Gene Expression

Archives for March, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke has died

Read all about it. He was no prose stylist or a crafter of character, but oh the ideas!

Neutral Neandertal?

John Hawks responds to the new paper in PNAS, Close correspondence between quantitative and molecular-genetic divergence times for Neandertals and modern humans.

The pagan Reformation

I read Christmas: A Candid History walking home last night. It’s a small compact book so walking and reading works well. In any case, there was some surprising information here. The basic outline that Christmas, as we understand it, is in large part a co-opted pagan complex of festivals is there. No surprise. But the…

The angle of Stuff White People Like

Why White People Like ‘Stuff White People Like’: …Basically, this joke breaks down as “Congratulate a white person and they will feel smugly good about themselves.” It’s the perfect go-to punchline for Stuff White People Like, because it’s really what the site is all about. Because if there’s one thing white people really like, it’s…

Hasidic actor walks off Portman movie: First he couldn’t hold Natalie Portman’s hand – and now a Williamsburg Hasidic Jew-turned-actor has to give up his chance to hit it big in a Hollywood movie. …. “I am backing out of the movie,” said Karpen, a kitchen cabinet salesman. “It’s not acceptable in my community. It’s…

Sewall Wright’s Path Analysis

David has finally initiated his series on the major ideas of the great evolutionary biologist Sewall Wright. Check out his post on path analysis.

OK, the title is somewhat of an exaggeration, but not much. Out of Africa, Not Once But Twice: Modern humans are known to have left Africa in a wave of migration around 50,000 years ago, but another, smaller group — possibly a different subspecies — left the continent 50,000 years earlier, suggests a new study.…

Tibet & Tibetans, not coterminus

Daniel Larison says: Reliable information is a bit hard to come by, but it seems as if the policy of increased Han Chinese colonisation in Tibet has finally run up against a violent popular backlash. I haven’t anything very insightful to say about this, but it is one of the major foreign affairs stories this…

Interview with John Hawks

Long interview with John Hawks at Archaeology.

Shariah is not savage, people are

Our old friend Noah Feldman has a new article in The New York Times Magazine exploring the subtly of shariah law. I know that Feldman is exceedingly bright, and as someone raised as an Orthodox Jew and a law professor, he is very well placed to explore this topic and translate to a Western audience.…