Who you are thread….

By Razib Khan | January 22, 2012 7:54 pm

I haven’t posted one of these in a long time. My own assumption is that I know the core readership of this weblog through various means relating to comments (many of you connect your email addresses to Facebook, and usually I can do an IP trace if that’s not feasible). But I know many people do not comment, so this is an opportunity to “out” yourself and such (also, over the years there has been some talk about “networking” by readers who share common eclectic interests).


One aspect of this blog which many readers seem to not understand because I am not anonymous is that I do consciously work to keep my online and offline lives rather separate (e.g., in real life I don’t tell my friends they’re being stupid in those terms if they are being stupid). But in the interest of kicking things off I’ll divulge a fact about me which close readers are now fully aware of: I will be a father soon (this is why I had to nix my earlier plans to go to ScienceOnline2012). And no, this is not going to be a “natural child.” From that you should be able to make another inference about my life! In any case, this is not a big disclosure because at some point I will be interested in doing some genetic analyses, as I have all my future daughter’s grandparents genotyped.

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  • Miley Cyrax

    “One aspect of this blog which many readers seem to not understand because I am not anonymous is that I do consciously work to keep my online and offline lives rather separate (e.g., in real life I don’t tell my friends they’re being stupid in those terms if they are being stupid).”

    Funny, as it’s not rare for me to tell friends that they were being stupid (in those terms) and link to a post of yours. One that I “use” a lot is the female race consciousness in dating.

    And congratulations. I often joke my plan is to have as many illegitimate children as my income allows. Except I’m not really joking.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    #1, if i am hanging with the *less wrong* people i will tell them they’re being stupid. and vice versa. but that doesn’t work as neatly in normal socialization 😉 but, i do still tend to verbally bludgeon.

  • Antonio

    Congrats, man!

  • http://shinbounomatsuri.wordpress.com Spike Gomes

    Rabbitz and Katz and Babiez, a regular Full House!

  • Ian


  • http://opinionationblog.blogspot.com Grace

    Congratulations on the new baby! I had my first child 11 months ago now, and it’s been a fantastically interesting ride (especially from a genetics perspective). I am sure you will find it fascinating to watch the ways in which genes express themselves in real-time action (and maybe a little creepy, when you see familial traits cropping up in a tiny new person).

    Personal info: American, live in Singapore; degrees in history and museum studies; interested in early human evolution, effects of genes on personality and intelligence, and Asian (especially Chinese) and European history, among other things.

  • http://singularitynotes.com/ Jim Miller

    I’m an associate professor of economics currently writing a book on the technological singularity.

  • http://wobbly.com wobbly

    American, beef farmer, SW France.

    Congrats on the child. There aren’t too many things as important.

  • skinman

    I’m an atheist, father of three (8, 5 & 3), living in Colorado with an interest in science. I’ve been reading the Discover blogs since I followed Phil Plait here. I have to admit that more than half of what you write is over my head.

    Congrats on your pending fatherhood. I hope you are prepared for the perpetual exhaustion that comes with being a parent.

  • Judith

    South African of Afrikaans extraction. Would love to call myself a computer scientist but I’m just a programmer with an interest in genetics and history, two themes that often intersect here. It’s been gratifying to see some references to South Africa on this blog, especially the entry you had about the Khoi a while ago. Thanks for picking Charlize as your token Afrikaner.

    I’ve got two young ones and I can confirm what Grace has said; absolutely facinating to watch those little bodies and minds develop and grow. Much is within your control as parent – much isn’t. Congratulations! Hope you’ll still have time to blog :-)

  • Shane

    Info: 23, American expat of German and Welsh descent currently living in South Korea; teaching middle school English there. Interested in genetic research as it affects cultural anthropology, and also genetic precursors for mental illness.

  • grandma shirley

    Old lady who is always looking for new info. No science background because in my day, girls were directed to traditional female jobs even with very strong aptitude for science. Oh well, I still can learn. Btw, most of your stuff is over my head but I keep reading. Maybe some of it will stick. Thanks for sharing your info and your life. A baby changes your whole outlook.

  • http://washparkprophet.blogspot.com ohwilleke

    Hurray for kiddos! Honestly, the whole parenthood thing does actually get easier with time. I’ve relished reaching the point where my tweens can now shovel snow, cook some meals, fix defective screen doors, take the bus by themselves to the mall, and provide more help than distraction at tasks like buying groceries and cleaning up the basement (and they’ve also reached the point where they can start asking the kinds of questions discussed here).

    I’m also godless in Colorado, and my day job is as a lawyer. As an undergraduate, I was a math major at Oberlin College. My user name is simply my surname (less a hyphen). I have two active blogs of my own, which are cross-linked to each other. One mostly for physics and anthropology, and the other for everything else. I spent about a years as a professor at a for profit college before a faculty layoff hit, I am a past member of the Society of Professional Journalists, was once the county treasurer of the Democratic Party in Denver, Colorado, have interned in Congress and have had a state representative as a partner in a law practice. I’ve had posts from my blog cited by the Free Republic, Daily Kos, and a British war college. I’ve lived in New Zealand, but grew up in Ohio.

