DNAPrint is dead

DNAPrint is the company that marketed various underperforming "AncestryByDNA" tests. I can't say they'll be missed.
DNAPrint® Genomics, Inc. has regrettably ceased operations. We thank you for your support.

Ethnic origin vs. intelligence

The data from the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth include ASVAB scores for a large sample of American youth born between 1980 and 1985, as well as the youths' answers to the following question:
What is your origin or descent?
You may choose as many as three answers in the order with which you identify with them most. For example an Irish-Italian might identify most with the Irish and second most with the Italian.

Here are median (mean) ASVAB Math/Verbal score percentiles for various (first listed) origin groups:
Russian 83.625 (72.724)
British 77.916 (71.252)
Danish 75.19 (61.958)
Polish 72.194 (67.316)
Swedish 71.638 (63.886)
Scottish 71.083 (63.875)
Welsh 71.068 (65.105)
Dutch 68.623 (64.306)
Irish 67.978 (62.7)
Norwegian 67.864 (64.519)
German 65.08 (61.711)
French 62.016 (58.34)
Italian 59.912 (57.836)
Greek 56.368 (52.965)
Portuguese 51.088 (57.063)
Cuban 35.621 (39.861)
Mexican-American 30.107 (36.019)
Black 26.696 (32.532)
Mexican 24.822 (30.5)
[Note: I've limited the sample to respondents identified as non-Hispanic and "White", apart from the last four groups listed.]

I assume most of the "Russians" and a substantial fraction of the "Polish" are Jews. I plan to do more analysis of this data in the next week or two. NLSY97 contains much more background information, including questions about religion, as well as parent interviews which contain questions about the parents' ancestry and religion. Other test scores are included, as well.

Data on which of four census regions (Northeast, North Central, South, and West) the respondent lives in are also available. The single most intelligent region-ethnicity group seems to be British-identified Northeasterners, whose median ASVAB percentile is 91.543 (n=23). Next highest is "Russians" in the North Central region, at 89.556 (n of only 7).

The overall trend appears consistent with patterns of achievement in America identified by Nationiel Weyl in the mid-1980s.
The most basic trend is that the people of primarily Germanic stock (Germans, Scandinavians, Dutch, British and Irish) tend to outperform the Latins, the Slavs, and, to a lesser extent, the Hungarians. Considering the seven core indices as a whole, these Germanic peoples are clustered together with performance coefficients ranging from 90 to 117. The French, Italians, and Slavs range in the 60s, or at one-half to two-thirds the Germanic level.

[. . .] When we consider the differences within the Germanic majority stocks, several interesting profiles emerge. Among the Scandinavians, the Swedes are generally, though not always, in the leadership and Norwegians rank below the other two groups in achievement.

[Nathaniel Weyl. The Geography of American Achievement. pp. 23-24]

2/15/09 links

Scientists in Germany Draft Neanderthal Genome 2 3 Press conference

Global distribution of genomic diversity underscores rich complex history of continental human populations (via Polish Genetics and Anthropology Blog)

Extended Haplotypes in the Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone Receptor Gene (GHRHR) Are Associated with Normal Variation in Height

Update on Mark Shriver's work with admixture mapping of facial traits:
From their DNA profiles, Shriver could determine the admixture percentages of each individual, how much of their genetic make up came from each group. He could then compare the genetically determined admixture to the facial feature differences and determine the relative differences from the parental populations.

"This type of study, done on admixed populations shows that each person is a composite of their ancestors and that the range of facial features is a continuum," says Shriver.

Shriver found that there was a very strong statistical correlation between the amounts of admixture and the facial traits.

"We chose to look at African Americans because they were a large enough and available admixed population," said Shriver. "We are trying to solidify our understanding of the origins of humans and the evolutionary processes. Looking at admixed populations shows us the influence genes have and how they relate to physical features."

