Saturday, January 4, 2014

Looking ahead to 2014


 
When did early Europeans acquire their palette of eye colors? And their palette of hair colors? That question may soon be answered with retrieval of ancient DNA. (source: Dipoar)
 

As the new year begins, I’m particularly interested in the following topics.

 
When did Europeans begin to look European?

It seems that this evolution took place between 20,000 and 10,000 years ago—long after modern humans had arrived in Europe some 40,000 years ago. This is when Europeans acquired their most visible features: white skin, multi-hued eyes and hair, and a more childlike face shape. In my opinion, such features were an adaptation not to weak sunlight but to a competitive mate market where men were scarce because they were less polygynous and more at risk of early death. This situation prevailed on the European steppe-tundra of the last ice age, whose high bio-productivity made possible a relatively large human population at the cost of a chronic oversupply of mateable women. The result was an unusually intense degree of sexual selection.

If we look at European hair color, eye color, skin color, and face shape, all of these visible features seem to have assumed their current appearance through a selection pressure that acted primarily on women. It is European women who have pushed these evolutionary changes to their farthest extent:

- Hair color varies more in women than in men. Redheads are especially more frequent among women (Shekar et al., 2008).

- Eye color varies more in women than in men when both copies of the so-called blue-eye allele are present. There is thus a greater diversity of female eye colors in regions where blue eyes are the single most common phenotype, i.e., northern and eastern Europe (Martinez-Cadenas, et al., 2013).

- Blue eyes are associated in men with a more feminine face shape (Kleisner et al., 2010; Kleisner et al., 2013).

- In all human populations, women are paler than men after puberty. This post-pubescent lightening is due to sexual maturation and not to differences in sun exposure (Edwards and Duntley, 1939; Edwards and Duntley, 1949; Edwards et al., 1941; van den Berghe and Frost, 1986). In women, lightness of skin correlates with thickness of subcutaneous fat and with 2nd to 4th digit ratio—a marker of prenatal estrogenization (Manning et al., 2004; Mazess, 1967). Admittedly, this sex difference is not greater in Europeans than in other populations, although it could not easily be otherwise, since Europeans of both sexes are so close to the physiological limit of depigmentation.

- European facial features seem to have assumed their present form through a selective force that acted primarily on women (Liberton et al., 2009). 

While women are more diverse than men in both hair color and eye color, this greater diversity came about differently in each case. With hair color, women have more of the intermediate hues because the darkest hue (black) is less easily expressed (Shekar et al., 2008). With eye color, women have more of the intermediate hues because the lightest hue (blue) is less easily expressed (Martinez-Cadenas et al., 2013).

Some of these sex linkages may nonetheless share a common developmental cause, such as the prenatal surge of estrogen that feminizes the developing female fetus. Thus, eye color is linked to face shape only in males, perhaps because female face shape is hormonally overdetermined, i.e., all girls are exposed to enough estrogen in the womb to feminize their faces, but only blue-eyed boys reach this level of exposure.

We see a similar pattern with eye color and shyness. In preschool boys, shyness is more strongly associated with blue eyes than with brown eyes, but this association is absent in preschool girls (Coplan et al., 1997). 

An 8,000 year-old hunter-gatherer from Luxembourg

The latest estimates place the whitening of European skin between 19,000 and 11,000 years ago (Beleza et al., 2013). We have no estimates at all for the diversification of European hair color. For diversification of European eye color, we used to have only an educated guess of 6,000 to 10,000 years ago (Eiberg et al., 2008).

A recent study has pushed the origin of blue eyes farther back in time. When ancient DNA was retrieved from the remains of a hunter-gatherer who lived 8,000 years ago in present-day Luxembourg, the reconstituted genome revealed that this individual probably had blue eyes (Lazaridis et al., 2013).

This finding shows that blue eyes already existed when early Europeans were still hunter-gatherers. It thus undermines a rival theory that Gregory Cochran put forward to explain the diverse palette of European hair and eye colors.

Greg’s theory is a mirror image of my own. I argue that shyness in blue-eyed boys is a side effect of sexual selection for women with novel hair and eye colors (Frost, 2006; Frost, 2008). He argues that these new colors are a side effect of natural selection for male submissiveness. This alternate theory is presented in The 10,000 Year Explosion:

[...] selection on genes affecting skin color, eye color, and hair color somehow created lots of variety in Europeans: redheads and blondes, blue eyes and green eyes. Nowhere else in the world is that sort of variety common. In most parts of the world, even in temperate regions, everyone has dark eyes and dark hair. (Cochran and Harpending, 2009, p. 94)

With the introduction of farming to Europe, and a resulting rise in population density and sedentary living, people had to become more socially wary. This self-domestication thus favored blue eyes (and presumably other eye and hair colors) as an evolutionary side effect:

Selection for submission to authority sounds unnervingly like domestication. In fact, there are parallels between the domestication in animals and the changes that have occurred in humans during the Holocene period. In both humans and domesticated animals, we see a reduction in brain size, broader skulls, changes in hair color or coat color, and smaller teeth. (Cochran and Harpending, 2009, p. 112)

Can this theory accommodate the recent discovery of a blue-eyed hunter-gatherer? One might argue that this individual was a fluke, perhaps a result of gene flow from farming communities. To settle this debate, we really need ancient DNA from pre-Holocene Europe, particularly from the critical period of 10,000 to 20,000 BP.
 

My ebook collection

I've decided to begin writing a collection of ebooks on subjects that have come up several times on this blog. This is partly in response to requests from different people and partly because I feel I should be exploiting this niche. 

For now, I am trying to educate myself about the mechanics of it all. PDF seems to be the best format but consumes a lot of space. There is also the question of whether I should self-publish or go through a publishing house. Getting published, especially in the English-language market, inevitably means finding a literary agent and tolerating a lot of questionable schmoozing, not to mention delays.
 

Why the minimum wage matters (even on an anthropology blog)

I've never understood why conservatives are so hostile to a higher minimum wage. At present, minimum wage earners take more from the public purse than they put back in. They are tax consumers, not tax payers. As a result, the taxpayer is subsidizing employers who cannot or will not pay a wage that is at least fiscally neutral.

This situation is especially toxic at a time when the business community is seeking to cut labor costs through globalization. If a job cannot be outsourced, as is often the case with employment in services, construction, and food processing, the answer is to “insource” labor at a lower rate of pay ... with the costs of public services being passed on to a shrinking base of taxpayers.

The irony of it all is pointed out by Ron Unz:

The most doctrinaire libertarians, notably Prof. Bryan Caplan of George Mason University, have held fast to their principles and denounced the very notion of a minimum wage as a violation of basic human liberty. If a desperately impoverished Congolese is willing to come to America and work for a dollar a day, then that is his fundamental moral right, at least if he is willing to forego any access to medical care or other normal social benefits as part of the deal. (Unz, 2013)

That part of the deal won't be happening any time soon. Perhaps libertarians know this but think they can bankrupt the welfare state through mass immigration. Or perhaps they haven’t thought this idea all the way through. Or perhaps they're just shills.

Hostility to the minimum wage isn’t just a libertarian thing. Mainstream conservatives feel the same way:

Harvard economist and former Reagan Advisor Martin Feldstein recently took to the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal to explicitly call for the creation of a new economic system that would fully integrate welfare payments and work into a seamless system of government support aimed at ensuring a basic standard of living for everyone in the country.