  • Antonio

    Oh, I am finishing my PhD in political science and statistics at UCLA next year (with a master in stats actually). Studying the interconnection (or the lack of thereof) between politics and health. Like policy oriented research. Like graphs more than numbers (though I am not claiming to be good at any!). Bayesian penchant. Like to watch, read and learn about how people interact. Loves history, population studies and to travel. Regrets doesn’t speak many more languages. Genetics is a very very recent interest mostly due to this very blog. Colonial brazilian from Rio de Janeiro: mostly portuguese, french and swiss-german. Atheist but with a catholic background. Married but both
    too immature to be parents. Loves cooking! Consider USA somewhat weird but there are nice people too!

  • Phil

    Canadian (from Toronto) of Welsh, Scottish and English descent, currently living in Nantes, France. Atheist from atheist parents, currently working in import-export. Started to read your blog via Bad Astronomy.

  • Moshe Rudner

    Razitaz! People who don’t hit the link are likely to infer precisely the opposite of what you intended regarding the pedigree of your progeny. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    As for networking, I’ll introduce myself here to my fellow readers as a long-time appreciator of the particular blend of broad knowledge, analysis and attitude with which you deign to grace us. My chief interests are in the anthropologically odd and fascinating and I do what I can to seek them out both in the flesh and in print. A meetup of GNXPers, who obviously share (and embody!) my interests, would be a great time.

  • Paul Rain

    Caucasian New Zealander. Traditionalist Anglo-catholic. Degree in chemical engineering, interested in the effect of population structures on historical events.

    Love the weblog; like conversations with friends, things aren’t lively without a few smackdowns. And uh, double (as per Moshe) congratulations.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan
  • Gav

    Excellent news Razib.

  • Sandgroper

    Congratulations and best wishes, Razib.

    Failed Anglican atheist Australian civil engineer living in Hong Kong (for the geographically disadvantaged, that’s in China, not Japan). I started to read GNXP about 9 years ago to try to learn enough to help my daughter understand her own identity. She doesn’t need me for that anymore, she’s now a prize-winning student who will be majoring in Biochemistry and Genetics this year. I still read you because you are still the most interesting person on the Internet, and I know she still reads you from time to time also because you are relevant to her. So thanks on behalf of both of us.

    The smack-downs are the best part.

  • http://www.hotchicksdigsmartmen.com Janiece

    I love other people’s babies.

    Caucasian American Atheist of English/Irish descent living outside Denver, CO. Systems engineer in the Telecom industry. Followed Phil Plait here and ended up subscribing to everything. Science fan-girl.

  • rimon

    congrats! exciting news! hope you still have enough time and energy to blog after the baby arrives :) I have a 10 month old and a 3 year old and I am permanently tired.

    I’m a 35 year old female, interested in most of the topics razib writes about here + politics and evidence based parenting.

    Razib, I’m sure your take on parenting will be interesting! maybe you will start to write about it.

  • S.J. Esposito

    I thought I was interpreting the mathematics on the “moving secularism forward” post, and settled on you couldn’t attend SciOnline because you were meeting with one of your parents. I bring this up because it’s interesting that you keep your personal and online lives separate enough that I simply thought you to be having a child was not the likely case. In any case, Congratulations, Razib! :)

    As for the internet pleasantries, I’m a senior undergraduate in New York studying biological anthropology and mathematics (I think I’ve stated this before). I plan on pursuing graduate studies in epidemiology/biostatistics in the near future. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be submitting my cells to the Genographic project in a few weeks via a course I’m taking this semester, which should be one of the most interesting things I’ve ever done. And because we’re proclaiming our godlessness, I’ll throw that flag up as well.

    This blog is fantastic for so many reasons, but mostly because of the interweaving of different topics. And, I agree with #20, the smack downs are glorious.

  • April Brown

    I’m just a housewife – I have lived/will live all over the planet because of my husband’s work, which is a really great opportunity to see some of the vast diversity of humanity up close. I’m pissed off at/interested in the tendency of primates (from chimps to humans) to gang up and be awful to each other, and the way us-them constructs (especially ethnic divisions) are used as excuses for terrible behaviour.

    The Gene Expression blog interests me in part because looking at the origins of population groups discredits some of the world views that bug me, like concepts of ‘pure’ races. Also, it’s interesting from a personal point of view – I grew up not thinking about my hodgepodge of European ancestors much at all, because there was no political reason to do so, whereas my husband of Eastern Cherokee and Irish extraction thinks about his background constantly, and how it relates to the horrific treatement of his ancestors.

    It’s also fun to see articles about places where I’ve lived, like Algeria. The discussions of North African populations and the challenges of getting data from under-represented population groups has some parallels with the political landscape of groups with varying amounts of social status.

  • VZ

    Congratulations! Being a father of eight-month old girl can only say: the best experience in my life. They teach us a lot.

    Myself: 34 y.o., biophysicist working in pharma company in Boston. Native language – Russian, religion – Orthodox Christian.

    Love reading your blog as it always gives me interesting perspectives and food for thoughts.

  • I_Affe

    Graduate student in genetics. I’m researching satellite cells and gene expression. This blog, as well as others, is a big reason why I’m currently in grad school. I hope to do some computational biology in the near future.

  • dave chamberlin

    congrats, just another part of your continued eclectic education. everybody knows that parenting is both hard and rewarding, but what suprised me was how many fresh perspectives it gives to the parent about the human condition, you’ll see soon enough.

