JayMan continues to talk about things he doesn't understand

In this episode, he's back to insisting "ethnic genetic interests" (which despite having been corrected multiple times he's still unable to correctly define) are "bunk" (emphasis in original):
However, common among people who have a superficial and/or selective understanding of heritable group differences is belief in conveniently inaccurate claims. One of these erroneous ideas that White nationalists in particular have latched on to is the belief in “ethnic genetic interests” – that is, that kin selection has led individuals to favor people of their own race/ethnic group over others. This of course is bunk. Natural selection doesn’t work that way, since individuals within an ethnic group aren’t closely related enough for this to work. This has been explained repeatedly, lately by Misdreavus:
It is impossible for such a thing as a “race altruist gene” to evolve, because sacrificing yourself on behalf of strangers does nothing to increase the frequency of the gene under any set of circumstances. It doesn’t matter if the frequency of a such a gene “magically” originated with a frequency of 4 in 10 Chinese people. The Chinese who don’t have the gene, on average, would have a higher fitness, resulting in the frequency decreasing monotonically over time.
He continues to argue there, which is worth a read for anyone seriously interested in the matter.

After anyone seriously interested in the matter gets done studying the confused rantings of JayMan's gay sidekick, I would recommend they at least take a few minutes to skim the work of the man who coined the term "ethnic genetic interests". Doing so would have saved JayMan and misdreavus at least some measure of embarrassment.

A copy of Frank Salter's On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethnicity, And Humanity In An Age Of Mass Migration is freely available online.

If you want to talk about ethnic genetic interests, read it.

The actual definition of ethnic genetic interests

Frank Salter defines "ethnic genetic interests" as:

The number of copies of a random individual's distinctive genes in his or her ethny, not counting the copies in kin. The size of ethnic genetic interest is relative to the kinship of genetic competitors. When competitors are closely related ethnies, the interest can be relatively small. When competitors are distantly related, especially from different geographical races, ethnic genetic interest can be many orders of magnitude greater than familial genetic interests.

To deny that ethnic genetic interests exist is to deny that human population structure exists (or to hilariously misunderstand basic population genetics). Ethnic genetic interests exist regardless of whether or not one believes group selection has played any role in human evolution and regardless of whether or not people naturally favor others from their own group.

The issue of the degree to which group selection or kin selection favored the evolution of ethnocentric altruism in humans has no bearing on the reality of ethnic genetic interests. It's a separate issue, on which JayMan/misdreavus are also wrong (one can debate the issue, but not on the confused grounds JayMan and misdreavus have attempted to debate it).

Misdreavus's confusion about coefficients of relatedness

One area of confusion for misdreavus in the linked thread:

The coefficient of relatedness between a Swede and a non-related Swede is zero. The coefficient of relatedness between a Swede and a black African is also zero. You simply do not seem to understand this.
I replied at the time:

This is exactly the misapprehension I just got done correcting for JayMan: http://racehist.blogspot.com/2015/02/kinship-coefficients-and-ethnic-genetic.html

The coefficient of relationship is simply twice the coefficient of inbreeding between the hypothetical children of two individuals. Inbreeding is defined relative to some population. It’s often convenient to disregard non-recent inbreeding in calculating coefficients of relationship, but this only makes sense with respect to a particular [approximately random-breeding] population, and, holding the base population constant, a Swede absolutely does not have the same coefficient of relationship to a sub-Saharan as to another Swede. Nor is there any difference in kind between the type of relatedness indicated through Fst and the type shared by close family members.

Even after having it explained to them again, Misdreavus (and apparently JayMan) still failed to understand this very basic concept.

Misdreavus's confusion about the viability of genes for altruism

This is another extremely basic issue: frequencies of genes harmful to an individual's fitness with respect to his group can increase globally if his group expands relative to other groups. If misdreavus had read and understood pretty much anything written about altruism and kin selection or group selection within the past half century, he would have grasped this.

If groups with high frequencies of ethnocentric people expand at the expense of groups with low ethnocentrism, genes for ethnocentric altruism can increase in frequency.

Even misdreavus's (anti-group-selectionist) idol understands this (or did at one point):

Imagine that in much of history, people lived in small groups that often fought with their neighbors. In that sort of situation, selection for group altruism is at least possible, since the group is full of close relatives, while the opponents are less closely related. Both sides are probably members of the same broad ethnic group or race, but that doesn’t matter : only the kinship coefficients matter.

Self-reported vs. genetic ancestry in a large US cohort

Characterizing Race/Ethnicity and Genetic Ancestry for 100,000 Subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) Cohort (free full text; supplementary material)
Using genome-wide genotypes, we characterized the genetic structure of 103,006 participants in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California multi-ethnic Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) Cohort and analyzed the relationship to self-reported race/ethnicity. Participants endorsed any of 23 race/ethnicity/nationality categories, which were collapsed into 7 major race/ethnicity groups. By self-report the cohort is 80.8% white and 19.2% minority; 93.8% endorsed a single race/ethnicity group, while 6.2% endorsed two or more. PC and admixture analyses were generally consistent with prior studies. Approximately 17% of subjects had genetic ancestry from more than one continent, and 12% were genetically admixed considering only non-adjacent geographical origins. Self-reported whites were spread on a continuum along the first two PCs, indicating extensive mixing among European nationalities. Self-identified East Asian nationalities correlated with genetic clustering, consistent with extensive endogamy. Individuals of mixed East Asian-European genetic ancestry were easily identified; we also observed a modest amount of European genetic ancestry in individuals self-identified as Filipinos. Self-reported African Americans and Latinos showed extensive European and African genetic ancestry, and Native American genetic ancestry for the latter. Among 3,741 genetically-identified parent-child pairs, 93% were concordant for self-reported race/ethnicity; among 2,018 genetically-identified full-sib pairs, 96% were concordant; the lower rate for parent-child pairs was largely due to inter-marriage. The parent-child pairs revealed a trend towards increasing exogamy over time; the presence in the cohort of individuals endorsing multiple race/ethnicity categories, creates interesting challenges and future opportunities for genetic epidemiologic studies. [. . .]

The initial analysis showed, as expected, a clear Ashkenazi cluster and a larger cluster depicting the northwest-southeast European cline (Price et al. 2008; Tian et al. 2008c).

In this Northern California sample, less than 1% of the self-identified "European/West Asian" group showed evidence of Amerindian ancestry, and less than half a percent showed evidence of black admixture.

As expected, all individuals who self-identified as European/West Asian had evidence of European/West Asian genetic ancestry. The next largest genetic ancestry component in this group was South Asian (4.3%), primarily attributable to individuals of West Asian ethnicity. Because there is a continuum of genetic ancestry from Europe to West Asia, Central/ South Asia to East Asia, genetic overlap exists for individuals whose national origins are geographically between these divisions (Li et al. 2008). Nearly 1% of this group also had evidence of Native American genetic ancestry, while a smaller fraction had evidence of African or East Asian genetic ancestry (0.3% and 0.4%, respectively). Nearly all individuals (99.7%) self-reporting African/African American race/ethnicity had evidence of African genetic ancestry; 91% also had evidence of European genetic ancestry, consistent with broad European admixture among African Americans. Native American and East Asian genetic ancestry occurred in this group at a similar low level as observed in the Europeans/West Asians (1.3% and 0.5%, respectively). Among self-reported East Asians, all had evidence of East Asian genetic ancestry; a sizeable proportion (21.7%) also had evidence of Pacific Islander genetic ancestry, but this likely represents difficulty in differentiating East Asian and Pacific Islander genetic ancestry. A modest subgroup (3.4%) had evidence of European/West Asian genetic ancestry (majority are self-reported Filipinos), while small proportions had evidence of African or Native American genetic ancestry (0.1% and 0.5%, respectively). Among the Latinos, nearly all had evidence of European/West Asian genetic ancestry; a similar high proportion (94.2%) had evidence of Native American genetic ancestry, and an additional 27.7% had evidence of African ancestry. A substantial number of self-reported Pacific Islanders had evidence of East Asian genetic ancestry (91.3%) in addition to Pacific Islander genetic ancestry (66.3%); these results are again likely due to close genetic similarity between East Asians and Pacific Islanders. There is also evidence of substantial European/West Asian and South Asian genetic ancestry in this group (57.6% and 26.1%, respectively). The former reflects a high rate of European admixture among some self-reported Pacific Islander groups, while the latter likely reflects Fijians of Indian origin.

