Two new papers on the distribution of R1b subclades

Myres et al. (pdf):
present phylogeographically resolved data for 2043 M269-derived Y-chromosomes from 118 West Asian and European populations assessed for the M412 SNP that largely separates the majority of Central and West European R1b lineages from those observed in Eastern Europe, the Circum-Uralic region, the Near East, the Caucasus and Pakistan. Within the M412 dichotomy, the major S116 sub-clade shows a frequency peak in the upper Danube basin and Paris area with declining frequency toward Italy, Iberia, Southern France and British Isles.
The supplementary data contains more detailed information on the frequency and diversity of R1b subclades in various population samples. Dienekes comments.

The dating (and consequently the authors' specific attempts to link the spread of R1b to archaeological horizons) is likely badly off; the various subclades are probably much younger than calculated by the authors. It's also far from clear to me that R1b entered Europe via Anatolia (as opposed to a more northerly route). Either way, the Iberian Irish myth is still very dead.

I haven't read the Cruciani paper (pdf).


Myres et al. A major Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b Holocene era founder effect in Central and Western Europe. European Journal of Human Genetics doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2010.146

Cruciani et al. Strong intra- and inter-continental differentiation revealed by Y chromosome SNPs M269, U106 and U152. Forensic Science International: Genetics doi:10.1016/j.fsigen.2010.07.006

Signatures of founder effects, admixture, and selection in the Ashkenazi Jewish population

The paper is free at the PNAS website. The raw data is available. The press release mentions:
In addition, a region on chromosome 12 showed selection in the Ashkenazi Jewish population but not Europeans. This area encompasses 18 genes but the investigators noticed that one of these, ALDH2, is important in alcohol metabolism, and genetic variation in ALDH2 has previously been shown to affect alcohol consumption, Bray says.

"This is consistent with historical and modern reports of lower alcoholism rates in Jews, although social and religious practices are also thought to play a role," he says. "However, a more detailed analysis of variants in the ALDH2 gene would be necessary to show a mechanistic link."
The abstract refers to ALDH2 as a genomic region under selection that accounts for "alcohol tolerance", but the Jewish version in fact confers alcohol intolerance:
Reduction in activity of the mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) enzyme due to genetic deficiency causes reactions related to alcohol consumption and lowers the risk of alcoholism.
The authors suggest that the proliferation of the defective ALDH2 version among Jews may be incidental to selection on a different gene:
The mechanism driving selection of the ALDH2 locus is unknown, but a plausible target of selection also within this selected region is the TRAFD1/FLN29 gene, which is a negative regulator of the innate immune system, important for controlling the response to bacterial and viral infection (49). TRAFD1/FLN29 may have conferred a selective advantage in the immune response to a pathogen, perhaps near the time that the Jews returned to Israel from their Babylonian captivity. Despite the unclear selective mechanism, this remains a remarkable example of a putatively selected region accounting for a known population phenotype.
Reference: Bray et al. Signatures of founder effects, admixture, and selection in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. PNAS. Published online before print August 26, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1004381107

Miscellaneous links

Blaine Bettinger: Sequencing the Genome of Sitting Bull and Other Famous People

John Hawks: French Neolithic discontinuities

John Hawks's bibliography database and citeulike feed

Human migrations and genetics

Priestly Celibacy: A Venerable Tradition, And A Serious Mistake

Another intra-European AIMs paper

Drineas P, Lewis J, Paschou P (2010) Inferring Geographic Coordinates of Origin for Europeans Using Small Panels of Ancestry Informative Markers. PLoS ONE 5(8): e11892.
Analyzing 1,200 individuals from 11 populations genotyped for more than 500,000 SNPs (Population Reference Sample), we present a systematic exploration of the extent to which geographic coordinates of origin within Europe can be predicted, with small panels of SNPs. Markers are selected to correlate with the top principal components of the dataset, as we have previously demonstrated. Performing thorough cross-validation experiments we show that it is indeed possible to predict individual ancestry within Europe down to a few hundred kilometers from actual individual origin, using information from carefully selected panels of 500 or 1,000 SNPs. Furthermore, we show that these panels can be used to correctly assign the HapMap Phase 3 European populations to their geographic origin. [. . .] It is also worth noting that the largest average error was in the German samples and that the most accurately predicted populations were the Southern European and Irish ones. [. . .] Interestingly, within Europe, individual origin seems much easier to predict along the North to South axis than along the East to West axis. This could indicate increased gene flow along the latter axis.
Estimated coordinates for the CEU sample (Utah whites):

Two old papers on Tarim Basin mummies / crania

Now available online at the Sino-Platonic Papers website.

