Daily Data Dump (Wednesday)

By Razib Khan | May 12, 2010 2:55 pm

Ancient DNA set to rewrite human history. Good overview by Rex Dalton at Nature. I assume he knows more than he’s letting on, so a bit of Kremlinology: “In March, the group reported the mitochondrial DNA sequence from this individual, an unknown hominin that, so far, does not genetically match either Neanderthals or H. sapiens and may represent a new species. The team dated the bone to about 40,000 years ago, but others say that the sediments around the bone may be as old as 100,000 years. There is speculation that the bone could be the remains of an older species of Homo, perhaps even of a remnant population of Homo heidelbergensis, known in Europe from 300,000 to 500,000 years ago, or of Homo erectus, found as early as 1.8 million years ago from Africa to Indonesia. A full sequence may help to resolve this.” I think we’ll know a lot more about X-woman and how she relates to us in the near future.

State IQ estimates (2009). Again, proximity to the Canadian border is a boon.

Neanderthals’r’us? A paleoanthropologist’s view. He claims that the genetics is finally aligning with the fossils.

The Neandertal fraction. John Hawks explains what it means to say that 1-4% of non-African ancestry is Neandertal when we always talk about how we’re 98-99% identical to chimpanzees. This came up in the comments but I didn’t address it because a little thought makes this pretty obvious, but now you can read John Hawks’ explanation if you need a boost.

Below is a video of the assault on a Swedish artist who drew Muhammad as a dog. He was at a university event celebrating free speech. People are shouting“Allahu Akbar!” Charming.

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  • MW

    Here’s a very quick (but perhaps not terribly good) analogy for the Neandertal fraction.
    A corporation says:
    “98% of our cash is in US dollars”
    “4% of our cash came from consulting”
    No paradox here.

  • Melykin

    Re: Swedish Cartoonist Assaulted
    Yikes. Very scary, though most of the people there were just sitting or standing around with a deer-in-the-headlights expression.

    Ironically, as I as watching the video there was an advertisement scrolling along the bottom saying “Learn to be a cartoonist in Canada at CSI” , or something like that.

  • Maciano

    I’ve always been an atheist who’s mildly pro-religion; mainly because I saw my mother’s Christianity giving her support during her battle with cancer. However, nowadays, I’m not so sure anymore. Religiosity can be toxic. Of course, religion is too much part of human experience to ever disappear, but fighting against the literalists and extremists is something we simply must learn to do — forcefully.

    I believe the Egyptian autorities lock up ther extremists; the more I learn about the latter, the more I think I can’t blame the former.

  • Twilightened

    Religious fanatics in Sweden too ? Wow. I loved swedish cops though :)

  • Chris T

    DC has the lowest average IQ, that explains a lot.

  • diana

    The passion of the Mohammedans. These guys mean business. Some years ago Martin Peretz called Islam “a religion with teeth.” He was reviled. He was right.

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  • dave chamberlin

    I think it advisable to cease all discussions where comparisons of white and black IQ’s are made. It doesnt matter the scientific intentions these questions start with, what matters is it will end with the public demonizing a section of science which will eventually yield results that reduce human misery. Just two cents from a lowly idle speculator.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com


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