Why JayMan is fat

The self-control consequences of political ideology
Evidence from three studies reveals a critical difference in self-control as a function of political ideology. Specifically, greater endorsement of political conservatism (versus liberalism) was associated with greater attention regulation and task persistence. Moreover, this relationship is shown to stem from varying beliefs in freewill; specifically, the association between political ideology and self-control is mediated by differences in the extent to which belief in freewill is endorsed, is independent of task performance or motivation, and is reversed when freewill is perceived to impede (rather than enhance) self-control. Collectively, these findings offer insight into the self-control consequences of political ideology by detailing conditions under which conservatives and liberals are better suited to engage in self-control and outlining the role of freewill beliefs in determining these conditions.
Why conservatives might be better at dieting than liberals
"Conservatives tend to believe they had a greater control over their outcomes, and that was predicting how they did on the test," said Joshua Clarkson, a consumer psychologist at the University of Cincinnati and the lead author of the paper.

Criminality and intelligence in Finland

James Thompson summarizes a recent paper ("Intelligence and criminal behavior in a total birth cohort: An examination of functional form, dimensions of intelligence, and the nature of offending"):

They found that lower levels of intelligence are associated with greater levels of offending, that the IQ-offending association is mostly linear, with some curvilinear aspects at highest and lowest levels, and that the pattern is consistent across multiple measures of intelligence and offending. In some ways this is exactly as predicted and already observed, since the available literature shows that individuals with lower IQ are more likely to engage in criminal behaviour. Criminal offending was measured with nine different indicators from official records and intelligence was measured using three subscales (verbal, mathematical, and spatial reasoning) as well as a composite measure. The results show consistent evidence of mostly linear patterns, with some indication of curvilinear associations at the very lowest and the very highest ranges of intellectual ability. [. . .]

Note that violent crime is an order of magnitude higher in the bottom 20% of the population by ability than the top 20% of population by ability. The pattern is generally a linear one. The subscales of intelligence show the same pattern, though perhaps the spatial scores show a slightly less pronounced differential effect.

So, why do dull minds carry out criminal acts? The main effect is driven by general intelligence, so that raises a number of possibilities, in that highly g-loaded factors such as deficits in executive functions, including inhibition, processing speed, and attention are potentially linked to criminal behaviour. People with higher levels of intelligence are more dependable ( Deary et al., 2008b) and conscientious ( Luciano, Wainwright, Wright, & Martin, 2006), suggesting that they are more likely to think about the moral consequences of their actions compared to individuals with lower levels of intelligence. People with lower intelligence have been found to act more impulsively ( de Wit et al., 2007 and Funder and Block, 1989). People with lower levels of impulse control and related constructs, such as low self-control, have also been found to be significantly more likely to engage in various forms of criminal and antisocial behavior ( Gottfredson and Hirschi, 1990,Moffitt et al., 2011 and Pratt and Cullen, 2000). While only preliminary, current research suggests that lower levels of intelligence reduces the ability to weigh the costs and benefits of individual action, resulting in a greater propensity to make impulsive decisions, which in some cases involve illegal behaviour.


The ancestry and affiliations of Kennewick Man

Kennewick Man ancient DNA. The paper is openly accessible. Results pretty much as I expected.
We find that Kennewick Man is closer to modern Native Americans than to any other population worldwide.
The paper is marred by strained, politically-motivated attempts to tie Kennewick Man specifically to "the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Colville), one of the five tribes claiming Kennewick Man". So those interested in aboriginal American population structure are probably better off ignoring much of the authors's narrative and looking directly at the data.

Variation and signatures of selection on the human face

Variation and signatures of selection on the human face. [Open access]

J Hum Evol. 2014 Oct;75:143-52

Authors: Guo J, Tan J, Yang Y, Zhou H, Hu S, Hashan A, Bahaxar N, Xu S, Weaver TD, Jin L, Stoneking M, Tang K


There has been much debate about why humans throughout the world differ in facial form. Previous studies of human skull morphology found levels of among-population differentiation that were comparable to those of neutral genetic markers, suggesting that genetic drift (neutral processes) played an important role in influencing facial differentiation. However, variation in soft-tissue morphology has not been studied in detail. In this study, we analyzed high-resolution 3D images of soft-tissue facial form in four Eurasian populations: Han Chinese, Tibetans, Uyghur and Europeans. A novel method was used to establish a high-density alignment across all of the faces, allowing facial diversity to be examined at an unprecedented resolution. These data exhibit signatures of population structure and history. However, among-population differentiation was higher for soft-tissue facial form than for genome-wide genetic loci, and high-resolution analyses reveal that the nose, brow area and cheekbones exhibit particularly strong signals of differentiation (Qst estimates: 0.3-0.8) between Europeans and Han Chinese. Our results suggest that local adaptation and/or sexual selection have been important in shaping human soft-tissue facial morphology. [. . .]

The Qpc values found in the nose and brow area between Europeans and Han Chinese approach the high differentiation reported for skin pigmentation (Relethford, 2004b). This suggests that strong local adaptation may have shaped these facial features (Myles et al., 2007). For the nose, strong correlations have been found between the nasal index and temperature/humidity, supporting climate adaptation as the major selective force (Thomson and Buxton, 1923, Davies, 1932, Weiner, 1954, Wolpoff, 1968, Hiernaux and Froment, 1976, Crognier, 1981 and Franciscus and Long, 1991). Models simulating airflow dynamics demonstrated that bigger nasal volumes, narrower shapes and downwardly pointing nares might enhance the airflow exposure of the mucosa and thereby facilitate the heating and humidification of the air (Churchill et al., 2004). The European nose shape thus may have resulted from adaptation to a colder climate. The relatively enlarged brow area in Europeans has also been noted previously (Russell et al., 1985). It has been argued that brow area size is positively correlated with the magnitude of the mechanical stresses resulting from mastication, so brow area shape differentiation (SOM, Fig. S11) could be the result of dietary differences (Russell et al., 1985). Adaptation to specific diets (Hubbe et al., 2009) and climate adaptation (Coon et al., 1950) have been hypothesized to explain the expanded zygomatics in Asians.

In addition to natural selection, sexual selection may also have played a major role in shaping interpopulation variation in the human face. Selective mate choice based on facial appearance in humans is well documented as a universal condition in global populations (Wells et al., 2009). However, whether and to what extent sexual selection shaped human facial morphology has rarely been investigated. Fisher's runaway sexual selection model suggests that a positive feedback loop composed of an arbitrary trait involving appearance, and the accidental preference of this trait in the opposite sex, could initiate a powerful sexual selection process (Fisher, 1958). It is therefore possible that some of the strong differentiation signals involving the soft-tissue facial form may have resulted from sexual selection. Further studies that combine high-resolution 3D face analysis, studies of human behavior, and genetic analyses are necessary to delineate the possible roles of local adaptation versus sexual selection in explaining the relatively large between-population differentiation that we find for soft-tissues of the human face.

Persistence of Lombard Y chromosomes in old Northern Italian families?