DNA ancestry analysis

Program available here.
We present GERMLINE, a robust algorithm for identifying segmental sharing indicative of recent common ancestry between pairs of individuals. Unlike methods with comparable objectives, GERMLINE scales linearly with the number of samples, enabling analysis of whole-genome data in large cohorts. Our approach is based on a dictionary of haplotypes that is used to efficiently discover short exact matches between individuals. We then expand these matches using dynamic programming to identify long, nearly identical segmental sharing that is indicative of relatedness. We use GERMLINE to comprehensively survey hidden relatedness both in the HapMap as well as in a densely typed island population of 3000 individuals. We verify that GERMLINE is in concordance with other methods when they can process the data, and also facilitates analysis of larger scale studies. We bolster these results by demonstrating novel applications of precise analysis of hidden relatedness for (1) identification and resolution of phasing errors and (2) exposing polymorphic deletions that are otherwise challenging to detect. This finding is supported by concordance of detected deletions with other evidence from independent databases and statistical analyses of fluorescence intensity not used by GERMLINE.

[Gusev A, Lowe JK, Stoffel M, Daly MJ, Altshuler D, Breslow JL, Friedman JM, Pe'er I (2008) Whole population, genomewide mapping of hidden relatedness. Genome Research. ]

Y chromosome diversity and patrilineal surnames

New paper on British surnames and Y DNA.
Most heritable surnames, like Y chromosomes, are passed from father to son. These unique cultural markers of coancestry might therefore have a genetic correlate in shared Y chromosome types among men sharing surnames, although the link could be affected by mutation, multiple foundation for names, nonpaternity, and genetic drift. Here, we demonstrate through an analysis of 1678 Y-chromosomal haplotypes within 40 British surnames a remarkably high degree of coancestry that generally increases as surnames become rarer. On average, the proportion of haplotypes lying within descent clusters is 62%, but ranges from zero to 87%. The shallow time-depth of many descent clusters within names, the lack of a detectable effect of surname derivation on diversity, and simulations of surname descent suggest that genetic drift through variation in reproductive success is important in structuring haplotype diversity. Modern patterns therefore provide little reliable information about the original founders of surnames some 700 years ago. A comparative analysis of published data on Y diversity within Irish surnames demonstrates a relative lack of surname frequency dependence of coancestry, a difference probably mediated through distinct Irish and British demographic histories including even more marked genetic drift in Ireland.

[Turi E. King , and Mark A. Jobling
Founders, drift and infidelity: the relationship between Y chromosome diversity and patrilineal surnames
MBE Advance Access published on February 9, 2009, DOI 10.1093/molbev/msp022. ]
This sounds interesting:
We are currently undertaking genomewide SNP analysis of men whose Y chromosomes belong to descent clusters, with the aim of determining the proportion of the genome identical-by-descent among these distantly, but unambiguously, related individuals.

"WASP" vs. Jewish law firms

One observer noted that firms want "lawyers who are Nordic, have pleasing personalities and 'clean cut' appearances, are graduates of the 'right schools. [and] have the 'right' social background and experience in the affairs of the world." Thirty percent of Wall Street partners in 1957, for instance, were listed in the Social Register.

[Milton C. Regan. Eat What You Kill: The Fall of a Wall Street Lawyer. p. 20.]
Another case study of why it's utterly nonsensical to speak of a unified "WASP-Jewish" elite: The Rise and Fall of the WASP and Jewish Law Firms. No such entity ever existed, nor could it exist. Jews share with the "WASP" neither values nor ethnicity. American ancestry and Protestant values were integral to the identity of the old upper class, which no longer exists as an upper class, and hasn't for some time -- MM's transparent attempt to swathe his people in the legitimacy of the last American American upper class notwithstanding.
The growth of the large firm and its causes have been well documented.102 Having failed to recognize the hidden religious and cultural identity of the large firm, the literature makes no use of this identity in its standard account of large firm growth. The WASP and white-shoe identity of the large firm had an important impact on its growth. In the formative era, between 1899 and 1945, the religious and cultural identity of the firm played a positive role, contributing to the growth of the firm. Notably, however, after 1945 and to a more significant degree during the 1960s the religious and cultural identity of the WASP firm also had a countervailing effect, inhibiting its own growth and ironically playing a part in the meteoric rise of its rival—the Jewish law firm.103 In other words, its failure to explore the religious and cultural identity of the large firm prevented the standard account not only from fully explaining the growth of the WASP form but also from being able to explain the unique growth of the Jewish firm.

