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From the London Review of Books:

Race doesn’t come into it

Meehan Crist reviews She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer

Picador, 656 pp, £25.00, August, ISBN 978 1 5098 1853 2

In contrast, I gave Carl’s big book a less credulous review in Taki’s Magazine.

… We tend to think of heredity as having something to do with traits that are passed from generation to generation, but in many ancient societies, the words for ‘kin’ and ‘kinship’ often denoted connections of mutual responsibility.

… So what do we mean when we say ‘heredity’ today? Zimmer, who writes a column for the New York Times and whose previous books include Soul Made Flesh and Parasite Rex, as well as a co-authored textbook on evolutionary biology, is a trustworthy guide in this inquiry. … ‘We use words like sister and aunt as if they describe rigid laws of biology,’ Zimmer writes, ‘but these laws are really only rules of thumb. Under the right conditions, they can be readily broken.’ This is clear if you widen the lens, as Zimmer so artfully does, to explore multiple channels of heredity, including the microbiome, epigenetics and culture. Along the way, he reveals that the way we talk about heredity – he got his height from his uncle; she has her mother’s laugh – isn’t linked to science at all. At every turn, Zimmer tries to complicate the concept of heredity

Occam’s Butterknife for the win.

and challenge received wisdom about why we are the way we are.

Just like in Turkey, the person who comes up with the most complicated theory is the smartest.

This isn’t to say that all the complicated exceptions aren’t interesting and potentially important, just that it’s a worse way to go about learning about reality. It’s almost as if the goal of the book, and even more of this review, is to keep people from grasping the basics of genetics by getting them lost in the underbrush of exceptions.

You get half of your DNA from your mother and half from your father, but thanks to the specialised and ‘laughably baroque’ process of cell division known as meiosis, you and your sibling might get very different assortments of DNA from each parent. This explains why you may have more DNA from your maternal grandmother, say, than your paternal grandmother. Or why, if you have two siblings, you may be genetically more similar to one of them. Remarkably, researchers have found that a pair of siblings may share as much as 61.7 per cent of their DNA, or as little as 37.4 per cent. ‘Along the spectrum of inheritance, in other words,’ Zimmer writes, ‘some of our siblings are more like our identical twins, others more like cousins.’ She Has Her Mother’s Laugh is brimming with similarly surprising discoveries; and the cumulative effect is a radical destabilisation of the boundaries conventionally drawn around the individual, families, and even the human species.

A less politicized way to think of it instead of as “radical destabilisation” is that meiosis is random on average, but a little lumpy, like a child shuffling a deck of cards unadroitly.

So at the cellular level we are all what scientists call mosaics, ‘a rainbow of different genetic profiles’. Seen in this light, our intuitive tendency to equate genetic similarity with kinship looks a bit bizarre.

Alternatively, our intuitive tendency to equate genetic similarity with kinship looks extremely useful, just not perfect.

Zimmer cites research showing that out of any hundred pairs of third cousins, one pair wouldn’t share any identical segments of DNA.

Okay, so the kinship to genetic relationship glass at the third cousin level is 99% full.

Out of any hundred pairs of fourth cousins, 25 pairs wouldn’t share any identical segments. And yet, we would never say these cousins are not kin. When you look at heredity in terms of genes, using genes alone to define kinship (or even to draw strict boundaries round what it means to be human) starts to seem a little dubious.

Your biological family tree exists in a Platonic realm, somewhat like geometric shapes do. It’s very real, but there are multiple ways to figure out what it is, none of them perfect. Your genes derive from your family tree, but imperfectly randomly.

The question of who we are related to also bucks intuition on much broader levels of human ancestry. Leaving DNA aside, if we think of our ancestors simply as people who procreated with each other, we soon run up against an inescapable paradox: We think of genealogy as a simple forking tree, our two parents the product of four grandparents, who are descended from eight great-grandparents, and so on. But such a tree eventually explodes into impossibility. By the time you get back to the time of, say, Charlemagne, you have to draw over a trillion forks. In other words, your ancestors from that generation alone far outnumber all the humans who ever lived. The only way out of that paradox is to join some of those forks back together. In other words, your ancestors must have all been related to each other, either closely or distantly.

Sure, but the real implication is that you are kind of inbred. You have to be. Not enough people were alive to fill in all the trillion slots in your family tree back 40 generations ago around the time of Charlemagne 1200 years ago. If you are of European descent, for example, you are likely descended from Charlemagne by millions of paths. On the other hand, you probably don’t have any bits of Charlemagne’s DNA copied in your DNA. But if you are European you probably have some bits copied from from subjects of Charlemagne.

Being somewhat inbred is an inevitable condition that distinguishes an extended family that is a racial group from a plain extended family: a racial group is a partly inbred extended family.

… If you go back far enough in the history of a human population, you reach a point in time when all the individuals who have any descendants among living people are ancestors of all living people.

Sure, but you have to go back before modern humans, as we see no Neanderthal or Denisovan ancestors among most modern sub-Saharan Africans.