Traces of medieval migrations in a socially stratified population from Northern Italy. Evidence from uniparental markers and deep-rooted pedigrees.

Heredity (Edinb). 2015 Feb;114(2):155-62

Authors: Boattini A, Sarno S, Pedrini P, Medoro C, Carta M, Tucci S, Ferri G, Alù M, Luiselli D, Pettener D


Social and cultural factors had a critical role in determining the genetic structure of Europe. Therefore, socially stratified populations may help to focus on specific episodes of European demographic history. In this study, we use uniparental markers to analyse the genetic structure of Partecipanza in San Giovanni in Persiceto (Northern Italy), a peculiar institution whose origins date back to the Middle Ages and whose members form the patrilineal descent of a group of founder families. From a maternal point of view (mtDNA), Partecipanza is genetically homogeneous with the rest of the population. However, we observed a significant differentiation for Y-chromosomes. In addition, by comparing 17 Y-STR profiles with deep-rooted paternal pedigrees, we estimated a Y-STR mutation rate equal to 3.90 * 10(-3) mutations per STR per generation and an average generation duration time of 33.38 years. When we used these values for tentative dating, we estimated 1300-600 years ago for the origins of the Partecipanza. These results, together with a peculiar Y-chromosomal composition and historical evidence, suggest that Germanic populations (Lombards in particular) settled in the area during the Migration Period (400-800 AD, approximately) and may have had an important role in the foundation of this community.


Prenatal exposure to tylenol lowers testosterone and sperm counts

Given that "paracetamol sales in Denmark have been estimated among the highest in the world" and paracetamol consumption is evidently much lower in Finland, this may turn out to be a substantial part of the explanation of this phenomenon: East–West gradient in semen quality in the Nordic–Baltic area: a study of men from the general population in Denmark, Norway, Estonia and Finland

There's been epidemiological evidence pointing in this direction for years, but more direct evidence, from a xenograft model, has now been reported.

Pregnant women are advised to seek medical advice if they need paracetamol for more than one day

Pregnant women are being advised to see their doctor if they need to take paracetamol for more than a day, after researchers found in an animal study that prolonged use of the analgesic reduced the production of testosterone.1

Four previous studies have linked the use of paracetamol in pregnancy with an increased risk of cryptorchidism in male babies, but a causal effect has not been shown because it is not possible to test the association in women. To overcome this, researchers from the University of Edinburgh developed an animal model using castrated mice, into which they grafted human testicular tissue. These grafts have been shown to mimic how the developing testes grow and function in pregnancy.

Prolonged exposure to acetaminophen reduces testosterone production by the human fetal testis in a xenograft model
Most common male reproductive disorders are linked to lower testosterone exposure in fetal life, although the factors responsible for suppressing fetal testosterone remain largely unknown. Protracted use of acetaminophen during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of cryptorchidism in sons, but effects on fetal testosterone production have not been demonstrated. We used a validated xenograft model to expose human fetal testes to clinically relevant doses and regimens of acetaminophen. Exposure to a therapeutic dose of acetaminophen for 7 days significantly reduced plasma testosterone (45% reduction; P = 0.025) and seminal vesicle weight (a biomarker of androgen exposure; 18% reduction; P = 0.005) in castrate host mice bearing human fetal testis xenografts, whereas acetaminophen exposure for just 1 day did not alter either parameter. Plasma acetaminophen concentrations (at 1 hour after the final dose) in exposed host mice were substantially below those reported in humans after a therapeutic oral dose. Subsequent in utero exposure studies in rats indicated that the acetaminophen-induced reduction in testosterone likely results from reduced expression of key steroidogenic enzymes (Cyp11a1, Cyp17a1). Our results suggest that protracted use of acetaminophen (1 week) may suppress fetal testosterone production, which could have adverse consequences. Further studies are required to establish the dose-response and treatment-duration relationships to delineate the maximum dose and treatment period without this adverse effect.

People of the British Isles Project talk

(I'm not convinced by the approach they took to estimating Anglo-Saxon admixture proportions; but the intra-UK clustering discussed starting around ~14:30 should be objective enough.)

Garrett Hellenthal - The Genetic History of the United Kingdom: the POBI project

Garrett presents results from the People of the British Isles (POBI) project, an exploration of the fine-scale genetic architecture of the United Kingdom. Using the DNA of individuals sampled across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, Garrett illustrates the striking correlation between an individual's genetics and their geographic origins. Furthermore, by comparing the DNA of UK individuals to that of individuals sampled from continental Europe, we identify clear differences in ancestry among different geographic regions of the UK, reflecting the genetic imprint of the Anglo-Saxon and Norwegian Viking migrations from several centuries ago.

Gender and Politics Among Anthropologists in the Units of Selection Debate

Gender and Politics Among Anthropologists in the Units of Selection Debate:
In recent years evolutionary theorists have been engaged in a protracted and bitter disagreement concerning how natural selection affects units such as genes, individuals, kin groups, and groups. Central to this debate has been whether selective pressures affecting group success can trump the selective pressures that confer advantage at the individual level. In short, there has been a debate about the utility of group selection, with noted theorist Steven Pinker calling the concept useless for the social sciences. We surveyed 175 evolutionary anthropologists to ascertain where they stood in the debate. We found that most were receptive to group selection, especially in the case of cultural group selection. The survey also revealed that liberals and conservatives, and males and females, all displayed significant differences of opinion concerning which selective forces were important in humanity’s prehistory. We conclude by interpreting these findings in the context of recent research in political psychology.
Peter Turchin:
A particularly interesting recent study is the one by William Yaworsky, Mark Horowitz, and Kenneth Kickham, Gender and Politics among Anthropologists in the Units of Selection Debate, published a month ago in Biological Theory. It’s interesting because it addresses the question of group versus kin selection, which is of course one of the most dividing issues in evolutionary science.

Yaworsky and colleagues obtained 175 surveys from evolutionary anthropologists who served faculty in graduate programs in various universities (which means that they are training their own graduate students). Their analysis of the questionnaires showed that there were very striking differences between different groups of anthropologists. Liberals were much more likely to disagree with the statement that tribal conflict was a principal evolutionary force that shaped human behavior. Conservatives, on the other hand, thought that tribalism was a fundamental human trait. They also tended to agree with the notion that homicide was frequent in early human societies.

The differences between male and female evolutionary anthropologists were even stronger than between different parties. Women were very resistant to the ideas that tribal conflict was an important selective force and that homicide was common in prehistory. [. . .]

And I expect that the questions of the importance of between-group competition and the frequency of lethal violence in prehistory will eventually achieve the same level of consensus. It may take many decades, but my hunch is that it will happen more quickly than that.

In fact, it’s already happening. The data of Yaworsky and colleagues show that 80 percent of respondents disagree with Pinker’s assertion that group selection is a useless concept. A similar proportion thinks that group selection is an important process, and 55 percent consider group selection as a more important process than kin selection. In contrast, among the professors who trained this cohort of respondents, the previous generation, only 8 percent were strongly in favor or “leaned” towards group selection. We are winning!


A major Indo-European contribution to the spread lactase persistence after all?

