Daily Data Dump – Tuesday

By Razib Khan | August 24, 2010 11:20 am

Glenn Beck Wrong on Darwin: How Evolution Affirms the Oneness of Humankind. I can see where the individual is coming from, but I think more people should just come out say that evolution is just science, and has no deeper moral implications besides those which humans impute to it. No one cares about the ethical implications of physics, and fundamentally biology is no different. I realize that since it’s closer to the phenomenon of humanity than physics it won’t play out that way, and philosophers and theologians can do with it what they will. But really, if you look at a specific question like cross-racial mating among humans in 1910 and 2010 you learn a lot more about human values of scientists than about the science of human evolution and genetics.

Did Ancient Coffee Houses Lay the Groundwork for Modern Consumerism? ‘Coffee house discourse often challenged the authority of the state and religion and led to changes in the society. “Simultaneously, a new Ottoman consumer, resisting the prescriptions of the state and religion, actively constructing self ethics, and taking part in the formation of the coffeehouse culture, was forming as well.’ OK.


College Dropout Factories. Like some for-profit colleges Chicago State looks primarily to be a way for administrators and professors to siphon money from public coffers.

Gender and the Financial Crisis. In relation to gender differences and the financial crisis, Althouse’s rule of discussing sex differences in enlightened company is operative: it’s all good if it makes men look “bad.” All the things being stated about females in positions of power, being risk averse and such, can be spun positively or negatively. Just depends on your frame.

Are mutualists monogamists, while antagonists play the field? Jeremy Yoder is always worth a read if you like the biological content here.

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  • onur

    Coffee houses (“kahvehane” in Turkish) were at the center of the Ottoman public culture (probably except some remote country and desert regions) be it in the Muslim, Christian, Jewish or other sections of the society. They were the main avenues for the thriving common public culture(s) that was/were largely independant from the state and religion-based cultures, often being dissident to them. Even today, coffee houses are widespread and a traditional part of the local culture in almost all of the former (I am excluding Hungary, Transilvania, NW Iran and the most of Ottoman Caucasus as they didn’t stay long in the Ottoman control and also Crimea as it was too remote from the center and was in practice almost wholly independent) Ottoman territories.

    The movie “Pascali’s Island” reflects the importance of coffee houses in the Ottoman society vividly.

  • Wade Nichols

    Peter L. Bernstein’s Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk discussed the role of coffee houses in the development of insurance products, especially Lloyd’s of London, and how the coffee house served as a gathering place for information on various ships, and underwriters would price insurance based on the chatter.

    I was expecting a discussion of insurance companies, not the Ottoman Empire, but I can see the parallels!

    I remember reading about Pascali’s Island, I see it’s only available on DVD as a bootleg!

  • onur

    No sane person today doubts that humans are one species, namely Homo sapiens, as the offsprings of genetically remotests people are fertile. The only major source of contention is whether humans today have subspecies (like most species in the world) or not. Race is only a screen name for human subspecies and it is used only because that it has been used for a considerable amount of time. So for the sake of consistency, I will use the term subspecies instead of race for the subtaxa of humans (=Homo sapiens) just as for the subtaxa of other species.

    Even after the wipe out of the neanderthals (probably a Homo sapiens, i.e., human subspecies or group of subspecies as modern human-neanderthal offsprings were probably fertile according to the latest genetic findings pointing to modern human-neanderthal admixture), humans today may have some subspecies, and I think large-scale autosomal genetic studies clearly point to that. As just a single proof for this among many many others, look at the analysis results of McEvoy et al.’s recent Aborigine paper:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Ish7688voT0/TFw5rxj3vyI/AAAAAAAACiU/2LeVFiL_HJE/s1600/mcevoy_frappe_australian.jpg

  • onur

    continued from above

    As you see in the above analysis results, the clusters at K=5 are almost in one to one correspondence with some of the human subspecies (races). These human subspecies are Caucasoid (blue), Mongoloid (yellow), Americoid (green), Greater (meaning also including Capoids and Pygmoids) Negroid (pink) and Australoid (orange). BTW, don’t forget that today’s Australian Aborigines have significant recent European admixture (as is clear from their Caucasoid admixture), and that Melanesians have some Mongoloid admixture (also clear from the analysis results), probably from the Austronesian expansion.

  • onur

    continued from above

    The populations from Pakistan are actually an admixture of the Dravidoid subspecies and the Caucasoid subspecies with Hazaras also possessing Mongoloid admixture (significant) and Makranis also possessing Negroid admixture.

    The Dravidoid subspecies is apparent in Xing et al. 2010 results:

    http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2010/07/more-uniform-sampling-of-human-genetic.html

  • isamu

    The kid profiled in the college dropout article had an ACT score of 18. The idea that people are actually wasting their and his time to make him an “engineer” is terrifying.

  • Chris T

    It still amazes me how many scientists have trouble keeping objective and normative claims separate. If they can’t do it, what hope do lay people have?

  • John Emerson

    In terms of value-received by the student, legit private colleges and grad schools can function as money siphons. In most of the liberal arts, and especially the humanities, a PhD from a low end grad school (lower than #20 or #30 in the field) will tend to be useless careerwise. the PhD letters behind the name are the same but it doesn’t mean anything.

    Some individuals may knowingly be willing to pay for cultural enrichment alone, some families have lots of money, and entrepreneurial types can use a PhD from any school to good effect, but there are plenty of regretful PhDs out there.

  • John Emerson

    Coffee houses played a major political role in 18th c. England and Scotland, which intellectually very fruitful time. In 19th c. France both coffee and tobacco still had a vaguely Bohemian reputation, but was also associated with workaholism (Balzac wrote four novels a year on coffee overload.) Doctors also diagnosed diseases as the reult of excessive coffee use — 19th c. medicine was extremely crude and this may just be a sign that coffee was still a little disreputable. Bach’s Coffee Cantata (1721) treats coffee as a youthful fad.</a

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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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