This is why, as has been repeatedly pointed out in recent years, every European alive today is a descendant of Charlemagne. Such ancestral tree-twisting is hard to keep up with, but it reveals that the obsession with being a ‘direct descendant’ of a celebrated historical figure has more to do with the way certain relationships are culturally valued – for example ‘legitimate’ v. ‘illegitimate’ children – than with science. In a sense, we are all royals, even if we don’t all have royal DNA in our genomes. And yet, we are obsessed with genealogies. ‘By one estimate,’ Zimmer writes, ‘genealogy has now become the second most popular search topic on the internet. It is outranked only by porn.’

It’s almost as if humans have reasons for being interested in genealogy, just as they have reasons for being interested in porn. Could it be that family trees and sex have something to with each other?

Like I said, your family tree exists Platonically, like perfect circles and triangles. This doesn’t mean you can perfectly determine it from a DNA scan, but that’s another tool that has become useful in knowing more about your family tree in recent years.

In 2002, a geneticist called Jonathan Pritchard and his team at Oxford, collaborating with Noah Rosenberg at Stanford, found they could use a program they’d designed called Structure to identify clusters of people based only on their DNA. The program scanned genetic variation and assigned each individual’s DNA to one or more groups of ancestors who shared similar variations. When the researchers set the parameters of the program to sort people into five groups, they found clusters that matched the continents the people lived on, which meant the program roughly grouped Africans, Eurasians, East Asians, Pacific Islanders and people in the Americas. Crucially, these ancestral groups didn’t have sharp boundaries. ‘Where two clusters met on a map of the world,’ Zimmer writes, ‘the researchers found people who had some DNA that linked them to one group, and some that linked them to the other.’

This is sort of true, but it’s funny how nobody ever notices the exceptions to this cliche, even though they are some of the biggest features on the surface of the globe, such as the Atlantic Ocean.

For example, in 1491, the Atlantic Ocean was a pretty sharp boundary among “people in the Americas” and Eurasians and Africans. There may or may not have been some genetic exchange in the prior few thousands years, such as the historically recorded Vikings in North America or the recent bizarre finding that, apparently, some Amazonian tribes have a small percentage of genes that look like those of Andaman Islanders in the Indian Ocean, but, in general, as of 1491 the Atlantic was an awfully sharp boundary.

And, anyway, how is a sharp boundary crucial? What’s the sharp boundary between young and old or hot and cold? People could walk from, say, China to France in 1491, but how many did? In 1491, could you tell people in China apart from people in France, even if in Turkestan there were people who were kind of in-between?

In fact, he and his collaborators found that ‘the overwhelming amount of genetic diversity was between individuals. The genetic differences between major groups accounted for only 3-5 per cent.’ Rather than defining biological boundaries between racial groups, cutting-edge genetic studies like Pritchard’s suggest a dissolution of these boundaries.

As the late anthropologist Henry Harpending pointed out, racial differences in genes are on the same scale as we see in our extended families. For example, he noted, that if he were informed that he had a grandson he’d never met and drove over to meet him and saw ten boys playing on the front lawn, would he be able to distinguish his grandson from the other boys who aren’t his grandsons? … He’d have a better than random guess, but it wouldn’t be easy to single out one out of ten. On the other hand, could he distinguish one white boy from nine non-white boys? Sure. Race and grandchild relationships turn out to be pretty similar in genetic magnitude.

… ‘But any resemblance between genetic clusters of people and racial categories concocted before genetics existed can have no deep meaning.’

But, oddly enough, the genetic clusters of people and racial categories concocted before genetics by looking at people and testing their biochemistry and asking them where their ancestors came from and so forth and so on give highly similar answers. Not perfectly similar. For example, Carleton Coon in 1965 theorized that just as the Laplanders of Scandinavia appeared to have some East Asian ancestry, the heavily bearded Ainu of Northern Japan were likely to have some Caucasian ancestry. Well, the first turned out to be sort of true, but the Ainu don’t appear to have any particular relation to Europeans.

Just because your genome has variants statistically more similar to variants in the genomes of other people on the same continent, that doesn’t mean you are all members of some shared biological ‘race’, or that you share a similar skin colour, that ubiquitous cultural marker for race.

Just because your ancestors and mine come from the same continent and you and I share the gene markers of people from that continent doesn’t mean that you and I share some biological “race” because, obviously, … well … because Carl Zimmer says you don’t.

… More recently, David Reich’s Who We Are and How We Got Here, as well as his March op-ed in the New York Times, ‘How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of “Race”’, prompted an impassioned response.​* In an open letter published on Buzzfeed 67 scientists flatly stated that Reich ‘misrepresents the many scientists and scholars who have demonstrated the scientific flaws of considering “race” a biological category’.

Because what could David Reich know that 67 Buzzfeed scientists plus Carl Zimmer don’t know?

… To drive this point home, Zimmer shows how the emerging field of paleogenetics uses the DNA extracted from ancient skeletons to offer an even longer view of human history, revealing that we are all genetic mongrels and any notion of biological racial purity is just a fantasy. Among the outmoded biological concepts that science suggests we need to abandon is that of a ‘white’ race.

White people don’t exist, but white guilt is forever.

I reviewed Zimmer’s book in June in Taki’s Magazine.

 
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  1. ooooh,
    my social-phobic and paranoid uncle and me… even in face we have some similarities, i already talked here.

