Over at my other blog I have a review up of a new paper in PLoS Biology. The authors argue that a particular Y haplogroup lineage, R1b1b2, which has often been assumed to be a marker of indigenous Paleolithic Europeans (i.e., those who were extant before the rise of agriculture and the spread of farmers), is actually a signature of Anatolians who brough agriculture. This probably isn’t too surprising for the genetic genealogy nuts among the readers. After I got a copy of this paper I poked around the internet and the general finding that R1b1b2 was very diverse in the eastern Mediterranean seems to have been well known among the genetic genealogy community (also see Anatole Klyosov’s paper and what he says about Basques specifically). And then in eastern Europe you have R1a1, which seems to have also undergone recent range expansion. Finally, there are the recent rumblings out of ancient DNA extraction which imply a lot of turnover of mtDNA lineages during the shift from hunter-gathering to agriculture.
I think this makes us reconsider the idea that most of the ancestors of contemporary citizens of the European Union who were alive 10,000 years ago were actually resident within the current borders of the European Union. But let’s put the details of that aside for a moment. Which group might be most representative of Paleolithic Europeans? If the paper above is correct, the Basques are not a good proxy for the ancient hunter-gatherers of Europe.
Let’s look at a map which illustrates the spread of agriculture. I’d always focused on the SE-NW cline, but if the U5 mtDNA haplogroup is a reasonable marker of ancient pre-agricultural Europeans, we need to look at the Finnic peoples of the northeast. This may explain why these populations also tend to be genetically distinct from other European groups; not because they’re an exotic admixture, but because they’re not. Anyway, simply speculation, I’m sure readers will have their opinions….
The Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (SOI; Simpson & Gangestad 1991) is a self-report measure of individual differences in human mating strategies. Low SOI scores signify that a person is sociosexually restricted, or follows a more monogamous mating strategy. High SOI scores indicate that an individual is unrestricted, or has a more promiscuous mating strategy. As part of the International Sexuality Description Project (ISDP), the SOI was translated from English into 25 additional languages and administered to a total sample of 14,059 people across 48 nations. Responses to the SOI were used to address four main issues. First, the psychometric properties of the SOI were examined in cross-cultural perspective. The SOI possessed adequate reliability and validity both within and across a diverse range of modern cultures. Second, theories concerning the systematic distribution of sociosexuality across cultures were evaluated. Both operational sex ratios and reproductively demanding environments related in evolutionary-predicted ways to national levels of sociosexuality. Third, sex differences in sociosexuality were generally large and demonstrated cross-cultural universality across the 48 nations of the ISDP, confirming several evolutionary theories of human mating. Fourth, sex differences in sociosexuality were significantly larger when reproductive environments were demanding but were reduced to more moderate levels in cultures with more political and economic gender equality. Implications for evolutionary and social role theories of human sexuality are discussed.
Below is a table of SOIs….
Matt Yglesias points out that in terms of suicide rates Finland is a Scandinavian outlier, and clusters with Japan and Korea. But interestingly, there’s another European nation which is even more suicidal than Finland. Hungary. Below the fold are the data for the OECD nations….
Over the years several Finnish readers (OK, one specific Finnish reader) has made the repeated claim that some of the stereotypes that Americans have of politically correct (Fenno)-Scandinavians is actually typical of Sweden, and not Finland, or even the other Nordic countries. As I’ve been poking around The World Values Survey I think there is something to this. There are some sets of questions where the Swedes give much more “Politically Correct” answers than Finns, or even other Nordics. I note that the answers are Politically Correct because I’m not necessarily saying that the answers someone gives on a survey necessarily translates into the same magnitude of public policy difference. The World Values Survey happens to have Denmark, Sweden and Finland (at least the Four-wave Aggregate of the Values Studies which I’m using). I decided to post responses to a large range of questions (obviously a finite set) for these three nations, as well as Italy as European outgroup. Many of the responses were as you would expect; the Nordic countries are more openly secular than Italy. The fact that Italians were more hostile to the idea of living next to large families also was not surprising, at least judging from what I’ve heard of how they view the French as breeders. On the other hand, there are a host of questions where Sweden is the outgroup, and another set where Sweden and Denmark are relatively close, with Finland approaching Italy in social outlooks. Finally, many of the results reinforce an interesting point that was clear when I looked at Hong Kong: socialist nations often exhibit some fatigue at the extent of the nanny state, while nations with thinner social safety nets have a more positive attitude toward future extension of the welfare state. Since the results below are a finite subset I invite readers to go in and explore The World Values Survey themselves.