  • jlf

    Congrats, Razib!

    I am a black female patent litigator in my late 20’s. I am an atheist, so I read you at Secular Right, too, even though I am not a social conservative. I have no idea how I originally came across your blog, but I have read it since I was an undergrad in cognitive neuroscience. I tend to post here maybe once a year when you do your demographics survey, but I check the blog every day.

  • Bobby LaVesh

    British Ex-pat of mixed Hungarian-Romanian, German, and English Descent (grandparents from each of the above) living in the US with an American wife who is most likely genetically more English than I am- and 3 kids.

    Agnostic (I don’t think there is a god but don’t KNOW this- so consider myself agnostic as opposed to atheist). Politically centrist. (not moderate- but I average in the centre).

    “Reluctant Computer Programmer” who should have followed one of his real loves “History and Biology” instead of taking the easy-route of Computer Science in university and ending up in a boring mind-numbing programming job.

  • http://www.tdaxp.com tdaxp

    Congratulations, Razib!

    I am a data analyst / researcher / whatever my title is at the moment at Microsoft. I have a PhD in Educational Psychology, a master’s in computer science, and I am Catholic. I’ve been reading you since 2005-2006.

  • Grant David Meadors

    Thank you for writing Gene Expression, Razib! I’m a PhD candidate in physics. Another graduate student in gravitational waves introduced me to Cosmic Variance, then I found Gene Expression through Discover Blogs. Having researched my family history and genealogy with my parents since childhood, I have been excited to see genetics enhance our picture of human origins. We truly do stretch in a long line back to the beginnings of life on Earth. Knowing how one came to be helps one to feel all the more a part of the world and of history. What’s more, it is fun to have a contrasting hobby where models and priors play a more prominent role than in physics. Perspective matters.

    Genetic genealogy moves rapidly. When I first tested with Family Tree DNA in 2008, Y and mitochondrial haplogroups shaped my picture of human migration. My autosomal results in the past two years convinced me that I had to test my parents and grandmothers, a mix of admixed English, Scottish, Irish, Southern Italian, and some German. Hints of Cherokee ancestry remain tantalizingly small, but I’ve become all the more interested in the sub-structure of Europe and its parallels to India. We are all a mix, a brew that’s been simmering for four billion years. I hope that ancient DNA and broader modern sampling will help us find yet more interesting questions. It fills me with wonder to think that even now we are replicating bits of our ancestors inside each of our cells.

  • http://www.huxley.net/bnw/index.html Mustapha Mond

    J1b1a, R1b1b2a1

  • matt

    Congrats! I’m expecting my first in 3 months. My wife and I sent in our samples to 23andm3 last month and quite fascinated to see the stats and try to understand how it all fits together. I’m in software with no background in genetics but hoping to learn how to do some research.

  • Violet

    Congrats! It is amazing to see how babies grow up, and how they are always-always-listening.

    University-hopper (currently at 5th), agnostic, mom to 3-yr-old, researcher in safety of structures/infrastructure, and probably only other Civil Engineer who is regularly around (thanks to Sandgroper who sticks up for our kind and is more articulate than me).

    Followed you from Sepia Mutiny comments in 2005, and *may* have lived in the same town as you for a brief period in 2010-2011.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    and *may* have lived in the same town as you for a brief period in 2010-2011.

    i traced your IP. we did co-locate :)

  • Ase

    Congrats! Kids are fun. my oldest will be 11 on friday. I’ve posted me before here. Lecturer/prof in psychology, at swedish university. Swedish american. Very eclectic tastes ( in research, among others) whoch os why i hang here.

  • http://www.parhasard.net/ Aidan Kehoe

    Congratulations, Razib!

  • http://www.jamesgraham.bz James Graham

    First of all: congratulations on the baby.

    I’m the guy who predicted the existence of cancer triggers – oncogenes – in all normal animal cells years before they were discovered.

    I did that by looking at the conventional theory of evolution and noting that it lacked a powerful (selection-based) quality control mechanism operating at the level of the individual somatic cells of complex animals. Cancer could have played that role because the transition of a normal cell to the malignant state follows imperfect replication, i.e., somatic mutation.

    I postulated the origin of cancer just prior to the origin of Bilaterian animals where it functioned by killing juveniles in which the genetic program was not expressed with utmost fidelity in all body cells. Those killings would have intensified selection pressure favoring precision in the production of cells during development, something that seems to me essential to the origin of animal complexity.

    My idea wasn’t published in a peer-reviewed journal until after researchers (including Varmus and Bishop who earned a 1985 Nobel) had discovered oncogenes exactly where I had predicted.

    Since its publication (buttressed by a book, “Cancer Selection”) my idea has been cited in more than twenty research papers. But cancer continues to be ignored in evolutionary texts and classrooms.

    More at my site: http://www.jamesgraham.bz.

  • pconroy

    I’m a Caucasian person, born in Ireland 😉

    Interested in History/Archaeology as a kid, went to college to study genetics, ended up computer science instead. Very interested in Genetic Genealogy.

    I knew my mother was Irish, with Northern English and Huguenot ancestry, and though my father was purely Native Irish, but based on DNA testing he seems to have Palatine German and possibly distant Scottish ancestry. I have genetic relatives in every continent and region barring Antarctica. Additionally I probably am related to Nixon and Obama and possibly related to Kennedy and Reagan.

