Carleton Coon on the origin of races

Desmond asked: If you have a moment possibly you could explain Coon's theory of racial origin.

Coon argued the fossil record showed the major races (Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Australoid, Capoid, and Congoid) date back at least as far as Homo erectus. Coon believed these five races transitioned to Homo sapiens independently and at different times, with the mutations responsible for the transition either happening multiple times in the different populations or being spread by peripheral gene flow.
Our races jumped from Homo erecus to Homo Sapiens brain size by saltation. Stated more specifically, the essential difference between Homoerectus and Homosapiens lies in the total area of the cerebral cortex of the brain. The cortex is a thin sheet of nerve cells (neurons) twisted and bent to fit its mostly globular container, the skull. Our races moved from the Homoerectus to the Homosapiens state by a doubling of the number of nerve cells in this sheet. [. . .]

At least one race of Homo erectus and possibly all five evolved by saltation into Homo sapiens. From available evidence we may surmise that the appropriate threshold was crossed by each race in response to local opportunities, either by its own mutations or by impregnation of its women by Homo sapiens invaders. In such a case the women would transmit to the new generation their own most useful local climatic adaptations.

[Racial Adaptations, pp. 137-139]
In Coon's view:
When the brain size of Homo erectus increased by a doubling of the cerebral cortex, some of their races got more neurons than their environmental and cultural requirements warranted. The brain sizes of all races rose from about 1,200 cc (in the males) to between 1,450 cc and 1,700 cc, and then fell back to the Homo erectus level or a little higher in the tropics, and to about 1,400 to 1,500 cc in the temperate and polar zones. As far as we know, no Homo erectus are alive today.

While the oldest Homo erectus skulls have been found in the tropics, the oldest Homo sapiens come from Europe, where Caucasoids lived during a warm interglacial well over 250,000 years ago. After interruptions, they were followed by the cold-adapted Neanderthals, whose fate is still a mystery. Some say that while the earliest Homo sapiens' vocal apparatus let them speak, Neanderthal's repertoire of semantically useful sounds was limited. The Neanderthals may have become extinct, they may have been absorbed into the Caucasoid ranks, or they may have moved eastward to sire the American Indians, and, in part at least, the Mongoloids.

[Racial Adaptations, p. 149]
Coon based his belief that "the Caucasoid [is] the oldest sapiens race" on the Swanscombe and Steinheim skulls.

Modern humans still responsible for the Aurignacian

According to this analysis:
Journal of Human Evolution Article in Press, Corrected Proof

Shara E. Bailey et al.

Who made the Aurignacian and other early Upper Paleolithic industries?

The Aurignacian is typically taken as a marker of the spread of anatomically modern humans into Europe. However, human remains associated with this industry are frustratingly sparse and often limited to teeth. Some have suggested that Neandertals may, in fact, be responsible for the Aurignacian and the earliest Upper Paleolithic industries. Although dental remains are frequently considered to be taxonomically undiagnostic in this context, recent research shows that Neandertals possess a distinct dental pattern relative to anatomically modern humans. Even so, it is rare to find mandibles or maxillae that preserve all or most of their teeth; and, the probability of correctly identifying individuals represented by only a few teeth or a single tooth is unknown.

We present a Bayesian statistical approach to classifying individuals represented exclusively by teeth into two possible groups. The classification is based on dental trait frequencies and sample sizes for ‘known’ samples of 95 Neandertals and 63 Upper Paleolithic modern humans. In a cross validation test of the known samples, 89% of the Neandertals and 89% of the Upper Paleolithic modern humans were classified correctly. We then classified an ‘unknown’ sample of 52 individuals: 34 associated with Aurignacian or other (non-Châtelperronian) early Upper Paleolithic industries, 15 associated with the Châtelperronian, and three unassociated. Of the 34 early Upper Paleolithic-associated individuals, 29 were assigned to modern humans, which is well within the range expected (95% of the time 26–33) with an 11% misclassification rate for an entirely modern human sample. These results provide some of the strongest evidence that anatomically modern humans made the Aurignacian and other (non-Châtelperronian) early Upper Paleolithic industries.

Keywords: Neandertal; Modern humans; Homo sapiens; Non-metric traits; Dental morphology; Châtelperronian; Bayesian statistics; Classification

Admixture studies

Genetically whiter blacks have lower BMIs: Admixture mapping of 15,280 African Americans identifies obesity susceptibility Loci on chromosomes 5 and X

Genetically blacker blacks have more preterm births: Association of genetic ancestry with preterm delivery and related traits among African American mothers

"Spanish" Cubans are Latin American "white": Admixture estimates for the population of Havana City
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: According to genealogical information and anthropological traits, 206 subjects were classified as Mulatto, of Spanish decent or of African descent. Seventeen Ancestry Informative Markers, with high difference in frequency between parental populations, were selected to estimate individual and group admixture proportions. The statistical analyses were performed using the ADMIX, ADMIX95 and STRUCTURE 2.1 packages. RESULTS: The results demonstrate a high level of European and African admixture in Mulattos (57-59% European; 41-43% West African). The European contribution was higher in those of Spanish descent (85%) while in those of African descent, the West African contribution ranged between 74% and 76%.

A program that claims to improve on Structure: mStruct: Inference of Population Structure in Light of Both Genetic Admixing and Allele Mutations
Traditional methods for analyzing population structure, such as the Structure program, ignore the influence of the effect of allele mutations between the ancestral and current alleles of genetic markers, which can dramatically influence the accuracy of the structural estimation of current populations. Studying these effects can also reveal additional information about population evolution such as the the divergence time and migration history of admixed populations. We propose mStruct, an admixture of population-specific mixtures of inheritance models, that addresses the task of structure inference and mutation estimation jointly through a hierarchical Bayesian framework, and a variational algorithm for inference. We validated our method on synthetic data, and used it to analyze the HGDP-CEPH cell line panel of microsatellites used in (Rosenberg et al. 2002) and the HGDP SNP data used in (Conrad et al. 2006). A comparison of the structural maps of world populations estimated by mStruct and Structure is presented, and we also report potentially interesting mutation patterns in world populations estimated by mStruct. The mStruct software implementation in C++ is available for download at

Another refinement of admixture estimation: Spatial inference of admixture proportions and secondary contact zones
Genetic admixture of distinct gene pools is the consequence of complex spatio-temporal processes that could have involved massive migration and local mating during the history of a species. However current methods for estimating individual admixture proportions lack the incorporation of such a piece of information. Here, we extend Bayesian clustering algorithms by including global trend surfaces and spatial autocorrelation in the prior distribution on individual admixture coefficients. We test our algorithm by using spatially explicit and realistic coalescent simulations of colonization followed by secondary contact. By coupling our multiscale spatial analyses with a Bayesian evaluation of model complexity and fit, we show that the algorithm provides a correct description of smooth clinal variation, while still detecting zones of sharp variation when they are present in the data.

Polak: Spectral graph theory uncovers European genetic ancestry clusters and Dendrogram of European genetic ancestry clusters

Nordics aren't Meds

Gracile Northern Caucasoids are gracile Northern Caucasoids -- not exactly surprising in light of ancient and modern genetic data and archaeological evidence:
A.G. Kozintsev. THE “MEDITERRANEANS” OF SOUTHERN SIBERIA AND KAZAKHSTAN, INDO-EUROPEAN MIGRATIONS, AND THE ORIGIN OF THE SCYTHIANS: A MULTIVARIATE CRANIOMETRIC ANALYSIS. Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia Volume 36, Issue 4, December 2008, Pages 140-144. doi:10.1016/j.aeae.2009.03.013

The article presents some results of a multivariate analysis of 245 male Eurasian cranial series dating to various periods from the Neolithic to the Early Iron Age. These results contradict the commonly held view that certain comparatively gracile (narrow-faced) Bronze Age populations of Southern Siberia and Kazakhstan were “Mediterranean” in the anthropological sense, i.e. Southern Caucasoid. Craniometry provides no support for the theory that those people migrated to Southern Siberia or Kazakhstan from Southwestern Central Asia, the Near East, or Trans-Caucasia. Populations described as “Mediterranean” (the Okunev people of Tuva, the Yelunino, the Samus, and some Afanasiev and Andronov groups) display craniometric resemblance with the Bronze Age people of Southern Russian and Ukrainian steppes, as well as with certain Late Neolithic and Bronze Age groups of Central and Western Europe. These affinities are apparently caused by migrations of Indo-Europeans (specifically Indo-Iranians) from their European homeland eastward, as far as Eastern Central Asia. The return from Eastern Central Asia to Europe of the descendents of one of these groups during the Early Iron Age was probably the principal cause for the emergence of the Scythians on the historical arena.
On the supposed craniometric affinity between Harappa and the Tarim Basin:
Gumu Gou (Qäwrighul), Xinjiang