Note: Sample sizes are around 1,000 for each nation. Additionally the surveys were done in 1999 to 2001.
|Family very important||87.1||80||90||89.5|
|Politics very important||8.1||3.7||8||11.4|
|Religion very important||7.9||13.8||33||10.7|
|Mentions good manners as important child quality||72.4||89.8||74.8||70.3|
|Mentions independence as important child quality||80.7||57.6||41.1||68.8|
|Mentions hard work as important child quality||2.1||12||36.1||3.9|
|Mentions tolerance and respect as important child quality||87.3||82.7||75||92.5|
|Mentions thrift as important child quality||9.6||22.6||34.7||30.5|
|Mentions religious faith as important child quality||8.2||15.7||31.4||4.9|
|Mentions unselfishness as important child quality||55.8||20.8||41.4||32.7|
|Mentions obedience as important child quality||14.4||30.2||27.8||12.7|
|Approve abortion when woman not married||81.4||59.1||38.8||89.8|
|Approve abortion if no more children wanted||72.5||52.3||31||85|
|Spend time with friends weekly||60.1||60.3||61.9||66.5|
|Spend time with people at sport, cultural or communal organization||27.3||43.6||55.4||38.5|
|LIGN="LEFT">Frequently discusses politics with friends||24.9||7.4||12.9||19.4|
|Belong to social welfare organization||6.5||10.4||6.4||20.8|
|Belong to human rights organization||4.1||5.9||2.8||15|
|Belong to environmental group||13.1||4.5||3.8||11.3|
|Would not like to have criminal neighbor||30.6||39.4||47.4||33|
|Would not like to have neighbor of different race||7.4||12.4||15.6||2.5|
|Would not like to have neighbor who is heavy drinker||36.1||51||40.4||33.2|
|Would not like to have neighbor who is Muslim||16.3||19.3||17.2||9|
|Would not like to have neighbor who is immigrant||10.6||13||16.5||2.8|
|Would not like to have neighbor who has AIDS||5.8||20.9||31||6.7|
|Would not like to have neighbor who is drug addict||59.7||75.3||54.6||60.4|
|Would not like to have neighbor who is homosexual||8||21.3||28.7||6.1|
|Would not like to have neighbor who is a Jew||2.5||8.6||12.9||2.1|
|Would not like to have neighbor who is Gypsy||15.3||44.3||55.6||19.9|
|Would not like to have neighbor who is Left-wing extremist||9.2||13.3||28.2||23|
|Would not like to have neighbor who is Right-wing extremist||20.4||17.8||30||47.8|
|Would not like to have large families as neighbors||4.4||7.5||13.9||4.1|
|Most people can be trusted||66.5||58||32.6||66.3|
|Strongly agree with increasing taxes to prevent pollution||22.1||8||6.5||28.2|
|Agree men should have jobs when they are scarce||6.2||9.9||27||2.3|
|Agree employers should give priority to natives over immigrants||34.3||65.3||61.4||11.3|
|Strongly agree that people should not have to work if they don’t want to||2.3||5.5||4.8||2|
|Agree that child needs home with father and mother||66.9||60.4||92.4||60.1|
|Approve of woman as single parent|
|Agree strongly that women want children and home||3||9.6||17||9.1|
|Disagree strongly that women want children and home||27.2||8.9||3.3||27.3|
|Agree marriage is outdated||15||18||17||20.4|
|Agree strongly that long-term relationship necessary to be happy||15.1||8.7||20.1||11.7|
|Faithfulness very important for successful marriage||84.3||81.6||84.1||88.5|
|Respect & appreciation very important for successful marriage||84.7||85.7||90.2||93.9|
|Religious beliefs very important for successful marriage||12.7||15.3||23.4||12.9|
|Agreement on politics very important for successful marriage||1.7||4.2||7.2||5.9|
|Understanding & tolerance very important for successful marriage||79.3||69||81.4||87.2|
|Children very important for successful marriage||36||54.7||58.2||58.9|
|Agree strongly that being a housewife just as fulfilling||13.8||30.4||12.6||17|
|Disagree strongly that being a housewife just as fulfilling||9.8||2.4||7.7||14.1|
|Eliminating very big income inequalities very important||10.1||30.5||34.9||17.9|
|Eliminating very big income inequalities not at all important||23.8||3.9||6.3||7.3|
|Guaranteeing basic needs for all very important||48.3||68.6||70.4||71.3|
|Guaranteeing basic needs for all not at all important||5.1||0.9||1.1||1.4|
|More emphasis on technology in future good thing||61.9||54.9||64.5||35.3|
|More emphasis on the individual in future good thing||93.3||89.7||92.4||89.7|
|More emphasis on respect for authority in future good thing||38.2||39.2||51.3||22.2|
|More emphasis on family life in future good thing||95.3||94.9||92.3||78.1|