[...] Indeed, Feldstein argued that once the eligibility of various welfare programs were widened, the minimum wage could reasonably be cut, allowing American workers to take jobs paying just four, five or six dollars per hour, with the ordinary taxpayer making up the difference. The logical endpoint to such proposals would be for businesses to pay their workers absolutely nothing at all, with all employee living expenses and spending money coming from governmental anti-poverty programs. (Unz, 2013)

This kind of income support (earned income tax credit) already exists and cost the American taxpayer $56 billion in 2012. Feldstein’s proposal would not only expand it but also extend it to a range of wages that is currently illegal and found only outside the Western world. It would thus greatly facilitate the ongoing influx of low-wage labor.

Not such a great idea

When the concept of "globalization" first became popular, we were told it would create so much more wealth that we would all be better off. The reality has been less wonderful. Median wages have stagnated throughout the Western world since the mid-1970s, despite a doubling of worker productivity. And the trend is now downwards. In a globalized world where businesses can move about capital and labor as they please, there is nothing to stop our wages from being leveled down to the current global mean. 

And that's the best scenario. By dissolving those cultures that have historically produced the most wealth—because of their peaceful social relations, future time orientation, and high level of trust—globalization may cause an overall contraction of economic activity. History will go into reverse. We will lose the market economy and return to the old marketplace economy, where most monetary transactions take place in gated high-security enclosures.
 

References

Beleza, S., Murias dos Santos, A., McEvoy, B., Alves, I., Martinho, C., Cameron, E., Shriver, M.D., Parra E.J., and Rocha, J. (2013). The timing of pigmentation lightening in Europeans. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30, 24-35.
http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/1/24.short

Cochran, G.M. and H. Harpending. (2009). The 10,000 Year Explosion, Basic Books.

Coplan, R., B. Coleman, and K. Rubin. (1998). Shyness and little boy blue: Iris pigmentation, gender, and social wariness in preschoolers. Developmental Psychobiology, 32, 37-44.

Edwards, E.A., and Duntley, S.Q. (1939). The pigments and color of living human skin. American Journal of Anatomy, 65, 1-33. 

Edwards, E.A., and Duntley, S.Q. (1949). Cutaneous vascular changes in women in reference to the menstrual cycle and ovariectomy. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 57, 501-509.

Edwards, E.A., Hamilton, J.B., Duntley, S.Q., and Hubert, G. (1941). Cutaneous vascular and pigmentary changes in castrate and eunuchoid men. Endocrinology, 28, 119-128.

Eiberg, H., Troelsen, J., Nielsen, M., Mikkelsen, A., Mengel-From, J., Kjaer, K.W., and Hansen, L. (2008). Blue eye color in humans may be caused by a perfectly associated founder mutation in a regulatory element located within the HERC2 gene inhibiting OCA2 expression. Human Genetics, 123, 177-187.

Frost, P. (2006). European hair and eye color - A case of frequency-dependent sexual selection? Evolution and Human Behavior, 27, 85-103. 

Frost, P. (2008). Sexual selection and human geographic variation, Special Issue: Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Meeting of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 2(4),169-191.
http://137.140.1.71/jsec/articles/volume2/issue4/NEEPSfrost.pdf 

Lazaridis, I., Patterson, N., Mittnik, A., Renaud, G., Mallick, S., et al. (2013). Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans, BioRxiv, December 23.
http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2013/12/23/001552.full-text.pdf+html

Kleisner, K., Kocnar, T., Rubešova, A., and Flegr, J. (2010). Eye color predicts but does not directly influence perceived dominance in men. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 59-64.

Kleisner, K., Priplatova, L., Frost, P., and Flegr, J. (2013). Trustworthy-looking face meets brown eyes. PLoS One, 8(1): e53285.

Liberton, D.K., Matthes, K.A., Pereira, R., Frudakis, T., Puts, D.A., & Shriver, M.D. (2009). Patterns of correlation between genetic ancestry and facial features suggest selection on females is driving differentiation, Poster #326. American Society of Human Genetics, 59th annual meeting, October 20-24, 2009. Honolulu, Hawaii.

Manning, J.T., Bundred, P.E., and Mather, F.M. (2004). Second to fourth digit ratio, sexual selection, and skin colour. Evolution and Human Behavior, 25, 38-50.

Martinez-Cadenas, C., Pena-Chilet, M., Ibarrola-Villava, M., & Ribas, G. (2013). Gender is a major factor explaining discrepancies in eye colour prediction based on HERC2/OCA2 genotype and the IrisPlex model. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 7, 453-460.

Mazess, R.B. (1967). Skin color in Bahamian Negroes. Human Biology, 39, 145-154.

Shekar, S.N., Duffy, D.L., Frudakis, T., Montgomery, G.W., James, M.R., Sturm, R.A., and Martin, N.G. (2008). Spectrophotometric methods for quantifying pigmentation in human hair-Influence of MC1R genotype and environment. Photochemistry and Photobiology, 84, 719-726. 

Unz, R. (2013). Conservatives for more welfare, The Unz Review, December 30.
http://www.unz.com/runz/conservatives-for-more-welfare/

van den Berghe, P.L., and Frost, P. (1986). Skin color preference, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection: A case of gene-culture co-evolution? Ethnic and Racial Studies, 9, 87-113.

69 comments:

RageWithTheMachine said...

I think that increasing the minimum wage is a good idea.

$25/hr would be great, but even $15/hr is good.

That way there will be lots of incentive for employers to replace employees with machines and more work for tech workers like me.

Anonymous said...

More research on light skin color genes

Anonymous said...

I'd be thankful if you, Mr. Frost, could use blockquotes instead of div styles and span styles to mark the quotes. Only the former show up in the feed reader. Since the latter don't there's currently no visual difference between your own text and quotes when I read your posts in a feed reader.

Sean said...

RageWithTheMachine, ever cheaper labour causes stagnation in the growth of productivity, and reduces the incentive to acquire skills. While mass immigration and low minimum wage means more jobs, they are not tech ones; it could pay the construction industry take on cheap migrants to mix cement by hand, for instance.

Jprezy87 said...

Peter Frost,

"I've never understood why conservatives are so hostile to a higher minimum wage"

And there in lies the rub- finding a minimum wage that guarantees every worker a decent standard of living but at the same time doesn't impose such excessive costs on companies that workers are priced out of a job or companies go bankrupt (which also tends to put people out of work)- hell look at detroit.

On the other hand, it's in a company's best interest to pay workers a decent wage, in order to minimize the chances of employee turnover and worker strikes-both of which interrupt business. The CEO of costco has made this exact argument. --http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/06/costco-ceo-minimum-wage-craig-jelinek_n_2818060.html

Ooor we could do like the Swiss--don't enact a national minimum wage but just leave it up to the Unions and their employers--it's the same case in germany and austria I believe..sounds like a good idea...



Anonymous said...

RageWithTheMachine, ever cheaper labour causes stagnation in the growth of productivity, and reduces the incentive to acquire skills. While mass immigration and low minimum wage means more jobs, they are not tech ones; it could pay the construction industry take on cheap migrants to mix cement by hand, for instance.

No shit, Sherlock.

It's just like the situation in China before they modernized. Humans, rather than draft animals, were used for farm work.

Of course, TPTB like that, because there is less likelihood that a smart group will come up with something new to overthrow them.

Sean said...

Phenotypic Whiteness as an Outcome of Neolithic Admixture

Sean said...

The 'desperately impoverished Congolese' will be made worse off by an open door. As Paul Collier (Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, and Director for the Centre for the Study of African Economies at The University of Oxford) said in his NYT article: "Migration Hurts the Homeland:- "There are poor people, and there are poor societies. An open door for the talented would help Facebook’s bottom line, but not the bottom billion."