[. . .] The growth of Jewish law firms is nothing short of an incredible success story. Before 1945, there were essentially no large Jewish law firms in New York City.118 Most Jewish lawyers were concentrated in the lower spheres of the city’s bar as solo practitioners and members of small law firms.119 In 1950, without exception, every member of the elite club was a WASP law firm. By the mid-1960s, however, this reality had changed significantly. Growing much faster than the WASP firms, the Jewish firms had caught up with the WASP firms, attained elite status, and accounted for six of the twenty largest law firms in New York City. In less than a fifteen-year time span, Jewish law firms grew, as a group, by an average of 200%.120 To be sure, WASP firms also grew at an impressive rate. As a group, however, WASP firms grew at 50% the rate of Jewish firms, averaging about 100%. This trend of faster growth continued between 1963 and 1980, and by 1980 Jewish firms were well accepted as members of the elite club and accounted for four of the ten largest firms in New York City. WASP firms also grew at an impressive rate, but, except for Shearman & Sterling, all of the WASP firms grew by less than 100% during this time.121

[. . .] The white-shoe ethos and a desire to distance themselves from the lower ranks of the New York bar led the white-shoe firms to stay clear of low-status and otherwise “unbefitting” practice areas such as litigation, bankruptcy law, hostile takeover law, and real estate law. To Paul Cravath, great lawyering was to be done in the conference room, not the courtroom.138 Litigation was thought of as necessary only as the result of a failed transaction, not as yet another strategic tool at the hands of corporate clients. Litigation, bankruptcy and takeover law were needed only when the corporate attorney failed to successfully reorganize and restructure the affairs of his client. Because the need to practice in these areas of law was perceived to result from attorneys’ failures, they were deemed unbecoming practice areas for the elite corporate attorney. Similarly, real estate law, in an era preceding large commercial realestate transactions was thought of as an area of individual representation and consequently of low professional esteem.

[. . .] The reluctance of the WASP firms to occupy certain practice arenas led Jewish law firms to flock to those areas. 139 The snobbish habits of the elite firms thus created protected pockets of practice for Jewish law firms, where they were less likely to face competition from the WASP law firms.

[. . .] The rise and incredible growth of Skadden, Arps and of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz between 1965 and 1985 is demonstrative of the consequences of white-shoe ethos and elitist professional culture enabling the creation of protected “Jewish” areas of practice and facilitating the growth and success of Jewish law firms. This era featured increased client activity in the mergers and acquisitions field, including hostile takeovers. Whereas to a significant extent elite WASP firms shunned representation of such “dishonorable” client conduct, Skadden, Arps and Wachtell, Lipton were able to develop expertise in these protected arenas and thus to capture a significant market share of corporate clients in merger and acquisitions matters.

[. . .] Contrary to Hoffman and Smigel’s observations, however, the decision by the WASP firms to adhere to the constraints of the tournament theory and the hidden socioeconomic, cultural, and religious aspects of the Cravath System was not at all “strangely cavalier.”173 The WASP firm’s claim to elite status was tied to its commitment to these “cavalier” notions of the white-shoe ethos and Protestant values. Abandoning this firm culture was too high a price to pay, even if it meant sacrificing competitive ground to the Jewish firms. Ironically then, the very same white-shoe ethos and Protestant values that enabled the WASP firms to sustain a credible claim for elite professional status before 1945, and which in turn allowed them to grow and thrive, later constrained their growth and opened the door for competitors, who were not constrained by a thick religious, socioeconomic, and cultural identity, to grow at an even faster rate. Jewish firms, not restricted by these notions of ungentlemanly growth, both recruited new attorneys in relatively high numbers and openly resorted to aggressive lateral hiring.174

[. . .]