|The government should take more responsibility (10)||1.3||3.1||12.2||1.8|
|People should take more responsibility (0)||11.4||11.7||8.6||14.7|
|Competition is good (0)||13.8||10.8||18.7||17.9|
|Competition is harmful (10)||2.3||2.4||4.4||0.8|
|State should control firms||3.7||2.4||8.5||2|
|Private sector should have freedom to run firms||13.2||9||15.3||14.9|
|A great deal of confidence in the United Nations||9.2||5.2||18.2||14.2|
|Emphasis on freedom over equality||69.4||53.1||39.7||61.6|
|Concerned with living conditions of immigrants||4.3||3.3||6.6||7.1|
|Prepared to help immigrants – Absolutely yes||5.6||2.7||6||10.7|
|Prepared to help sick & disabled – Absolutely yes||19.4||15.4||19.1||28.2|
|Prepared to help immediate family – Absolutely yes||58.8||53||50.2||78.8|
|Let anyone come (Open Borders)||7.4||10.3||9.7||16.3|
|Strict limits to immigration||66.1||51.9||38.3||28.7|
|Immigrants should maintain distinct customs & traditions||23.4||32||59.7||36|
|Clear guidelines about what is good & evil||10.4||29.3||26.4||15.8|
|Attend religious services once a week||2||3.2||30.3||3.3|
|Believe in God – No||31.1||17.5||6.5||46.6|
|Believe in reincarnation – No||82.7||81.6||82.2||78|
|Do you believe lucky charm protects? – Definitely not||65.4||60.4||68.6||61.5|
|Baptism important? – Yes||65.3||84.3||89||59.8|
|Church wedding important? – Yes||63||82.7||84.9||62.4|
|Funeral with religious services important? – Yes||79.9||89.8||89.4||77.6|
|Politics who don’t believe in God unfit for office – Strongly Disagree||60.3||22||15.3||47.5|
|Cheating on taxes never justifiable||65.6||52.9 <|
|Accepting bribe never justifiable||92.9||79.9||79.3||68.5|
|Suicide never justifiable||51.1||41.1||62.2||28.8|
|Divorce never justifiable||7||3.1||18.5||2.1|
|Lying never justifiable||60.7||40.3||50.7||41.4|
|Adultery never justifiable||67.1||52.5||50.7||50.5|
|Throwing away litter never justifiable||79.8||51.4||73.8||43.8|
|Casual sex never justifiable||46.3||33.8||48.5||26.6|
|Very proud of nationality||48||56.1||39.3||41.4|
The Finnish population in Northern Europe has been a target of extensive genetic studies during the last decades. The population is considered as a homogeneous isolate, well suited for gene mapping studies because of its reduced diversity and homogeneity. However, several studies have shown substantial differences between the eastern and western parts of the country, especially in the male-mediated Y chromosome. This divergence is evident in non-neutral genetic variation also and it is usually explained to stem from founder effects occurring in the settlement of eastern Finland as late as in the 16th century. Here, we have reassessed this population historical scenario using Y-chromosomal, mitochondrial and autosomal markers and geographical sampling covering entire Finland. The obtained results suggest substantial Scandinavian gene flow into south-western, but not into the eastern, Finland. Male-biased Scandinavian gene flow into the south-western parts of the country would plausibly explain the large inter-regional differences observed in the Y-chromosome, and the relative homogeneity in the mitochondrial and autosomal data. On the basis of these results, we suggest that the expression of ‘Finnish Disease Heritage’ illnesses, more common in the eastern/north-eastern Finland, stems from long-term drift, rather than from relatively recent founder effects.
The Wikipedia entry on Swedish-speaking Finns highlights the controversies about their origins. Some claim that they are Finns who switched to Swedish as they rose up the class hierarchy, while the alternative model is that they are the descendants of immigrants who arrived after the Swedish conquest of much of Finland during the 12th and 13th century. Additionally, there is the countervailing dynamic whereby it seems that many Swedish speaking Finns have been assimilated into the Finnish speaking population since the 19th century.
Of course it doesn’t need to be a black-white dichotomy of immigrants vs. the indigenous. But the genetic data can help quantify the proportion of gene flow due to migration vs. acculturation. Right now the genetic data don’t seem to support a strong version of the hypothesis that Swedish-speaking residents of Finland are simply the descendants of those who switched to the Swedish language. Rather, a non-trivial level of migration seems likely to have been an integral part of the process.