Han (1986), who measured this series according to a large trait set used by Russian anthropologists, believed that it conformed to a “Proto-European” pattern (a Russian term denoting robust Cro-Magnon-like Caucasoids) and that it was close to Afanasiev and Andronov groups. Solodovnikov and Tur (2003), while agreeing with him in general, noted that this series was more gracile and accordingly more “Mediterranean.” If “Mediterranean” means “Southern Caucasoid,” then the results of distance analysis contradict this view, since the group exhibits no Southern Caucasoid affinities. Generally, the Gumu Gou people show no distinct similarity to any other group. Least distant from them are the Andronov people from eastern, central, and northern Kazakhstan (according to data corrected by Solodovnikov (2006)), whereas those of the Samus and Yelunino are somewhat further. B.E. Hemphill found the Gumu Gou people to be close to the Harappans (Hemphill, Mallory, 2004). However, this result may be incidental, since Hemphill used a limited trait set and a very small comparative database. Also, the measurements of the Gumu Gou series used by him do not match those in the original publication (Han, 1986).
The conclusion:
The results of the multivariate statistical analysis disagree with the traditional view that the prehistoric Caucasoids who were not robust (“Proto-European”) were necessarily “Mediterranean” – a view until recently shared by myself (Kozintsev, 2000). This dichotomy takes no account of the Northern Caucasoids, who are simply ignored. Actually, by no means all gracile Caucasoids were of southern descent. Having begun in the southern parts of the Caucasoid realm, the gracilization process (probably not only spontaneous, but also caused by geneflow from the Mediterranean area) eventually spread northward and by the Neolithic had already extended over large areas of Western Europe, which were undoubtedly affected by depigmentation. The role of the narrow-faced, fair-haired people of Central and Western European descent in Indo-European (specifically Indo-Iranian) migrations to the east was no less central than that of the robust “Proto-Europeans” and was definitely more prominent than that of the Southern Caucasoids such as the Mediterraneans. Further research will hopefully help shed light on that role and will thereby contribute to elucidating the multidisciplinary issue of the Indo-European homeland.
Ancient DNA evidence agrees:
Our autosomal, Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA analyses reveal that whereas few specimens seem to be related matrilineally or patrilineally, nearly all subjects belong to haplogroup R1a1-M17 which is thought to mark the eastward migration of the early Indo-Europeans. Our results also confirm that at the Bronze and Iron Ages, south Siberia was a region of overwhelmingly predominant European settlement, suggesting an eastward migration of Kurgan people across the Russo-Kazakh steppe. Finally, our data indicate that at the Bronze and Iron Age timeframe, south Siberians were blue (or green)-eyed, fair-skinned and light-haired people and that they might have played a role in the early development of the Tarim Basin civilization.

[Keyser C. et al. Ancient DNA provides new insights into the history of south Siberian Kurgan people. Human Genetics doi:10.1007/s00439-009-0683-0]

Upper Paleolithic Europeans: not fat, not Khoisanoid

re: Peter Frost

"It's impossible to estimate BMI simply from skeletal remains."

Wrong. You can dispute the accuracy of these estimates, but if you are unaware such estimates even exist you probably are not in a good position to do so. Body mass (and stature) can be estimated from skeletal remains with reasonable confidence:
using both “mechanical” methods which rely on the support of body mass by weight-bearing skeletal elements, and “morphometric” methods which reconstruct body mass through direct assessment of body size and shape. A previous comparison of two such techniques, using femoral head breadth (mechanical) and stature and bi-iliac breadth (morphometric), indicated a good general correspondence between them (Ruff et al. [1997] Nature 387:173–176). [. . .] This study incorporates skeletal measures taken from 1,173 Holocene adult individuals, representing diverse geographic origins, body sizes, and body shapes. [. . .] Body masses were calculated using three available femoral head breadth (FH) formulae and the stature/bi-iliac breadth (STBIB) formula, and compared. All methods yielded similar results. [. . .] Since the STBIB method was validated on other samples, and the FH methods produced similar estimates, this argues that either may be applied to skeletal remains with some confidence.

[Human body mass estimation: a comparison of "morphometric" and "mechanical" methods]

Estimates of male and female European Early Upper Paleolithic and Late Upper Paleolithic height and body mass:

(Source: Hunters of the Ice Age: The biology of Upper Paleolithic people. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2008;Suppl 47:70-99. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.20950.)

These estimates translate into mean BMIs of 23.2 and 23.3 for Early and Late Upper Paleolithic European female samples, lending little support to the notion that morbid obesity of the sort the better-known "Venus" figurines are commonly assumed to depict was common. Speaking of which:
Found throughout Upper Paleolithic Europe, the so-called “Venus figurines”, of which the Willendorf Venus is a famous example, are frequently represented as corpulent or pregnant female figures, though they exist in many shapes and sizes and in small numbers, male. While it may be reasonable, as some scholars have, to interpret the images as an early depiction of obesity, myriad interpretations abound as to the meaning and function of the figurines. Crafted from a variety of materials including stone, ivory, bone and clay, the figurines have been variously considered to be fertility idols, self-representations of pregnancy, mother goddesses or charms among other interpretations [2] L. Mc Dermott, Self-representation in Upper Paleolithic female figurines, Curr Anthropol 37 (1996), pp. 227–276. Full Text via CrossRef[2], [3] and [4].

Obesity is not usually thought to be a hallmark of Upper Paleolithic civilization. Cultural assemblages from this time period are usually regarded by archaeologists as the residue of mobile hunter–gatherer populations. While the figurines are frequently depicted as rotund, obesity is not consonant with a mobile hunter–gatherer lifestyle, where groups would have moved to access seasonally available resources.

[The Venus figurines. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2005.11.063]
The generalizations in the textbooks do some violence to the facts. Few of me statuettes represent gross obesity, and some are quite slender (Fig. 1). Even the, first figurines found in the 1890s were classified by Piette into svelte and obese classes (Delporte 1979:73). Half a century ago Passemard (1938) examined all the then-known figurines to see whether they were steatopygous, a description quite popular at that time, and came to the conclusion that most were not. Saccasyn Della Santa (1947:9-13) reviewed the literature on the figurines again, and also concluded that they were not meant to represent steatopygia.

An unpublished statistical study of the variation in body shapes made 22 measurements on each figurine for which both frontal and profile photographs could be found-24 measurable figurines in all. The statuettes sorted into distinct groups of 10 obese (wide hips and thick body), 3 steatopygous (protruding buttocks), and 11 normal (Nelson n.d.).

[Diversity of the Upper Paleolithic "Venus" Figurines and Archeological Mythology. doi: 10.1525/ap3a.1990.2.1.11]
Compare: two of the more famous "Venus" figurines vs. a Hottentot woman.

Mathilda's comment addresses a number of other points, some of which I've explained to Frost before.

Ancient Europeans can't have been more advanced

. . . because that might mean modern humans aren't all the same.

Afram genius John McWhorter displays his brilliant powers of reasoning:
We are to take from this that evidence for an artistic mindset - i.e. modern, abstract thought - mysteriously "exploded" into the human endowment at this time. "The Big Bang," some call it, an apparent Great Leap Forward in toolmaking, burial rituals and art among European peoples at this time. Scholars of human evolution have taken a cue from this and supposed that the Big Bang was the result of some genetic mutation that led to humanity of a modern cognitive level.

[. . .] but if this "Big Bang" happened in Europe, then presumably this dramatic mutation did not happen to people beyond Europe. And yet, it is assumed that all human beings are equal in basic mental endowment [. . .]