How very parochial of him not to see (per an epidemiological claim to universalism) that an open door must be a preferential option for the poorest people in the world.

Ben said...

Eye and hair colour stuff highly interesting. MIN wage not so much. Best research demonstrates disemployment effect (not seen with eitc and similar schemes), this would be much larger with an Unz-size min wage hike.

But imagine there were no disemployment effect. Then the question is who is responsible: everyone (who do nothing to help these people) or the people who would otherwise employ them (who are the group already contributing most to their material welfare)?

Anonymous said...

Because when government dictates a minimum wage that is dictatorship. Free people should pay whatever they think the work is actually worth to them not to the good of the collective.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, it's in a company's best interest to pay workers a decent wage, in order to minimize the chances of employee turnover and worker strikes-both of which interrupt business. The CEO of costco has made this exact argument. --http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/06/costco-ceo-minimum-wage-craig-jelinek_n_2818060.html

Most major companies these days are run by accountants and MBAs for the interests of financial capital which seeks quick, short-term financial gains and mobility. They're generally not run by industrialists or private capitalists.

Anonymous said...

Because when government dictates a minimum wage that is dictatorship. Free people should pay whatever they think the work is actually worth to them not to the good of the collective.

Preventing free people from forming societies with whatever rules they feel like, like a minimum wage, is dictatorship. Free people should be able to form societies with whatever rules they want.

Anonymous said...

Government is not a 'society'. Government is the only possible source for dictatorial authority. Free people are being forced by raw government power to pay people more than they are actually worth. That's nothing less than another form of back handed wealth redistribution. You know - communism.

Anonymous said...

Using government power to prevent free people from forming societies with whatever rules they feel like, including a minimum wage, is dictatorship. It's also wealth redistribution and communism, since the government is also taxing the free people while also preventing them from forming societies with whatever rules they feel like, including a minimum wage.

Anonymous said...

No one is stopping anyone from forming societies to make whatever demands they like. Minimum wage LAWS are not the result of people forming societies. They are the result of government forcing free people to pay more for labor than that labor is actually worth. You clearly didn't inherit the European gene that renders you capable of comprehending the concept of freedom.

Sean said...

The employer in a unfree state has to look after his slaves (unless he has an unlimited supply of new ones). Freeing labour actually frees the employer from costs. Under slavery in the South, Irishmen were hired to do dangerous work.

Peter Fros_ said...

Rage and Sean,

Labor scarcity is good for the economy. The period from 1940 to 1970 brought not only high economic growth but also automation. More wealth was created on a per capita basis. This was a period of low immigration and a small generational cohort (the children of the baby bust of the depression years).

Anon,

Yes, I've been following this research. Hopefully, with retrieval of ancient DNA, we'll learn when and how fast this phenotypic change happened.

Jprezy,

Detroit isn't poor because of unions, socialism, or the minimum wage. That's Republican boilerplate.

Sean,

I agree. Emigration tends to siphon off the talented, thus impoverishing the sending country. But let's suppose that emigration is good for Africa. Is that a sufficient justification? "What's good for Africa is good for the U.S.A."? Shouldn't we be considering what is good for the receiving countries in Europe and North America?

Ben,

Most research shows that increases to the minimum wage have little observable impact on the unemployment rate. In any case, the purpose of an economy is not to create jobs. It's to create wealth. We could create all kinds of jobs that pay $2 an hour, but the amount of wealth per capita would be less because more low-wage labor would be brought into the country.

Anon,

"Free people should pay whatever they think the work is actually worth to them"

This is exactly how many businessmen think. And if they can't find anyone willing to work at that rate of pay, they start screaming LABOR SHORTAGE!!!

There is no such thing as a labor shortage. There is only a shortage of people who don't understand the law of supply and demand.

Go back to Redstate.com

Anonymous said...

The only way to grow wealth is to give millions of people the freedom to make their own economic decisions and to keep government out of the equation altogether. No government can ever grow wealth by any kind of economic micromanagement. Government involvement will always diminish an economy. Millions of people making their own economic decisions in their own self interest will always work better than a small group of bureaucrats trying to do it for them. Always. A free society is not a fair society and a fair society will never be a free one.

Sean said...

Freedom is a cold Brazil.

Jprezy87 said...

"Detroit isn't poor because of unions, socialism, or the minimum wage. That's Republican boilerplate."

Weill it certainly didn't help lol..I mean you got contributing factors like crime and corruption (thanks alot kwame kilpatrick) but the main point Detroit was a city that was almost totally reliant on one industry.an industry that was unionized to such an extent that companies had to outsource labor to offset high labor costs..

"This is exactly how many businessmen think. And if they can't find anyone willing to work at that rate of pay, they start screaming LABOR SHORTAGE!!!

There is no such thing as a labor shortage. There is only a shortage of people who don't understand the law of supply and demand."

Um..actually there is such a thing as a labor shortage, Mr. Frost, and it's caused on the national level by either the native population not popping out enough kids to fill the job vacancies (Japan-http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/08/15/world/0815-LABOR_index.html?_r=0) or by the native youngsters not having the skills needed for a particular industry (Germany or America's case-http://www.dw.de/german-skills-shortage-boosts-regular-job-creation/a-17051620 - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d3635d46-f8e5-11e0-a5f7-00144feab49a.html)

You'd be surprised Peter...alot of these kids think manufacturing or blue collar jobs are beneath them...despite the fact that most of them pay pretty well.


Bones and Behaviours said...

People talk about generating wealth but human capital must be considered also, and creating jobs for native, potential workers is a necessity for a functioning society. Everyone who needs employment must receive it.

Bones and Behaviours said...

I see people using the words 'free people' and 'free societies' here a lot today. Funny thing is, access to healthcare is better in somewhere like Cuba than in the USA.

Anonymous said...

Governments are stopping free people from forming societies with whatever rules they feel like, including minimum wage laws. If free people form societies with whatever rules they feel like, including minimum wage laws, then the minimum wage laws would be the result of people forming societies, by definition. Since governments prevent free people from forming societies with whatever rules they feel like, including minimum wage laws, they are forcing free people to follow their views regarding things like minimum wage laws. This is dictatorship and tyranny.

Sean said...

Jprezy87, In a BBC interview Kyle Bass brought up a supposed inexorably increasing labour shortage as a rationale to short Japan. He has taken a bath. Japan Is Never Going To Default. See, its business is done within certain cultural boundaries, and that lets it fly despite the balance sheet.

Anon, your paradigm for a free society is individual market relations. But as practiced in the West capitalism worked well because of cultural constraints on behaviour. For example, in the Middle East, where a contract is often taken as expressing an intention rather than a binding commitment, it's very risky to do business according to western cultural standards.

Anonymous said...

Kyle Bass is an idiot. It was obvious to many people that he was wrong and would lose a lot of money on his bet. Cultural reasons aren't needed to explain why he was wrong. He was wrong for basic technical reasons. His bet was that Japan would be faced with default shortly, not realizing that with its own currency, Japan never has to default. This is in contrast to individual European countries which don't have their own currencies but have to use the Euro, which is controlled by the European Central Bank. These countries can default quite easily since their governments can't just produce Euros to service their debts, unlike Japan or the US. It seems like people took Bass seriously because of the popularity of gold standard monetary economics, which operates somewhat different from fiat, sovereign currencies, and because of a general moral and political desire to see governments default.

Tyrion lannister said...

I'm looking forward to read more on the evolution of european hair, eye and skin color by sexual selection. I think that perhaps you could work to set a computer simulation of your model using a program to simulate the changes of allele frequencies over time, and look at the sizes of traits that tended to be favored by selection.