Ewen Callaway ("DNA data explosion lights up the Bronze Age: Population-scale studies suggest that migrants spread steppe language and technology."):
Ancient population genomics also offer insights on physical and physiological traits. Allentoft’s team found that the ability to digest milk into adulthood — nearly universal in northern Europeans today — was rare in Bronze Age Europeans, contradicting earlier claims that the trait helped early European farmers to gain calories from milk. Of the 101 sequenced individuals, the Yamnaya were most likely to have the DNA variation responsible for lactose tolerance, hinting that the steppe migrants might have eventually introduced the trait to Europe.
Related: More ancient DNA evidence of Indo-European mass migrations

More ancient DNA evidence of Indo-European mass migrations

Population genomics of Bronze Age Eurasia (figures; supplementary information):
The Bronze Age of Eurasia (around 3000–1000 BC) was a period of major cultural changes. However, there is debate about whether these changes resulted from the circulation of ideas or from human migrations, potentially also facilitating the spread of languages and certain phenotypic traits. We investigated this by using new, improved methods to sequence low-coverage genomes from 101 ancient humans from across Eurasia. We show that the Bronze Age was a highly dynamic period involving large-scale population migrations and replacements, responsible for shaping major parts of present-day demographic structure in both Europe and Asia. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesized spread of Indo-European languages during the Early Bronze Age. We also demonstrate that light skin pigmentation in Europeans was already present at high frequency in the Bronze Age, but not lactose tolerance, indicating a more recent onset of positive selection on lactose tolerance than previously thought.
Dienekes links to the raw data:
Investigation of Bronze Age in Eurasia by sequencing from 101 ancient human remains.

The Bronze Age (BA) of Eurasia (c. 3,000-1,000 years BC, 3-1 ka BC) was a period of major cultural changes. Earlier hunter-gathering and farming cultures in Europe and Asia were replaced by cultures associated with completely new perceptions and technologies inspired by early urban civilization. It remains debated if these cultural shifts simply represented the circulation of ideas or resulted from large-scale human migrations, potentially also facilitating the spread of Indo-European languages and certain phenotypic traits. To investigate this and the role of BA in the formation of Eurasian genetic structure, we used new methodological improvements to sequence low coverage genomes from 101 ancient humans (19 > 1X average depth) covering 3 ka BC to 600 AD from across Eurasia. We show that around 3 ka BC, Central and Northern Europe and Central Asia receive genetic input through people related to the Yamnaya Culture from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe, resulting in the formation of the Corded Ware Culture in Europe and the Afanasievo Culture in Central Asia. A thousand years later, genetic input from North-Central Europe into Central Asia gives rise to the Sintashta and Andronovo Cultures. During the late BA and Iron Age, the European-derived populations in Asia are gradually replaced by multi-ethnic cultures, of which some relate to contemporary Asian groups, while others share recent ancestry with Native Americans. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesised spread of Indo-European languages during early BA and reveal that major parts of the demographic structure of present-day Eurasian populations were shaped during this period. We also demonstrate that light skin pigmentation in Europeans was already present at high frequency during the BA, contrary to lactose tolerance, indicating a more recent onset of positive selection in the latter than previously believed.

DNA Deciphers Roots of Modern Europeans (NYT):
About 4,500 years ago, the final piece of Europe’s genetic puzzle fell into place. A new infusion of DNA arrived — one that is still very common in living Europeans, especially in central and northern Europe.

The closest match to this new DNA, both teams of scientists found, comes from skeletons found in Yamnaya graves in western Russia and Ukraine.

Archaeologists have long been fascinated by the Yamnaya, who left behind artifacts on the steppes of western Russia and Ukraine dating from 5,300 to 4,600 years ago. The Yamnaya used horses to manage huge herds of sheep, and followed their livestock across the steppes with wagons full of food and water.

It was an immensely successful way of life, allowing the Yamnaya to build huge funeral mounds for their dead, which they filled with jewelry, weapons and even entire chariots. [. . .]

The Copenhagen team’s study suggests that the Yamnaya didn’t just expand west into Europe, however. The scientists examined DNA from 4,700-year-old skeletons from a Siberian culture called the Afanasievo. It turns out that they inherited Yamnaya DNA, too.

Related: Massive migration from the steppe is a source for Indo-European languages in Europe; Penny starting to drop for academics

Failure of selective breeding?

Mugabe asserts at pumpkinperson:

off topic but a huge “teachable moment” today for hereditists.

for the first time since affirmed in ’78 a horse has won the tiple crown.

what horse still holds the record times in all three triple crown races?

secretariat in ’73.

the lesson is that despite enormous incentive to breed a super horse none have succeeded in besting secretariat. and that’s been ca 14 generations of thoroughbreds since ’73.

While Mugabe's broader point is without merit (there's no shortage of examples of successful applications of selective breeding to animals), it does look like thoroughbred breeders may be doing it wrong. Steve Sailer noted in 2005:

Enormous amounts of money are spent to acquire the best breeding stock for thoroughbred horse racing. The average time of the winning horse in the Kentucky Derby dropped steadily up through middle of the 20th Century (as shown in the red line above), yet there has been virtually no overall improvement in average time since 1950 (as shown in the blue line). If the improvements seen from 1896-1949 had continued, the average winning time today would be about three seconds faster.

Expert ratings seem to point to a similar conclusion:
The trend line (red curve) now shows a clear dip between about 1940 and 1970. This means that a larger number of higher ranked horses are clustered in that time frame. The upward trend since then reinforces the position of the critics in that the horses on the list selected since mid-century are, as a group, not as highly regarded as those that came immediately before them. The overall pattern seems to have been continual improvement through the first half of the 20th century followed by a gradual decline since then. This study is far from definitive because the rankings are objective only to the extent that humans apply their best judgment. On the other hand, since there is no purely objective standard to use, the opinions of the seven experts are as a good as any and better than most. The result of their judgment is that changes have occurred and that the best of recent years are not quite up to the level of the best that preceded them.
In contrast, standardbred harness racing times have continued to decline:

From the above chart, starting in 1930 standardbreds have improved winning Hambo times by 7.9%, while thoroughbreds of the same period have improved Derby winning times by just 1.8%. If you start analyzing the data at the time of the breaking of the magic 2:00 threshold the differences are even more striking – 7.0% for trotters vs. an imperceptible 0.08% for thoroughbreds.

The horse trainer quoted above thinks this difference mostly comes down to thoroughbred trainers not having "a very good grasp of equine exercise physiology". But assuming it's a matter of breeding, here's one major difference:
in order for the resulting foal to be registered with The Jockey Club, Thoroughbred breeders must have their mares bred by live cover. As inconvenient as this might seem to those unfamiliar with the Thoroughbred industry, this policy ensures the ability of more colts to end up at stud. If Thoroughbred mare owners weren't restricted by geography and location, they would no doubt be interested only in the sperm of the best of the best, thereby devaluing the stud services of all other stallions. In fact this is the case in the Standardbred industry. Because artificial insemination is the norm, the breed has improved much faster in comparison to the Thoroughbred. However, the Standardbred colt owner must make a profit at the racetrack because unless the colt is literally the best of the best there is no chance of making a profit on the colt as a stud (1).
There's also the question of what's actually being selected for.

"They're the ones who created this tragedy," Parker said. "Robert Clay is smart enough to know better. He bred her. That's where it starts. You don't blame the trainer, who does not have the reputation of breaking horses down, and you don't blame the poor little jockey. ... She was inbred three times to Raise a Native! [She broke down] right where Raise a Native was the weakest, right in the ankles, and everybody acts like they don't know what caused this filly to break down. It's written right there for everyone to see! Except they refuse to see it. To admit it is to address the fact that all these stallions that are bred like that, that all the yearlings that are bred like that, are potential accidents waiting to happen. And they've got so much money wrapped up in this crap!" [. . .]

Through the first 60 years of the 20th century, most of the major stallions and many of the best mares were owned and controlled by some of the oldest families and richest sporting patrons in America, by the Whitneys and Woodwards, the Bradleys and Wideners, the Klebergs and Mellons. They bred horses to race them, not to sell them, and they did so in order to compete against one other -- to beat their fellow members of The Jockey Club, to see who had the fastest horse. A cardinal article of their faith was to "improve the breed," which meant to breed a horse with great speed, stamina and soundness. In fact, on the C.V. Whitney farm in Lexington, a foal born with a crooked leg was usually taken into the woods and shot, lest he or she pollute the Whitney bloodlines with this inherent deformity.