Over time, Jewish firms were able to capitalize on their expertise and reputation within the Jewish pockets of practice, cross over and compete with the WASP firms in the respected areas of the law. Joe Flom of Skadden Arps explained the crossover phenomenon during the 1980s. Mainstream clients were seeking to hire Skadden to prevent it from representing competitors. Skadden conditioned such representation on the clients’ hiring the firm to do more than tender-offer protection:
As for that "increased client activity in the mergers and acquisitions field, including hostile takeovers" that fueled the growth of Jewish law firms:
The corporation which launched the takeover was International Nickel Company (INCO) and its investment banker was Morgan Stanley, the Cadillac of the investment banking firms. Until INCO moved against the Philadelphia battery maker, ESB, Inc., hostile takeovers bore for the investment bankers and law firms the moral stigma of spitting on the floor, in the colorful phrase of takeover atorney Marty Lipton. Even if somehow you could overcome that stigma, there was no way you could afford anything as adventurous as trying to knock over a big-league corporation: the banking establishment frowned upon providing loans for such high-risk, nervy gambits.

Gradually that would change. A new merger boom would hit the business community in the lat 1970s. But this time the stakes would be much greater. As it became easier to organize large-sized mergers, as the profits to be made in them became apparent, an intense competition began among the investment banking community for a piece of the action. A parade of investment banker stars would emerge, at first Felix Rohatyn at Lazard Freres, Ira Harris at Salomon Brothers, and Bob Greenhill at Morgan Stanley; then others, Michael Milken at Drexel Burnham Lamber, Joe Fogg and Eric Gleacher at Morgan Stanley, Jay Higgins at Salomon Brothers, Geoffrey Boisi of Goldman Sachs, and Marty Siegel at Kidder, Peabody. Some would represent the new breed of corporate raiders, T. Boone Pickens, Carl Icahn, Saul Stenberg, Sir James Goldsmith. Others would line up in defense of corporations under attack.

[Robert Slater. The Titans of Takeover. p. 108.]

"WASPs" vs. Jews, notes 5

The Paradox of American Democracy By John B. Judis:
[p. 16:]
Entry into this elite has certainly eased since Baltzell wrote The Protestant Establishment. Now what matters most is not a prep school diploma and the proper social pedigree, but graduation from a select group of graduate law and business schools. Jews and Catholics have broken into the upper circles. In 1916, Boston's Brahmins took umbrage at Wilson's appointment of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court. Eighty years later, there was virtually no reaction to Bill Clinton's consecutive appointment of two Jewish judges, Ruth Bader Ginzburg and Stephen Breyer, to the high court.

The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale By Jerome Karabel:
[p. 74:]
And in one regard the metaphor was particularly apt: in its stance toward Jews, who were excluded from Princeton's eating clubs as surely as they were kept out of the country clubs that arose in the suburbs of America's cities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In both cases, social exclusion -- and the preservation of Anglo-Saxon dominance -- was one of the main functions of the institutions.

As with Harvard's final clubs and Yale's senior societies, the exclusion of Jews from Princeton's eating clubs was part of a broader pattern of anti-Semitism. But anti-Semitism at Princeton was particularly early and intense, especially given its tiny number of Jewish students. In 1907, during the controversy over the Quadrangle Plan, a Jewish alumnus named Leon Michael Levy, who had attended Princeton from 1901 to 1903, wrote to Woodrow WIlson, blaming his departure on its "abominable system of club life." The eating clubs, Levy claimed, were responsible for the "social humiliation," "racial contempt," and "class prejudice" he suffered at Princeton.

[p. 75:]
Yet despite this hostile atmosphere, the number of Jewish students slowly grew, bringing the number of "Hebrews" (as they were called in the official statistics) to 4 percent of the freshmen class in 1918. In New Haven and Cambridge, the growth in Jewish enrollment was much more pronounced. At Yale, the Jewish proportion of the freshman class rose to a historic high of 9 percent in 1917. And at Harvard, located in a metropolitan area where Jews numbered well over 100,000, Jewish students made up a remarkable 20 percent of the freshmen in 1918.

