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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Open Thread, 6/29/2014
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Short interview with me on NPR’s Sunday Weekend Edition about my son’s whole-genome sequence. It’s edited down from 10 minutes of tape. Nothing new to readers of this weblog, some of whom may be as underwhelmed as my son.

• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Little Lord Khan 
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  1. amazing Eastern Front color footage montage

    nice new technology for tree removal

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  2. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on this paper by Chomsky, Lewontin, et al. regarding the evolution of humanity’s language capability. Here are the main points from the abstract:

    We show that, to date,

    (1) studies of nonhuman animals provide virtually no relevant parallels to human linguistic communication, and none to the underlying biological capacity;

    (2) the fossil and archaeological evidence does not inform our understanding of the computations and representations of our earliest ancestors, leaving details of origins and selective pressure unresolved;

    (3) our understanding of the genetics of language is so impoverished that there is little hope of connecting genes to linguistic processes any time soon;

    I figured you might have some insight into (1) and (3) in particular. Is the origin of language bound to always remain a mystery, or do you feel that it will only remain a mystery in the context of a Chomskyan paradigm, with its very particular view of what language is and is not?

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  3. My article “The Genetics of Crimean Karaites” has just been published in English in the Summer 2014 issue (#42) of Karadeniz Arastirmalari (Journal of Black Sea Studies) on pages 69-84.

    Adobe Acrobat .PDF download:

    The evidence I discuss shows Crimean Karaites are a hybrid population comprised of Israelite and non-Israelite ancestries.

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  4. i should add that there are some new commenting features. if you are a long time commenter you can now look at your history of comments

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