By the middle of the last century, this tight-knit racing world began to change. As these families died out and their blue-chip breeding stock was sold at dispersal auctions, the best stallions and mares fell into the hands of commercial breeders, whose central motivation was to breed, not so much a sound or durable horse, but rather an attractive horse, a "cosmetic horse," who showed well, who had a pedigree filled with fashionable names, preferably sire lines that glowed with speed, and who thus would draw the biggest price at the fanciest yearlings sales. Because they needed to look like show horses, these hothouse yearlings were often raised in small pens and not allowed to run free, or to kick, bite and roughhouse with their peers.

[. . .] This gradual softening and weakening of the breed has led to the use of more medications to keep these horses running sound, among them the corticosteroids injected into injured knees and ankles. [. . .] Drugs are only one way that the industry has been trying to make up for the weakening of the American thoroughbred. A number of racetracks have already replaced their dirt tracks with softer Polytrack surfaces, for the purpose of reducing breakdowns, but all we know about these tracks is that they often are the bane of true speed horses, favoring come-from-behind plodders. They have made the outcome of races so unpredictable that they have driven the high-rolling, sophisticated gamblers away from the betting parlors; and they may or may not save horses' lives. The jury remains sequestered.

All such expedients are aimed at forgiving commercial breeders for what they have done to the breed. At the core of the problem is the fact that the fastest and most popular sire lines in the world are the least durable and sound.

[Eight Belles' breakdown: a predictable tragedy]

This decrease in starts per horse over time also sheds light on another contemptible fact directly related to the absurdity of the economic covetousness of the industry. With exaggerated breeding fees and bloodstock sales that generate literally millions of dollars it has forced breeders to resort to breeding something fashionable that people will be interested in buying. Unfortunately the fastest sires are usually the most unsound. In the commercial sense of the word, horses are no longer bred to race but rather are bred to sell.


Moldbug purged from tech conference at urging of communist Jew

Moldbug cultist blames "Comstockery"; approvingly quotes Emma Goldman.

I was not the only one to notice the irony in the situation:

@Nick_B_Steves: Then a known (lying, "no platform" lefty, asshole) enemy of #NRx [steveklabnik] notices #MM at #Strangeloop

@kmaj_gpt: @Nick_B_Steves Is that a "crypto-calvinist" surname?

(The situation becomes even more moderately amusing when you realize that Moldbug's urbit co-founder, Thiel fellow John Burnham, comes from Massachusetts and has a surname that likely reflects Puritan ancestry.)

A cogent response:

vxxc2014 June 5, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Cheer up. Shaw, and absolutely porn won….and so did Emma Goldman.

Now I’m not that dense. I do look at results. Those are the results. Not high principles, the actual results.

You may be confusing those defending a society with those who’s born purpose is burning it to the ground. Shaw was a monster, a Fabian but also genocidal in his own slow way…his slow genocide bears fruit now. On this subject of Civilizational Genocide Emma Goldman needs no further introduction. Comstock however clumsily was trying to stamp out porn. Not Art. We now have absolutely nothing banned in Boston or anywhere else….and we are not richer in arts for all our smut. Someone trying to do the right thing can always be mocked, even apparently after the consequences of failure are all around us. However that needs no introduction either.

What apparently does need an introduction is what Moldbuggery and who Curtis Yarvin actually is….the answer here is to leave him to his own, and their own justice. He could have just as well given you something to fight for….but he very cleverly convinced so many that the fault was their own….and the fault of people named Comstock, as opposed to people named Goldman.

The net result of Moldbug is while a great many of Yarvin’s natural born enemies – by their choice not ours, by their sacred commands and not ours, indeed without even most of us even conceiving of it – the net result of Moldbug is a great many young men who have every reason to fight for their people and no reason to lay down and die are quite prepared to exactly lay down and die, supposing that the root of all this is the Puritans and not the Jacobins of 1789, Karl Marx and the Bolsheviks. You are all quite jaded for your age, and not ready even in mind or spirit for a trial.

I hope that wasn’t too rambling, but it’s not important. What’s important is who fights to live, who fights for their people, and who doesn’t. Yarvin in his own way is striving for his, by putting you off the scent.

You will not make it, and you will not die well.

Paul Gottfried still hates "patrician WASPs" (while having trouble identifying them)

Gottfried in VDARE:

Since The New Republic victimologist has had a go at America’s founding population, allow me, as a member of an outside group, to take my own shot.

Of course I am critical of WASPs, but for a reason diametrically opposed to Massey’s: namely for being such wimps and for permitting themselves to be vilified without protest. Needless to say, American Jews or American blacks (taking two two self-conscious ethnicities) would never allow themselves to be freely pummeled the way Massey goes after WASPs. They would be denouncing their slanderers through well-heeled organizations, with Main Stream Media support. [. . .]

Certainly at the elite level, white Protestants behave differently from normal people. Like Elizabeth Warren, the descendant of New England settlers, WASP patricians may pretend their true ancestors were American Indians

Elizabeth Warren was born Oklahoma, the daughter of a janitor. Her ancestors were predominantly Southern. She has no New England ancestry that I was able to identify.
Recently I was reading about some WASPy protestors in thirteen states, mostly in the South, who were burning Confederate flags to celebrate Memorial Day.[ Memorial Day Confederate Flag Burning: Small Groups Gather In 13 States To Symbolically Bury The Dixie Flag,By Angelo Young, IBTimes.com, May 25, 2015] These activists were demonstrating their revulsion for the racism of their region and presumably of their own despised ancestors.
The organizer and the bulk of the "artists" participating in this non-event are black. Gottfried sees an opportunity to trash "WASPy" people. The white participant prominently pictured in one of the news articles was, according to Wikipedia, "born on a farm in Kentucky". He's neither particularly elite nor remotely ideologically representative of founding stock Americans.
Back in 2001, I suggested on VDARE.com that America’s problem, to a considerable extent, is “decaying Protestantism.” From all appearances, Alana Massey is part of that problem.
While Gottfried could not be bothered to take a few seconds to check, it appears Massey, the blogger of the TNR clickbait that's serving as Gottfried's immediate pretext for attacking "WASPs", was in fact raised Protestant. But based on comments she's made, she may have Irish ancestry with which she identifies, and her personal blog features a post entitled "I Want To Talk and Write Like A Mid 20th Century Catholic With an Attitude". And there's of course nothing specifically Protestant about SJW content factories, the employees of which tend to be extremely disproportionately Jewish (and I suspect disproportionately Catholic relative to Protestant).

For people like JayMan ("SWPLs are literal Puritans") and the knowing NRX dorks who are able to confidently inform us it's snobbish, Yankee-stock Unitarians driving leftist discourse in America, Alana Massey, resident of Brooklyn, who has been featured in such fine publications as Buzzfeed and xoJane, grew up in San Diego. Her father, a naval commander, was born in Tennessee. Her mother, a public school teacher, "grew up in a small town in Arkansas". The ranks of aspirational urban leftists are populated by dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of Alana Masseys for every upper class Puritan descendant.

Related post:

Racial and ethnic variation in penis size, pt. 2: the actual data

Here is most of the relevant published data I know of (but keep in mind the issues touched on in the previous post):

My impression:

  • While there are probably some real differences between populations, differences among different Caucasoid and Negroid populations, at least, appear to be greater than any overall differences between macroraces. I don't find this surprising, since if we looked at, say, height, the same would probably be true.
  • I'm not convinced the data support any difference between Northern Europeans and West Africans, and if differences exist, they are relatively minor.
  • To the extent we can say anything about intra-Caucasoid differences, there appears to be a trend of declining penis size from Northern/western Europe towards SE Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia.
  • Reported values for East Asia do appear to tend toward the low end among worldwide populations.