I'm not personally interested towards economy and labor policy, and I would rather read articles focused on evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology , genetics and molecular biology.

I've noticed that most of your writings are quite historiographical, just systematically collecting documents and analyzing information.

However it would be more interesting posting and investigate based on your own observations (just like you did with your sexual selection hypothesis), develop hypotheses, test them and look at the results and come to conclusions about whether your hypotheses are correct.

On the other hand, I would suggest make your blog more interactive. Since standard articles are more of a one-way channel of communication. You could Include polls or surveys in your blog posts. This lets readers who are in a hurry to quickly share their thoughts with the click of their mouse, rather than taking the time to type out a comment. Creating a poll takes just a few seconds, and embedding it in your blog is easy.

In addition to making your blog more interactive, this can help you gather useful information. If you have a fair amount of people who vote on a poll question, you can use those results for a future study. Furthermore you could allow your readers to suggest topics for posts not only get them involved, but it also ensures you’ll be writing about content that they’re interested in.

Ben said...

Peter, if you include the people who weren't in the country previously in your calculation of wealth per capita, then it goes up massively. If you only include people who were in the country in both cases, then wealth per capita at the very least stays constant (and is 99% likely to go up). The only way you generate the lower wealth result is including low productivity people in only one of the two scenarios. This view is only meaningful if you don't care about a given person or group of people when they don't live in the country, but instantly begin to care about the selfsame people when they cross the border.

When it comes to the minimum wage, I believe the best quality literature shows that a change in the minimum wage will have a disemployment effect corresponding to its size. A lot of the results finding little disemployment effect are looking at a very short period or have been re-run with a superior methodology and found to be incorrect (e.g. Neumark and Wascher redid the famous Card and Krueger study).

But in any case you didn't deal with my second point. Imagine there was no disemployment effect. Why should a small group of firms pay for hiring relatively low productivity people, rather than society at large? Why is it so specifically their responsibility?

Anonymous said...

Besides the Luxembourg example, the 7000 year old Mesolithic hunter from northwestern Spain, "La Brana 1", has also been shown to have the genetic markers for blue eyes.

His aDNA also resembles the Baltic more than present day Spainiards.

Sean said...

Peter, adding Collier's perspective to your own we can see immigration is as bad for the migrants' homelands as the receiving countries, maybe worse. Bad as things get in the West, the wealth gap will never close and may even widen as immigration accelerates due to diaspora lowering of the cost of migration. So I disagree about the prospects of a leveling down. It's got all the ingredients of a runaway result. By 2114 whites will be as rare as redheads are today.

Domestication of animals may have worked the opposite way: people just liked the hair color or coat color of animals and chose them to breed. See here and more clearly stated here. Implications for how sexual selection affected behaviour in humans ?

There was a study where domestic dogs failed to open a gate, but wolves did. It was cited as showing wolves were smarter, but a dog behaviour expert said the dogs don't open the gate because they perceive doing so as a violation of the master's rules.

Anonymous said...

Domestication of animals may have worked the opposite way: people just liked the hair color or coat color of animals and chose them to breed. See here and more clearly stated here. Implications for how sexual selection affected behaviour in humans ?

This is what Cochran argues, right? Domestication produced the diverse palette of hair/eye colors?

Jprezy87 said...

Sean,

Thanks for telling me about Japan's finances--that kinda ties in into the labor shortage-as Japan faces the prospect of there not being enough young workers to pay into the pension/social security system for its old people-it'll either have to raise taxes, cut spending, privatize, or bring in some immigrants to pay taxes into the system. Japan's always been viewed as xenophobic so I don't know if it's even considering the fourth option..it's got a real dilemna on its hands..

Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling me about Japan's finances--that kinda ties in into the labor shortage-as Japan faces the prospect of there not being enough young workers to pay into the pension/social security system for its old people-it'll either have to raise taxes, cut spending, privatize, or bring in some immigrants to pay taxes into the system. Japan's always been viewed as xenophobic so I don't know if it's even considering the fourth option..it's got a real dilemna on its hands..

They don't need to do any of those things since they have their own fiat sovereign currency. They control and produce their own currency, the Yen. They can't ever run out of Yen and default, unlike countries on a gold standard or using Euros.

barakobama said...

Here is all the pigmentation genes from ancient remains I know of.

24,000 year old Mal'ta boy from Siberia was reported as having dark skin, brown eyes, and dark brown hair. Razib wrote that he had the ancestral dark skin variant for SNP rs146554 in SLC4A5 gene. He was most related to west Eurasians with no east Asian ancestry and Laz 2013 says his people have left ancestry in most modern west Eurasians and Native Americans.

There have been only two Mesolithic Europeans were eye color could be determined and both had blue eyes(most likely for the one in Luxemburg). According to a Spanish article 7,000 year old(they said 8,000 year old) Mesolithic man named La Brana-1 had the same mutation for blue eyes as people in northern Europe have today. In Laz 2013 they said ~8,000 year old man from Luxemburg most likely had blue eyes because he had G, G alleles in SNP rs12913832. Surprisingly the Luxemburg man had the ancestral dark skin A.A alles in gene SLC4A5's SNP rs1426654. The Luxemburg man was also reported to have a 97.5% chance of having dark hair. The 7,500 year old LBK farmer girl from Germany had the brown eyes, 99.8% chance of dark hair, and derived light skin alleles in SLC4A5 which most modern west Asians and Europeans have. Otzi a ~5,300 year old early copper age farmer from the alps is reported by Ancestral Journeys as having fair skin, brown eyes, and brown hair. It was reported that people of the European Pontiac steppe from 4,000-3,000BC had light skin and darker eyes than average modern Europeans. I saw a map which showed where the remains came from most were from the coast of the black sea. Bronze and iron age Indo Iranians of Siberia and other parts of Asia had light skin, and vast majority light hair and eyes also a 3,000 year old man in nearby western China had a red beard.

barakobama said...

The same Laz 2013 study that reported those pigmentation results from 8,000 year old hunter gatherer from Luxembrug and the 7,500 year old farmer from Germany also made an admixture for Europeans with three groups WGH(based on the Luxemburg man), EEF(based on the LBK farmer, Otzi, and Funnel Beaker farmers from Sweden), and ANE9Based on the Malta boy). Today WGH which really just represents pre Neolithic European ancestry correlates pretty well with light hair, eyes, and skin in modern Europeans. While EEF is highest in darker Europeans like Iberians, Italians, Balkaners.

In my opinion Mesolithic Europeans had light skin, variety of hair colors, and mainly light eyes. The hypothesis that blue eyes and blonde hair developed in near eastern farmers who made Europe their home has been proven incorrect with the finding of blue eyes in pre Neolithic European hunter gatherers.

People need to realize stone age European farmers and stone age European hunter gatherers were two very different people genetically. Ancient mtDNA, Y DNA, and autosomal DNA has proven this. They were both west Eurasian but that was their only relation. The hunter gatherers probably were direct descendants of some of the earliest Europeans and the farmers were descended of west Eurasians who stayed in the near east. There is no way that light skin developed in both the farmers and hunter gatherers at the same time. In Laz 2013 K=11 test proved the farmer girl was mainly in the same component that dominates the near east. In no way were they the same as modern near easterns a lot has changed in the last 9,000 years.

The so called light skin variant of SNP rs142554 is just as popular in west Asia as it is in Europe. It is surprising if a brown skinned Iraqi doesn't have the "light skin" variant. So just because that farmer girl had the light skin variant and that hunter gatherer did not doesn't not mean light skin in Europe today descends from near eastern farmers. The farmer girl also had significant European hunter gatherer ancestry so if she did have light skin I bet that is where she got it from.

