Does PCA Have Politics?

This morning, armchair scientist and noted fan of this blog, Razib Khan, decided it would be prudent to write about race. It comes by way of Khan issuing a corrective, of sorts, to Ta-Nehisi Coates. The Coates article is wonderful. He takes a historical look at how race has been deployed over the last 150 … Continue reading Does PCA Have Politics?

The Political Economy of IQ, Or Tilting At Windmills with Steve Hsu (and Jason Richwine)

Steve Hsu has been on a tear lately. Giving talks about IQ, here and here, and partnering with BGI to sequence the genomes of “high cognition” individuals in a quest to solve the giant “problem” of IQ. This effort has hit Vice magazine, Slate, and, more recently, NPR. To give you the CliffsNotes version of … Continue reading The Political Economy of IQ, Or Tilting At Windmills with Steve Hsu (and Jason Richwine)

Incidental Anthropology: American Parenting, Mendeley, and “Japan’s Modern Divide”

In this installment of the seriocomic series Incidental Anthropology, I bring you three more media stories which incidentally illustrate anthropological points. Given the recent back and forth on this blog over genetics, I highly recommend the first link. 1) Why are Americans so focused on how “cognitively advanced” their children are? 2) Some thoughts on … Continue reading Incidental Anthropology: American Parenting, Mendeley, and “Japan’s Modern Divide”

The Case of Myriad Genetics

As Tony pointed out, the back and forth on this blog over population genetics has produced some smoke, some heat and some insights into what a gene might be and how much it can say about the everyday lives of human beings.  Today the Supreme Court is hearing arguments in the case of Association for … Continue reading The Case of Myriad Genetics

Incidental Anthropology: Infant Waste, Tourists, The Evolution of Imaginary Animals and More….

In this long overdue installment of Incidental Anthropology I bring you a few examples of anthropology interest incidentally found in the media. First, the vexing question of how to handle to infant waste and some ingenious responses: here Second, how have tourists in American National Parks changed over the last 30 years? Not much: here … Continue reading Incidental Anthropology: Infant Waste, Tourists, The Evolution of Imaginary Animals and More….

The History of the World is But the Biography of Great Genes

- Thomas Carlyle, genetic Historian Raymond Williams begins his introduction to Keywords by telling of his return to Cambridge following the end of World War II. He recounts meeting a friend he had known through various radical groups in the 1930’s. As they discussed their efforts to establish some continuity between the Cambridge they had … Continue reading The History of the World is But the Biography of Great Genes

Attack of the Armchair Scientist

The reason I post about cultural anthropology now and then isn’t that I want to argue or discuss with cultural anthropologists. Rather, I want to aid in spreading the message the discipline should be extirpated from the academy, just as Creationists have been extirpated from biology – Razib Khan There is a long history of … Continue reading Attack of the Armchair Scientist

Gene Promoters 2: The Wrath of Khan

In the Star Trek episode “Space Seed”, Khan was a genetically engineered human who, in the wake of the eugenic wars, was exiled to a distant planet. This Khan is a sensitive observer of the human condition, who at one point, asks Kirk if he has ever read Milton. Kirk, in turn, laments, “Yes, I … Continue reading Gene Promoters 2: The Wrath of Khan

Gene Promoters: On Chagnon and Diamond

Like clockwork (or a comet, perhaps), the noisiest problem in anthropology makes its return every few years. And this year we are blessed with the two noisiest comets in anthropology returning together. Both Diamond and Chagnon have new books and, more importantly, new book campaigns with money for appearances and exposure to media outlets. Even … Continue reading Gene Promoters: On Chagnon and Diamond

More on Tooling

A few months back I wrote a post about tooling up for research That post lives here. A few months on I have discovered a few more tools to share. I should note here, that Kerim at Savage Minds has recently written about his use of Markdown. Further, Savage Minds has a wonderful collection of … Continue reading More on Tooling

Why The DIYBio Lab Is The New Darkroom

This is the second in a series of posts about my work on DIYBio. The initial post has some background and can be found here. A popular (and sexy) comparison for DIYBio is with the Homebrew Computer Club. One often reads that DIYBio is at the same point in its development as the HCC was just … Continue reading Why The DIYBio Lab Is The New Darkroom

Incidental Anthropology: Sworn Virgins, Genes and Ethnic Identity (or Race Redux), and “Americanizing” a Novel

Three things on this holiday week: 1) In Slate there was a wonderful photo essay on sworn virgins in the Balkans. Also, here is a BBC interview with Antonia Young, the author of Women Who Become Men. 2) What would a holiday week be without a minor donnybrook over race and genes? This week brings … Continue reading Incidental Anthropology: Sworn Virgins, Genes and Ethnic Identity (or Race Redux), and “Americanizing” a Novel