Related posts:

Racial and ethnic variation in penis size, pt. 1: some background

A few years ago, a "World Penis Size Map" [1] citing a website containing largely made-up numbers [2] entered widespread circulation. Despite being an obvious and inept hoax, it has continued to take in various people, including the press, some economist [3], and Richard Lynn [4]. I started writing up a post at the time, but never bothered to finish it.

Most recently, a presenter at the 2015 London Conference on Intelligence has attempted to defend this hoax data, claiming:

  • Lynn (2013) attempted to resolve the controversy by obtaining data from the World Penis Website, which listed average national penis lengths based on various sources. Using this, Lynn extended Rushton?s model, based on this, to other races, and found that their average penis sizes differed as Differential K would predict.
  • This paper was ridiculed, most notably by a psychologist blogger called Scott McGreal, who pointed out various minor mistakes on the World Penis Website, insisting all its contents was suspect and not properly reviewed
  • As I am researching a book that extends Rushton?s theory to 12 races, I was very interested in Lynn?s penis data. It occurred to me that we can test the validity of Lynn?s national penis lengths by seeing if they correlated with other national measures androgen in the expected direction.
But the website does not just feature a few "minor mistakes". Most of the data is simply made up. One can't "validate" made-up numbers by attempting to correlate them with other putative markers of androgen exposure.

Autosomal DNA from 2,500-year old Etruscans

Dienekes points to a Biology of Genomes poster ("Assessment of Whole-Genome capture methodologies on single- and double-stranded ancient DNA libraries from Caribbean and European archaeological human remains") that includes a PCA with a few Etruscan samples (the poster text mentions two samples, but the PCA includes three).

If you imagine a line running from the American and British samples (CEU and GBR) through the Spanish (IBS) and Tuscan (TSI) samples, I expect Southern Italian samples would be out past Tuscans on this line and Middle Easterners would be beyond Southern Italians.

The Etruscan samples are shifted north and/or west relative to modern Tuscans (exactly the opposite of what we'd expect if Etruscans had predominantly Near Eastern origins). Since, in the absence of other gene flow, Italic, Celtic, and Germanic admixture in Tuscany would be expected to pull Tuscans north/west relative to Etruscans, it's clear Tuscany has been influenced by southern/eastern gene flow within the past 2,500 years (with potential sources including Roman slaves, medieval slaves, Jews, and southern Italians).

“Nos ancêtres les Gaulois”: Ethnicity and History in Vermont

An article from multiculturalist Canadian Studies professor Joseph-André Senécal (born in Quebec and now employed at the University of Vermont) confirms for Vermont what I found for New England overall using surnames: the original Yankee element, deriving from the initial settlers, was swamped by later arrivals and composes a relatively minor fraction of the current population.

Also see: Burlington, VT: "The Myth of a Yankee Town" (1937)

“Nos ancêtres les Gaulois”: Ethnicity and History in Vermont (pdf):

Canadians, French and English speaking, make up the largest ethnic group in our state. 1 “Our ancestors the Canadians” raises the array of issues, the universals and the particulars, that are germane to the definition and the importance of ethnicity in Vermont history. Who is ethnic in the Green Mountain State? Is Vermont history fundamentally different from the main American narrative whose title could be “A Nation of Immigrants”? Is Vermont a state of immigrants? If the Green Mountains are replete with Canadian Catholics, Italian Socialists, and Russian Jews, why are we fascinated with “Real Vermonters”: the Protestant “Last Yankees” who milk their historical constructs for Vermont Life?

I once had a student who defined “member of an ethnic group” as “a person who moved from somewhere else.” This is an excellent, if incomplete definition of who we are. We are all Vermonters and none of us are real, first, or native, not in a way that should matter. Our understanding of Vermont’s past should not overstate claims to the status of being first, or dwell upon the persistence or preponderance of any single group among us. What does “First” or “Real” Vermonters mean? There is something fundamentally evil in proclaiming to be the first when territorial occupation is the subject of history. Such pretensions, especially those accompanied by claims to divine election, are at the root of nationalism. There are no First Vermonters; only Abenakis who have left their mark upon the land for thousands of years. There are no First Vermonters; only European immigrants who planted themselves in Western Connecticut, Western Massachusetts, and elsewhere just long enough to become Americans before transplanting their roots into Vermont soil. The majority of these early Vermonters stayed in the Green Mountains no more than two or three generations before scattering to a West that unfolded to the Pacific. 2 Others—Canadians, Irish, Italians, Swedes, Poles, Lebanese, etc.—came, early and late, in large and small numbers. 3 For the most part, they did not identify their role in daily life with power and ascendancy; they failed to become bankers, railroad magnates, lumber barons, admirals of White Fleets, governors of the state; or if they did, they had no compulsion to define their roots or proclaim the special status of their ancestries. In short, insofar as ethnic identity is concerned, unless they could claim a Yankee lineage and in that way pass for white, Vermonters who made history remained as shrouded, ethnically speaking that is, as women. Most Vermonters, Yankee white or not, made the history of which I speak: the history of textile workers, mostly women and children, and lumberjacks, mostly men, of farm hands and quarry workers. It is the history of Canadians—of French Canadians who worked in the tanneries of Pownal, of Scottish Canadians who made their way to Barre, of Irish Canadians who toiled in the railroad repair shops of St. Albans, of English Canadians (my litany follows the order of numerical importance), 4 and of course, of direct immigrants from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Italy, Poland, etc. Is this history, the history of ethnic Vermont, important enough to merit a major part of our attention?

The answer is yes, emphatically. If we are all ethnic, then ethnicity lies at the heart of a definition of Vermont. But today, much if not most of our history focuses, often with insistence, on one of the state’s ethnic groups: the Yankee. Vermont’s construct of ethnicity is synonymous with whiteness, a most peculiar brand of whiteness at that. Vermont’s definition of ethnicity, the source of much racial, gender, and ethnic prejudice, inequality, and intolerance, is closely associated with the narrative that we have built around the Yankee, the Native Vermonter that Frank Bryan has tried to transform into a witty, taciturn, likeable “Real Vermonter” who does not milk goats. 5 The nature of this prejudice is, in a way, our claim to fame: Vermont’s original contribution to the American experience. We have made much of the environment, the small demographic scale and the racial and ethnic “natural selection” that has saved us from the violence of the Watts’s of this country, the urban blight of the Lowells or Manchesters of New England, the sterile sprawl of the Levittowns of postwar America. George S. Weaver, in his piece, “Vermont’s Minority,” a paper read before the 1888 meeting of the Providence (Rhode Island) Association of the Sons of Vermont, captured the essentials of this long-lived ideology that has turned Vermont into the cultural product we market so successfully today. Evoking the settler days, the time of Vermont’s “minority,” Weaver transforms the Green Mountains into the setting for a eugenic Arcadia: [. . .]