  2. Purity is the wrong word, perfectly transferrable biological autenticity is the correct one.

  3. Cortes says:

    I haven’t been to this town but considering that the treasures of The Indies flowed broad and deep through Seville, I’m not surprised:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coria_del_R%C3%ADo

  4. Coag says:

    “What seems to me white, I will believe black if the hierarchical Church so defines.”

    —St Ignatius of Loyola

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
  5. jb says:

    we see no Neanderthal or Denisovan ancestors among most modern sub-Saharan Africans.

    A minor quibble: there was substantial backmigration from Eurasia into Africa at some point many thousands of years ago, enough that the bushmen of South African have detectable Eurasian ancestry. Given that, we can be pretty certain that all Africans have genealogical ancestors who were Neanderthal and Denisovan, even if they didn’t get any genes from them.

  6. fnn says:

    It’s conspiracy theories all the way down, as I’m certain someone has already noted.

  7. I wonder what the fall back position will be when lefties finally are forced to acknowledge that race does actually exist?

    To pick a similar lefty iconic talking point, I remember back when I was a kid the whole gun control debate centered on handguns mostly. Not just semi-autos, but revolvers, too. Then it was high-cap magazines. Unsuccessful at those, they are now forced to carp about bump stocks (I’ve never used one, so I don’t know if they’re junk or not.).

    Same with super lax criminal justice practices, though they seem be making inroads back to the bad old days with that one.

    • Replies: @bomag
    , @anon
  8. … More recently, David Reich’s Who We Are and How We Got Here, as well as his March op-ed in the New York Times, ‘How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of “Race”’, prompted an impassioned response.​* In an open letter published on Buzzfeed 67 scientists flatly stated that Reich ‘misrepresents the many scientists and scholars who have demonstrated the scientific flaws of considering “race” a biological category’.

    Well… I’ve been waiting for it to hit the fan as a result of Reich telling the truth in his book. (It is, by the way, a really great book: if anyone likes history, preshistory, science, or sci-fi, they should love it!)

    Reich is (or was?) a liberal in good standing. He is also an honest man, and very, very smart. I wish there were some way to offer him moral support as they go after him for telling the truth.

  9. “For example, Carleton Coon in 1965 theorized that just as the Laplanders of Scandinavia appeared to have some East Asian ancestry”

    In college we were taught that the Finnish language and Korean language, while they are distant in miles, they are linguistically related.

    • Replies: @bomag
  10. “… To drive this point home, Zimmer shows how the emerging field of paleogenetics uses the DNA extracted from ancient skeletons to offer an even longer view of human history, revealing that we are all genetic mongrels and any notion of biological racial purity is just a fantasy. Among the outmoded biological concepts that science suggests we need to abandon is that of a ‘white’ race.”

    Substitute the word “black” for “white” in this paragraph, and then observe if these same 67 scientists would unanimously concur with the idea that the concept of a “black” race is nonexistent. After all, one must be logically consistent and apply the principle equally that race does not exist as a biological concept.

  11. Hugh says:

    Out of any hundred pairs of fourth cousins, 25 pairs wouldn’t share any identical segments

    Who would have guessed? Beyond second (maybe third) cousins exists an ocean known as “distant relatives”. The distant is there for a reason.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  12. Altai says:

    OT: Another brown women has a BPD episode about Beckys.

    https://qz.com/india/535095/why-it-took-me-19-years-to-embrace-my-brown-skin-and-body-hair/

    12 years old: I realise how much I love to write. I am beautiful in my stories; my hair is long, tame, and sleek; I have perfect, thin eyebrows and no hair anywhere else. I change my name from Shailee to something whiter, easier to pronounce. In my stories, I can be anyone I want, and I try to be the furthest thing from myself. In fact, I try to be the closest thing to white.

    13 years old: I get up to get some paper from the cubbies in the front of the classroom and a boy follows me. He loudly asks me why Indian girls are so hairy. I stare at him, shocked, wanting to disappear. He presses on, telling me all brown girls are unattractive and he’s only ever met one girl hairier than me. He tells me her name, as though I’d know her. I turn around and ignore him until he goes away. The whole class is quiet; no one sticks up for me. I learn what it’s like to hate your skin. Really, really hate it.


    15 years old: I convince myself not to bother with pursuing my crushes because how could they like someone who looks like me?

    15 years old: I meet the girl who that boy from grade 8 told me about—the only one he’d ever known who was hairier than me. She has a beautiful laugh and big eyes. I consider talking to her about our shared experiences. I never do.

    16 years old: I start waxing my upper lip regularly. Boys start paying attention to me.

    Now: I appreciate being in India for vacations—I wear a kurti every day because I can. I feel like a princess in saris. I spend 10 minutes picking out the perfect bindi to wear. I wonder why it took me so long to appreciate being brown, and then I remember the little things I heard every day that convinced me it was something to be ashamed of.

    Now: I see pictures of my elementary school classmates on Instagram. They wear bindis to the summer music festivals. They are the same girls who whispered hurtful “jokes” about my brownness to each other when they thought I wasn’t listening.

    From the same author.

    https://ravishly.com/2016/03/22/my-name-was-anglicized-im-taking-it-back

    We are all so used to names being anglicized that we don’t question the pronunciations set in front of us, even if they don’t really make sense.

    All the other brown kids in my class had their names anglicized too. With time, I learned to call them by their anglicized names rather than the real Hindi, Punjabi, or Arabic pronunciations that came to me instinctively. Before I knew it, anglicizing names become a predisposition.