The Big Bang idea has always seemed peculiar to me, then, in an implication surely none of the scientists intended but which stood there anyway: a Victorian idea that only Europeans became truly civilized while everyone else in the world remained "natives" chanting around cooking pots in forest clearings.

Fine-Scale Population Structure in Humans

Biswas et al. Genome-wide Insights into the Patterns and Determinants of Fine-Scale Population Structure in Humans. The American Journal of Human Genetics, Volume 84, Issue 5, 641-650 15 May 2009 doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.04.015
Studying genomic patterns of human population structure provides important insights into human evolutionary history and the relationship among populations, and it has significant practical implications for disease-gene mapping. Here we describe a principal component (PC)-based approach to studying intracontinental population structure in humans, identify the underlying markers mediating the observed patterns of fine-scale population structure, and infer the predominating evolutionary forces shaping local population structure. We applied this methodology to a data set of 650K SNPs genotyped in 944 unrelated individuals from 52 populations and demonstrate that, although typical PC analyses focus on the top axes of variation, substantial information about population structure is contained in lower-ranked PCs. We identified 18 significant PCs, some of which distinguish individual populations. In addition to visually representing sample clusters in PC biplots, we estimated the set of all SNPs significantly correlated with each of the most informative axes of variation. These polymorphisms, unlike ancestry-informative markers (AIMs), constitute a much larger set of loci that drive genomic signatures of population structure. The genome-wide distribution of these significantly correlated markers can largely be accounted for by the stochastic effects of genetic drift, although significant clustering does occur in genomic regions that have been previously implicated as targets of recent adaptive evolution.
Link; supplementary material; press release.

Patrician Racist

Here is a PDF version of Jonathan Spiro's 998-page doctoral dissertation, Patrician Racist: The Evolution of Madison Grant (on which Spiro's book, Defending the Master Race, is based).

(photo credit)

Auster faggotry

[Edit: removed "Mangan" from title. Mangan says he would have posted the comment had it been worded differently, which I can respect.]

Dennis Mangan failed to post the following reply to a comment from Lawrence Auster in this thread. For further background, see here, here, and here. Haley Koch photos here.

"Ironically, at my site today, we've been discussing a white woman with an at least partially erotic fixation on Africa, British TV anthropologist Alice Roberts (see this and this), and here you've been talking about another woman with an at least partially erotic fixation on Africa."

"Ironically", it seems all that's been demonstrated is your own and a disturbing number of your commenters's "partially erotic fixation on Africa".

I happen to have seen the BBC program (a complete waste of time, incidentally). Alice Roberts evinced zero attraction to any African -- though she did seem quite taken with a (muscular/tattooed) white American scientist.

Looking at the Haley Koch photos, I similarly see no evidence the girl is attracted to black men. She seems to be traveling with a (white) boyfriend. If she had any desire to fuck congoids, she wouldn't need to go to Africa to do so (likewise for Alice Roberts -- am lulzing at the dude who divined Roberts' strong desire for Bushman cock from that youtube clip).


Mind you, I find the politics these two promote repulsive and I agree a healthy society would generally keep women on shorter leashes. A certain degree of paranoia is probably healthy, but the pathological need to attribute these women's actions to an "erotic fixation on Africa" rests on a fundamentally flawed understanding of the world. More plausibly, these two view Africans as children and/or tokens in a status game.

Blue-eyed Siberians

Bouakaze et al. Pigment phenotype and biogeographical ancestry from ancient skeletal remains: inferences from multiplexed autosomal SNP analysis. International Journal of Legal Medicine doi:10.1007/s00414-009-0348-5
The genotype for rs12913832 was obtained for 23 out of the 25 samples, and most had the G/G genotype (n=15), which indicates that at least 60% of ancient specimens were probably blue- or green-eyed individuals. The remaining samples had the A/G (n=5) or A/A (n=3) genotypes, which are predictive of brown eye color phenotype.
See Dienekes for more, or read the pdf.

American ethnic history in microcosm

["Riverside" is Berlin, Wisconsin.]

Miriam J. Wells. Ethnicity, Social Stigma, and Resource Mobilization in Rural America: Reexamination of a Midwestern Experience. Ethnohistory, Volume 22, Issue 4 (Autumn, 1975), 319-343.

This article examines the interconnection of ethnicity, social stigma, and resource mobilization in order to improve understanding of the historical development of Euro-American communities. It explores the process through which an economically dependent and ethnically stigmatized Polish immigrant population became incorporated into a small midwestern town. It is argued that: 1) contrary to assimilationist assumptions, ethnic incorporation entailed little homogenization of cultural and associational structures; 2) although ethnic differences were negatively viewed by powerholders, they did not invariably constitute a liability in minority resource mobilization; 3) the rate of assimilation and role of ethnicity vary sharply with historical period and context of activity considered.

[. . .]

The Setting
The community of Riverside is in the rich grain-producing region of south-central Wisconsin. Since the turn of the century its population has hovered around 5000. [. . .]

Riverside was first settled in the mid-1840's by Protestant Americans of British descent from upstate New York and New England. Locally referred to as Yankees, those settlers were drawn primarily by the promise of boom profits from land speculation and the cultivation of wheat. In the nineteenth century, Yankees secured a virtual monopoly on leadership positions in banking, finance, manufacturing, business, politics, newspapers, and the professions.' They established the values and life-style patterns which were to characterize appropriate elite behavior for most of the community's history. Distinguishing the Yankee elite from other townspeople were countless fine gradations, perceptible to the insider, as to dress, house location, leisure-time activities, the quality and style of a buggy, and diet.

The rest of the community was composed of immigrants from the British Isles, Germany, and Poland who arrived later in the century. The arrival of Irish and Welsh settlers was gradual and their numbers relatively few, spanning the years from about 1855 to 1890. They represented a range of occupations from affluent businessmen to manual laborers. Outmigration in the late 1800's, combined with Irish failure to marry and bear children, reduced the proportion of those groups in the total population. Those who remained largely merged with the Anglo-American elite.

Although a few Germans arrived in Riverside before the Civil War, the bulk of German settlement began after peace was declared and continued into the early 1890's.7 German settlers fell into three categories: Old Lutherans from northwestern Germany, who were mostly craftsmen and composed the largest German group to come to Riverside; northeastern Germans, some tradesmen and some farmers, who were generally Lutheran, although over half eventually converted to Methodism; and southern and central German Catholics, who were predominantly farmers. German settlers generally brought skills, some education, and perhaps a nest-egg to launch them in their new lives. Some were able to purchase large tracts of the rich farmland to the south and east of Riverside, both from the government and from Yankees who had tired of farming.

Poles were latecomers to the Riverside area.8 Most came from the part of Poland controlled by the Prussian regime; a few came from Russian Poland. It was not until the late 1860's that substantial numbers of Poles began to settle. Most came in response to advertisements in urban Wisconsin newspapers of available employment in the grain fields and cranberry marshes. Arrivals increased until the mid-1890's, declined between 1895 and 1904, and then increased until 1914. Polish migration ended for the most part with World War I and never again reached its earlier proportions. This was because Polish independence after 125 years of partition decreased desire to emigrate and restrictive quota laws were passed after the war. Numerically, however, Poles had come to constitute a majority in the town. By 1925 a local survey indicated that Riverside's ethnic composition was 70% Polish, 15% German, 10% Irish, and the rest English.9

[. . .]

Culturally, then, integration of the Polish population into Riverside did not require elimination of ethnic distinctiveness. Nevertheless, it did entail learning the protocols of a public etiquette whose outlines were largely established by the Anglo-American elite. This etiquette involved the sharing of conventions of uniformity and complementarity, a public image of community. Briefly, it included first a set of norms of conduct governing behavior in the public sphere. These enjoined public behavior "as if" Riverside were internally homogeneous, harmonious, and differentiated only along lines of individual achievement open to all. Second, it included a self-definition of Riversiders as opposed to outsiders as regular people, hard-working, friendly, conservative, ethical, clean, law-abiding, and opti­mistic. Within the public context, Poles and Yankees alike were included in an inclusive communal "we."