Dolkun Kamberi, "The Three Thousand Year Old Charchan Man" Sino-Platonic Papers, 44 (January, 1994)
The male would have been two meters tall when living (see color plates I and IIa); the corpse was lying on its right side with legs bent and propped up by a small piece of wood (perhaps to promote preservation by means of circulation of air around the corpse). The hair, eyelashes, beard and chest hair were intact and traces of makeup (ocher spiral sun-symbols) could be seen on the face. The presence in the tomb of two small bone spoons with dried ocher pigment in them may indicate that the makeup was applied after death. The male's head hair was yellowish brown half gone to white;
Note: More recent estimates put Cherchen Man's height closer to 5'9".

HAN Kangxin: "The Study of Ancient Human Skeletons from Xinjiang, China" Sino-Platonic Papers, 5 1 (November, 1994)
Between 1920 and 1940, only three foreign scientists published completed research in this area. They are: Arthur Keith of England (1929), Carl-Herman Hjortsjo and Ander Walander of Germany (1924) and A.N. Iuzefovich of the USSR (1949). A total of twenty skulls were described. Five came from the northern part of the Taklamakan Desert and Keith thought they characterized the "Loulan racial type." Eleven skulls were collected by Sven Hedin from near Luobubo (Lopnor) in 1928 and 1934, and have been subdivided into three groups (Nordic, Chinese, and Alpine) by Hjortsjo and Walander. The remaining skulls also came from the Luobubo (Lopnor) area and exhibit Mongoloid characteristics. Iuzefovich considered these to be of Tujue (Turkish) origin (Keith, A., 1929; Hjortsjo, C.H. and A. Walander, 1942; Iusefovich, A.N., 1949). [. . .]

Chinese scientists have conducted systematic excavations in this region since 1940. I have studied all the skeletal material housed at the Institute of Archeology of Xinjiang and analyzed the physical and racial characteristics of these human bones. The materials included about 274 skulls which were collected from nine ancient cemeteries in Xinjiang. The cemeteries range in age from about 1800 B.C.E. to 300 C.E.

Ancient French megalithic mtDNA

Sample size is three:
We reproducibly retrieved partial HVR-I sequences (nps 16,165 to 16,390) from three human remains (Prisse´ 1, 2, and 4, Table 1), one adult and two children deposited during different stages of use of the burial chamber. Corresponding sequences could be unambiguously assigned to haplogroups X2, U5b, and N1a
Marie-France Deguilloux et al. News from the west: Ancient DNA from a French megalithic burial chamber. American Journal of Physical Anthropology DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.21376.
Recent paleogenetic studies have confirmed that the spread of the Neolithic across Europe was neither genetically nor geographically uniform. To extend existing knowledge of the mitochondrial European Neolithic gene pool, we examined six samples of human skeletal material from a French megalithic long mound (c.4200 cal BC). We retrieved HVR-I sequences from three individuals and demonstrated that in the Neolithic period the mtDNA haplogroup N1a, previously only known in central Europe, was as widely distributed as western France. Alternative scenarios are discussed in seeking to explain this result, including Mesolithic ancestry, Neolithic demic diffusion, and long-distance matrimonial exchanges. In light of the limited Neolithic ancient DNA (aDNA) data currently available, we observe that all three scenarios appear equally consistent with paleogenetic and archaeological data. In consequence, we advocate caution in interpreting aDNA in the context of the Neolithic transition in Europe. Nevertheless, our results strengthen conclusions demonstrating genetic discontinuity between modern and ancient Europeans whether through migration, demographic or selection processes, or social practices.