    As I got older, I dreaded the days that my friends would come over and hear my parents yell my name — my real name — up the stairs. I was embarrassed by it. When a friend who was of South Asian descent told me, “I know that your name is really pronounced like ‘SHUHY-lee,’” I told her she was wrong.

    If you can’t reasonably expect people in the same country to know how to pronounce each others names, you don’t have a country. It’s almost like diversity isn’t an asset or something. If her parents hadn’t brought her to Canada she’d never have to compete for beauty with Anglo-Canadians who couldn’t pronounce her name.

    Meanwhile, in England.

    http://www.burntroti.com/blog/being-a-hairy-indian

    I remember the first time I asked mother if I could wax my moustache. I was 13 years old. Her response was very dismissive: ‘no, you’re not old enough/it’ll make it worse/you look fine’, which, I’m not going to lie, really didn’t help.

  13. People could walk from, say, China to France in 1491, but how many did? In 1491, could you tell people in China apart from people in France, even if in Turkestan there were people who were kind of in-between?

    Fear of the unknown kept people in place. Back then there was probably only a vague knowledge of Europe among the Chinese and vice versa.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  14. dearieme says:

    “we are all genetic mongrels and any notion of biological racial purity is just a fantasy”: I am so fed up with this nonsense that you’ll have to forgive foul language.

    A mongrel is a cross-breed: that it to say, distinct breeds exist.

    So if humans are mongrels, distinct breeds exist, or have existed. So the “fantasy” remark is a self-refuting claim. It’s bollocks, shit, and fucking stupidity. Or the chap is lying.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  15. Tiny Duck says:

    Race is a social construct formulated by white men to keep unfair privileges,

    If we denied whiteness then we could fix inequality the climate guns war and immigration

    We are all human and the only reason we look different is because of racist thinking and not celebrating our differences

    • Troll: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    , @AnotherDad
  16. An agitated solution mixes uniformly. If left to sit, the constituents will settle out into distinct layers according to their specific gravities i.e. their intrinsic properties.

    All she is saying is that modern transportation has rendered the old rules moot because former natural barriers are no longer insurmountable to those with enough money to fly hither, thither and yon–which is why this theory comes naturally to rootless cosmopolitans.

  17. In an open letter published on Buzzfeed 67 scientists flatly stated that Reich ‘misrepresents the many scientists and scholars who have demonstrated the scientific flaws of considering “race” a biological category’.

    Because Buzzfeed is more trustworthy and authoritative than any peer-reviewed journal, and certainly debunks all sources and notions from our ugly racist past.  Morton only had measurements of skull volumes, he didn’t have Truth.  Equallah is the One True God and Stephen Jay Gould is xir’s prophet.

  18. As Sailer makes clear, this reviewer’s main point is fallacious; like many others, she shows that some relation is not perfect and then she wants us thus to think that it doesn’t exist at all.

    What continues to amaze me is the eagerness of mediocre journalists to demonstrate their conformity to popular orthodoxy.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    , @J.Ross
  19. carol says:

    He got his height from his uncle? Really? Who says that? Was mom fooling around with the brother?

    Anyway, they’re hell bent on assuring us we aren’t all that, aren’t they. That means we must be really awesome.

    I am a descendant of Charlemagne! And my body is a Temple of the Holy Ghost!

  20. bomag says:

    From her article:

    Over the next few centuries, as Europeans embarked on brutal campaigns of colonisation and empire-building, the idea of separate human races that designated some fit to be rulers and others fit to be ruled spread perniciously around the globe, carried by trading ships and warships and scientific expeditions.

    She wrote this first and crafted an essay around it.

  21. Charlemagne on my mind.

    The Pewitt campaign for president in the 2020 GOP presidential primary hereby patents the name of Charlemagne II to evoke the magnitude and grandeur of the upcoming Pewitt campaign.

    Adelson’s Poodle — my nickname for Trumpy — will not stand a chance against the Charlemagne II campaign.

    The Pewitt Charlemagne II campaign disavows the Steely Dan song Kid Charlemagne as being insufficiently heroic to conjure up the heroic nature of the onrushing battle against Adelson’s Poodle.

    To satisfy popular tastes in catchy pop lyrics, the Pewitt Charlemagne II campaign hereby admits that the following lines are funny and memorable and evocative of the vague sense of outlawry and doomed fortunes of certain California desperados out to make a buck selling certain items to an eager public:

    Is there gas in the car?

    Yes, there’s gas in the car

  22. TheBoom says:

    Meehan Crist is a woman. What is the chance a woman knows more about science than what she is supposed to know? Steve, don’t waste your time

  23. Because what could David Reich know that 67 Buzzfeed scientists plus Carl Zimmer don’t know?

    Carl Zimmer’s father, Dick, was a no good bastard too. Overly harsh this close to Thanksgiving? Tough stuffing!

    I wrote this on D-Day of 2018:

    Dick Zimmer still pisses me off, dammit! What a fancy pants shyster boy this Dick Zimmer is. A New Jersey GOP Jew weasel rat politician of the worst sort!