Blue eyes is 2/2 so far from Mesolithic Europeans I highly doubt they also had dark skin. It is not a random that blue eyes are so exclusive to Europe today. We need more pigmentation genes from ancient Europeans to get an idea when the paleness developed. I am betting that it is much older than the Neolithic and Mesolithic.

Evolution still doesn't make sense to me I don't see how it is possible, but I know things change. I doubt the development of light pigmentation in Upper Palaeolithic Europeans was obvious to the people. I don't think you can make one phenomenon count for all the different people that lived in Upper Palaeolithic Europe.

I will have to study those sources that argue for female selection as the source of light hair and eyes before making an opinion. I do agree it seems they are more connected with women and so is pale skin. Many women want to have blonde hair and light eyes so a ton do not have their natural hair color. It gets me very angry that these people try to connect blue eyes and especially red hair with developing in women and somehow being a feminism trait in men. From what I have seen most redheads are men.

Populations were the men have high amounts of blue eyes have proven themselves to not naturally be any less masculine than populations with all brown eyes. I can mention many ancient people who were known as great warriors and conquered many areas like Celts, Germans, Indo Iranians, etc. I am willing to believe the things those people say but I doubt it makes a major effect. It is definitely true that northern and eastern Europeans have the best looking women. I can see how sexual selection of women could have helped those traits become more popular.

Reader said...

Slightly off-topic, but related to discussions on ethnicity and IQ.

The infamous "Tiger Mom" Amy Chua is out with a new book in which she makes this claim:

"The book highlights Jews, Indians, Chinese, Iranians, Lebanese-Americans, Nigerians, Cuban exiles and Mormons as groups with three qualities that set them apart. A superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control are the “three cultural forces” driving these groups to achieve a disproportionate amount of success...

Chua, a Chinese American law professor at Yale, wrote the book with her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, who is Jewish. The authors belong to two of the eight groups singled out."

Link
http://www.today.com/books/tiger-mom-author-amy-chua-sparks-controversy-new-book-2D11869155

Anonymous said...

Why not raise the minimum wage to $25 per hour? Or why be stingy, let's make it $100 per hour.
Who decides what the number should be, should there be a number.

DSS
(Democratic Socialist Spawn)

Sean said...

Anon, no. As I understand it Harpending And Cochran's book proposed that the change of colour in humans was a by-product of hierarchical societies' selection for docility (what in animals we call domestication) because the genes controling behaviour just happened to produce odd colours. It seems (to me) H&C were assuming that coat colours in animals were a side effect of selection for domestication. But my above links indicate the opposite is the case. People just liked the unusual coloured animals and bred them; hence domestication was actually a side effect of selection for funny colours. Uggie Funny coloured dogs obey. I was suggesting European were selected for unusual colour traits, and perhaps that is why they are primed to obey the 'master's discourse'.

Even I know Japan has no resources, so as a trading nation it couldn't get away with printing money. Some people, like Eamonn Fingleton think the lowering of the birthrate was deliberate policy by the Japanese government, and that they are careful to understate the success of their economy. On paper Bass is correct, but as the link says shorting Japan has been the 'Widowmaker' trade, Bass just the latest to find that out.

Why is Japan richer than Brazil, which has resources coming out of its ears? Japanese success is due to their society. Not rational exchange and libertarian market relations.

Sean said...

If I follow the explaination in the image correctly, green eyes require a combination of the basis for blue and brown eyes. A while ago I speculated that green eyes might have once have been very common. However, the image of how eye colour is produced seems to indicate the order of colours' first appearance in humans would be black, brown, grey (which may be more common in the Baltic than blue), then blue. Hence blue seems to be a later novelty, and green a still later novelty. Violet, the rarest of all colours, may have been the last to appear.

Ben10 said...

Hi Peter, good job in your last posts.

Ow to all! Barakobama and Tyrion lannister spoke the Truth.
Those who have been reading your blog for a couple of years are now familiar with your theory, lets talk more about the proofs: computer simulations or anything credible, circumstantial evidences are not enough.

For example, I've learned that Amerindian tribes so far south as Texas (!) had a very difficult life as hunters gatherers until they discovered the 'casino'. Records tell us that they resorted to eat deer dungs in winter. That's pretty low and tells a lot about their living conditions. Men hunters had the principal role as food providers, which was probably dangerous for them and should have created an excess of females vs males in their populations, with the opportunities for the men warriors to choose their mate.
So here is another example where sexual selection should work as It did in postglacial Europe, and yet, the results of the sexual selection are not visible in amerindiens.

So, I am a bit like Barakobama, I think your theory is correct, but there is something missing that was particular to western Europe.

Sean said...

Ben, no environment offers year round plenty. Even orangutans in prime rainforest have ketones (a sign of starvation) in their blood for a few months of the year. Hunting the most mobile animal on earth, in the Arctic and on foot would be likely to result in high mortality.

Anonymous said...

Even I know Japan has no resources, so as a trading nation it couldn't get away with printing money. Some people, like Eamonn Fingleton think the lowering of the birthrate was deliberate policy by the Japanese government, and that they are careful to understate the success of their economy. On paper Bass is correct, but as the link says shorting Japan has been the 'Widowmaker' trade, Bass just the latest to find that out.

On paper, Bass is wrong. He thinks they have to default as if they were on a gold or Euro standard and running out of gold or Euros that they don't control or produce. Japan already "prints" Yen. How do you think Yen gets created in the first place? It's not mined out of the ground, nor is it attained by trading.

Sean said...

Anon, that point is tangential to my argument that Japan is winning, despite high wages, because of its high level of trust and cooperation. Take a look at this please Boeing Goes To Pieces: "In short, a historic ratchet effect is at work. With high-value jobs disappearing never to return, America’s imports and current account deficits rise with each succeeding economic cycle. The deficits have to be financed – and this means ever greater reliance on major creditor nations, not least China and Japan, but also Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Germany. On present policies, the United States is destined to continue on a downward spiral of indebtedness similar to that of the late-era Ottoman empire"

Bones and Behaviours said...

Ben 10, was the deer dung actually chyme? Lots of peoples historically consumed chyme as a part of their diet including those inhabiting cooler, more seasonal environments like Siberia.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why it's tangential. You seem to be suggesting, like Bass, that Japan faces default risk.

The Ottoman Empire adopted bimetallism and then the gold standard in the 19th century. As part of a debt settlement in 1881, it adopted gold as its standard for currency. This meant it had to service its debt obligations with gold, which has to be mined or obtained from someone else through conquest or trade. This is not analogous to the US which does not have to service its debt with gold, but with US dollars, which are conjured with computer keystrokes.

Bones and Behaviours said...

The Chua book out to make some people reevaluate their concepts of good parenting and success. Two of the qualities of children brought up by "good" parenting according to the criteria of success relate to a sense of being part of a special group and to a sense of insecurity. In other words, such "good" parenting leads to the traits associated with narcissistic personality disorder.

Peter Fros_ said...

Anon,

As things stand now, minimum-wage employers do not pay the full cost of their labor. Part of it -- a large part -- is passed on to the taxpayer. The "freedom" you advocate is the freedom of the pickpocket.

Jprezy,

In standard economic theory, labor shortages do not exist. If the supply of labor doesn't meet the demand for labor, its price (wages) will rise until a new equilibrium is reached. You'd be surprised, Jprezy, by how rarely that actually happens. Restaurant owners complain about labor shortages, yet wages in that industry have been rising at a lower rate than wages of all workers. Slaughterhouse owners talk the same talk, yet the wages they pay have been cut by half since the 1980s. "Labor shortage" is just newspeak for "not enough people will work at the wages we offer."