    I’m related to commentators on this site too, and have found relatives in other groups I’m member of.

  • omar


  • Justin Giancola

    18. 😀

    20. “The smack-downs are the best part.” 😀 even the inter-member ones – that have mellowed as of late. I miss the german guy. btw, denisovianianin 😉

    I don’t even know how/what post got me here. But I was always looking random stuff up like this on my own and arriving here made me realize “oh, this job I wanted to create for myself with all my interests is an anthropologist! who knew?”

  • scott the mediocre

    Mustapha @32 wins the round, as I would expect (from the World Controller, unless the Grand Inquisitor makes an appearance).

    Mixed EE/software/systems type working in medical electronics in Southern California. Politically a noninterventionist neolib with a sneaking fondness for _some_ paleos (I discovered old GNXP through your comments at old Eunomia, which I have been following for years). History geek as a hobby; awed by your knowledge base.

    I’m N-generational American, a generic NW European mongrel with no detectable sense of ethnic identity beyond my reluctant associate membership in the SWPL tribe. But since ethnic/tribal identity is both a powerful motivating force for many/most and a major PITA in practice (sort of like religion in both aspects :) I find it interesting as an item of study.

    And of course the SNR of your posts in aggregate is one of the highest on these here Interwebs. Rock on, dude.

  • Marcus

    Congratulations! I needed the quotation-marks, and the wiki-link.

    Agnostic software engineer from Sweden here. While I find my own genetic background entirely uninteresting, I’m fascinated with human history and evolution, even more so after I started reading your blog. I jumped here from Bad Astronomy. These are such interesting times for genetics and anthropology! I also admit to enjoying your crackdowns on stupidity and presumption, your occasional comment on politics (I’m repeating myself), and the friday-fluff pictures which I do miss (only BA’s occasional caturday to tide me over now).

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    the friday-fluff

    i need to bring that back. my schedule got really hectic last fall for other reasons, and i would just forget….

  • chris w

    I am of English and Portuguese descent, but whatever — I’m a west coast American. I live in Portland, Oregon. IT is my job, but not my hobby — I work at a medical center. I have two bachelor degrees in philosophy and history. I bike 12 miles a day to and from work. Nihilism is my philosophy, hedonism my behavior. I like good food, beautiful women, traveling, reading, and learning about random topics relating to the development of human civilization (and humanity in general). I’m single and childless, and have no middle-class ambitions to speak of lifestyle-wise, even though I probably make enough money to chase such ambitions at this point if I did have them.

    And congrats, BTW. I think we should all do what we want to do.

  • pconroy

    Oh and congrats again on the forthcoming “wee bairn”…

    I have 3 kids – 8, 3 and turning 1.

    They say having kids lowers testosterone, as it raises oxytocin – so maybe in a few months we will see a kindler, gentler Razib?!

    I doubt it though… 😉

  • GH

    I’m an at-home mom to 4 (including a set of identical twins), background is history and anthropology, married to a biological anthropologist who also works in population genetics. I read the site to broaden my knowledge of genetics, as it’s a common topic around here :) Learning more by having a pro explain the 23andme info- fascinating.

    Congrats on the addition- I can’t fathom not having any of my 4, crazy as they might be at any given time.

  • http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/crude-matter/ EcoPhysioMichelle

    I was really confused as to why everyone was listing their ethnicity, but I guess this is a genetics blog.

    I’m Michelle, white, 27, I like offering too much information, talking about guts, brown stuff, taking self-absorbed photos of myself, and proper grammar (I’ve never told you this, but you really need a copy editor). I read you because I think you’re funny. And mean. But mostly funny.

    I have no sprog and I like it like that.

  • adam

    Nearly-done with a PhD in neuroscience at Salk/UCSD. I’m interested in how genetics and neural circuits influence social decision-making. Ex-portlander. Maternal (Dutch) H5a1 and paternal (Scottish with family tree – assuming no shenanigans – going back 1000 years) E1b1b1a2*. I am soon to marry someone of Tamil ancestry.

    Fun fact about me: despite not being Jewish – that I know of, I have ancestors with names like Isaacs etc – I am very stereotypically jewish looking. It is not uncommon for people I have just met to refer to the ‘fact’ that I’m Jewish (usually it is jews who do this). I usually play along, because why not.

  • pconroy

    Have you heard of the book, “When Scotland was Jewish”? – http://www.amazon.com/When-Scotland-Was-Jewish-Archeology/dp/0786428007 – I can’t vouch for the book, but it has an intriguing title.

    I have a somewhat Semitic look, and especially Russian Jews always figure me as one of theirs. In New York, that has happened innumerable times. Most recently – 2 months ago – I went to a new hair dresser and she said she was from Russia, and looked to be late 50’s. So I said whereabouts in Russia, and she said, “West Siberia”, but born in Ukraine. So immediately I figured she might be Jewish and been subject to Stalin’s purges/re-settlements, and so I said, “I’d guess you probably grew up in Magnitogorsk or nearby”. She said, “Yes, how you know?!”. I said, “Just a guess”. But she was shocked and said, “You are from Magnitogorsk, yes?”, I told her no I was Irish, but she insisted I must be Russian, or grew up in Russia. Then she asked was I Jewish, and again I told her no, Irish, but she had a very suspicious look on her face that she didn’t believe me.
    Then I go to the same place a few weeks ago, and the owner, who is a Russian Jew, is there, and he wishes me a very Happy New Year and gives me a calendar, which he whispers he only gives to loyal customers. I was surprised as that was my second time there, and he says, “You’ve been coming here for 5 years now right?!” I tell him only months, and he looks at me uneasily, and says I have a very familiar face, and he’s sure he’s seen me many times before?!