The following passage from Cora Cheney’s storybook tales admirably sums up how Vermont authors have amplified Weaver’s themes:

“Grandpa, what’s a Vermonter?” asked a Yankee boy a hundred years or more ago. Grandpa thought a minute. “Why, son, it’s a person who chooses to live here and take part in the community,” he said. “There’s been a lot of talk about ‘Vermonters’ running the ‘foreigners’ out, but as I see it, all people were foreigners here once, even the Indians.” “I just wondered,” said the boy. “Some fellows at school talk about it. I’ll tell them what you said.” “Something about the Green Mountains makes the people who live here get to be a certain way,” said the old man thoughtfully. “The people who move here don’t change Vermont, but instead they change to Vermonters.” The boy took this thought back to school and became friends with the new Irish and French-Canadian children at recess. When he grew up, the boy married one of his French-Canadian neighbors and together they raised a family of Green Mountain boys and girls. 7
Note that Cora Cheney was not a Yankee, but a transplant from Alabama, of Southern ancestry. Actual Yankee sentiment on immigration was a bit different:
What degree of historical truth and reality can we lend these images of our past? Let us ask major voices. The first testimony comes from the pen of Rowland E. Robinson. The text, taken from Vermont: A Study of Independence (1892), reflects the sentiment of some of Weaver’s contemporaries as they had to grapple with new realities, changes that included the arrival of new “stocks.” Robinson, the son of a family who shepherded blacks to Canadian freedom, cast a different eye on what the aboveground railroad was ferrying from the North. The Sage of Rokeby refers to newcomers who fill the place left by the Yankee emigration to the West as “foreign elements,” “swarms,” “gangs.” 8 The verbs “maraud” and “pilfer” seem to find their way naturally into his dramatic prose. Words such as “infestation” and “inundation” prepare the reader for the following outburst of self-righteous contempt: “They [French-Canadian migrant workers] were an abominable crew of vagabonds, robust, lazy men and boys, slatternly women with litters of filthy brats, and all as detestable as they were uninteresting.” 9

Robinson takes stock of what Vermont is becoming in its “majority”: “The character of these people is not such as to inspire the highest hope for the future of Vermont, if they should become the most numerous of its population. The affiliation with Anglo-Americans of a race so different in traits, in traditions, and in religion must necessarily be slow, and may never be complete. Vermont, as may be seen, has given of her best for the building of new commonwealths, to her own loss of such material as had made her all that her sons, wherever found, are so proud of,—material whose place no alien drift from northward or overseas can ever fill.” 10

Robinson’s lament elucidates the subtext of Weaver’s praise of “vigor” and “sound European stock” and it calibrates the dark intimations contained in such phrases as “They were not cousins who had intermarried for generations.” [. . .]

With hindsight, we can appreciate that Rowland Robinson was unduly alarmed. Vermont has domesticated the French Canadians and the Irish Catholics. Climate, geography, small-scale industries, and poverty have conspired to deny us our allotment of Blacks, Chinese, Eastern, or Southern Europeans. We are as white as a virgin page, as buffered as snow. We live in Senator Dillingham’s dream: Vermont has stayed that mythic kingdom that Currier and Ives can come home to. Much of this pious, infectious construct is dangerous and insidious. It blinds us to the nature of Vermont’s ethnic past and our role, our peculiar role in the history of American inequality and prejudice.

Vermont’s uneasiness with its ethnic past, its failure to valorize the accomplishments of French Canadians or Irish Catholics as such, its insistence on rescuing atypical blacks and other members of minorities, all these symptoms invite us to assess our fascination with what Weaver calls Vermont’s “minority,” and to explore the full meaning of our whiteness. There is much in the concept of whiteness as defined by contributors to The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness 12 that applies to Vermont, its ideology and its historiography; much in this second wave of whiteness studies to illuminate how Vermont “morphs” its ethnic past. [. . .]

Judging by the written word, historians and other intellectuals have not explored these aspects of our past. There is little in the epistemology of Vermont that could be construed as a reflection on the nature and complexity of our ethnic identity. Indeed, there is little but fortuitous, fragmented documentation to inform such a debate. Until such history is written, Vermont’s knowledge of its past will remain as disingenuous as the history lesson dispensed by Republican France to its metropolitan population as well as the teeming masses of the French Empire. “Nos ancêtres les Gaulois,” the opening words of the state- mandated history textbook, has made the French Republic the easy target of revisionists worldwide. 15 Can a more meaningful icon of colonialism be found than millions of black children preparing to be Président du Sénégal or Cardinal du Mali or Dictateur de la Côte d’Ivoire by reciting “Our ancestors the Gauls” as their first history lesson? The phrase “Nos ancêtres les Gaulois” is not only a superb illustration of colonialism, it is a rich, telling demonstration of history as a construct. In full denial of their Germanic, Frankish roots, French historians of the Bismarck era closed their eyes to a mountain of evidence, evidence as ready as the name “France” or “Frankfurt” for example, and created a preposterous caricature: Those irreducible Gaulois who defied Jules César. Let us not laugh too loudly or snicker at these “Real French- men.” Here in Vermont, the new history has hardly made a dent into “Nos ancêtres les Yankees.” How about “Nos ancêtres les Canadiens, les Québécois” to shake things up a bit? [. . .]

1 According to the 1990 Census, over 29 percent of all Vermonters report “French” or “French- Canadian” as one of their ancestries. Statistics on ancestry from the 1990 Census will be found in Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 3A. Major tables will be found in 1990 Census of Population: Social and Economic Characteristics: Vermont (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of the Census, 1993). This French/French-Canadian ancestry is the largest reported for the state and we can safely assume that much of the reported “French” ancestry refers to a French-Canadian immigration to Vermont. See Joseph-André Senécal, “Franco-Vermonters on the Eve of the Millen- nium: Tales From the 1990 Census,” Links (Spring 1997): 8–11, 32.

The next group in importance is made up of Vermonters with an English ancestry (26 percent), followed by people with foremothers and fathers from Ireland (17 percent). Are these Vermonters who claim an ancestry from Great Britain (England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland) direct emigrants from the British archipelago, or could Canada claim many of them on the basis of a long stay (one generation or more), layovers lengthy enough to transform them into English Canadians? We are aware of the vast French-Canadian immigration to the U.S. northeast, but how many of us know that the English-Canadian immigration to the United States was slightly larger than the Québécois and Acadian? The most accurate and intelligent treatment of this phenomenon will be found in Walter Nugent, Crossings: The Great Transatlantic Migrations, 1870–1914 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), 117–148. Unless the multigenerational mobility patterns of the Anglo, Irish, Scotch, Scotch-Irish and Welsh Canadians who came to Vermont are vastly different than the dispersal of French Canadians who immigrated to the Green Mountains, the percentage of contemporary Vermonters who claim a British or an Irish ancestry, but who are also English Canadians, is very high, high enough to make Canadians (French and English Canadians combined) the largest ethnic group in Vermont. [. . .]

4 For statistics on the English-Canadian presence in Vermont see Leon Truesdell, Canadian Born in the United States: An Analysis of Statistics of the Canadian Element in the Population of the United States, 1850–1930 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1943). ... Two titles, Élise Guyette, Vermont: A Cultural Patchwork (Peter- borough, N.H.: Cobblestone Publishing, 1986), and Gregory Sharrow’s Many Cultures, One People : A Multicultural Handbook about Vermont for Teachers, [. . .]

The textbook highlights the history of more than fifteen ethnic groups in Vermont. The work is essential reading not only for the documentary base it provides for the study of these groups but because it aims to combat the historical legacies of whiteness in Vermont. The authors consciously treat the Vermont Yankees as one ethnic group and reserve one chapter, commensurate with the length of the other chapters, to deal with the topic. They are also conscious of their Eurocentric bias and go to great lengths to nullify it. For example, the words “settler” and “pioneer” are avoided in the discussion of English Vermonters. Sharrow is well-aware that such words “tend to elevate the Early English above the other ethnic groups.” Guyette’s Vermont: A Cultural Patchwork affords a summary but balanced and enlightened treatment of ethnicity in Vermont. The most important lesson of this textbook may be the ties that Guyette documents between the story of ethnic Vermont and the preponderance of manufacturing in the state. In cultivating our bucolic image we have evacuated from our collective memory the large, essential historical role of manufacturing, mining, and lumbering in Vermont. In the importance of manufacturing between 1830 and 1930, Vermont mirrors the rest of New England. Only the scales vary. At no time could we have found a Manchester (New Hamp- shire) or Lowell (Massachusetts) in Vermont, but the resources of the Green Mountain State pro- vided ample power and workers to support the important industrial complexes of St. Johnsbury, Bellows Falls, Bennington, and Brattleboro, to name but a few. The traces of the manufacturing vocation of those towns and large villages still linger in the decrepit Lombard factory architecture that one can observe in St. Albans, Winooski, or Rutland. But who remembers the vocation of Barton as the world capital of piano soundboards, the attraction of Jamaica as the site of a chair factory? Who remembers the importance of suspenders for the economic mainstay of Swanton, or wooden bobbins for the workers of Enosburg? Vermont’s ethnic history is tied to its industrial past and one narrative will not emerge without the other.