In addition to this public imagery which guided the management of intra-community differences, the very pattern of social relations served to order and implicitly to encourage diversity while building a sense of shared community membership. The segmentation of activity spheres into public and private contexts served to avoid potential conflict between minority and majority cultural values. The major elements of cultural difference were confined to the private sphere, where they bolstered solidarity. This compartmentalization decreased specific knowledge of cultural differences within the town, facilitating preservation of the public myth of homogeneity. It also muted conflict within the Polish population about the maintenance or abandonment of Polish traditions, since their observance was shielded from the censure of powerholders.

[. . .]

Private statements of Anglo- (and German-) Americans reveal that a strong negative stereotype of Poles continued throughout this period. The public/private segmentation of behavioral contexts and conventions did not entirely shield Polish ethnic distinctiveness from Anglo awareness in this small-town setting. Rather, it provided an additional category for viewing Poles: an inclusive "we" category of "Riversider"/"American" as opposed to the exclusive "they" of "foreigner"/"Pole." That is, contrary to the expectations of the assimilation framework. Polish-Anglo ethnic differences persisted and continued to be evaluated negatively by the powerholders. However, that judgment was not necessarily activated in particular contexts. This study indicates that social interaction may permit a great deal of unstated variation in terms of values and definitions of the situation. Nonconflictive encounters involve complementary expectations as to the proper conduct of interaction, rather than identity of private value systems (Wallace 1961). In this context, since both inclusive and exclusive definitions were available to characterize Poles, the question becomes, why was one definition or the other activated in a particular context of activity or historical period?

During the initial decade or so of contact, the unpleasant foreignness of the Polish immigrants was uppermost in the minds of local Yankees. The local newspaper dwelt on the alcoholic excesses and alleged stupidity of the newcomers. It unceremoniously referred to individuals of Polish background as "Poles" rather than as, e.g., "the Durawa family." Since that period, however, the definition of Poles as ethnics has been confined primarily to the private spheres of both Poles and Yankees.

Leo Despres has suggested that ethnic categories are likely to be activated by groups when they confer advantages in competition for material and social resources (1975:199). Extrapolating from that hypothesis, a dominant group might be expected to activate the stigmatic ethnic identity of a minority when its own members are competing with the minority for resources and when the activated identity might rationalize or motivate preferential access to desiderata by the dominant group. While the stigmatic nature of minority ethnic identity might constitute a liability in some settings, it might also serve positive functions: for example, as an aid in mobilizing minority persons for some form of concerted action. Conceivably there could be contexts or activities for which the advantages of ethnic identification might outweigh its disadvantages, even for a minority like the Poles.

[. . .]

The economic experience of Poles in Riverside was characterized by the limited resources of Polish individuals at the outset and their continuing dependency on non-Poles in employment settings. Despite their humble beginnings, however, by the mid-1930's the Polish population had achieved a solid foothold in the local middle class. This integration was a consequence neither of having gained approval for Polish cultural differences nor of having eliminated them. Nevertheless, if the ethnohistorical evidence is to be believed, awareness of these differences was rarely activated by Poles or non-Poles in economic spheres of activity. In this context it seems that it was not the restrictive or permissive aspects of ethnic identity, but the character of the local economic environment, which determined the form of Polish structural incorporation and mobility. The most important aspect of this environment seems to have been the persisting noncompetitive nature of Polish and non-Polish economic niches.15

[. . .]

In sum, in the economic sphere, Poles were not confined to a single niche where their behavior as a corporate group might have secured control over particular resources." Although they could be said initially to have had similar interests by virtue of their concentration within the lowest socio­economic stratum, these interests did not coalesce into any form of collective action. This was probably due in part to their separation in various employment contexts and immediate dependence on non-Polish superiors. Polish economic roles were largely complementary to those of non-Poles in this setting, a coincidence that probably encouraged agreement by all groups to downplay stigmatic ethnicity.

It seems likely, then, that Polish economic mobility and the predom­inantly nonethnic phrasing of intergroup contact were permitted and encouraged by a variety of environmental factors: 1) the succession of economic niches characterized by the functional interdependence and complementary interests of Poles and non-Poles; 2) the existence of social-o:ganizational subsistence buffers within the Polish community; 3) the timely availability of resources from the extra-local environment, including, especially, urban industrial employment to augment local employment opportunities; 4) the periodic vacating of niches by non-Poles; 5) a history of economic prosperity; and 6) the proximity, in terms of resources required, of niches providing progressively more control. In this context, Polish ethnic stigma was neither a serious liability nor a real asset affecting integration into the vertical system of material rewards.

Since the currency of politics is numbers, and since the Poles composed a numerical majority of the town's inhabitants, their ethnic identity was a potential basis for recruiting support to enforce their interests. The continuing dependence of Poles on Yankees in economic and social contexts, the small size of the town, and the overlapping nature of social relations rendered public declaration of Polish ethnic identity a generally costly option, so that this course of action was pursued only around issues of unusual import to Poles. Although non-Poles themselves sought to give ethnic phrasing to conflicts, the advantages of ethnic identity for Poles outweighed its liabilities by virtue of Polish numerical preponderance. Consideration of the context of political activity illustrates this connection between the situational requirements of resource mobilization and the role of ethnic stigma.

In the political arena, Yankees tended to dominate formal positions of power and the definition of public issues well into the twentieth century. Their position was reinforced by an ideology which proclaimed the economic and cultural attainments of Yankees to be the appropriate characteristics of a town leader. Publicly phrased in terms of individual differences rather than ethnic categories, this ideology seems to have been long accepted by Poles as well as non-Poles. In two significant instances, however, Poles challenged Yankee control of political decisions. In both of these challenges both Poles and non-Poles sought to phrase the conflicts in ethnic terms. The first dispute was a cultural conflict over the form and content of elementary education. The second centered on the issue of political office-holding and which group should control positions of political power.

The first episode grew out of the strong undercurrent of anti-immigrant sentiment in the late nineteenth century. In 1890 the Republican Wisconsin state legislature passed the Bennett Law, requiring that English be the predominant language used in every school. [. . .]

Resolution of the issue rested on the question of the numbers of followers which proponents and opponents of the law could muster throughout the state. On a state-wide level, non-English-speaking immigrants, especially Germans, easily outnumbered the pietistic Yankee supporters of the law, and in the next state-wide election soundly defeated Republican candidates (Jensen 1971:124ff.). In Riverside, Missouri Synod German Lutherans joined with Polish Catholics in opposition to the Bennett Law, since it threatened their own German-language parochial school. Local voter turnouts were higher than at any previous election, and the customarily Republican town registered resounding support for the Democratic, anti-Bennett Law slate. It was a clear lesson that when specifically cultural conflicts between Anglo-Americans and non-English-speaking immigrants were brought to the political arena, the latter would win.

In this situation, ethnic categories provided Poles with means of mobilizing members of their group against opponents. Since numbers were the crucial resource in the political arena, the advantage gained by rallying ethnic sentiment outweighed any disadvantage from heightened Anglo-American censure. Nevertheless, the intergroup tensions and hostility engendered by this incident persisted for many years, and their memory served as a deterrent to repeated public use of ethnic categories.

The second conflict centered on the election of a Pole to the highest local office of mayor. Prior to the crucial election of 1929, local political offices had been dominated almost exclusively by Anglo-Americans and an occasional wealthy German. Several Poles who had attained the requisite financial credentials through their business enterprises had served as aldermen of Polish wards over the previous decade, but the Anglo and German conviction (unstated but strongly held) that a Pole was unsuited to the highest political office of the town went unchallenged. The election of 1929 raised the question not simply of whose definition of the situation would prevail but, more important, of who should control positions of formal political power.

Poles themselves had long accepted the Yankee's low assessment of their qualifications for public leadership. Polish residents recall their parents' distress at the suggestion that a Polish woman be "first lady" of the town. World War I and the years thereafter, however, played a pivotal role in altering Polish attitudes toward the legitimacy of their own claims to political power. Scores of young Polish-Americans enlisted. When they returned from the war, they felt that, as patriots, they had a claim to political representation. Exposure to contexts outside Riverside convinced many that it was high time that Poles assumed their rightful roles as spokespeople for the town's majority. The candidacy of Stanley Zatkowsky for mayor, in 1929, crystallized this conviction.