  • Gav

    Wasn’t Pontius Pilate a Scot (or a Pict, even)? No, wait, he wasn’t Jewish either?

    And it’s well known that the Welsh (Cymro ‘dw i, indeed to goodness) are one of the lost tribes … why spoil a good story with facts?

  • http://anepigone.blogspot.com Audacious Epigone

    A boomlet for humanity–great news and congratulations!

  • Tom Bri

    50, white, ancestors Scotts and English, if no one was lying. Spent a few years in Guatemala, and 15 in Japan. Speak Spanish and Japanese. Got two half-breed White-Asian kids, and it is weird that one looks like me and the other like my mom.
    Razib, one thing you may notice is that your emotions go haywire after having a kid. A lot more volatile. Congrats!

  • http://entitledtoanopinion.wordpress.com TGGP

    You already know, but it seemed worth recapping. I am presumably mostly of Scottish & Irish ancestry, though neither I nor anyone I know has had any analysis done. I started reading GNXP when I was still in high school and identified as a Christian (baptized Catholic, raised mainline Protestant, fundamentalist nerd). In college I held you lot responsible for my atheism. I now live in Chicago with a bunch of Indians and work in software.

  • TMiller

    I’m currently a senior biology major at Northern Illinois University. Not so surprisingly one of my main interests is genetics, though I usually focus more on bacterial genetics.

  • Paul Givargidze

    Congrats, Razib. :)

  • Alam

    Congrats !

    I am from SF Bay Area, working for a software company. Interested in poltiics (specially , south Asian) and Muslim/Islam issues. Have been atheist for 15+ years. Libertarian for 10+ years. Ron Paul supporter :)

  • Kiwiguy

    33 year old pakeha (white) New Zealander. Work as an inhouse lawyer. Married homeowner. Have a six month old daughter and fluffy tabby/tortoiseshell cat who (wisely) keeps her distance from said daughter.

  • AG

    Glad to see an effort made against disgenics. Congratulation from another geek(AG)!

  • D

    Congrats! I guess close readers must have figured this out sometime ago.
    23(nearly), male, medical student from Kerala, India. I don’t know if its equivalent to ethnicity but my caste is Nair.
    Reached here following your comments from Sepia Mutiny.

  • D

    FWIW, I am also an atheist and politically conservative.

  • Sandgroper

    #34 – Thanks for the kind comment. Your research sounds interesting – I occasionally think some observations about risk and human attitudes to risk would not be out of place here.

    #41 – LMAO. That was not a smack-down, it was a leg-pull! Looks like Australians don’t have much Denisovan anyway.

  • Eurologist

    Scottish/Irish and IT people are way over-represented, here. I guess they have always wanted to know were they came from, and, being IT, they know where to look for information?

    I am not a native English speaker, but I agree with Michelle. 😉

    Very liberal Protestant upbringing (yes, that combination does/did not exist in the US – so, northern Europe). One of my grandparents stems from the Elbe/Weser watershed boundary, one ~150km NW of that, one 100km SE, one 150km SE. I guess that gives me a strong I2a2a-M223 affinity (or, more generally, R1b/I/R1a transition zone, with associated autosomal expectations), but I haven’t had myself tested, yet. Also, my father’s line is rather dark (with black, unruly, wavy hair, like interestingly a certain subset of people in the wrongly-named Saxony look like), and thus “originally” likely not of central European descent. They called my father “Schwarzer” as a kid. I received UV treatment as a kid because of the mismatch between my skin color and available sunshine hours.

    I do other science, when I am not procrastinating and amusing myself with anthropology sensu lato, instead.

  • Luciano

    Congratulation, Razib!

    I’m a math and statistics professor from Brazil (the northeast part, were people is more mixed). Can’t remember how I got to here, but I have always come back since. There’s a pletora of facts clearly exposed, with embarassing objectivity and, of course, awesome graphs!

  • deepak

    I am a student of mechanical engineering, south Indian ( Tamil to be more precise), living in Chennai ( erstwhile Madras) , agnostic atheist, had a Roman Catholic upbringing (there are quite a lot of Christians in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, in fact everyone in my native village is Catholic) . Am interested in genetics , history and psychology apart from mechanical engineering. Really enjoyed reading your writings. Best wishes.

