Gene Expression

Archives for December, 2007

So, I just found out that Sayyed Qaboos bin Sa’id Al ‘Bu Sa’id, the Sultan and autocrat of Oman, is a homosexual. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But that got me thinking, are there any other homosexual heads of state* out there? Please post a reference if you submit a candidate. * Prime…

Formalization & process

Rich Lawler has an insightful comment: It’s interesting to note that a few of the most insightful observations about the evolutionary process were first promulgated verbally, then later proven mathematically (unlike H-W equilibrium). These include runaway sexual selection (first adumbrated by Fisher, then shown mathematically possible by Lande and Kirkpatrick), the handicap principle (first adumbrated…

Sex ratio & migration via X & Y

Looking for Nm* values for humans I stumbled across an interesting paper, Estimating sex-specific processes in human populations: Are XY-homologous markers an effective tool?: …To test this idea, we analyzed XY-homologous microsatellite diversity in 33 human populations from Africa, Asia and Europe. Interpopulation comparisons suggest that the generally discordant pattern of genetic variation observed for…

p‘s & q‘s vs. verbs

Evolgen and Popgen Ramblings have put up posts where they criticize a parameter of the acceleration paper. John Hawks responds in the comments. But I thought this line was priceless: Nah, you’re not a dirty anti-adaptationist! All these labels are nonsense; all that is important is understanding the math involved — something Gould never really…

It’s about inevitability….

Laelaps has an excellent post up, Evolution’s Arrow, which you should read. Set some time aside, it is long. I don’t know enough about paleontology to comment with great insight on the many of the topics which Laelaps alludes to, and some of them get a bit philosophical for my own taste (that is, issues…

Katz

Obesity is heritable, not genetic

Genome Wide Association (GWA) Study for Early Onset Extreme Obesity Supports the Role of Fat Mass and Obesity Associated Gene (FTO) Variants. Even if this is true, these correlations between particular alleles and obesity hold for the modern German lifestyle. I guarantee you that population level diversity in weight correcting for height was sharply attenuated…

Vitamin D: why evolution may matter

Mark of Denialism left a comment below re: Vitamin D deficiency: I wouldn’t call that evidence thin biff. The role of vitamin D in tuberculosis was actually pretty well nailed by studies of immigrants in the UK which demonstrate that latent TB infections will reactivate in the sunless climate. The demonstration of the role of…

The Elders of Ron Paul

Ed and Mark are asking what’s up with Ron Paul and the Neo-Nazis? I think…it’s complicated. Colugo sketches out the general lay of the land pretty well, Ron Paul is a “paleo,” specifically a paleolibertarian. He derives his ideology from the Old Right, and promotes a personal bourgeoise ethic. Three points: * Ron Paul’s intellectual…

The Ascetic Style in American Atheism

On this Sunday’s Weekend Edition on NPR there was a piece titled Removing Religion from the Holidays a Tall Order. Much of the story focuses upon Greg Epstein, a Humanist Chaplain at Harvard, and his attempt to forge a new more humane secular cultural sensibility which does not reject all that that is religious because…