New paper out: Global Ancestry and Cognitive Ability (PNC study)

Lasker, J., Pesta, B. J., Fuerst, J. G., & Kirkegaard, E. O. W. (2019). Global Ancestry and Cognitive Ability. Psych, 1(1), 431-459. Using data from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort, we examined whether European ancestry predicted cognitive ability over and above both parental socioeconomic status (SES) and measures of eye, hair, and skin color. First, using…

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The northwest-southeast cline in Europe and the brain

A friend sent me this amazing study, seems to have been previously overlooked by hereditarians. Bakken, T. E., Dale, A. M., Schork, N. J., & Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. (2011). A geographic cline of skull and brain morphology among individuals of European Ancestry. Human heredity, 72(1), 35-44. Background Human skull and brain morphology are strongly…

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Of cats and dogs and men

Genetic variation between populations/races of a species is a nice single summary statistic about how large between population phenotypic differences to expect. In case of humans, this value (Fst, the fixation index) is about 15%. This finding is due to Lewontin (1972) and is now mindlessly repeated (Lewontin’s fallacy) as some kind of slam dunk…

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A partial test of DUF1220 for population differences in intelligence?

You might have heard the DUF1220 hypothesis, it goes something like this: DUF1220 is a copy number variant poorly tagged by arrays, and thus would not be captured well by typical GWASs for education/IQ. Comparative species data suggests strong selection for DUF1220 with increased intelligence/brain size. There’s some data showing a relationship between IQ in…

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FAQ for Dunkel et al 2019 Ashkenazim polygenic score for intelligence

Dunkel, C. S., Woodley of Menie, M. A., Pallesen, J., & Kirkegaard, E. O. (2019). Polygenic scores mediate the Jewish phenotypic advantage in educational attainment and cognitive ability compared with Catholics and Lutherans. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. So predictably, our study on Jewish IQ has elicited some rather harsh (and in some cases moralistic) criticisms from…

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Q/A with Antonio Regalado for genomics

Antonio Regalado is providing us with a recent series of the arguably best informed (compared to Guardian, Nature news etc.) popular science articles on genomics and its relevance to modern eugenics (embryo selection or genetic engineering) as well as the group differences causation question. www.technologyreview.com/s/609204/eugenics-20-were-at-the-dawn-of-choosing-embryos-by-health-height-and-more/ www.technologyreview.com/s/610251/forecasts-of-genetic-fate-just-got-a-lot-more-accurate/ www.technologyreview.com/s/610339/dna-tests-for-iq-are-coming-but-it-might-not-be-smart-to-take-one/ As background for some of these, I had…

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