  • Dan

    I’m a grad student at CU Boulder, more specifically the Institute for Behavioral Genetics, and study genetic epidemiology. I’m a Filipino-Irish mix breed. I try to comment here occasionally but get denied a lot for some odd reason. Wanted to comment on your blog about the Phantom Heritability paper, but I guess comments were turned off. Anyways, we recently had a dept discussion about the paper, and John DeFries brought up a really interesting note, saying that an influential author in the acknowledgements (I won’t name names) actually rejected the paper twice, and once it did get accepted, sent a comment to the editors that he or she still thinks the paper is making disproportionate claims, didn’t address the issues he or she brought up earlier, and ignored decades of BG work that has already addressed the problems, estimates, and predictions surrounding non-additive heritability

  • RafeK

    Male almost 30, close to half old new england yankee, otherwise a mix of polish, scottish, portuguese and smidge of irish. More relevantly I grew up in the hippy counter culture and my dad is actually a minor celebrity in alternative building. My last name is Irish and as know it all 19 year old I use to Argue with Pconroy on forum called Dodona about all matters Irish.

    Full time parkour instructor and athlete. I have something in common with Razib that I am not revealing yet. Dyslexic with ADHD like symptoms was once a anthropology undergraduate currently allergic to the vast majority of the social sciences which is one reason I don’t have a degree.

    I have followed GNXP for 7-8 years, but rarely have enough time or mental energy to research topic deeply to actually add much value to the topics here except when they bump up to stuff I specifically researched when I was a student or the stuff I currently study as a coach.

    Razib bears some responsibility for my conversion from a nice SWPL to a paleoconservative crimethinker, Steven Pinker, and Steve Sailer bears most of the rest.

  • http://emilkirkegaard.com Emil

    22, white, male from Denmark, studying philosophy @ Aarhus University (bachelor). Have interests such as: evolutionary psychology, intelligence/personality research, genetics, population genetics, evolutionary biology, linguistics, logic. I’m an aspiring polymath and I come here because it is a great place to learn new stuff.

    Recently I also took up your advice and read Pinker’s 2002 book. That was a great idea, so thanks for that. :)

    Btw, a while back you wrote about the police IQ thing. I have since written to the police academy in Denmark wanting to know if they have a similar practice. They have put their tests online, so if they have a max score but no idea what the IQ equivalent is, I can do some testing myself. I’ll let you know if they answer me.

  • Mary

    Oh, the ecstasies and agonies that await you! I’m very happy for you and your family. I’m a grandmother of 4, including mixed race fraternal twins. I have been reading your blog for years but now I especially appreciate the posts on mixed race genetics, as my daughter-in-law is Igbo from Nigeria and my son is lily white of the northern European variety. I am a retired elementary teacher who is greedy for knowledge. I’m very liberal socially and moderate fiscally. I voted for Obama and donated to his campaign which I will do again this election. I was raised Catholic. I’m agnostic, as a previous poster said, the existence of God can’t be known. I’m inclined to the universalist philosophies and have been reading a lot about Kabbalah. I love your writing, Razib, and I’m grateful to you for sharing the wealth of your knowledge and intellect.

  • Moshe Rudner

    Great thread, what an eclectic lot! With the singular overrepresentation of Kiwis present* I recommend a GNXP retreat to middle earth when opportunity affords. Until then though, somewhere in Cali will probably do.

    (* I’m discounting the Irish on account of the preponderance of Americans who recall their Irish ancestry regardless of its dilution and not counting the Jews who, by present count, no reader has yet mentioned descending from!)

  • Hallie Scott Kline

    Hi Razib, I’m a 50-year-old single white female living in St Louis and working as flight coordinator for a fixed-wing air ambulance company. As mentioned on Facebook, I’ve been lurking for a while — fascinated by your posts and the top-notch commenters which they draw. Sincere congratulations to you — RAH! — glad to hear you’ll be a parent soon. Even better – father of a precious baby girl. Mine’s now in Manhattan and in her late twenties, and raising her has been gratifying beyond my dreams.

  • Nick

    I’m a 37-year-old data/analytics geek at a large bank. The stuff you write about is fascinating, but 99% of the time my knowledge isn’t sufficient for me to chime in on the comments. And there are some really good comments on here–I think the level of discourse here is higher than any other sites I frequent.

    And as somebody with three kids under the age of five, I’d like to say congrats and good luck with the baby!

  • AMac

    Re: benefits of fatherhood,what’s already been said. Honored to offer the n+1th congratulations. Razib writes such thought provoking posts (the ones I grok, anyway), the internet has been a boon by facilitating the discovery of such a thinker. Fifties, half-Scots and half-Ashkenazi ancestry, brought up and live on the US East Coast. STEM technical education, one current wife and 3 kids. Appreciate the mix of genetics/genomics and history here. Not to mention when they intersect. I’ve latched onto many great books thanks to this website. Podcasts and bloggers too. Fun to occasionally recognize names in the comments, e.g TGGP, Cochran, Audacious, Sailer, and Stirling.

  • Sandgroper

    Paul Conroy is definitely Irish.

  • Scott

    38 year old living in SE Pennsylvania. I had an acedemic carreer in evolutionary biology that was cut short by reality. Now I work in pharma and study evolution as a hobby. So I probably know more than the average reader who doesn’t work in the field.

    Been reading you for several years. Prolly at least 2 years before the switch to Discover. I think I was first turned onto you by RPM at evolgen (remember that guy?). I came for the evolution stuff but stayed for the other stuff. Particularly like the forays into history. I laugh on the few occasions when you touch on politics because I am one of your many readers who self-identifies as an uber-liberal (eg, I was complaining that Obama was too conservative before he even ran for pres). I think we share more political views than either of us would like to admit.

