Open Thread, 11/17/2013

By Razib Khan | November 17, 2013 7:22 pm

Finished J. P. Mallory’s The Origins of the Irish. Good book, but it was as illuminating as to the origins of the Irish as Danel Dennett’s Consciousness Explained was in explaining consciousness.

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Comments (8)

  1. just got back from 12 Years A Slave. honestly, i thought it needed a different director. some of the film felt like a TV movie. too bad – it could’ve been a great film but instead it was just “good.” i didn’t feel emotionally engaged at all, which is difficult to do with a movie about that subject.


  2. Razib, have you seen Stephan Asma’s Aeon article about the evolution of culture? The piece is poorly named; I was rather taken aback with its huge scope, melding bio anthropology, primatology, neuroscience, and evolutionary theory in one pretty compelling synthesis.

    Would love to hear your thought on Asma’s argument.

    • razibkhan

      hm. don’t disagree, but he took a long time getting to it. also strawman in regards to the current consensus, which is closer to that he presents.

  3. Sandgroper

    A song about a cow – a brown heifer, as it happens.

  4. Paul Conroy

    Razib, is that a positive or negative review?

    I finished “The Origins of the Irish” last night myself, and thought it was only OK, I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars. It missed almost all of the DNA evidence and much of the historical evidence too.

    I wrote a paper last year with Prof Anatole Klyosov, and determined based on STR analysis, that R1b-M222 most likely originated in Devon, England, and was carried to Eastern Ireland by the Dumnonii, who became known as the Laigin (Leinstermen), then conquered the West and gave rise to the Connachta (Connaughtmen), who in turn spawned the Ui Neill Dynasty that conquered Northern Ireland…


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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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