. Don’ know when this podcast is going live….

April 7, 2019

Open Thread, 04/07/2019

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 10:19 pm

So Kingdoms of Faith: A New History of Islamic Spain is worth it for the first 2/3 of the book. The last 1/3 is a bunch of stuff about the Emirate of Granada that’s hard to keep track of. If you didn’t know that in 1500 most of the Muslim communities of the peninsula outside of Granada were in the kingdom of Aragon, then this book is worth reading, as it explains the reasons for this.

The Brown Pundits podcast is going to release a bunch of stuff in the next few days (already on Patreon page). Readers of this weblog will probably appreciate the conversation with Zaid Jilani the most. We talk about whethe Matt Yglesias really believes the stuff he puts out there. Zaid has some insights. The podcast could have gone much longer, because it’s interesting to talk to someoen who doesn’t have paint-by-the-numbers answers to everything.

Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not is interesting because it’s starting to convince me of the importance of ideas and doctrine in religion in terms of material consequences! Need to think more deeply on this. But recommended.

China’s Hard Edge: The Leader of Beijing’s Muslim Crackdown Gains Influence. “He promoted education in Chinese instead of in Tibetan, and offered financial and other incentives to encourage interracial marriages.” Forced assimilation and demographic absorption has been a past Chinese tactic.

Quantifying the contribution of sequence variants with regulatory and evolutionary significance to 34 bovine complex traits.

Gene-level heritability analysis explains the polygenic architecture of cancer.

Genome-wide association study reveals sex-specific genetic architecture of facial attractiveness.

‘There are no black people on Game of Thrones’: why is fantasy TV so white? People criticize Quillett for publishing predictable stuff…but the point that’s not brought up is how ‘respectable’ media regularly publish predictable clickbait to pay the bills.

A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy. Maybe we’ll die of infectious diseases rather than heart-disease or cancer?

Raptor genomes reveal evolutionary signatures of predatory and nocturnal lifestyles.

Genetic Associations with Mathematics Tracking and Persistence in Secondary School.

Genomic Prediction of Depression Risk and Resilience Under Stress.

U.S. Urges Immediate Halt to Military Operations in Libya. What’s going on in Libya again? Another mess we forgot….

This week on The Insight I’m talking to Alex Young about the missing heritability. He’s going to be putting up a blog post this week too.

April 6, 2019

Open Thread – Brown Pundits

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 2:19 am

Please keep the other posts on topic. Use this for talking about whatever you want to talk about.

April 1, 2019

Open Thread, 04/01/2019

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 9:52 pm

The Birth of Modern Belief: Faith and Judgment from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment. An interesting book, especially paired with The Rise of Western Christendom.

A seismically induced onshore surge deposit at the KPg boundary, North Dakota. This paper is the basis for the article in The New Yorker, The Day the Dinosaurs Died. This paper and the piece in The New Yorker has gotten serious blowback on Twitter.

A likelihood method for estimating present-day human contamination in ancient DNA samples using low-depth haploid chromosome data.

A three-sample test for introgression.

This week on The Insight I’m going to talk to Cosimo Posth about the genetics of Ice Age Europe. I also recorded a podcast on evolutionary psychology, and will be recording one on the “missing heritability.”

Recovery of trait heritability from whole genome sequence data.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence in the case of asserted mtDNA biparental inheritance.

I will be devoting some time to improving the subscription option….

March 22, 2019

Open Thread – Brown Pundits

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 2:18 am

Please keep the other posts on topic. Use this for talking about whatever you want to talk about.

March 18, 2019

Open Thread, 03/18/2019

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 9:04 pm

Going back to finishing Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not. My general attitude so far is that I’m skeptical, but the author presents a plausible thesis. Additionally, the book is worth reading because of its engagement with the whole literature in this area. It’s got a good bibliography you can follow-up.

We had Shadi Hamid on the Brown Pundits podcast. Really appreciate Shadi’s interest in engaging with a diverse array of people. A real intellectual for our time, and unfortunately all too rare in many places these days (I think Shadi should go on the Extremely Offline podcast, even though he is extremely online).

There’s a Fake Outrage Machine on the Right, Also. Basically, they’re trying to get a professor fired for saying in some forum several years ago that cops should be killed. This is egregious, but one of the features of academia, as it is today, is that egregiousness is defended.

Some people are making the analogy to the professor who is under fire at Sarah Lawrence, who wrote an op-ed suggesting there needs to be more intellectual diversity in academia. That’s a pretty weird comparison, but I guess it tells you something. If you are conservative your very existence is scary. If you are on the Left, suggesting people should be killed is scary. But look, there are literal Communists in the academy. No one is demanding they be fired, and unless you add all sorts of caveats being a Communist often means you believe in violent revolution against a class of people. Being liberal in the broad sense is illustrated only when it’s hard, not when it’s easy.

A conservative assault on academia may need to occur, but it shouldn’t be around small things like a professor here and there. Go for the money. That’s the heart. Crazy professors are like stray strands of hair.

The Stanford professor who rejected one of Elizabeth Holmes’ early ideas explains what it was like to watch the rise and fall of Theranos. If you listened to The Dropout, you get the feeling that Dr. Phyllis Gardner was the hero we didn’t deserve. It must have been difficult to watch what has happened over the past 15 years for her. She knew it was fake all along.

Immune Gene Diversity in Archaic and Present-day Humans. Starting to think that the low diversity and population sizes of northern humans were a long-term problem, and one reason they were absorbed by southern modern humans. Not totally sure though.

Jomon genome sheds light on East Asian population history.

Shared polygenetic variation between ASD and ADHD exerts opposite association patterns with educational attainment.

The Scandals of Meritocracy. Virtue vs. competence. Would you rather have a boss who is evil but competent, or good but incompetent? The reality is you have to balance the two. Richard Nixon was probably smarter that Dwight Eisenhower in raw g, but Eisenhower was probably a better person.

Indian population is growing much faster in the north – and the south is paying the price. Much of South India is below replacement. Kerala’s fertility is similar to Japan’s. The Gangetic core of North India is well above replacement. The state of Bihar has 100 million people and a total fertility rate of 3.41. That’s similar to Pakistan’s.

Classic Mechanism of Epigenetic Inheritance Is Rare, Not the Rule. Some geneticists are in “but we all knew that” mode. But the reality is that going by the popular press the public doesn’t know that. The unfortunate reality is that scientific revolutions don’t come around that often.

DNA Friend. Amusing parody site.

Genome-Wide Polygenic Risk Scores and prediction of Gestational Diabetes in South Asian Women.

Fooled By Randomness is my favorite Nassim Taleb book.

Graham Coop has released a textbook, Population and Quantitative Genetics. Since I periodically get emails to delete comments from kids in high school and college, I knew younger people read this weblog. I’d recommend a resource like this to see if you are really interested in population and quantitative genetics.

Check out the Population Genomics blog.

A History of the Iberian Peninsula, as Told by Its Skeletons.

Survival of Late Pleistocene Hunter-Gatherer Ancestry in the Iberian Peninsula.

Population histories of the United States revealed through fine-scale migration and haplotype analysis. White Americans are the garlic people.

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