Ezra Pound: racial preservationist

From one of his World War 2 radio speeches:
I am not arguing, I am just telling you. One of these days you will have to start thinking about the problem of race, BREED, preservation.

I do NOT like to think of my race as going toward total extinction
, NOR into absolute bondage.

The Cincinnati etc. erred from snobbery. They did not in George Washington’s time organize on racial basis. No one thought of it, no one could have then thought of it. There WAS a racially homogeneous population in the newly freed colonies. Certain privileges were dear to the privileged. Snobbism is NOT conservative. Fashion is not conservative. La Mode, etc. is a ramp.

[#51 (July 2, 1942) U.S.(B65) DISBURSEMENT OF WISDOM]
Incidentally, Ezra Pound is another person with more New England ancestry than George Gilder. (Four of Pound's great-grandparents were born in Massachusetts; one was born in New Hampshire; one was born in New York, with ancestry entirely tracing back to Connecticut; one was a Quaker from New Jersey; and one was from Ireland.) Update: More from Pound below.

Intelligence and pigmentation in Hirsch's sample

Additional results from Nathaniel Hirsch's 1926 study of children of immigrants -- this table further subdividing the sample by degree of hair and eye pigmentation.
In this section of the study, Hirsch is opposing some straw man version of Nordicism:
The Racialists maintain not only that the Nordics are long-headed, tall people with blue eyes and light hair, but more importantly it is claimed that they are mentally superior to all non-Nordic races.
And the results satisfy him:
that intellectual differences although (1) significant, (2) innate and (3) relatively permanent are Natio-Racial in character rather than Racial.
Which definitely shows "the Racialists". I did find the differences between pigmentation morphotypes within some national groups interesting (though I don't put undue weight on these results), considering light hair and light eyes have apparently been reported elsewhere as correlates of IQ. You can read the entire monograph (which includes more information on the tests used and answers to some criticisms) online at Harvard's open collection on immigration.

Reference: Hirsch, Nathaniel D. M. A study of natio-racial mental differences. Worcester, Mass. : Clark University, c1926.

"Social Darwinism" in Anglophone academic journals

GEOFFREY M. HODGSON. Social Darwinism in Anglophone Academic Journals. Journal of Historical Sociology, 17(4), December 2004, pp. 428-63. (pdf)
This essay is a partial history of the term ‘Social Darwinism’. Using large electronic databases, it is shown that the use of the term in leading Anglophone academic journals was rare up to the 1940s. Citations of the term were generally disapproving of the racist or imperialist ideologies with which it was associated. Neither Herbert Spencer nor William Graham Sumner were described as Social Darwinists in this early literature. Talcott Parsons (1932, 1934, 1937) extended the meaning of the term to describe any extensive use of ideas from biology in the social sciences. Subsequently, Richard Hofstadter (1944) gave the use of the term a huge boost, in the context of a global anti-fascist war.
Hodgson mentions:
A massive 1934 fresco by Diego Rivera in Mexico City is entitled ‘Man at the Crossroads’. To the colorful right of the picture are Diego’s chosen symbols of liberation, including Karl Marx, Vladimir Illych Lenin, Leon Trotsky, several young female athletes and the massed proletariat. To the darker left of the mural are sinister battalions of marching gas-masked soldiers, the ancient statue of a fearsome god, and the seated figure of a bearded Charles Darwin. These conceptions of good and evil, progress and regress, and light and shade, were prominent in much of Western social science for the next fifty years.
Diego Rivera attributed his politics to his Jewish ancestry:
"My Jewishness is the dominant element in my life," Rivera wrote in 1935. "From this has come my sympathy with the downtrodden masses which motivates all my work."
Coincidentally (I'm sure), Hofstadter was also a Jewish-identified half-Jew. More excerpts within:

IQs of children of immigrants by nationality, c. 1926

This table appears in Differential Psychology by Anne Anastasi:
An "American" group of native parentage was also included for comparative purposes. [. . .] Most of the differences between the average I.Q.'s of these national groups were statistically reliable. The same rank order of nationalities was obtained when the groups were compared in the percentage of "very superior intelligence" and of "borderline deficiency." The relative status of the national groups also agreed in general with that reported by previous investigators. [p. 524]

