History

Gene Expression

Category archives for History

I see white people (in China)

There’s an article in The New York Times on the recent paper which extracted genetic material from remains in Xinjiang dated to 4,000 years ago. Remember that these remains exhibited male lineages which were west Eurasian, specifically R1a1, while the female lineages (mtDNA) were more heterogeneous, both eastern and western. This particular twist in history…

‘Hero of Ukraine’ Splits Nation, Inside and Out: Half a century after his death at the hands of the K.G.B., Stepan Bandera, a World War II partisan, has not lost his ability to rally Ukrainians against Russia — and against each other. Monuments to Mr. Bandera have sprung up across western Ukraine, his fight for…

The warfare state

A few weeks ago I remarked on the relatively high current defense spending for the United States. In hindsight I think this was somewhat unfair, the proportion of the budget that the United States spends on defense is rather small in a world-historical context. I was reminded of this by a datum in The Age…

The origins of the Yakuts

One of the more substantive consequences of the powerful new genomic techniques has been in the area of ancient DNA extraction and analysis. The Neandertal genome story is arguably the sexiest, but closer to the present day there’ve been plenty of results which have changed the way we look at the past. The input of…

The Man Who Would Be A Barbarian

A western Eurasian male is found in 2000-year-old elite Xiongnu cemetery in Northeast Mongolia: We analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNP), and autosomal short tandem repeats (STR) of three skeletons found in a 2,000-year-old Xiongnu elite cemetery in Duurlig Nars of Northeast Mongolia. This study is one of the first reports of…

For the past few decades there has been a long standing debate as to the origins of modern Europeans. The two alternative hypotheses are: * Europeans are descended from Middle Eastern farmers, who brought their Neolithic cultural toolkit less than 10,000 years ago. * Europeans are descended from Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, who acculturated to the farming…

Eric Michael Johnson has put up a three part series on deconstructing the intellectual tradition of Social Darwinism. This is blogging as scholarship at its best. When it comes to intellectual history it is often rather easy to quote a particular passage or emphasize one aspect of a movement, and then leverage that in the…

As I gave a nod to statistical tricks and subtle shell games very recently, the material I review subsequently should be viewed with skepticism and caution. A few days ago I also pointed to a paper which describes and models intergenerational transfers of wealth across various societies. In other words, what parents transmit to children.…

David Rohde among the Taliban

I’m not a close follower of the news, but the past week I’ve checked The New York Times for David Rohde’s chronicle of his period of captivity and escape from the Taliban. All five articles are up now (and an epilogue).

Eurasian books

At my other weblog, two reviews of books on Eurasia. First, Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present. Second, China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty.