Open thread, 3/17/2013

By Razib Khan | March 17, 2013 12:18 pm

Thoughts, for good or ill.

MORE ABOUT: Open Thread
  • Robert Ford—liz-s-wedding-part-four

    My thought is that I don’t know how I missed the entire season of Kroll Show without realizing it existed. They have about 40-50 skits on CC and I laughed at nearly every one! Also, the Jeselnik Offensive might be of interest to GNXP types. He does “evil” comedy – kinda like male Sarah Silverman only actually pretty funny. Both happen to be Jewish so they do Holocaust jokes and stuff. One more thing:
    Easily one of the coolest videos I’ve ever seen. They fly down the mountain weaving in and out of trees like they’re skiing on air.

    • Sandgroper

      I definitely need one of those, but was mildly disappointed that they need to land using parachutes.

  • Paul Ó Dubhthaigh

    Given the day that’s in it. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    • Sandgroper

      Thank God there’s still at least one Irishman around.

  • T. Greer

    Razib, have you read Richard Nisbett’s Geography of Thought or other works of cultural psychology like unto it? If so, have you ever written anything about it? (Reading the book myself at the moment).

  • Karl Zimmerman

    I was rereading Ian Tattersall’s Masters of The Planet over the weekend, and I have two major thoughts:

    First, the paleoanthropological idea behind the “great leap forward” or recent behavioral modernity has never made any sense. This is true even before it was shown there was Neandertal and Denisovan admixture (which Tattersall recognizes, but dismisses as it doesn’t fit into the narrative he wishes to tell), and the recent finding of a more ancient Y haplogroup. The Great Leap forward, after all, has been hypothesized to be as recent as 50,000 years ago. This is probably around the right time to have extant non-Africans descended from a single population, but would mean that most Africans were descended from non-behaviorally modern humans. And this makes no sense at all, because if this were the case, why were Africans not all-but wiped out, similar to Eurasian archaics? Tattersall himself plays fast and loose with the data here, citing the “recent common ancestry” of humanity according to genetic studies, but never mentioning the dates don’t coincide with his own hypotheses of very recent development of language and symbolic behavior.

    More to his credit, he does recognize and mention many times that hominim classification is based upon archaic “grades,” where paleoanthropologists assign a species based not upon morphology, but upon the rough date and location of a fossil. However, he never brings up the obvious solution – for paleoanthropology to embrace cladistics as paleontology has. Can anyone tell me involved in the field why (to the best of my knowledge) not a single cladistic-style study of hominims has been done?

  • Dylan

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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


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