Open Thread, 10/20/2013

By Razib Khan | October 20, 2013 11:43 am

Beginnings and endings.

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Comments (14)

    I thought this kangaroo fight ended in a very human-like fashion.

  2. marcel proust

    In The Age of the Sword, you linked to an old post (from before I knew about this blog), Why Patriarchy?. That post contained what appears to be a throw-away line, Harris also points out that status within a male pecking order is more stable and less variant than in a female pecking orders in teenage cliques.

    Can you think yourself back, back, back, 7 years back, and answer some questions about this?

    First, what is its relevance to the relative scalability of gender hierarchies(sex hierarchies? not certain here, but I think gender is the right word)?

    I will be getting Harris’s book from my library, but I wonder whether this is more widely true than for teens (in western cultures?). Is it true of other social primates? My impression (understanding would be too generous) of savanna baboons (from Sapolsky) is that the female hierarchies are more stable than male ones. Similarly, given how little is known about bonobos, for bonobo hierarchies such as they are. I think that the opposite is the case for chimps. Don’t know at all about other social primates.

    I’ve been turning the statement over in my head at odd moments in the last few days, and remain puzzled.

    • razibkhan

      my thought is that social groups diminish cohesion when there is turmoil in the rank order. if you keep topping the leader it’s likely to reduce effectiveness, as well as the ability to grow outward. i haven’t followed up on that literature. i should.

  3. M. Möhling

    Steven Rose at it, again:

    School achievement isn’t just in your genes,

    Anyone who asserts that educational attainment is in large part inherited needs a lesson in modern genetics, says a professor of biology

  4. Sandgroper

    Where would Tatars plot on a global PCA plot? Somewhere on the Central Asian cline, obviously, but closer to West Eurasian than Uygurs and Hazara, or about the same? Maybe with a bigger spread?

    • razibkhan

      yes. the chuvash are good proxies, and they plot just there.

    • Paul Conroy


      As regards Tatars, look here:

      Quite interesting are the results of the Lithuanian Tatars. They show that the basis of their population made up of close to modern Karakalpak. Proved to be the mixing with Slavic populations.

      [1,] “Tatar_Lithuania” “0”
      [2,] “45.7% + 54.3% Belarusian Karakalpak” “4.114”
      [3,] “48.2% East-Ukrainian + 51.8% Karakalpak” “4,362”
      [4] “53.2 Karakalpak% + 46.8% South-Russian “” 4.373 ”
      [5,] “45.7%-Russian Center + 54.3% Karakalpak” “4.4215”
      [6,] “51.8% + 48.2% Karakalpak Russian_cossack” “4.7105”
      [7] “53.7% + 46.3% Karakalpak Pole” “4.7189”
      [8,] “51.1% + 48.9% Karakalpak Ukrainian” “4.7654”
      [9,] “56.2% + 43.8% Karakalpak Russian” “4.9077”
      [10,] “49.9 % Karakalpak + 50.1% West-Ukrainian “” 5.5127

    • Paul Conroy

      Whereas the Crimean Tatars are:

      The results of the Crimean Tatars also encouraging. They are presented as a mixture of Nogai, Bashkirs, Tatars Lithuanian – and Romanians, Greeks from different areas, which is logical.

      [1,] “Tatar_Crim” “0”
      [2,] “54.3% + 45.7% Nogay South-Greek” “2.26”
      [3,] “46.4% Center-Greek + 53.6% Nogay” “2.9529”
      [4] “Greek 46.2% + 53.8% Nogay” “3.1448”
      [5,] “55.8% + 44.2% Nogay North-Greek” “3.2151”
      [6] “50% Nogay + 50% Romanian_Jew” “3.3766”
      [7] “Kosovar 41.4% + 58.6% Nogay” “3.9495”
      [8,] “73.3% + 26.7% Greek_Azov Tatar_Lithuania” “4.6688”
      [9,] “22.5% + 77.5% Bashkir Greek_Azov” “4.8702”
      [10,] “57.6 % Nogay + 42.4% Romanian “” 5.0906 “

      • Paul Conroy

        My mother has a DNA Relative, who is a direct descendant of the leader of the White Horde, whose descendants are the Crimean Tatars – on some analyses, she (and me too) shows as 4% Nogay or Lezgin…

  5. marcel proust

    Razib: this may be of interest to you, depending on how much spare time you have: it is an academic’s response to 23andme results (for someone else), not hysterical, more saying that the implications of the analysis need to be kept in perspective:


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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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