    Dick Zimmer is a rancid shyster who pushed mass immigration while he was a US representative. Zimmer was a typical Jew GOP politician whore who did everything he could to destroy the United States. In 1996 Dick Zimmer voted to keep the mass immigration floodgates open. Dick Zimmer was a treasonous advocate for nation-wrecking mass immigration.

    Sailer should know that anything written by his kid, Carl, will be suspect. Blood will tell!

    Dick Zimmer learned the legal shyster boy game at a New York law firm, then he went to work for the money-grubbing shyster rat family that controls Johnson and Johnson. One of the Johnson family helped add to the White death(billionaire cohort) by raising a daughter who killed herself with drugs.

    BACK TO BLOOD SAYS THE GHOST OF WOLFE!

  24. Zimmer, whose father was an Ashkenazi Jew and his mother German/Irish, tells the Times of Israel, “I don’t have any problem with people studying any part of human nature so long as they’re not using it to justify existing prejudices.”

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/hands-on-science-journalist-unlocks-the-secrets-of-genetic-hand-me-downs/

    …like that the white race is the one race that isn’t a race?

  25. I probably have fourth cousins, but I’ve never met them, or even heard of them. Ergo, I’ve never called them kin. They’re probably living in the old country.

    It seems to me that you’d have to be European royalty, or a Roosevelt, to have actually met a fourth or fifth cousin. Just curious: Could anybody here pick one of their own out of a lineup?

  26. dr kill says:

    He should check out this Nina Jablonski chick, she’s got it going on.

  27. King Baeksu says: • Website

    If there’s no such thing as a “white race” and we’re simply members of the “human race,” does this mean that non-whites who still identify by race are somehow less “evolved” and “enlightened”?

    If so, is this not itself a kind of moral and epistemological hierarchy that smuggles in “white supremacism” by the back door of “whiteness” denialism?

  28. Tiny Duck says:

    You guys are finished

    • Troll: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  29. Logan says:

    We don’t seem to have problems with this concept when dealing with other animals.

    Many species of animals have sub-species. Where those sub-species adjoin each other geographically, they generally interbreed freely. Which means there is a zone where one sub-species shades into the other. No hard division. But nobody claims that for this reason sub-species don’t exist.

    This seems to me much like the situation with regard to human “races.” I’ve tried to find out whether human races are analogous to sub -species in animals, but all I’ve been able to find is people proclaiming loudly that the two concepts have absolutely nothing in common. But with no explanation of why the two are different.

    The article Steve is referencing here seems to be largely demolishing a strawman. Even the Nazis didn’t believe in absolute racial purity in the way covered here. Certainly nothing even vaguely like the infamous one drop rule. Under the Nuremberg laws someone with two Jewish grandparents was a mischling of the first degree, with one Jewish grandparent a mischling of the second degree.

    There were complexities, but second-degree mischlinge were generally not harassed by the Nazis, although some occupations and notably entry into the SS had more demanding “blood quantum” requirements.

  30. George says:

    People could walk from, say, China to France in 1491, but how many did?

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

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Roman_relations

    Roman glasswares were already making their way from Western Asia (i.e. the Parthian Empire) to the Kushan Empire in Afghanistan and India and as far Han Empire of China. The first Roman glass found in China came from an early 1st-century BC tomb at Guangzhou, ostensibly via the South China Sea.[5][6]

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

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    , @Anonymous
  31. res says:

    Zimmer cites research showing that out of any hundred pairs of third cousins, one pair wouldn’t share any identical segments of DNA.

    Okay, so the kinship to genetic relationship glass at the third cousin level is 99% full.

    It is worth mentioning that when they say things like this they are talking about identical by descent: https://isogg.org/wiki/Identical_by_descent

    If the parents (grandparents, etc.) are of the same race (especially for finer ethnic subgroups) and mate assortatively then I would expect the proportion of cousin genomes that are identical by state (which is what matters phenotypically) is higher. However, I have never seen a numerical analysis (either theoretical or empirical) of this. If someone knows of one, please post.

    One statistic we do have is the number of false positives for matching blocks actually being IBD

    The link above gives false positive statistics for matching blocks from 15 cM (0%) to 3 cM (89%). Autosomal chromosomes range from about 70 to about 250 centiMorgans so those 3 cM blocks are fairly large. Note the relationship between centiMorgans and number of base pairs is not simple: https://www.biostars.org/p/16236/

    Here is an individual looking at their grandparent relatedness. AFAICT the discussion of unphased data forces a 100% sum on the relatedness. But from the point of view of this conversation, what we really want to know is how much DNA has the same state as (rather than is received from) a grandparent. Those numbers almost certainly sum to more than 100%. https://lianejensenresearch.com/2017/06/27/how-much-dna-i-share-with-each-of-my-grandparents/

    P.S. Here is a detailed look at genomic block sharing with cousins which gives an idea of what the probability curves look like: https://gcbias.org/2013/12/02/how-many-genomic-blocks-do-you-share-with-a-cousin/

    For example:

    From the comments he gives R code for his simulations at https://github.com/cooplab/Genetic_ancestors

    • Replies: @notanon
  32. Jack D says:

    Remarkably, researchers have found that a pair of siblings may share as much as 61.7 per cent of their DNA, or as little as 37.4 per cent.