Burlington, VT: "The Myth of a Yankee Town" (1937)

Vermont Eugenics: A Documentary History. This document is: "The City Selected," "The Myth of a Yankee Town" (excerpts)We Americans: A Study of Cleavage in An American City, Anderson, Elin L.. 1937.


WALKING along the streets of Burlington, the visitor sees nothing in the appearance of the citizens to remind him of the not-too-distant past when the shawl or apron of a foreigner was a usual part of an American street scene.

But to a Yankee farmer they are not all alike. To him Burlington has a lot of foreigners. As he walks along the main street, he looks in vain for a few faces which remind him of the features of Calvin Coolidge. Going into a store he may be greeted by a proprietor whose short and stocky build little resembles the long, lean Yankee storekeeper of earlier days. While waiting to be served he may listen abstractedly to an animated conversation between the clerk and a customer only to realize suddenly that he is listening to a foreign language. "French," he probably decides, as he turns to give his order. He goes into another store to be waited on by the Jewish proprietor, and comes out a little fearful lest he may have met his match in bargaining. If he stays in town for lunch, he will have to look hard along the main street to find a restaurant which is not Greek, or Syrian, or Chinese, or run by some other "foreigner." It is only when he goes into the bank that he can breathe easily, knowing that here he is still on Yankee ground.

Burlingtonians themselves are occasionally interested in speculating on the extent to which the city is no longer an Old American community. The Federal Census gives them some picture of the changes: according to the figures of 1930, 40 per cent of the population of 24,789 are either immigrants or children of immigrants, 12 per cent being foreign-born and 28 per cent of foreign or mixed parentage. This group of immigrants and children of immigrants is composed of several elements. The French Canadian, with 4,895 members, is the largest; it comprises one half of all the people of foreign stock belonging to the first and second generations, and one fifth of all the people of the community. The next largest group is that of English-speaking Canadians, who number some 1,208 persons. The Irish come next with 1,102; and the Russians and Poles (most of whom are Jews) come fourth with 741 persons. Other groups of some size are the English, with 457 members; the Italian, 392; and the German, 309. In addition to these, twenty-nine other nationalities are represented in lesser numbers.

The Census, however, does not tell the whole story, for it does not distinguish the nationality or stock of the grandchildren of immigrants. It is therefore only by a count of the three Catholic parishes - two French-Canadian and one Irish - that a more comprehensive picture may be obtained of the size of the ethnic groups of the city which have been here for more than two generations.

Such a count reveals that the French-Canadian element is much larger than it appears to be from the Census enumeration. By the priests' estimate there are in St. Joseph's, the first French-Canadian parish, some 6,000 souls of French-Canadian stock; in St. Anthony's, some 1,500; and in Cathedral, the English-speaking parish, at least 2.000. Hence, according to this count, the people of French-Canadian stock number approximately 9,500 and comprise almost two fifths of the total population of the city. In Cathedral, the English-speaking parish, there are also some 5,000 persons of Irish stock, and 1,000 Italians, Syrians, and persons of other smaller groups. In this Yankee community, therefore, 15,500 persons, more than three fifths of the population, are members of ethnic groups identified with the Roman Catholic faith; and when to this total is added the Jewish group, numbering 800 persons, the elements foreign to the Old Yankee stock are found to compose 66 per cent of the population of the city.

This does not mean that the remaining 34 per cent is a "pure" Yankee group. Rather, it, too, is composed largely of foreign elements, though of kindred ethnic stocks -English, English Canadians, Germans - with the Old Americans themselves, those of the fourth generation or more in this country, making up an extremely small part of the population of the city. Their ranks are reinforced by the peoples of the related ethnic stocks who are of the Protestant faith, and it is chiefly as Protestants in contrast with Roman Catholics that these form a cohesive group.

[pp. 21-24]

Every community contains its corps of people who consider themselves its charter members. They have determined its nature, created its organizations, fostered its development. In Burlington this corps consists of Old American Protestants -- the Yankees, as they still are called. They have always lived here, they love the place, they own it. No matter what changes may come over the city, no matter how far it has lost its early character, they watch over its development and growth with a certain sense of responsibility born of the feeling of proprietorship. This feeling is justified in a sense by the fact that most of the institutions around which the life of the city centers today were founded by their forefathers. These had, immediately upon their settling in 1763, set up a town government and public schools, and, as early as 1791, the University of Vermont. After these agencies symbolic of the principles of free government had been established, they turned their attention to the organization of a religious society, which was formed in 1805. Today the descendants of these Old Americans have to a large extent retreated from the commercial life of the city, but they still control the banks, most of the city's manufacturing, and the University. Furthermore, they have through their institutions, and aided by the fact that the immigrant invasion was never great enough to threaten their position of dominance, set an indelible stamp upon the life of the community. An internationally known writer who returned after years abroad to make his home in the city explained how deeply satisfying it was to find here a town where the spirit of early American democracy still endured; where independence of thought, appreciation of character on the basis of worth - qualities which are fast disappearing from the American scene - still survived. Here among the elm-arched streets he felt as if he were coming back to an early American democratic community in which Emerson might still be living.

The small Old American group has been helped to maintain its predominant position by the strength of its traditional feeling of the racial superiority of the Anglo-Saxon. As one woman, concerned about a more successful interrelationship between the various ethnic groups of the community, explained: "Of course you do believe that the English are the finest people yet produced on earth. You do believe that they have the most admirable human qualities and abilities that any people have ever had!" Interestingly enough, the newer peoples on the whole accept the Old Americans at their own valuation, perhaps partly because the premium placed on conformity to standards already set has not permitted them to value their own standards and interpretations of America. At any rate, they always speak highly of the Old Americans as fine people with superior ability, shrewd business men, and leaders of the community; though some qualify their appreciation by commenting that the Old Americans tend to be snobbish and ingrown, and that they place undue emphasis upon the forms of their culture, which they expect all newer peoples to emulate. The criticism, however, is always good-humoredly qualified by: "But they can't help themselves, you know. A Yankee just is like that. You have to accept that when dealing with him."

Traditions of family and name, of power and influence in the financial and civic life of the community, of race consciousness, plus a very deep conviction that the Protestant traditions of their forefathers are basically important to the development of free institutions in America, set the Old Americans apart as a group distinct from other people. Within that group there are the usual divisions of classes and cliques, of rich and poor; but the common elements of culture and tradition give an impression of a common unit in relation to other ethnic groups in the community. The Old Americans are charter members; they give a kindly welcome to newcomers, as behooves people of their position, but they expect in return the respect that is due charter members. One who can claim even remote blood connections with any of the group is cordially welcomed without question; he is "one of us," while one who cannot claim such connection is "accepted" only as he obeys the forms and the codes of the group, because, after all, he is "not one of us."

Freed from the kind of economic pressure that is known to a great proportion of the people in the other groups, the Old Americans are concerned primarily with "nice living." Their interests and activities connect them with persons outside the community more than with those within; thus they have broad views, wide interests in the arts, literature, and even international relations. In the community, however, their interest is in keeping their place and their prerogatives; their influence tends to preserve the status quo and puts a check on too rapid an invasion from the lower ranks into their society.