    You didn’t ask for requests, but I’m providing them anyway. Would like to see more book reviews or at least regular reading lists. Not as much interested in the personal genomics stuff, but can see why it would be interesting to others. Am more interested when you use the data to look at population level trends.

  • Chris T

    Congratulations! I became a father of a wonderful son last July! It’s great, but kiss most of your previous life good bye!

    I work on transferring models from published papers into software in a computational biology lab. I’m 26 and reside in Wisconsin.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    . I think I was first turned onto you by RPM at evolgen (remember that guy?)

    of course, we’re facebook friends 😉

    Would like to see more book reviews or at least regular reading lists.

    ah, ok. we’ll see. i have been busy with a new job lately, so i haven’t been reading much (hey, why should i tell you guys everything going on in my life? :-)

  • Luciano

    Congratulation, Razib!

    I’m a math and statistics professor from Brazil (the northeast part, were people is more mixed). Can’t remember how I got to here, but I have always come back since. There’s a pletora of facts clearly exposed, with embarassing objectivity and, of course, awesome graphs!

  • http://www.wired.com/ Schrödinger’s Hat

    34 yr old white dude who lives near Philadelphia, PA, USA. Undergrad work was in microbiology, but my current work is in optoelectronics/telecomm. I enjoy the population genetics stuff, and agree with Michelle that you could use an editor.

  • JME

    Long-time (6+ yrs) lurker. Recovering big firm lawyer. Owner of small business specializing in corporate investigations and structured financial transactions. Life-long fascination with genetics, sociobiology, and anthropology. Better than layman’s grasp of each, but most of the cutting edge statistical analyses posted here fly far over my head. Keep coming back to satisfy my natural hunger to make sense of the world through the lenses of genetics, sociobiology and anthropology. Love Razib’s razor-sharp moderator’s touch. I’m African-American genetically and phenotypically, but also have larger than average contributions of European/white and Native American genes. Married to a New England/Irish/French-Canadian lawyer. We have a young daughter (5 yoa) with crystal blue eyes and bright blonde hair, which started straight and is now turning curly, but still very blonde. I really enjoy this site. Good luck to Razib on impending fatherhood, it will be the best thing to ever happen to you.

  • qohelet

    Josh Lipson, a 19-year-old atheist college student in Massachusetts. Ashkenazi Jew who looks thoroughly Sephardic (I guess that’s not all that interesting), speaking Hebrew and Spanish reinforces the perception. I’m majoring in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and minoring in Mind, Brain, and Behavior – and have probably been reading GNXP via Dienekes since becoming interested in the speculative physical anthropology of the 20s and 30s when I was about 12. Interested in most everything the blog covers, from language families to religious sociology to population genetics. Liberal-libertarian with a very Razib-influenced bio-conservative streak.

    We’ve interacted a little over my writings at the Harvard Political Review, which occasionally attempt to deliver a bit of genetic anthropology in digestible form to a political audience.

    Lots of jokes about Napoleon lately, because I’m a short and domineering member of haplogroup E1b1b1c1.

  • Emma

    Congratulation on your new baby!

    I am from France, have been reading GNXP almost daily for several years because I love the topics and the writing style.

  • Jason

    British journalist, living in England for the first time in years following a long stint in Spain and South America. English literature graduate, published novelist. Catholic background and conservative in the European manner. (by which I mean I am baffled by the opinions of some U.S. conservatives on evolution) Congratulations.

  • Antonio

    One collect this data and run a network model :)

  • http://nylandsmann.blogspot.com normann


    Illinois-born-and-raised Norwegian-by-marriage of Czech, Danish, German Bohemian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Anglo-Irish and French Canadian descent (in that order; the Ashkenazi Jewish part was a family secret that 23andMe uncovered – thanks, Razib!). Have a doctorate in Germanic linguistics from Urbana, but since I immigrated to Norway 15 years ago, I have mostly been a translator (which better suits my neuroatypicalness than teaching or other jobs with lots of social interaction where I have to pay attention to what I call “chimpanzee grooming behaviors”), and I currently work at my adopted homeland’s central bank.

    I was raised Catholic, which helps one in understanding the Middle Ages (and spares one from the Protestant superstition that the Reformation was an advance in the European life of the mind), but have been more or less an atheist since grad school.

    I discovered GNXP via Steve Sailer about 11 years ago.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    #85, GNXP was born in june of 2002. so it is impossible, unless you are from a parallel time stream (time patrol?), for u have discovered this weblog 11 years ago. :-) but close enough for gov. work.

  • http://nylandsmann.blogspot.com normann

    Well, I am a civil servant, and I am also in my early-to-mid 50s (senior moments have begun to come thick and fast!). Even so, I’m usually better at remembering dates. In any case, if GNXP has been around since 2002, then I have been reading and lurking almost since at least then, but no later than 2003.

  • Eurologist

    “spares one from the Protestant superstition that the Reformation was an advance in the European life of the mind”

    OT, but, Normann, – say what, again? That’s like saying the US Civil War set back its intellectual thinking, or Islamic nations are intellectually better off without revolt.