This growing Jewish presence profoundly discomfited the men who ran the Big Three. [. . .] From the perspective of the Anglo-Saxon men who ran Harvard, Yale, Princeton and like institutions, something had to be done soon or their schools would be overrun by culturally alien students.

Such sentiments were much in evidence in May 1918 at a meeting of the Association of New England Deans held at Princeton. The topic of the day was the rapid increase in the "foreign element," and the deans of Tufts, Bowdoin, Brown, and MIT all expressed concern about the growing number of Jews. [. . .] Though no formal action was taken, the issue was now on the table: should measures be taken to limit the number of Jews?

[p. 76:]
Harvard, Yale, and Princeton thus faced a painful choice: either maintain the almost exclusively objective academic standards for admission and face the arrival of increasing numbers of Jews or replace them with more subjective criteria that could be deployed to produce the desired outcome. Their decision to do the latter was a great departure from their historic practices and bequeathed to us the peculiar admissions process that we now take for granted.

[p. 566:]
Though by no means an extreme imperialist by the standards of the era, [Groton-founder Endicott] Peabody did believe "that the Anglo-Saxon race should be the predominant one
for the good of the world
" (quoted in Ward, Before the Trumpet, 190).

More excerpts from The Chosen:
In the wake of the new global position of the United States, many white Americans (though not Irish Americans), as the historian Nell Painter has noted, “renounced their traditional anglophobia (a legacy of the American Revolution and, especially, the War of 1812) to proclaim the kindredness of the English-speaking people and the natural superiority of Anglo-Saxons.”78 The ideology of Anglo- Saxonism, though hardly new, received a powerful boost from America’s entry into the ranks of imperial nations. Among the core tenets of the ideology was the conviction that, not only blacks, Native Americans, and Asians, but also the burgeoning population of Italians, Jews, Poles, Irish, and other immigrants lacked the distinctly Anglo-Saxon talent for self- governance.79

During the three decades before 1900, the Protestant elite had become a true national upper class. Under the stimulus of rapid industrialization, urbanization, and nationalization of what had been a largely regional economy, the upper class developed a set of institutions that helped weld it into a national entity that bridged the cultural and social divide between the old patricians and the nouveaux riches of the Gilded Age. Among the upper-class institutions that either were invented or came to prominence in the 1880s and 1890s were the Social Register (its first edition was published in New York City in 1888), the country club, the exclusive summer resort, and the elite men’s social clubs that arose in cities such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.80

Educational institutions — notably, boarding schools and the elite private colleges — played a critical role in socializing and unifying the national upper class. Indeed, it was only during this period that entry into the right clubs at Harvard, Princeton, and Yale — few of which predated the Civil War — became a student obsession. Meanwhile, the upper classes of the great eastern cities increasingly sent their children to the Big Three; by the 1890s, 74 percent of Boston’s upper class and 65 percent of New York’s sent their sons to either Harvard, Yale, or Princeton.81

Perhaps even more than the Big Three, the emblematic institution of the Protestant upper class was the private boarding school. Bringing together children as young as eleven from the upper classes of the major eastern metropolitan areas, the boarding school was the ideal instrument to shape the personal qualities and instill the values most esteemed by the Protestant elite. Educational and cultural ideals, Max Weber once observed, are always “stamped by the decisive stratum’s . . . ideal of cultivation.”82 In the United States in the late nineteenth century, the “decisive stratum” was the WASP upper class and its ideal, that of the cultivated “gentleman” along British lines.