Tyrion,

I would like to make my blog more interactive, but my time is very limited. For now and the near future, my blog is less important than the articles I publish in journals.

I also feel that hypotheses must be grounded in empirical data. In the case of gene-culture co-evolution, it's impossible to generate useful hypotheses without historical and anthropological data.

Ben,

You've got it backwards. As things stand now, society at large (i.e., the taxpayer) is subsidizing employers of minimum-wage labor. At the very least, we should impose the following limits on this tax-subsidized employment:

1. It should be limited to citizens, preferably long-term welfare recipients and students. Immigrants, whether illegal or legal, must be paid a wage that is at least fiscally neutral.

2. It should be time-limited. If, after ten years, an employer has made no effort to promote a minimum-wage employee to a higher-paying position, he or she could be sued for payment of this tax subsidy.

Sean,

I agree. People unconsciously select dogs and cats that look cute. This kind of selection says a lot more about humans than about animal domestication.

Barak,

Actually, redheads are disproportionately female. But the rest of what you say makes sense. Lightning doesn't strike twice. If blue eyes were already present in Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, there is no need to postulate a second origin for this trait in Neolithic farmers.

Anon,

Ideally, the minimum wage should be raised to the level where a single healthy person stops being a tax consumer and becomes a tax payer.

Ben,

Before the introduction of the horse, relatively few people lived on the short-grass plains of the American West. Many of the Plains Indians appear to be intrusive, i.e., of recent non-Plains origin. They colonized the plains when horses became available.

If we look at northern Amerindians in general, we do see a surplus of women over men in adult age groups, although this surplus was partly offset by polygyny. It's possible that in some populations sexual selection reached the threshold of intensity that would favor new hair and eye colors. This might explain the Blond Inuit of the western Canadian Arctic.

Anonymous said...

Can this theory accommodate the recent discovery of a blue-eyed hunter-gatherer? One might argue that this individual was a fluke, perhaps a result of gene flow from farming communities.

The blue-eyed HG was also apparently dark-skinned, right? I suppose Cochran et al would argue that the blue-eyed HG doesn't necessarily support the steppe-tundra sexual selection hypothesis. Just as blondness among Melanesians doesn't necessarily support a similar hypothesis. Also blondness among Melanesians isn't attributed to European admixture but is believed to be a native development. Presumably blue-eyes among the HGs don't have to be the result from farmer admixture according to Cochran et al.

Phenotypic Whiteness as an Outcome of Neolithic Admixture

Is Razib Khan maintaining Cochran's basic argument here, adjusting for the discovery of the dark-skinned, blue-eyed HG? The HGs introduced blue-eyes and mixed with the light-skinned farmers, and then the light coloration was selected for in the Neolithic environment with farming, rather than steppe-tundra hunting and gathering?

Anonymous said...

Is there good evidence of the "blond Inuit"? It seems to be based entirely on old accounts of travelers. These can be quite unreliable. One of the earliest if not the earliest first-hand accounts of a Westerner in Korea was written by Ernst Oppert and published in 1880. Oppert claimed that there were Caucasian Koreans:

http://books.google.com/books?id=BNYMAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=caucasian&f=false

Anonymous said...

It seems (to me) H&C were assuming that coat colours in animals were a side effect of selection for domestication. But my above links indicate the opposite is the case. People just liked the unusual coloured animals and bred them; hence domestication was actually a side effect of selection for funny colours.

The Russian taming of the fox apparently resulted in coloration changes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_silver_fox

I'm not sure we can distinguish animal breeding for unusual colors from domestication and say that domestication was merely a side effect. Animal breeding involves taking a wild animal out of its wild environment and introducing an artificial one. This inevitably involves at least some selection for domestication. The wildest, most uncooperative animals will fight and resist to the death. They will get put down or released back into the wild. Animal breeding by definition is an experiment that is unable to control fully for domestication. In your examples, the breeders certainly weren't consciously trying to mitigate domestication. Even if they just wanted other traits, selecting for domestication would result in more manageable animals to breed for those other traits.

Ben10 said...

@B&Behavior

Chyme? I don't know. Even if it was, that's not much better than poop. I thought the Indians would be afraid of parasites by eating poop.

barakobama said...

Peter, "Actually, redheads are disproportionately female. But the rest of what you say makes sense. Lightning doesn't strike twice. If blue eyes were already present in Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, there is no need to postulate a second origin for this trait in Neolithic farmers."

In my family there is an extremely high percentage of red hair. In my mom's family red hair overall is the most popular hair color out of 24 and all the blondes that are old enough and are boys grow red beards. 2 out of 7 of the girls grandkids have red hair but 4 out of 9 of the boys have red hair and 1 out of 4 that is old enough to grow facial hair has red facial hair.

In my fathers family there are also more boy redheads than girl redheads. I never noticed that there is a higher percentage of girls with red hair than boys. If anything it seems there seems to be a higher percentage of girls with blonde hair but a ton of them dye it so who knows. I would like to see the results of those studies that say there is a higher percentage of girls with red hair than boys. I am willing to accept there are more girls but I doubt it.

Unlike blonde hair and light eyes which are popular in most of Europe and are closely correlated with Mesolithic European ancestry. Red hair is very exclusive to western Europe and parts of the Urals in Russia. Red hair may have not gotten above 1% in a population until the Neolithic so I doubt it went through the same sexual election as some say other pale features in Europe did.

It is very surprising that 8,000 year old Luxemburg hunter gatherer had the derived blue eye variant in a SNP in HERC2 but had the dark skin variant in rs146554 in gene SLC4A5. Maybe that one gene is not connected with blue eyes but instead with Mesolithic European ancestry. Populations today with high amounts of blue eyes tend to also have high amounts of Mesolithic European ancestry and that gene might have nothing to do with blue eyes. That would mean that hunter gatherer may have had dark skin, dark hair, and brown eyes which would be very surprising and would support the idea European paleness descends from the near eastern farmers. But that theory also has many mistakes since today Neolithic ancestry is highest in the darkest Europeans while the lightest have the most Mesolithic ancestry.

The light skin variant is just as popular in west Asians as in Europeans so I doubt it makes a big effect anyways. The new hypothesis that blue eyes descend from dark skinned hunter gatherers and light skin from dark eyed farmers is RETARTED. It denies all those stero type that go back to the first time people in Europe could write. Light eyes have always been seen as connected with light skin.

Anonymous said...

"Japan's ageing population could actually be good news"

www.newscientist.com/article/dn24822-japans-ageing-population-could-actually-be-good-news.html

"Japanese longevity can't compensate for its ultra-low fertility rate – just 1.4 children per woman. Hard-working Japanese society has "embraced voluntary mass childlessness", says Nicholas Eberstadt, a demographer at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC. One in four don't have children. Some European countries also have low fertility rates, but top up with migrants. Insular Japan does not.
Lower care bills

The conventional view is that this is bad news: shrinking numbers hobble economic growth and the ageing population is a major financial burden. But Eberstadt says there is another side. The proportion of Japan's population that is dependent on those of working age isn't unusual, he says, it's just that it has almost twice as many over-65s as children. Consequently Japan spends less on education. And because the Japanese are the world's healthiest, care bills are also lower than in other nations.

Japan's economy has been growing slowly for two decades now. But that too is deceptive, says William Cline of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington DC. Thanks to the falling population, individual income has been rising strongly – outperforming most US citizens'.