    The struggle against Papal economic, administrative, and intellectual domination and interference is what fostered the Gutenberg/Lutheran revolution and the Hanseatic economic and intellectual independence. That is, in formerly heavily suppressed areas of Europe, reformation exactly was a huge advance of “the life of mind.” Too bad the blindly faith-following South was unable to keep up, for centuries.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    #88, i probably lean more in the protestant direction, but is there a reason you include gutenberg and the hansa when both flourished well before the reformation? (i know the hansa kept going for centuries, but the peak was definitely decades before luther) i’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here, and not assuming that you were trying to win and argument with shady facts. also, though on balance i think the breaking of the catholic monopoly turned out well the standard protestant narrative of a suppressed life of the mind is frankly kind of retarded, when considering that the radical protestant fringe squelched humanism all over 16th century europe. ignorant people will never anticipate that in the end erasmus remained with the church with the models presented.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    I suppose I should jump in

    32-year old male of West Eurasian origin. Probably almost entirely Northern European, although I found out recently I likely have some Sephardic ancestry, and a few other mysteriously dark ancestors. Married, father of one 2 1/2 year daughter (congratulations to you!). I was born in Eastern Pennsylvania, but I grew up mainly in Connecticut. I went to college in Western Massachusetts (with a year in England), and lived in Detroit, DC, and a few other places before moving to Pittsburgh seven years ago.

    My professional background is as a researcher for the labor movement, which I enjoy because it allows me to use analytical skills towards a political cause I agree with (I am a socialist, albeit of a libertarian-leaning stripe). My personal interests are far ranging, however, including paleontology, astronomy, linguistics, genetics, cognitive science, history, etc. I often joke with my wife (who was an engineer, and is now an architect) that the general rule with me is knowledge is most interesting if it has little to no practical application in my life.

    I only found your blog a few months back, but I’ve gone back and read much of the archives, as despite you coming from a very different place ideologically, you seem to have a lot of the same interests that I do. I don’t consider myself to be an especially intelligent person (I only test around 130 or so on IQ tests, although that’s partially due to some learning disabilities which drop one section of the results really low), but I’m always surprised at how many people I meet, even people demonstrably more intelligent than I am, who seem to enjoy learning new things far less.

  • Eurologist

    @ Razib: “is there a reason you include gutenberg and the hansa when both flourished well before the reformation?”

    Both were indicative of the enlightenment forces of the time, and were strongly footed in the primarily economic and secular interests of the advancing “homo novo” trade/ blossoming early industrial leadership class. They had their own needs of freely-traded materials and strong demand of educated people (lawyers, bookkeepers, writers, and well-educated workers), and the papal administrative and top-to-bottom educational structure ceased to deliver on all levels (Johnny-come-lately Jesuits and poor Franciscans had similar ideas, at times – but often little impact in central Europe). And obviously, the-then sufficiently developed printing technique allowed Luther the wide dispersal of comprehensible thought he envisioned, while the economic interest of the North had its multipliers sufficiently turned away from Rome for Protestant ideas to gain a strong foothold in no time.

    Protestants in Europe are the beginning of the end of overbearing religious thought in industry, in much of every-day practical life, and in science – even if “Lutherans” and evangelists in the US appear to project a diametrically opposed image.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    #91, your outline is defensible. but it’s rather a cartoon IMO. you either know a lot less history than i do, or so much more than i don’t comprehend you. if you haven’t, i recommend The Reformation: A History as an excellent starting point (if you don’t think it’s an excellent starting point, then you already know enough, though i’m confused as to your lack of subtly in your exposition above). my main qualm has less to do with your characterization of ‘protestant europe’ than with the implicit understanding of ‘non-protestant europe.’ a lot of the tendencies you allude to were europe-wide. in the end i come to somewhat the same end point as you, but the details matter a lot in constructing a proper image of how something like the baroque could flourish in catholic europe.

  • pconroy


    I know I’ve mentioned this many years ago on this blog, but to my way of thinking, Protestantism is merely a kind of recapitulation of Celtic Christianity. For it was first in Celtic Christianity that:
    1. The individual communicated with God directly, not via a priest as proxy
    2. Individual confession and forgiveness of sins
    3. Individual salvation
    4. Lack of emphasis on ritual
    5. Emphasis on prayer and ecstatic revelatory experiences

    Many would consider St Patrick’s writings to be Protestant in nature.

    Here’s an image of Hibernicized Medieval Europe:

    The light pink is labelled, “Area of Irish Cultural Activity”, while the Dark Pink is, “Area of Irish Cultural Activity and Political Settlement” – in case you can’t make that out.

    It corresponds pretty well to the areas later to become Protestant – or should I say revert to an individualistic rather than group think model.

  • http://bluetenlese.wordpress.com M. Möhling

    German, programmer, agnostic, (closet atheist?) thouroughly reformed former progressive, Berlin. As “Caucasian” isn’t welcome in these parts anymore, what can I say? Aryan? My granddads got that attested by the authorities that were, even though there lurks a Turk somewhere in the family tree. Ok, snark off. I think Steve send my here some years ago. I’m amazed as to the quantity and quality of your output–as far as I can tell, as often it’s quite beyond me. Great reads with the occasional bout of nastiness at unsuspecting readers–insights and drama, can’t beat that. You seem to have mellowed lately, though. You daughter might nudge you even more in that direction. May well be a good thing.

  • Clark

    Congrats Razib. I just saw this post (I’m way behind my reading) Fatherhood changes everything but is definitely worth it.


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This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

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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