Open thread (3)

For links, comments, suggestions, etc. Previous open threads: 1 2

Ethnic origins of Kentucky highlanders

Predominantly English (contra the Celtic Southern myth); not even in Appalachia did the Scotch-Irish element predominate:

On the origins of the alphabet

Brian R. Pellar. On the Origins of the Alphabet. Sino-Platonic Papers, 196. December 2009. (pdf):
In addition, Petrie’s pre-Egypt theory of the early development of the alphabet needs to be taken more seriously. Based on the discovery that the small alphabet loop is also seen in Mesopotamia, and on the proto-writing glyphs being found in Tartaria, Karanovo, and China (such as found in Dawenkou,8 Shandong Province, and in Jiahu, Henan Province), it appears that there might have already existed a culture/tradition of proto-alphabetic signs based on theo-astronomical observations/rituals that not only pre-dated Egypt, Sumeria, and China, but that also had its roots in Northern Europe. Given Marshak’s findings that Cro-magnon man in Europe appeared to keep track of lunar appearances via vertical scratches/marks on bone (Marshak 1972), it seems that writing was perhaps a natural, southern and then eastern extension/maturation of the observations/notations of the moon and sun moving through the sky via what they perceived to be divine forces. This early and sophisticated dependence on the sky for information seems inevitable, as Krupp noted that the stars and constellations provided “practical services: timekeeping, season marking, calendrics, weather signs, concentrations of supernatural power, and symbolic containment of important cultural data” (Krupp 2000: 58).

The source of white genes in black Americans

Vanishing American writes:
Another reprehensible myth that is all too widely accepted by many Whites is the idea that ''most blacks have some White ancestry'' -- a notion that I think is exaggerated --and moreover, that this infusion of White DNA into the black gene pool is the result of 'rapist slave owners.' Somehow everybody seems to accept the allegation that slave-owning aristocrats routinely forced their 'attentions' on female slaves. There is little evidence to back up this notion. Presuming that the White genes were introduced back during slavery, why assume that the slave owner was the source? Why not overseers, White field hands, or others at lower levels of society?
An analysis of census data tends to support VA:
Evidence is also available indirectly from the censuses of 1850 and 1860. The enumerators of these censuses listed the color of slaves as black or mulatto. The percentage of mulattoes reported in the slave population was 7.70 in 1850 and 10.41 in 1860. [. . .]

Historians have implicated all social classes in miscegenation. Slaves lived in closest contact with owners and overseers, and unmarried owners and overseers on absentee estates may have been most heavily involved. According to Stampp, "Men of the nonslaveholding class were responsible for much of the miscegenation . . . Female slaves were quite accessible to both rural and urban nonslaveholders." Contacts were usually casual but relationships sometimes evolved into concubinage that lasted sev- eral years and occasionally for life. [. . .]

The estimated regression is used to calculate the probabilities that a slave child was mulatto. The probabilities are an index of the relative frequency of sexual relations. The chances that a child was a mulatto declined with the size of the holding and the number of slaves per dwelling, and they increased with the proportion mulatto among adults aged 15-49 on the plantation, the proportion white among males aged 15-49 in the county, and with city size. The probabilities were relatively higher on sugar plantations as compared with cotton plantations, in urban areas, in the slave exporting states, and on small holdings where no slave dwellings were listed. The probability was lower on rice plantations as compared with cotton plantations.

Several explanatory variables are positively related to the chances that a slave woman would have encountered a white who did not live on the holding, which suggests that a high proportion of sexual contacts were not attributable to the owner. Increasing the proportion white among males aged 15-49 in the county from .45 to .55 nearly triples the probability that a child was mulatto. The probability was also low in rice agriculture where the density of white settlement was low, and was high in urban areas where the density of white settlement was high.