With 127 million people, Japan is hardly empty. But fewer people in future will mean it has more living space, more arable land per head, and a higher quality of life, says Eberstadt. Its demands on the planet for food and other resources will also lessen."

Anonymous said...

Can this theory accommodate the recent discovery of a blue-eyed hunter-gatherer? One might argue that this individual was a fluke, perhaps a result of gene flow from farming communities.

The hunter-gatherers probably never or rarely had their skin exposed. They probably were always wearing heavy clothing, animal skins, furs, etc. Since their skin was rarely exposed, maybe there was less selection on it. While their eyes were and consequently there was selection on eyes.

Anonymous said...

"Light skin in Europeans stems from ONE 10,000-year-old ancestor who lived between India and the Middle East, claims study

- Study focused on DNA differences across globe with the A111T mutation
- Those who had mutation also shared traces of an ancestral genetic code
- This indicates that all instances of mutation originate from same person
- The mutated segment of DNA was itself created from a combination of two other mutations commonly found in East Asians"

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2535288/Light-skin-colour-Europeans-stems-ONE-ancestor-lived-India-Middle-East-10-000-years-ago.html

"Light skin in Europeans stems from a gene mutation from a single person who lived 10,000 years ago.

This is according to a new U.S. study that claims the colour is due to an ancient ancestor who lived somewhere between the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

Scientists made the discovery after identifying a key gene that contributes to lighter skin colour in Europeans.

In earlier research, Keith Cheng from Penn State College of Medicine reported that one amino acid difference in the gene SLC24A5 is a key contributor to the skin colour difference between Europeans and West Africans.

‘The mutation in SLC24A5 changes just one building block in the protein, and contributes about a third of the visually striking differences in skin tone between peoples of African and European ancestry,’ he said.

He added the lighter skin colour may have provided an advantage due to the better creation of vitamin D from sunlight in the dark northern latitudes.

Building on this research, Professor Victor Canfield worked with Professor Cheng to study DNA sequence differences across the globe.

They studied segments of genetic code that have a mutation and are located closely on the same chromosome and are often inherited together.

The a mutation, called A111T, is found in virtually every one of European ancestry.

A111T is also found in populations in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, but not in high numbers in Africans.

They discovered that all individuals from the Middle East, North Africa, East Africa and South India who carry the A111T mutation share traces of the ancestral genetic code.

According to the researchers, this indicates that all existing instances of this mutation originate from the same person.

The pattern of people with this lighter skin colour mutation suggests that the A111T mutation occurred somewhere between the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

‘This means that Middle Easterners and South Indians, which includes most inhabitants of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, share significant ancestry,’ Professor Cheng said.

This mutated segment of DNA was itself created from a combination of two other mutated segments commonly found in Eastern Asians - traditionally defined as Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

‘The coincidence of this interesting form of evidence of shared ancestry of East Asians with Europeans, within this tiny chromosomal region, is exciting,’ said Professor Cheng.

‘The combining of segments occurred after the ancestors of East Asians and Europeans split geographically more than 50,000 years ago; the A111T mutation occurred afterward.’

Professor Cheng now plans to look at more genetic samples to better understand what genes play the most important role in East Asian skin colour."

Sean said...

Anon, as the views you are attributing to me about Japan are the opposite of what I thought I was communicating, I see no point in continuing to reply.

Anon, according to the research the genetics of coat colour and domestication suggest people chose animals for the way they look.(BTW If I remember rightly, Cochran said he owned a dachshund).

From what I can gather Cochran and Khan are now basically implying European eye colour was a side effect of selection for ... something else.

Anon, but why was the A111T mutation selected for, eh? Do you know where it is the most common? Denmark.

Sean said...

Got a bit mixed there, but a key European white skin mutation is most common in Denmark. In 2005 Keith Cheng claimed the origin of the white skin mutation was "tens of thousands of years ago" compatible with the idea that vitamin D deficiency became a problem at high latitude. But now we know it was many thousands of years after humans moved into northern Europe. Cheng was simply wrong when he said “To form vitamin D, you need ultraviolet light, and there is not much sunlight as you go further north. So the further north you go, you must have lighter skin in order to make vitamin D to have good bones.”. The IoM report and other authoritative research has found that dark skinned people do not have problems with vitamin D deficiency.

Anonymous said...

Anon, according to the research the genetics of coat colour and domestication suggest people chose animals for the way they look.(BTW If I remember rightly, Cochran said he owned a dachshund).

I don't dispute that. My point is that whatever people were selecting for, there was also at least some selection for domestication.

Sean said...

Domestication is a bad term because Bonobos went through the changes in the wild. Tame Theory: Did Bonobos Domesticate Themselves The greatest reduction in bossing on the forehead, brain size, face size teeth length of limbs ect happened to early modern humans in Europe, between 20,000 and 10,000 years ago.

barakobama said...

I want to show my opinion on a few topics about the origin of European planes.

The ~8,000 year old Luxemburg man who had the derived "blue eye" G,G alleles in SNP rs12913832 had no near eastern farmer ancestry that is proven by his autosomal DNA. Farmers had not reached that area of Europe yet. So you can not explain his blue eyes as mixture with farmers. That study(laz 2013) and other people have found that today the Mesolithic ancestry today correlates with light hair and eyes, the darkest Europeans who live in southern Europe have the highest amount of farmer ancestry. So it doesn't make sense to say the very pale skin, light hair, and light eyes you see in northern Europeans descends from near eastern farmers. Just like mtDNA U5, U4, U2e and Y DNA I, light hair and eyes are very exclusive to Europe so it would make sense it also descends from pre Neolithic hunter gatherers of Europe.

The so called European light skin alleles in genes SLC4A5, TYR, and SLC4A2 are about as popular in west Asians as in Europeans so it does not make people automatically light skinned. There are probably other factors that create light skin in Europeans. It is very surprising the ~8,000 year old Luxemburg man probably had blue eyes but the dark skin alleles in a SNP rs146554 of gene SLC4A5. The vast majority of modern Europeans and west Asians have the "light skin variant" we will probably learn soon if the 7,000 year old blue eyes hunter gatherer from Spain had the "light skin" or "dark skin" variant.

barakobama said...

The Chinese scientist Cheng is basing the view the "light skin" variant of SNP rs146554 originated in a individual who lived between India and the middle east only on its modern distribution, that claim could be very inaccurate. 10,000 years is just an age estimate and can also be very inaccurate for a while people said the first person to have the "blue eye" variant in SNP rs12913832 lived 6,000-10,000ybp and was a farmer now we already have two over 6,000 year old European hunter gatherers who have it. So those age estimates could be way off. I don't know anything about it sharing segments or whatever with east Asians. We already know through Y DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA Europeans and east Asians are very related at all.

I think people generalize European, usually with northwest Europeans they see in America. The Laz 2013 study and tons of stuff before that shows not all Europeans are the same and Europeans have many different sources of ancestry. I saw a documentary about Italy and I was shocked by how dark the people were I wouldn't classify them as white at least most. Even their faces looked different from most Europeans some looked typically white some looked typically near eastern. So saying the "light skin" variant in SNP rs146554 dominates all of Europe and most of west Asia doesn't mean that much because they are not all light skinned.

This is a huge simplification but overall the farmers were most related to modern southern Europeans especially Sardinia so they probably were olive-light skinned and almost completely dark haired and eyes. The Mesolithic hunter gatherers left the highest amount of ancestry in northern Europeans like Polish, Lithuanian, Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Irish, German, Danish, Ukrainian, etc. From my own experience there seems to be a look that exists in Europeans who have high amounts of Mesolithic ancestry I would assume that is how Mesolithic Europeans looked.