    Wait, but I thought that all humans share 99.9% of their DNA? I am 99.9% similar to random African strangers but only 37.4% similar to my blood brother? This is some kind of strange math.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1416706/DNA-survey-finds-all-humans-are-99.9pc-the-same.html

  33. Anon[223] • Disclaimer says:

    The 67 should never have published their we-the-undersigned on Buzzfeed. When the New York Times rejected it they should have just put it up on somebody’s website or on Medium. They’ll never live down the Buzzfeed connection.

  34. ic1000 says:

    Steve, to your credit, you seem to make a strong good-faith effort to avoid rebutting others’ straw-man arguments in your reviews and essays. Your Taki’s review of Carl Zimmer’s book is a case in point.

    I can’t say the same for The London Review‘s Meehan Crist, based on your excerpts or on her full review. Her piece is full of implicit rebuttals of assumptions that no well-educated biologist would (should) make.

    Crist’s writing makes for a strange read… “Zimmer is my ally in fighting against the oppressive Patriarchy, let me show you how he highlights all sorts of exceptions, and add some more of my own.” Is Crist too unfamiliar with her subject to appreciate what orthodoxy is, and isn’t? Her summary of her recent work suggests she knows enough to make better judgements, but prefers this approach to making a living as a writer. Which is somewhat more depressing; hers is a wasted talent.

    Zimmer cites research showing that out of any hundred pairs of third cousins, one pair wouldn’t share any identical segments of DNA.

    Well, yeah, kind of. But what Crist (Zimmer?) means is that this one pair of third cousins wouldn’t have inherited any of the same identical segments of DNA from this great-great-grandparent-in-common. Which is not quite the same thing (per res, above). For instance, since I’m part-Ashkenazi, 23andMe routinely discovers distant relatives with whom I share numerous identical segments of DNA inherited from a common ancestor. Thanks to the early-Medieval bottleneck, that unknown ancestor lived many centuries ago. Taking a yet-wider view, what does Crist (Zimmer?) suppose is implied by the trope “human and chimp DNA is 99% identical”?

    So, what was Crist’s point in penning a review that highlights dozens of exceptions, without any reference to the rules? “Golly,” thinks the Kensington or Upper West Side reader, “this genomic blizzard of factoids sure is complicated. Good thing that Crist (and Zimmer) guide me to the bottom line — Race is a social construct! Down with the Wreckers and Saboteurs who falsely claim otherwise!

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @ic1000
    , @Jack D
  35. BenKenobi says:

    We use words like sister and aunt as if they describe rigid laws of biology

    Um, don’t they?

  36. Because what could David Reich know that 67 Buzzfeed scientists plus Carl Zimmer don’t know?

    The point is that their response was “impassioned”! Reich on the other hand is is a cold, unfeeling ,robotic, objective enemy of the revolution. A veritable “running dog” of the racist haters. The feminization of our discourse and culture proceeds apace.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  37. ic1000 says:
    @ic1000

    Via Rod Dreher, here’s an inspirational 1920s quote from the Soviet Union’s Communist Academy [of science].

    We are not investigators who observe from a distance the development of ideas, the struggle of social and class forces and the tendencies in our society. We are fighters, our journal is a journal fighting for the materialist world view.

    Ms. Crist, too, is on the right side of history.

  38. It’s a sleight of hand, humans and apes are 96% the same also we’ve been repeatedly told by the public schools and globo-homo media complex.

    The Devil is in the details. If you had 2 batches of pudding that were made 96% the same but in batch B you added 4% arsenic would the 2 batches be the same?

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/08/chimps-humans-96-percent-the-same-gene-study-finds/

  39. Jack D says:
    @ic1000

    Yes, of course, that is the whole point of highlighting all of these “exceptions” while not mentioning the “rules” at all. As Steve says, rather than saying that the 3rd cousin glass is 99% full, you say that it is 1% empty and somehow this 1% is supposed to “prove” that race (or even kinship) doesn’t really exist.

    It’s really nothing more than a statistical artifact – if I take 8 decks of cards (red back, blue back, green back, etc.) and shuffle them together (poorly) and deal out two sets of 52 cards from the mixed decks, in 1 case out of 100 the deck that I deal to you will not have any red backed cards and my deck will have a least 1 red backed card. The other 99 times I try this, we will both have at least 1 red card in our respective decks. (I didn’t calculate the actual odds). What kind of grand conclusion can we draw from this? But somehow you do a lot of hand waving and wink wink nod nodding and we are supposed to interpret this party trick as confirming our fashionable beliefs that race does not exist.

    • Replies: @ic1000
  40. utu says:

    Remarkably, researchers have found that a pair of siblings may share as much as 61.7 per cent of their DNA, or as little as 37.4 per cent.

    (1) These are not theoretical limits? (2) Fraction of what? 10 million SNPs? (3) If parents are very similar chances of siblings being different are smaller.

  41. @PhysicistDave

    Greg Cochran reviews the book here:

    Live Not By Lies

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/live-not-by-lies/

    Cochran says Reich does a lot of lying in the book.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  42. istevefan says:

    Among the outmoded biological concepts that science suggests we need to abandon is that of a ‘white’ race.

    And we come to the real motivation behind it all.

    For those strategic thinkers out there, what would be the result if we abandoned the concept of the white race as they demand? Are they just trying to prevent whites from ever coalescing around a political identity? Currently whites seem highly divided and there are little signs of that ever happening. So what is the end game of publicly declaring the white race does not exist?

