Gene Expression

Archives for July, 2008

Breeding the future

Some results from the GSS on what people perceive the ideal number of children is based on social variables. Additionally, the realized number of children the respondent has. I limited the sample to whites who were 40 or older (there are people who have children past 40, but I assume that most of the discrepancy,…

Chris Orr at The Plank reports that Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series is going to be given the film treatment. Orr is skeptical, and so am I. As far as space opera goes the Foundation universe was a cerebral and sedate treatment; they’ll have to rewrite a lot of it to get some action to spice…

I was curious about a few social variables which often associate across generations, and also within families. So I looked in the General Social Survey for denomination, highest degree and socioeconomic index, which I knew were surveyed for the individual (respondent), their parents and their spouse. Below the fold are the correlation matrices generated. Remember…

Indo-European and Asian origins for Chilean and Pacific chickens revealed by mtDNA: European chickens were introduced into the American continents by the Spanish after their arrival in the 15th century. However, there is ongoing debate as to the presence of pre-Columbian chickens among Amerindians in South America, particularly in relation to Chilean breeds such as…

Theological beliefs by denomination

One of the problems with intellectual conversations is that they are generally restricted to intellectuals. By their nature intellectuals tend to value reflection and some semblance of comprehension and consistency. This is a “curved” scale; I’m not contending here that intellectuals really attain a very high absolute level of analytic clarity or coherency, but, the…

Humanities “vs.” science

Chad has a post up The Innumeracy of Intellectuals, where he goes on a rant against humanities academics and their blithe complacency in relation to their ignorance of science & mathematics. Two points…. 1) One of the major issues with humanistically oriented intellectuals, I believe, is a lack of anthropological fluency with the culture of…

Because of the increased prices in gasoline and the perception of scarcity in terms of power, there has been a lot of talk about nuclear. There have been many comments of late from the Right that the Left is opposed to the utilization of nuclear power, and often gleeful the observation that many European countries…

Style is timeless

I’ve been reading Critique of Pure Reason and An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding in the evenings. It should be no surprise that the former is a more tedious read than the latter, David Hume being the better stylist than Immanuel Kant. In faireness, one presumes that translation from the German might add some overhead in…

History in the genes

I’ve posted a fair amount about the new field of historical population genetics. Some of the most popular mass-market books in genetics deal with this field, for example Spencer Wells’ Journey of Man. On the other hand, there’s a lot of sloppy overreach on the part of some practitioners, especially due to the excessive reliance…

Sandman has a post up, Can There Be A Synthesis Between Cultural And Biological Evolution?, taking off on the PLoS Biology article, Across the Curious Parallel of Language and Species Evolution. Read both. I would add one important point though: linguistic and biological evolution are simply subsets of evolutionary dynamics. That is why Martin Nowak’s…