Also during this period, wartime economic expansion had brought dramatic financial success to a number of individuals in the Polish community, enabling them to engage in upper-middle-class consumption and recreational patterns formerly confined locally to Protestant-Americans. It is significant that the candidate for mayor was a wealthy entrepreneur who had made a small fortune in the construction industry. He did not conform to the stereotype of the poor, loutish Pole and was well able to give positive recognition to the Polish group.

According to local papers, the election was the most bitter in Riverside's history. No one could remain neutral. Polish candidates emerged for almost every local office and hitched their stars to the fate of Zatkowsky. An opposing slate of Yankees and Germans aligned themselves with the aristocratic Yankee businessman who opposed Zatkowsky. Poles claimed that as Polish-Americans they had a right to equal representation in local government. Yankees raised the specter of the Polish stereotype to encompass Zatkowsky's defeat.

The outcome of the election was a sweep for the Polish candidates. Two years later, Zatkowsky was reelected and the percentage of Poles in local positions increased. After this period, local office-holding clearly reflects the numerical preponderance of Poles in Riverside. Yankees refer to the period as the one in which "the town went to the Poles," the era in which the "city fathers (the mayor and aldermen) were no longer the city fathers (the most respected men in town)." While this difference in private assessments of the legitimacy of Polish claims to public resources persists even today, the Polish domination of political positions is firmly established.

This sequence of events challenges the assimilationist presumption that integration into established communities proceeds steadily and in a unilinear fashion according to length of exposure to a dominant society. In this instance, one form of structural pluralism persisted with little alteration until actions of the subordinate group forced its change. This sudden integration into a vertical system of rewards indicates the dependence of assimilation on variables outside those of cultural difference, social stigma, and length of contact. It points to the necessity of examining the manner in which ethnic identity is made relevant to particular settings in particular periods of history.19

This case provides some insight into the sorts of contexts in which a subordinate group can afford to make its stigmatized ethnicity a public issue. Briefly, this would seem to occur 1) when ethnic categories serve as a means of mobilizing the subordinate group, and 2) when the means of ensuring victory in that context are within the grasp of the collective resources of the group plus its available allies. More generalized surfacing of stigmatic ethnic identification would presumably require more insulation of the subordinate group from the dominant society than was the case in Riverside. It is important to note here that neither segment was successful in forcing its view of Polish ethnicity on the private spheres of the other. The success of Poles in achieving their goals in these encounters was not a consequence of their having convinced Yankees of the legitimacy of their claims, of a convergence of values and definitions.

This article has examined the relations between the genesis and maintenance of ethnic boundaries, the organization of intergroup relations, and competition for environmental resources in a small midwestern town. It has explored the process through which an ethnically stigmatized and largely dependent immigrant population achieved integration into an established system of rewards. While the surface appearance of this multi-ethnic community, together with its shared public imagery, would seem to support the contention that incorporation required elimination of ethnic differences, in-depth investigation indicates otherwise.

While many have attempted to understand communities as normative wholes whose consensus is perpetuated through socialization (Lewis 1951; Banfield 1958; Redfield 1930), this emphasis on internal balance and uniformly shared values is not helpful in understanding social relationships in this town. Social integration in Riverside involved organizing the variety of value orientations and participation patterns, rather than creating uniformity of sentiment and association. The organization of activity into public and private contexts minimized the liability of stigmatic ethnicity without removing it from local consciousness. The etiquette of public behavior provided an inclusive definition of all townspeople and enjoined downplaying intracommunity differences based on ethnicity. This etiquette made possible complementary behavioral and attitudinal expectations among people with considerable private divergence in value systems and activity. Explicitly, ethnic behavior was largely confined to private contexts of interaction within the ethnic populations, thus reducing community-wide knowledge of and confrontation with ethnic differences. Contrary to some expectations (Gordon 1964:233-265) lack of intimate primary relations between ethnic populations did not promote hostile intergroup contact. Rather, a striking degree of compartmentalization coexisted with accommodating intergroup attitudes. The assimilation paradigm does not adequately describe the course of interethnic contact in this setting. Cultural homogenization occurred primarily in the development of public protocols of belief and behavior. This happened relatively early and followed a pattern of Anglo-conformity. Major ethnic cultural differences persisted in the private sphere, however, and the very organization of intergroup relations was based on the separation of ethnic collectivities.

This example illustrates the value of distinguishing between ethnicity as the objective cultural space that exists between two populations and as the subjective identification of self or others. It is apparent that the two may vary independently and that the strength and inclusiveness of the boundaries delineating an ethnic group may fluctuate not only with the situation examined but with the aspect of ethnicity (association, culture, identifi­cation) considered. Moreover, as Barth (1969) suggested, the structural separation of ethnic boundaries may persist while their cultural content is altered considerably.

Ethnic categories are only one of a number of categories available to guide social interaction. They are neither necessarily relevant nor necessarily conflictive in a particular instance. Understanding of the factors affecting the use of ethnic categories and the fluctuation of ethnic boundaries must rest on an examination over time of the environmental context and the perceived interests of different segments of the population. This study supports the contention that groups are likely to activate ethnic categories when a competitive advantage results.

The relative importance of the variable of ethnic stigma in affecting resource mobilization, and hence socioeconomic mobility, must be sought in a particular context of activity. In the economic sphere it was found that not ethnic stigma but the economic conditions prevailing in the region of settlement for the generations following arrival determined the form of Polish structural incorporation. The requirements of resource mobilization in the political arena, however, gave ethnic identity a greater potential asset and was employed in two significant instances to ensure prevalence of Polish interests.

Introduction of the temporal dimension is crucial to the understanding of ethnic processes. Ethnic backgrounds constitute a pool of distinguishing features that are not unimportant simply because they appear uninfluential at a particular juncture in history or in a given sphere of activity. They may continue as a potential base for organization and identification and be mobilized as the foundation for an ethnic action group when conditions render such a strategy advantageous. This realization directs attention away from the cultural characteristics of groups in contact, toward examination of situational fluctuation and the possibility of the revitalization of ethnic boundaries, their public reappearance as an important basis for organizing intergroup relations. This understanding also highlights the possibility of rapid acceleration of a particular facet of assimilation, in this case integration into the structure of political rewards, at a given juncture in history.

Racial/ethnic differences in male pattern baldness

The following entry from Polak showed up in my feed reader, though Polak seems to have removed it from his site.
Recent positive selection and male pattern baldness

[This study] shows that recent selection has apparently pushed up the risk of baldness in Europeans, although obviously it's a lot more complex than that. The authors focus on the HapMap cohorts (Chinese, Japanese, Yoruba from Nigeria and Utah European Americans), which is a bit of a shame, because it would've been great to see the results for a variety of European groups. By the way, no subscription or payment is required for this one...

Axel M. Hillmer et al, Recent positive selection of a human androgen receptor/ectodysplasin A2 receptor haplotype and its relationship to male pattern baldness, Human Genetics, Published online: 17 April 2009, doi: 10.1007/s00439-009-0668-z
I'm not terribly interested in quantitative differences here, but some qualitative ethnic differences in hairlines jump out at the observant. The straight-across hairline can add a vaguely disturbing note to already less-than-aesthetic Jewish physiognomies.

The Mediterranean or Latin development of pattern baldness involves recession of the frontal hairline and the development of vertex baldness. These two regions of hair loss expand and coalesce into the extensive type V pattern.

The Semitic (Jewish, Arabian) presentation of pattern alopecia involves progressive recession of the frontal hairline but there is no associated thinning on the vertex according to Ebling.

The Nordic presentation with a central lock of surviving hair was noted by Norwood in the development of his classification system. Ebling suggested the five stage system for Nordic races as shown below.
Also see this book chapter:
Human balding occurs in several patterns. These sometimes occur together or separately and occur at different frequencies. Some noteworthy patterns are: (A) Double point, forehead recession, widow’s peak; (B) Monk’s spot (usually A and B occur together; they are common in many European countries); (C) Line-of-march, common in the Mediterranean countries (e.g., Albert Einstein); (D) Single point forehead recession, common among Orientals (e.g., Mao Tse-tung).
References (from the first site linked above):
* Norwood OT. Male pattern baldness: classification and incidence. South Med J. 1975 Nov;68(11):1359-65.
* Hamilton JB. Patterned loss of hair in man: types and incidence. Ana N Y Acad Dermatol 1951:53;708-28
* Camacho F, Montagna W. Trichology. Diseases of the pilosebaceous follicle. S. Karger Publishers Inc. Farmington, USA. 1998. ISBN: 3-8055-6672-7
* Norwood OT. Hair Transplant Surgery. Charles C Thomas Publishers, Springfield IL, USA, 1973. ISBN 0-398-02892-3

More research linking IQ and health

Brainy men may be healthier men:
A new study of 3654 Vietnam War veterans finds that men with lower IQs are more likely to suffer from dozens of health problems – from hernias, to ear inflammation, to cataracts – compared with those showing greater intelligence.