As early as 1879, the North American Review, a venerable magazine founded in Boston in 1815 that was one of the few American periodicals to compete with the great British quarterlies, published a two-part series, “The Public Schools of England.” It was written by Thomas Hughes, the author of the popular Tom Brown’s School Days, and it was intended to introduce an American audience to the peculiar British institution that had proved so successful in welding the aristocracy and the rising bourgeoisie into a cohesive ruling class.83 Hughes proposed that private boarding schools on the British model be built in the United States to serve as a “stepping-stone . . . between the home of the American gentry and the universities.”84

“It is not easy,” he wrote, “to estimate the degree to which the English people are indebted to these schools for the qualities on which they pique themselves most — for their capacity to govern others and control themselves, their aptitude for combining freedom with order, their public spirit, their vigor and manliness of character, their strong but not slavish respect for public opinion, their love of healthy sport and exercise.” “However discriminating a nation may be in spirit and character,” he argued, “the time must come when it will breed a gentry, leisure class, aristocracy, call it by what name you will.” The public schools had “perhaps the largest share in molding the character of the English gentleman.” Two “nations of the same race, and so nearly identical in character and habits as the people of the United States and the English, ”Hughes concluded, would benefit from employing the same type of educational institutions to shape their leadership class.85

Less than four years later, a young Massachusetts patrician named Endicott Peabody proposed the establishment of a boarding school in New England almost exactly on the model described by Hughes. A member of a distinguished family whose roots went back to the Puritans, at the age of thirteen Peabody had moved to England, where his father joined Junius Morgan (the father of J. P. Morgan) as a partner in a banking firm. “Cotty,” as the young man was called by friends, immediately entered Cheltenham, an English public school, and soon became a devoted Anglophile. The sturdy Peabody flourished at Cheltenham, joining enthusiastically in the athletic life of the school and becoming skilled in cricket, tennis, and rowing. After five years at Cheltenham, he went on to Trinity College at Cambridge, where he studied law and once again was a star athlete. Though born a Unitarian, Cotty developed a deep attachment to the Church of England during his time at Cambridge.86

[. . .] he conceived the idea of a school that would stress religious education and Christian life while striking a balance between the acquisition of culture and participation in athletics. [. . .]

For most twenty-five-year-old men, such a vision might be a distant dream, but Endicott Peabody was no ordinary young man. Tall, broad- shouldered, blue-eyed, and fair-haired, he was a striking presence whose enthusiasm, energy, and obvious decency left a strong impression. More than personal presence was needed, of course; founding a school, especially a boarding school on the British model, would require considerable resources. Cotty’s family, fortunately, was at the center of a network of some of the wealthiest and most powerful patricians in the United States, so resources would prove no obstacle. Starting with his relative James Lawrence, who (along with his brother) donated ninety scenic acres of farmland for the school, Peabody put together a board of trustees that included J. P. Morgan, James and William Lawrence, Phillips Brooks, and his father, Samuel Endicott Peabody. Its site was approved by no less a figure than Frederick Law Olmsted, the renowned landscape architect. The Groton School opened its doors in the fall of 1884.88 Groton was the second of seven elite boarding schools — the others were Lawrenceville (1883), Hotchkiss (1892), Choate (1896), St. George’s (1896), Middlesex (1901), and Kent (1906) — founded between 1883 and 1906.89 It was a period of tremendous social change in America, and many of the transformations were deeply disturbing to the old Protestant upper class. Mass immigration and rapid urbanization, in particular, created a sense among patricians that they were losing control of the country, especially its cities. Increasingly, they withdrew to their own clubs and summer resorts.

The transformed urban environment of the late nineteenth century presented a distinctive set of problems for the rearing of upper-class children; whereas in previous years the elite had relied on private day schools and tutors to educate their offspring, they believed that the city had become an unhealthy place for children to grow up.

[. . .]

The Groton ethos, like that of the leading British public schools, was an uneasy admixture of two seemingly contradictory systems of belief: gentility and social Darwinism.119 On the one side, men such as Peabody were deeply committed to the nurturance of Christian gentlemen: men whose devotion to such virtues as honesty, integrity, loyalty, modesty, decency, courtesy, and compassion would constitute a living embodiment of Protestant ideals.120 But on the other side, life was viewed as a struggle in which the battle went to the strong, and those individuals and nations not manly enough to participate would be left remorselessly behind in a world in which only the fittest survived. The Christian gentleman thus had no choice but to be aggressive and even ruthless in order to win.121