  43. In fact, he and his collaborators found that ‘the overwhelming amount of genetic diversity was between individuals. The genetic differences between major groups accounted for only 3-5 per cent.’

    Lewontin’s fallacy stubbornly refuses to die.

    • Agree: ic1000, Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  44. craig says:

    “Among the outmoded biological concepts that science suggests we need to abandon is that of a ‘white’ race.”

    Got it — stop checking ‘white’ on forms and applications. All can now join the line for gibsmedat.

    (Doesn’t ever work that way, though, does it? Fen’s Law, repeat after me: The Left doesn’t really believe the stuff they lecture the rest of us about. The people who used to burn witches at least deserve credit for following their convictions that witches really exist. Today’s Left claims witches don’t exist but should be burned anyway.)

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  45. Mike1 says:

    I read a description by the LDS church last night “explaining” how DNA fits in with their lunatic belief that they are descended from Jews who moved to the US 600 years before Christ. Their method of getting things across shares a lot with articles like the one above: a torrent of words with the targeted message repeated at intervals for anyone still reading.
    This concept that something both exists and absolutely does not exist needs a name. My contribution to the field is that white people can now be called Schrödinger’s Race.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  46. pyrrhus says:

    Clearly, a good living can be made by clowns like Zimmer with such nonsense, given the innumeracy and general stupidity of the American, and British publics…Didn’t notice any discussion of the genetic distance between races, which is quite vast for subSaharan Africans vs north Asians or white Europeans.That would spoil the narrative.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  47. BB753 says:

    Great, race doesn’t exist so we can get rid of affirmative action, right?

  48. @Jack D

    Like Jack D, I too am bewildered that “human and chimp DNA is 99% identical” but “a pair of siblings may share as much as 61.7 per cent of their DNA, or as little as 37.4 per cent.” It is unsurprising that human and chimp DNA is so similar, because most of their DNA is just to set up the biochemical machinery to make a mammal. Similarity would be less between the DNA of mammals and millipedes. But why is sibling DNA so dissimilar? I must be misunderstanding something fundamentally here. Somebody please set me straight.

    • Replies: @ic1000
    , @candid_observer
  49. Tiny Duck says:

    Race is not biological at all, it’s just an arbitrary social construct. All people are interchangeable, all people are the same. Everybody is equal in all their capacities.

    However …

    It is indisputable fact that white people are biologically / genetically predisposed to violence and evil, so they must be turned into minorities in every nation where they currently constitute a majority.

    History, statistics and biology prove white malfeasance beyond a shadow of a doubt. “Replacing” them will bring about a better world.

    Just read Leonard Pitts Ta-Nehisi Coates Marie Lu Sabaa Tahir and Ibram X Kendi.

    Race is not real, it’s a social construct designed to oppress others and deny the fact that all people are equal regardless of race.

    Your descendatns will be brown and there’s nothing you can do about it, mediocre white men!

    • Troll: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @AnonymousLevantine
  50. Ju

    st like in Turkey, the person who comes up with the most complicated theory wins.

    Or France, for that matter. Some British scholar told his French colleagues at a conference that Britain’s philosophy, worldview, “theory”, whatever was basically empiricist.

    They weren’t sold in the least. Empiricism wasn’t a theory, it was the lack of one. Anglais ignorants!

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @jim jones
  51. @PhysicistDave

    That problem is largely his own fault, from the large amount of PC spin in his tome, which added nothing of value to it according to Greg Cochran, to his constant bashing of people who reached the same conclusion he did with older methods. He tried to preemptively spin his facts to fit the leftist narrative, but they still will despise him for saying race has a biological basis, and is not socially constructed. The left can’t surrender this view, because everything they believe and advocate for is lost if they do and they know it.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  52. @ThirdWorldSteveReader

    Lewontin’s fallacy stubbornly refuses to die.

    So does Lewontin:

    “Born: March 29, 1929 (age 89 years), New York City, NY”

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  53. At what point do people figure out that this “race isn’t a thing” argument is just a game of semantic smoke and mirrors.

    The science is settled — there are geographical groups with distinct allele distributions. “Genetic Clusters,” “Population Groups,” “Races,” “Ancestry Groups,” “Haplogroups,” whatever. It doesn’t matter what you call them. A rose is a rose, and roses exist.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  54. @Jack D

    In fact, you are apparently more related to a fruit fly (60% same DNA) than your brother.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/647139.stm

    Think about that next time he wants to borrow money.

  55. Anon[323] • Disclaimer says:

    The manager thought these gentlemen were the same customers from Tuesday night who weren’t able to pay for their meal.

    Blacks, along with Jews and Homos, are Made Men.

    http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=59382

    • Replies: @ZeroDay
  56. This is just another attempt to use epicycles to explain the orbits of Jupiter’s moons. Science has gone beyond current dogma, and the priests of progressivism are fighting like mad to squelch it.

    Steve Sailer has coined two wonderful analogies that can help people understand all of this:

    1) Races are extended families, so naturally they are related and share some characteristics that distinguish them. They even have a shared history and culture.

    2) Races are like hills and mountains. You can’t exactly define where one ends and another one begins, but you sure as hell can see them. Mt Everest exists, distinct from other mountains; white people exist, distinct from other races.