This offers tantalising – yet preliminary – evidence that health and intelligence are the result of common genetic factors, and that low intelligence may be an indication of harmful genetic mutations. [. . .]

Journal reference: Intelligence (DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2009.03.008)
I also found Geoffrey Miller's conceptualization of general intelligence useful:
Even within my own field, evolutionary psychologists tend to misunderstand general intelligence as a psychological adaptation in its own right, often misconstruing it as a specific mental organ, module, brain area, or faculty. However, it is not viewed that way by most intelligence researchers who, instead, regard general intelligence as an individual-differences construct—like the constructs “health,” “beauty,” or “status.” Health is not a bodily organ; it is an abstract construct or “latent variable” that emerges when one statistically analyzes the functional efficiencies of many different organs. Because good genes, diet, and exercise tend to produce good hearts, lungs, and antibodies, the vital efficiencies of circulatory, pulmonary, and immune systems tend to positively correlate, yielding a general “health” factor. Likewise, beauty is not a single sexual ornament like a peacock’s tail; it is a latent variable that emerges when one analyzes the attractiveness of many different sexual ornaments throughout the face and body (such as eyes, lips, skin, hair, chest, buttocks, and legs, plus general skin quality, hair condition, muscle tone, and optimal amount and distribution of fat). Similarly, general intelligence is not a mental organ, but a latent variable that emerges when one analyzes the functional efficiencies of many different mental organs (such as memory, language ability, social perceptiveness, speed at learning practical skills, and musical aptitude). ...

Estimate of archaic admixture in Europeans and Asians

Interesting results.
We estimate admixture proportions of 14 % (95% CI: 8 – 20 %) in the European-American sample and 1.5% (95% CI: 0.5 – 2.5 %) in the East Asian sample. In both cases, the relative log-likelihood for a = 0 (i.e., no ancient admixture) is significantly lower than the maximum likelihood (likelihood-ratio test, p < 10-3) , which provides additional evidence (along with the S* results in the previous paragraph) that ancient admixture occurred. The estimates of admixture rates in Europeans are consistent with estimates of Neandertal admixture obtained from analyses of Neandertal DNA (Serre et al. 2004; Noonan et al. 2006), [. . .] Unlike previous studies, we incorporated admixture between archaic and modern humans as an additional demographic parameter to be co-estimated. Interestingly, we could exclude no admixture (i.e., exclude a = 0) in both of the non-African populations studied. [. . .]

We estimate low levels of ancient admixture in East Asia, perhaps with either Asian Homo erectus or H. floresiensis. [. . .] For simulations under our best-fit model, approximately 6% of loci have at least some archaic ancestry (i.e., have at least one sequence that inherited DNA from the archaic Asian population). [. . .]

Our signal of ancient admixture (as measured by S*) is strongest in the West African samples, though the spotty fossil record in sub-Saharan Africa makes it difficult to speculate about potential source populations or the times and locations of admixture. This said, there was thought to be a substantial amount of hominin taxonomic diversity within Africa during the Pleistocene. We note that our simple two-population model does not allow for any population structure within continental groups, and there may be a substantial amount of unsampled population structure within Africa (e.g., between West Africans and pygmies or San, cf. Wall et al. 2008) that serves as a confounding factor. The observation that all (three) populations studied seem to have evidence for ancient admixture suggests that ancient population structure may be a common feature of all contemporary human populations, and this ancient structure may predate the initial expansion of modern humans out of Africa. Future work that estimates the lengths of the putative chunks of sequence inherited from archaic populations may help to estimate the timing of ancient admixture events.
MBE Advance Access published online on May 6, 2009
Molecular Biology and Evolution, doi:10.1093/molbev/msp096

Detecting ancient admixture and estimating demographic parameters in multiple human populations

Jeffrey D. Wall, Kirk E. Lohmueller and Vincent Plagnol

We analyze patterns of genetic variation in extant human polymorphism data from the NIEHS SNPs project to estimate human demographic parameters. We update our previous work by considering a larger data set (more genes and more populations), and by explicitly estimating the amount of putative admixture between modern humans and archaic human groups (e.g., Neandertals, Homo erectus, H. floresiensis). We find evidence for this ancient admixture in European, East Asian and West African samples, suggesting that admixture between diverged hominin groups may be a general feature of recent human evolution.

More on Tishkoff et al.

Regarding the recently published African genetic structure paper.

(1) The following bit of asininity from Afro-Jew Roy King made it into a news story:
The "landmark study" should erase any vestiges of colonial-era thinking that Africa is one unit, said Roy King, a Stanford University associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

"No longer can we see Africa as just this homogeneous population," said King, who has studied African migration patterns but was not part of the new paper.
Wait, weren't we supposed to be blaming evil colonialist whiteys for creating "racialist" theories which made distinctions among Africans?

The truth, of course, is that the theories and classifications of early European physical anthropologists are remarkably consistent with the latest genetic data.

People like King also have European colonialists to thank for initiating the study and categorization of African languages.

(2) This comment from "argiedude" (posting as "wolcupitol") is worth reading. The "greater genetic diversity" of Africans is well-established, but the number of clusters reported in this study for Africa vs. the rest of the world is not evidence of such -- the number of clusters is somewhat arbitrary and influenced by sample selection.

Basques: not a genetic isolate

European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication 6 May 2009; doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2009.69

Isolated populations as treasure troves in genetic epidemiology: the case of the Basques

Paolo Garagnani et al.

The Basques are a culturally isolated population, living across the western border between France and Spain and speaking a non-Indo-European language. They show outlier allele frequencies in the ABO, RH, and HLA loci. To test whether Basques are a genetic isolate with the features that would make them good candidates in genetic association studies, we genotyped 123 SNPs in a 1-Mb region in chromosome 22 in Basque samples from France and Spain, as well as in samples from northern and southern Spain, and in three North African samples. Both Basque samples showed similar levels of heterozygosity to the other populations, and the decay of linkage disequilibrium with physical distance was not different between Basques and non-Basques. Thus, Basques do not show the genetic properties expected in population isolates.

Keywords: Basques, linkage disequilibrium, genetic isolates


Ancestry of Madison Grant and others

I've compiled some genealogical data on Madison Grant, Carleton Coon, Carleton Putnam, and Charles Davenport.

It's well known that Coon and Putnam are cousins, but they're more distantly related than I had believed. Putnam actually appears to share a more recent common ancestor with Madison Grant (Grant and Putnam being sixth cousins via John Baldwin (1640-1702) and Putnam being Coon's 8th cousin once removed via John Putnam (1579-1662), though Coon and Putnam are also related through John Carleton (1637-1667)). I happened to notice Coon is also related to T.S. Eliot and John Archibald Wheeler -- assuming my sources are correct.

This database is not meant to be authoritative. The first few generations should be reasonably accurate. Beyond that I've generally relied on data others have entered at sites like WorldConnect, which I haven't verified (though none of it jumped out as implausible).

Sources: (Census population schedules, passport applications, and so on),, various digitized newspapers, Google, Google Books, etc. Since -- compiling this information primarily for my own amusement -- I was more interested in speed than authoritativeness, I haven't included source citations; but almost every source I used is accessible over the internet. (One exception: Coon's autobiography, Adventures and Discoveries.)

