Gene Expression

Archives for October, 2008

Genetic and Linguistic Coevolution in Northern Island Melanesia: …Here, we use high-quality data and novel methods to test two models of genetic and linguistic coevolution in Northern Island Melanesia, a region known for its complex history and remarkable biological and linguistic diversity. The first model predicts that congruent genetic and linguistic trees formed following serial…

Statistics and religious trends

I have a piece up for The Guardian’s new Comment is Free Belief site, The use and abuse of statistics – Prophecies of the extinction of religion, or its triumph, fall prey to the weaknesses of linear prediction. Implicit in my argument are these sorts of dynamics: Bearman and Br├╝ckner have also identified a peculiar…

The fact of the irrational voter

The Political Gender Gap: Gender Bias in Facial Inferences that Predict Voting Behavior: …Contrary to the notion that people use deliberate, rational strategies when deciding whom to vote for in major political elections, research indicates that people use shallow decision heuristics, such as impressions of competence solely from a candidate’s facial appearance, when deciding whom…

“Phoenician” DNA….

Dienekes and Kambiz both hit a new paper which claims to find the Y chromosomal (direct male descent lines) signatures of the ancient Phoenician colonization of the Mediterranean. I tend to see a lot of merit in Dienekes’ criticisms, the net here is thrown so wide that it’s almost one of those models where it…

Jim Manzi on epistasis

Jim Manzi has a long post up on epistasis, that is, gene-gene interactions: We could call this process of competing algorithms struggling to find the best solution as fast as possible “meta-evolution”. That is, each potential search method must compete for survival. The fact that the algorithm that has won this (idealized) competition in the…

You can read all about it. I don’t have anything interesting to say on the election, so I’ll leave it at that. I’m also closing comments on this post because I’m 99.999% sure you don’t have anything interesting to say either (added a third 9 after the decimal point upon further consideration!).

Evolution and trustworthiness

Evolution of trust and trustworthiness: social awareness favours personality differences (Open Access): Interest in the evolution and maintenance of personality is burgeoning. Individuals of diverse animal species differ in their aggressiveness, fearfulness, sociability and activity. Strong trade-offs, mutation-selection balance, spatio-temporal fluctuations in selection, frequency dependence and good-genes mate choice are invoked to explain heritable personality…

The wealthy work harder?

In response to a Conor Friedersdorf post on hard-working high earners I decided to look around for some data on the differences between socioeconomic categories in terms of hours worked weekly. In the GSS I found a modest association between higher income and more hours, but the N’s were rather modest as well. Looking through…

Princeton Univeristy Press blog

Princeon University Press now has a weblog. It looks like a good idea in terms of getting publicity for authors of academic books (and ideally, you get some value-add in terms of insight and experience). I wonder if Andrew Gelman’s editor has tried to figure out how many extra copies of d State, Blue State,…

Race as a function of name

Dienekes has a interesting, if not surprising, post on how names can mold how we perceive people. I’ve posted on this before. The most extreme illustration of this tendency I’ve ever read is the fact that during segregation some southern hotels allowed international travelers from African countries with obvious black ancestry to check-in. I believe…