[Richard H. Steckel. Miscegenation and the American Slave Schedules. Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Autumn, 1980), pp. 251-263.]
That American blacks average 18-22% white genes suggests only a very low incidence of miscegenation per generation:
one out of every four Negroes living in a southern city was a mulatto. But among rural slaves, who constituted 95 percent of the slave population, only 9.9 percent were mulatto in 1860. For the slave population as a whole, therefore, the proportion of mulattoes was just 10.4 percent in 1860 and 7.7 percent in 1850. Thus it appears that travelers to the South greatly exaggerated the extent of miscegenation because they came into contact with unrepresentative samples of the Negro population. They appear to have had much more contact with the freedmen and slaves of the urban areas than with slaves living in the relative isolation of the countryside. Far from proving that the exploitation of black women was ubiquitous, the available data on mulattoes strongly militates against that contention.

The fact that during the twenty-three decades of contact between slaves and whites which elapsed between 1620 and 1850, only 7.7 percent of the slaves were mulattoes suggests that on average only a very small percentage of the slaves born in any given year were fathered by white men. [. . .]

Measurements of the admixture of "Caucasian" and "Negro" genes among southern rural blacks today indicate that the share of Negro children fathered by whites on slave plantations probably averaged between 1 and 2 percent.

[Fogel and Engerman. Time on the cross: the economics of American Negro slavery.]

How Puritans became capitalists

"A historian traces the moment when Boston’s dour preachers embraced the market":
Even in down times like these, America’s economy remains remarkably productive, by far the world’s largest. At its base is a distinctive form of market-driven capitalism that was championed and shaped in Puritan era Boston. [. . .] In the 1630s, religious leaders often condemned basic moneymaking practices like lending money at interest; but by the 1720s, Valeri found, church leaders themselves were lauding market economics. Valeri says the shift wasn’t a case of clergymen adapting to societal changes--he found society changed after the ministers did, sometimes even decades later.
Note, however:
IDEAS: Your book comes out at an interesting moment for America’s relationship with free-market economics--to a lot of people, it looks like everyone in the financial markets has been behaving in defiance of the broader interests of the society.

VALERI: I asked a hedge fund manager I know if he had said to the traders described in [Michael Lewis’s] ”The Big Short,” ”What you’re doing will result in huge financial calamity, unemployment, people losing their homes--isn’t that socially irresponsible?”, what would they have said? He said, ”Their response would be, ’that doesn’t matter, that’s not my concern. My job is to make as much money as I possibly can.’”

My book shows the people who built the capitalist system did not think like that. The people who built the market economy had a whole cluster of deep collective loyalties and moral convictions.

T. S. Eliot on tradition

From After Strange Gods (1934):

The origins of the pimp

James Bowery:
Mind control of young females is all important in the GOD “game”. So why don’t we see more white pimps?

Ever watch ”American Pimp”?
An anonymous comment posted a few years ago at Sailer's offers a similar example of nerd negrophilia: Watch "American Pimp," it will give clues into why only the charismatic African personality has the force to keep prostitutes [. . .] in line.

Watching the documentary cited by Bowery and the anonymous HBD nerd, I was not impressed. The reality is being a pimp requires little more than sociopathy, forswearance of dignity, and knowledge of a simple formula. Furthermore, comments like these betray an incredible lack of historical perspective. Hint: "pimp" is not a Swahili word.

Ancient Scandinavian mtDNA

Genetic Diversity among Ancient Nordic Populations:
Using established criteria for work with fossil DNA we have analysed mitochondrial DNA from 92 individuals from 18 locations in Denmark ranging in time from the Mesolithic to the Medieval Age. [. . .] The overall occurrence of haplogroups did not deviate from extant Scandinavians, however, haplogroup I was significantly more frequent among the ancient Danes (average 13%) than among extant Danes and Scandinavians (~2.5%) as well as among other ancient population samples reported. Haplogroup I could therefore have been an ancient Southern Scandinavian type “diluted” by later immigration events. Interestingly, the two Neolithic samples (4,200 YBP, Bell Beaker culture) that were typed were haplogroup U4 and U5a, respectively, and the single Bronze Age sample (3,300–3,500 YBP) was haplogroup U4. These two haplogroups have been associated with the Mesolithic populations of Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, at least for Southern Scandinavia, our findings do not support a possible replacement of a haplogroup U dominated hunter-gatherer population by a more haplogroup diverse Neolithic Culture.