Boasianism as a cult

Gelya Frank. Jews, Multiculturalism, and Boasian Anthropology. American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 99, No. 4 (Dec., 1997), pp. 731-745.
THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN a lively, if sometimes hushed, in-house discourse about American anthropology's Jewish origins and their meaning. The preponderance of Jewish intellectuals in the early years of Boasian anthropology and the Jewish identities of anthropologists in subsequent generations have been downplayed in standard histories of the discipline. Jewish histories foreground the roles and deeds of Jews, actually a vety small minority: less than 3 percent of the world and of this nation's population (Schmelz and Della Pergola 1995). From that vantage, the development of American anthropology appears part of Jewish history. This essay brings together strands of these various discourses on Jews in anthropology for a new generation of American anthropologists, especially ones concerned with turning multiculturalist theories into agendas for activism.

The public silence or omission concerning anthropology's Jews is due mainly to the tone of liberal humanism and cosmopolitianism set by founder Franz Boas (1858-1942), himself a Jewish German immigrant, who in 1896 established the nation's first department of an- thropology at Columbia University. There has also been a whitewashing of Jewish ethnicity, reflecting fears of anti-Semitic reactions that could discredit the disci- pline of anthropology and individual anthropologists, either because Jews were considered dangerous due to their presumed racial differences or because they were associated with radical causes. [. . .]

Leslie White, a critic of Boas and a non-Jew, argued that the Boasians gained dominance by exclusionary practices and provocatively termed the Boasians a "cult" (1966:4). White labels Boas's analysis of race "inflexible," based as it is upon Boas's background as a Jew and belief in the ideals of the Revolution of 1848. Reworking statements by Boas's students into a polemic, White writes:
Boas, who was "of Jewish extraction" (Lowie, 1947, p. 310), had been intensely concerned with anti-Semitism since his formative years" (Kluckhohn and Prufer, 1959, p. 10). He wrote voluminously on racial problems, as did some of his prominent students. As I have argued elsewhere (White, 1947a), however, he never got to the heart of the matter. Much of his argument was based upon anthropometry and anatomy, which were largely irrelevant because race prejudice and conflict do not arise from lack of knowledge of facts of this sort.... Boas had virtually a closed mind, if we may trust Kroeber's [1956] judgment on this point. [1966:1S17]
White further charges that Boas had a closed attitude toward American-born scholars who were not Jewish (such as Clark Wissler and Ralph Linton) and tended to criticize or overlook anthropological work done by people who were not in the circle of educated Germans and "Forty-Eighters" (supporters of the liberal and socialist revolutions of 1848). White continues:
Let us have another look at the Boas School, the small, compact group of scholars that were gathered about the leader. The earliest were principally foreign-born or the children of immigrants. Goldenweiser was born in Kiev; Radin in Lodz; Lowie in Vienna, and Sapir in Pomerania. Kroeber's father was born in Cologne, and his mother was AmeIican-born, of Gelman antecedents. All were fluent in the German language. Like Boas, most were of Jewish ancestry. John Sholtz, writing in Reflex: A Jewtsh Magaztne (Vol. 6, p. 9, 1935) has observed that in the one field of anthropology alone, it is interesting to note the dispro- portionate position held by Jewish scientists in this country. Men like Boaz [sic], Golden weiser [sic], Lowie, Radin are easily the leaders in the field." . . . A school by definition tends to be a closed society or group. Kroeber tells of how George A. Dorsey, an American-born gentile and a Ph.D. from Harvard, tried to gain admittance to the select group but failed. [1966:26]
[White, Leslie A.
1947 Review of Franz Boas, Race and Democratic Society. American Journal of Sociology 52:371-373.
1966 The Social Organization of Ethnological Theory. Monograph in Cultural Anthropology. Rice University Studies, 52(4). Houston: William Marsh Rice University]

Civilization and health

More evidence the switch from hunting/gathering to settled agriculture was associated with diminished human health:
The project has taken 8 years and $1.2 million to organize so far. The goal was to pool 72 researchers' data on standardized indicators of health from skeletal remains, including stature, dental health, degenerative joint disease, anemia, trauma, and the isotopic signatures of what they ate [. . .]

They found that the health of many Europeans began to worsen markedly about 3000 years ago, after agriculture became widely adopted in Europe and during the rise of the Greek and Roman civilizations. They document shrinking stature and growing numbers of skeletal lesions from leprosy and tuberculosis, caused by living close to livestock and other humans in settlements where waste accumulated. The numbers of dental hypoplasias and cavities also increased as people switched to a grain-based diet with fewer nutrients and more sugars.

[Ann Gibbons. Civilization's Cost: The Decline and Fall of Human Health. Science 1 May 2009 DOI: 10.1126/science.324_588a]
(Link via John Hawks)

Genetic data consistent with Aryan invasion theory

Dienekes points out yet another study that uses autosomal SNP microarray data to infer population structure, which finds [1]:
South Indian upper- and lower-caste populations have ∼30% and 10% membership in the inferred European group, respectively.
I agree with Dienekes here:
Social stratification based on "European" (more properly extra-Indian Cauasoid) ancestry in South Indian populations is not surprising; see my post on the Origin of Hindu Brahmins. Differential -based on caste- admixture with an exogenous element is not really compatible with an indigenous creation of the caste system, and is more in accord with the traditional theory of an exogenous origination of the upper caste populations.

[1] Jinchuan Xing et al. Fine-scaled human genetic structure revealed by SNP microarrays. Genome Research doi:10.1101/gr.085589.108

African genetic structure

Someone mentioned this story in the comments. Dienekes and Daniel MacArthur have already summarized the paper [1]. Nothing terribly surprising.

One thing to keep in mind: a relatively small number of markers (by recent standards) were typed for this paper.
The combined dataset contains a total of 1,327 genotyped markers (consisting of 848 microsatellites, 476 indels and 3 SNPs) and 3,945 DNA samples. The overall overlap of markers genotyped in the combined dataset is 80% (not all markers were genotyped in all populations) [supplementary material]
Though this should be enough to get the broad picture right, more markers would be nice. As Tishkoff acknowledges in this podcast interview (mp3), the use of "SNP panels [with] a million markers" in future studies should offer knowledge of more subtle variation.

[1] Sarah A. Tishkoff et al. The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans. Science doi:10.1126/science.1172257

Grant vs. Boas

In case you were wondering, Kevin MacDonald did not ghostwrite the following article. Spiro is Jewish and Patterns of Prejudice is an organ of the "Institute for Jewish Policy Research".

Spiro, Jonathan P. "Nordic vs. anti-Nordic: the Galton Society and the American Anthropological Association," Patterns of Prejudice 36:1 (2002): 35-48.
ABSTRACT Spiro discusses the creation of the Galton Society in 1918 by American eugenicist Madison Grant as an alternative to the American Anthropological Association. On a theoretical level, Grant hoped the Galton Society would uphold the primacy of biological determinism against ‘the culture idea’. On a more personal level, the purpose of the Galton Society was to provide a refuge for native Protestants who feared that the American Anthropological Association had fallen into the hands of the Jews. While the Galton Society flourished initially, by the early 1930s Franz Boas and his disciples had established cultural determinism as the reigning paradigm in American social science, and the Galton Society quietly dissolved itself in 1935.

KEYWORDS American Anthropological Association, antisemitism, eugenics, Franz Boas, Galton Society, Madison Grant, nature–nurture debate, scientific racism

The lifelong hostility between eugenicist Madison Grant (1865–1937) and anthropologist Franz Boas (1858–1942) was the personification if not the core of the nature–nurture debate in the United States. Grant was one of the founders of the conservation movement in America, and worked side-byside with Theodore Roosevelt at the beginning of the twentieth century to preserve the nation’s natural heritage. Among his many accomplishments, Grant preserved the California redwoods, saved the American bison from extinction, founded the Bronx Zoo, helped to create the Glacier and Denali national parks, and worked tirelessly to protect the whales in the ocean, the bald eagles in the sky and the pronghorn antelopes on the prairie. But Grant was also the prophet of scientific racism and—in geographer Ellsworth Huntington’s phrase—the perennial ‘cheerleader of the Nordics in America’.2 Grant first came to the attention of the reading public in 1916, when Scribner’s and Sons published his bestselling opus, The Passing of the Great Race. [. . .] Passionate, erudite and audacious, The Passing of the Great Race was a tour de force that did for scientific racism what The Communist Manifesto did for scientific socialism. Grant’s book was regularly cited in popular and scholarly works, and the success of The Passing of the Great Race—and Grant’s behind-the-scenes machinations—played a major role in convincing Congress to enact the immigration restriction legislation of the 1920s. Grant went on to collaborate with Southern white racists to pass antimiscegenation legislation, and he influenced many states to implement coercive sterilization statutes under which thousands of Americans deemed to be unworthy were sterilized in the 1930s. [. . .]