Human motivation for social status may reflect an evolved psychological adaptation that increased individual reproductive success in the evolutionary past. However, the association between status striving and reproduction in contemporary humans is unclear. It may be hypothesized that personality traits related to status achievement increase fertility even if modern indicators of socioeconomic status do not. We examined whether four subcomponents of type-A personality-leadership, hard-driving, eagerness, and aggressivenessâ€”assessed at the age of 12 to 21 years predicted the likelihood of having children by the age of 39 in a population-based sample of Finnish women and men (N=1,313). Survival analyses indicated that high adolescent leadership increased adulthood fertility in men and women, independently of education level and urbanicity of residence. The findings suggest that personality determinants of status achievement may predict increased reproductive success in contemporary humans.
In Finland a “Type-A Personality” presumably refers to someone willing to make eye contact with family members. In any case I think this table is probably the most informative:
The main caveat which is stated in the paper is that we’re talking about Finland today. How generalizable is this? If leadership was a primary factor behind reproductive success over long periods of time how come we’re not all Type A personalities? I think it seems likely that the fitness of these individuals and their morph exhibits frequency dependence. Additionally the longer term volatility of this strategy probably differs from more retiring personal profiles. The Type A strategy seems more likely to be subject to winner-take-all dynamics; there were many prominent leaders on the Mongolian plain of 1250. Very few of them have descendants due to the fact that one Type A eliminated all the rest. In Farewell to Alms Greg Clark reports data which illustrate that before the 19th century the blooded military nobility might have had below average replacement because of morality during war. In contrast, the gentry were fertile. Not to nerd out, but this shows that the Hobbit strategy can beat the Numenorean over the long term. Modern post-industrial societies have a particular social ecology, and are subject to a dynamic contingent upon that ecology. Let’s not overgeneralize.
Extroversion correlated weakly positive (0.16), agreeableness moderately (0.31), conscientiousness moderately (0.34), neuroticism weakly (0.13) and openness negatively (-0.26). That seems odd.
I have plotted the different factors vs GDP below (click for a larger version), with a bundle of regression lines added (each corresponds to the data minus one state, thus showing a bit how stable the estimates are).
Here’s my explanation: the same state which has Silicon Valley also has Fresno (no offense to Fresno). The correlations I reported yesterday between Openness and something like patent production would only be generated by the tails of the social distribution. Silicon Valley, not Fresno. There’s a reason that The Audacious Epigone looked at both high school graduation rates and college degree holding rates. The two don’t always go in the same direction….
Update: From the comments::
He’s interpreted the data wrong. Specifically, he plotted the state rank, not the z-value, and so the lowest valued states have the highest openness. The graph then does in fact show that higher openness produces higher per capita GDP. In fact all his correlations have the wrong sign because of this.
Still, he should plot the z-value instead.
If Anders doesn’t do this, I might instead….
Specific alleles and haplotypes of six of the examined genes revealed some evidence for association (p ≤ .01). The most significant evidence for association with different anxiety disorder subtypes were: p = .0009 with ALAD (δ-aminolevulinate dehydratase) in social phobia, p = .009 with DYNLL2 (dynein light chain 2) in generalized anxiety disorder, and p = .004 with PSAP (prosaposin) in panic disorder.
Furthermore, the team’s international collaborators in Spain and the United States are trying to replicate these findings in their anxiety disorder datasets to see whether the genes identified by Finnish scientists predispose to anxiety disorders in other populations as well. Only by replicating the results firm conclusions can be drawn about the role of these genes in the predisposition to anxiety in more general.
This gene encodes a highly conserved glycoprotein which is a precursor for 4 cleavage products: saposins A, B, C, and D. Each domain of the precursor protein is approximately 80 amino acid residues long with nearly identical placement of cysteine residues and glycosylation sites. Saposins A-D localize primarily to the lysosomal compartment where they facilitate the catabolism of glycosphingolipids with short oligosaccharide groups. The precursor protein exists both as a secretory protein and as an integral membrane protein and has neurotrophic activities. Mutations in this gene have been associated with Gaucher disease, Tay-Sachs disease, and metachromatic leukodystrophy….
Dienekes has a long post on a new paper, Correlation between Genetic and Geographic Structure in Europe. I took the figure and decided to just label the geographic provenance of the primary clusters which emerged when one plotted them along the two largest dimensions of variation (Y axis is 1st component, X is 2nd component) for easy gestalt absorption. To a large extent genetics does seem to follow geography. Obviously the labels for Italy and Spain really underestimate the area these two samples span, so they are meant to be general pointers, not precise indicators of the center of a given cluster. Note Finland…too terrified to join the party I assume?
Update: Also, see what Sandman sayeth.
Update II: And Genetic Future.