Blue eyes are is the most common eye color for the most Mesolithic like modern Europeans and 2/2 of the hunter gatherers probably had blue eyes I don't think that is random. The "dark skin" variants in SNP rs16554 for that hunter gatherer from Luxemburg is surprising and if what the scientist say is true I would assume he had brown skin. Like I have said I doubt it makes a huge effect on skin color and there are probably other factors to light skin in Europeans. There will need to be more samples taken from Mesolithic and upper Palaeolithic Europe to see if they were just blue eyes or also light skinned. Since blue eyes are so exclusive to Europe today you know some how it is connected with those Mesolithic ones and I bet they had light skin.

barakobama said...

"Got a bit mixed there, but a key European white skin mutation is most common in Denmark. In 2005 Keith Cheng claimed the origin of the white skin mutation was "tens of thousands of years ago" compatible with the idea that vitamin D deficiency became a problem at high latitude. But now we know it was many thousands of years after humans moved into northern Europe. Cheng was simply wrong when he said “To form vitamin D, you need ultraviolet light, and there is not much sunlight as you go further north. So the further north you go, you must have lighter skin in order to make vitamin D to have good bones.”. The IoM report and other authoritative research has found that dark skinned people do not have problems with vitamin D deficiency."

Can you be more specific what white skin mutation are you talking about what gene is it in, what SNP of that gene is it in, and what alleles of that SNP does it have? All the so called white skin mutations are about as popular in dark skinned near easterns so I highly doubt they make a big effect on skin color.

If you listen to what mainstream scientist say, for some reason light skin, light hair, and light eyes evolved. I doubt it was because they give you a better chance of survival in cold climates. I doubt sexual selection is the answer either. Light skinned or blonde haired women are not so attractive that dark skinned and dark haired ones would reproduce much less. I would think that sexual selection process would take a long time too. I don't really understand any evolution it seems living things have minds that create mutations that help their survival intentionally. I have no idea why it happened but obviously it did happen.

Anonymous said...

Can you be more specific what white skin mutation are you talking about what gene is it in, what SNP of that gene is it in, and what alleles of that SNP does it have? All the so called white skin mutations are about as popular in dark skinned near easterns so I highly doubt they make a big effect on skin color.

Pseudo-Obama, they've checked on the presence / absence of these alleles in admixed African-European and South Asian populations and they explains a large percentage of European skin color differences from the least admixed African / South Asian populations.

You may be aware that Africans and South Asians are darker than "dark skinned Near Easterns".

So either Loschbaur's people had something which made them light which was disfavored by subsequent natural selection, or they were darker than present day "Near Easterns".

Peter Fros_ said...

Anon,

I'm not sure what Razib and Greg think of the latest findings on eye color in Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, and it might be better to wait before asking them. People need time to digest this kind of finding. We're also talking about only two individuals who overlap in time with the earliest European farmers.

Barak,

A twin study (Shekar et al., 2008) found an interaction between red hair and sex, i.e., women are more likely than men to be redhaired.

Anon,

Cheng's estimate of 10,000 years ago is probably not far off the mark (What methodology was he using to get that estimate?). Sandra Beleza places the whitening of European skin between 11,000 and 19,000 years ago. We'll have a better idea once we have ancient DNA from humans who lived during that period.

Peter Fros_ said...

Anon,

There is good evidence of the Blond Inuit (including photos). The question is whether this blondism is due to European admixture or is of indigenous origin. The latest research discounts European admixture. Since most researchers were interested in showing that these Inuit were part-Norse (i.e., descended from Norse colonists in Greenland), there has been no effort to identify the apparently indigenous alleles responsible for this blondism.

Anonymous said...

" SLC24A5 light skin pigmentation allele origin "

http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2014/01/slc24a5-light-skin-pigmentation-allele.html

"Divergent natural selection caused by differences in solar exposure has resulted in distinctive variations in skin color between human populations. The derived light skin color allele of the SLC24A5 gene, A111T, predominates in populations of Western Eurasian ancestry. To gain insight into when and where this mutation arose, we defined common haplotypes in the genomic region around SLC24A5 across diverse human populations and deduced phylogenetic relationships between them. Virtually all chromosomes carrying the A111T allele share a single 78-kb haplotype that we call C11, indicating that all instances of this mutation in human populations share a common origin. The C11 haplotype was most likely created by a crossover between two haplotypes, followed by the A111T mutation. The two parental precursor haplotypes are found from East Asia to the Americas but are nearly absent in Africa. The distributions of C11 and its parental haplotypes make it most likely that these two last steps occurred between the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, with the A111T mutation occurring after the split between the ancestors of Europeans and East Asians."

Ben10 said...

4 different questions, some stupid but funny:

1)If Neanderthal was furry and a hunter, shouldn't he have developed stripe patterns like a tiger, for camouflage?

2)Any possibility that European hunters hunted at night, where blue or light eyes could have been of some advantages for night vision?

3)The white skin of women is attractive, but it is mentioned above, how much of women's naked skin was actually visible to the male's eyes during prenuptial ceremonies?
So, let's assume only the face mattered and all the 'sexual signalization' had to cluster there: eyes, hairs and skin/lips contrast, as Peter said.
Could developmental biologist help by studying gene expression and find all the genes that are differentially expressed in the head between, say Asians and say, Africans?
Using RNA differential displays, RNA chips, etc., Chinese scientists who are not restricted by political correctness could do it.

4) Under intense sexual selection, wouldn't you expect some early elaborate feminine ways to fool the men? Like 10 000 years old fossil makeup and bleached hairs?
Retrospectively, are we sure the red hair Chinese mummies are really redhead?

Anonymous said...

Sean,

I don't see why domestication is a bad term just because Bonobos did it to themselves.

Bones and Behaviours said...

The word 'furry' seems out of place when considering neanderthals, even if they were hairier than commonly imagined. I would not reckon living nonhuman apes as furry, and their hair does not seem very good at insulating, a word that I associate with 'fur'.

I wonder if the European pattern (not length) of body hair is inherited from the neanderthals?

Anonymous said...

"I've never understood why conservatives are so hostile to a higher minimum wage."


"As a result, the taxpayer is subsidizing employers who cannot or will not pay a wage that is at least fiscally neutral."

Cos the people in the second quote own the media read / watched by the people in the first quote and they are lying to them.

.

Unconstrained capitalism doesn't lead to free markets. It leads to cartels.

.

"Um..actually there is such a thing as a labor shortage"

A shortage of labor prepared to work for the lowest wages is a good thing - it creates the incentive for innovation which is the only real source of economic growth.

Mass immigration and cheap labor is one of the reasons for the slowdown in innovation.

.

"Japan faces the prospect of there not being enough young workers to pay into the pension/social security system for its old people-it'll either have to raise taxes, cut spending, privatize, or bring in some immigrants to pay taxes into the system."

Or the simplest, most effective and most obvious alternative i.e. people who live longer need to work longer.

They don't need a single immigrant.

.

"Kyle Bass is an idiot. It was obvious to many people that he was wrong and would lose a lot of money on his bet."

Much more interestingly he's very clever indeed and yet he promoted something so obviously stupid (from an hbd perspective).

It's a perfect example of someone drinking ideological koolaid, in his case the libertarian ideological nonsense about Japan's demographics.

.

"I mean you got contributing factors like crime and corruption (thanks alot kwame kilpatrick) but the main point Detroit was a city that was almost totally reliant on one industry.an industry that was unionized to such an extent that companies had to outsource labor to offset high labor costs.."

Why did Detroit's autoworkers demand enough money to be able to afford to live in the suburbs away from the city?

Crime and gangs.