The American Anthropological Association

Among academics, Boas was practically alone in the mid-1910s in his opposition to Grant. [. . .]

For years, however, Boas had been diligently training a cadre of professional anthropologists who shared his revulsion at the theories of Grant, so that by the end of the 1910s Boas was surrounded and supported by a growing group of influential scholars well positioned to use their prestige and expertise to join in the assault upon eugenics. Some of the more important anthropologists who received their Ph.D.s from Boas were A. L. Kroeber (who earned his degree in 1901), Robert Lowie (1908), Edward Sapir (1909), Alexander Goldenweiser (1910), Paul Radin (1911), Leslie Spier (1920), Ruth Benedict (1923), Melville Herskovits (1923), Margaret Mead (1929) and Ashley Montagu (1937). With the exception of Kroeber, Benedict and Mead, all were Jews, many were immigrants and several were both. These students of Boas set about devising the intellectual weapons and amassing the ethnographic data they would need to combat the disciples of Grant. And while on a theoretical level the debate between the Grantians and the Boasians pitted the defenders of heredity and biological determinism against the proponents of environment and the primacy of culture, it was difficult not to notice that it was at heart a confrontation between the ethos of native Protestants and the Zeitgeist of immigrant Jews.

Intellectually, the Grant–Boas split was also a disagreement between adherents of polygenesis, obsessed with the classification of races, and adherents of monogenesis, who were fairly certain that races were socially constructed myths. Ideologically, it was a battle between establishment figures who insisted on loyalty to the nation and pluralistic egalitarians who defended the rights of the minority. And, professionally, it was a conflict between an older generation of physical anthropologists (often gentleman amateurs with no academic affiliation or perhaps an association with a museum) and the newer generation of cultural anthropologists (usually trained professionals with fulltime positions in academia).12

The older amateurs were aristocratic WASPs with the money and leisure time to ponder fossils as an avocation, whereas the younger professionals were often the children of Jewish immigrants who saw higher education as a route to social respectability, and jobs in academia as a means of economic survival. The gap between the two sides was all but insurmountable. When the Grantians looked at the cultural anthropologists, they saw a group of bearded (with the exception of Benedict, Mead and Elsie Clews Parsons), Jewish, socialist aliens who lacked any appreciation of the importance of evolution and the laws of biology. [. . .]

The culturalists were well aware that their work was viewed as trivial and unscientific. And their response—with Boas leading the way—was to professionalize their discipline. They understood that, by transforming anthropology from an amateur hobby into a professional vocation, they would garner not only respect but also the academic positions (and the funding) that would then be distributed on the basis of merit rather than through the antisemitic old-boy network. [. . .] They therefore worked to reconstitute the American Anthropological Association, heretofore comprised to a large extent by wealthy, untrained amateurs, into an organization of professionally qualified scholars. [. . .] such was the prestige of Boas that within a few years he was elected president of the AAA, his former students began attaining seats on its governing council, and, by the 1910s, the American Anthropological Association had evolved into a respected society of academic anthropologists, with the Boasians in the majority. They then moved to take control of the Association’s journal (American Anthropologist), and by 1915 [. . .] biological determinism was banished from the pages of American Anthropologist, and the culture idea was well on its way to becoming the predominant thesis in the profession. A bewildered Grant could only observe that these developments ‘confirm me in the belief that you must have at the head of any anthropological work a member of the North European race, who has no bias in favor of helots or mongrels’. [. . .]

The Galton Society

By the end of the 1910s the situation within professional anthropology was no longer tenable. The Boasians were in the saddle, and something had to be done. On 6 March 1918, Madison Grant met with Charles Benedict Davenport and the two men agreed to create a new, racially oriented anthropological organization to rival the culture-ridden American Anthropological Association. Grant decided to name it the Galton Society, in honour of Sir Francis Galton, the founder of eugenics.

[. . .] Grant organized the Galton Society at exactly the same time that he organized the Save-the-Redwoods League, and, in the early years, when John C. Merriam was still a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, he and Grant synchronized the meetings of the Galton Society with those of the Save-the-Redwoods League so Merriam would have to make only one trip to New York. In fact, the constitution of the Save-the-Redwoods League was modelled on that of the Galton Society, which in turn was modelled on that of the New York Zoological Society (which ran the Bronx Zoo). And why not? All three associations served a common end: one would save the large mammals of North America, the other would save the largest trees, and the third the most advanced race: the Nordics. [. . .]

And so the Boasian capture of the American Anthropological Association had been countered by the formation of the Galton Society. At a meeting of the Society in 1925, psychologist William McDougall of Harvard University summed up the situation neatly. On one side of the nature–nurture debate were the sentimental sociologists, egalitarian Bolshevists and intellectual Jews, all of whom were ‘biased against racial psychology’ and permitted the emotional appeal of humanitarianism to stand ‘in place of truth’. On the other side were the ‘serious’ students of race, such as Grant, Stoddard and Huntington, who recognized ‘the reality’ of inequality and stood for ‘the importance of preserving racial distinctions in their purity’.26 It was clear to McDougall and his auditors which faction had right—and science—on its side. [. . .]

‘A historical footnote’

By the early 1920s the members of the Galton Society were confident that they had stemmed the environmentalist tide, and that Franz Boas—as Henry Fairfield Osborn put it—had been relegated to ‘a comparatively obscure and uninfluential position’.38 Madison Grant and the eugenicists now turned their attention to the legislative arena, where they led successful campaigns for immigration restriction, sterilization and anti-miscegenation laws.

But, in the meantime, Boas continued to churn out the cohort of Ph.D.s who soon comprised the majority of professional anthropologists in the United States. They rapidly moved into, and took over, all the major anthropology departments in the country, where they in turn trained the succeeding generation of scholars dedicated to the culture idea. As a result, academic anthropologists hostile to the Galton Society soon set editorial policy for the profession’s journals and dominated the membership of its professional organizations.

Beginning in the late 1920s Boas and his disciples published to academic and popular acclaim a body of work—including Boas’s Anthropology and Modern Life (1928), Margaret Mead’s The Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), Melville Herskovits’s The American Negro (1928), Robert Lowie’s Are We Civilized? (1929), Ruth Benedict’s Patterns of Culture (1934) and Otto Klineberg’s Race Differences (1935)—that cumulatively served to validate cultural anthropology as a viable field and to establish cultural determinism as a legitimate alternative to hereditarianism. ‘There is no doubt’, an alarmed Madison Grant told Osborn upon witnessing all this activity, ‘that there is an organized anti-Nordic conspiracy’.39 To which Osborn could only affirm: ‘There is undoubtedly a conspiracy of the radicals against the whole Nordic and racial theory.’40

Grant and Osborn had every reason to worry. The Boasian point of view, limited to a handful of (primarily Jewish) cultural anthropologists at the end of the First World War, soon began to influence not just other anthropologists but other social scientists as well. And, as a result, by the beginning of the 1930s the culture idea was becoming the reigning paradigm in American social science. [. . .]

Grant admitted that ‘the future looks ominous’, but in his book The Alien in Our Midst (1930) he gamely tried to rally the partisans by insisting that they had on their side ‘the increasing force of science, of eugenics, and of an ever-widening acceptance of the fact that heredity and not environment dominates in the evolution and development of man’.43 Anthropologist (and loyal member of the Galton Society) T. Wingate Todd seconded Grant’s words, and bravely predicted in 1932 that the Grantian form of anthropology ‘is going to be more than ever significant in arranging the affairs of the future, and the Galton Society will have a great mission’.44 Grant and Todd, of course, were deluded. The future belonged to the environmentalists. The Galton Society quietly dissolved in 1935, and ‘the anthropological idea of culture’, writes George Stocking,
became in time part of the vernacular of a large portion of the American public. . . . By the middle of the twentieth century, it was a commonplace for educated Americans to refer to human differences in cultural terms, and to say that ‘modern science has shown that all human races are equal’.45