    Next up: How many races can fit on the head of a pin?

  57. Meehan Crist (“Meehan”?) =

    Mensch, I rate!
    Hence, I smart.
    Me, racist hen.

    N hate crimes.
    He miscreant.

    Race’s in them.
    Enema, Christ!

    Smart Chinee.
    Incest harem.

    Men. Race. Shit.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  58. @istevefan

    You can’t coalesce around something that doesn’t exist, right.

    Currently whites seem highly divided and there are little signs of that ever happening. So what is the end game of publicly declaring the white race does not exist?

    Reduce those odds even further. Let’s say that the current chances of a large number of whites coming together over their racial identity are 1 out 10. Why not try and drop that down to 1 out of 100 by pushing that there is no such thing as the white race, especially when people will pay you for the effort?

    It’s the same with elite Jews wanting to turn the West into a multi-racial paradise. They feel that it’s safer for the Jews. Now, what were the odds that we’d have gas chambers in Ohio if the U.S. stayed ~90% white, who knows, but let’s say it was 1 in a million. That’s crazy low, but it’s not zero. If you can reduce that to 1 in 10 million by flooding the country with Hispanics, Asians and others, why not do it. It’s not like you hurting your people.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  59. By the time you get back to the time of, say, Charlemagne, you have to draw over a trillion forks. In other words, your ancestors from that generation alone far outnumber all the humans who ever lived. The only way out of that paradox is to join some of those forks back together. In other words, your ancestors must have all been related to each other, either closely or distantly.

    Doesn’t this observation essentially admit the existence of the very “races” the author is trying to obfuscate/deny — i.e., groups that share a greater degree of inbreeding.

    It also seems like “degree of inbreeding” could provide a simple and objective measure of racial relatedness. For example, if two people within a population have, on average, X common ancestors at N generations in the past, couldn’t their degree of racial relatedness be roughly expressed as X/N?

    A simple relatedness quotient like this would cut through much of the Lewontin-style semantic obfuscation.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  60. Stick says:

    From now on, just call me Charlemagne.

  61. Forbes says:

    Among the outmoded biological concepts that science suggests we need to abandon is that of a ‘white’ race.

    Wake me when it is argued that the “black” race is an outmoded biological concept that should be abandoned.

    Like global warming/climate change, I’ll believe it when its advocates conduct themselves as if it actually exists.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  62. Pat Boyle says:

    Zimmer and Reich are such tortured souls. It’s hard to read them because they are in such pain. They are torn between their two faiths.

    Their new faith in science keeps presenting evidence that refutes their “Old Time Religion” of Crypto Marxist egalitarianism. Standard liberals if they are honest and understand the recent direction of anthropology and genetics are in a world of pain.

  63. peterike says:

    This relentless attempt to explain away the completely obvious is so tiresome. Here’s a test.

    Put two photos on line. One of a Nigerian, one of a Korean. Ask people to pick which is which.

    If you ask 10 million people, 10 million will correctly identify both (forgetting any pranksters, lunatics, etc.).

    Do the same test with, say, a Swede (a real one, not one with Moroccan parents) and a Mestizo. 10 million out of 10 million people will make the same selection.

    But we’re supposed to believe they are all — somehow — wrong, or that this proves nothing.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Forbes
  64. ic1000 says:
    @Jack D

    Regarding Meehan Crist’s All-Exceptions-No-Rules biology, she launches her review with an astonishing factoid:

    Before I got pregnant, I thought I understood how DNA works: parents pass on some combination of their DNA, which codes for various heritable traits, to their children, who pass on some combination to their children, and so on down the neat branching lines of the genealogical tree. What I didn’t know was that women can also receive DNA from their children. During pregnancy, foetal cells get into the mother’s bloodstream, mixing freely with her own cells and resulting in what scientists call a ‘microchimera, a single organism harbouring a small number of cells from another individual.

    Lengthy paragraph 2 expands on this: how microchimerism is the basis for Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing [not exactly, Ms. Crist]; how fetal cells influence long-term maternal health by integrating into mom’s body, fighting breast cancer and healing thyroid glands; how mom’s subsequent kids are actually complex microchimera of mother, father and sibling. “So much for the neat branching lines of vertical heredity,” she crows.

    Except for the NIPT misstep and the imaginative notion of sibling chimerism, Crist’s claims are more true than not. And they will mislead the 95% of London Review of Books readers who don’t quite recall what they learned about inheritance in freshman-year Biology 101. (Or at least the 50% of the 95% who credulously retain their trust in Science Journalists.)

    Indeed, post-pregnancy microchimerism can persist, and it may have “effects” on mothers’ health. Ms. Crist’s grammar elegantly elides the related questions of whether it has measurable or clinically significant effects on many mothers’ health. That’s because the answer is generally “no.” I’m most familiar with the literature on breast cancer, and can’t recall it being covered in reviews of the topic. Searching the clinical go-to resource UpToDate.com (no link, it’s paywalled): there’s no mention of chimerism outside of cell-transplant therapies for leukemias and the like.

    It’s an interesting challenge: write truthfully about a subject, but in such a way that most readers end up with a worse understanding of the topic than before they began.

  65. Jack D says:
    @istevefan

    If the “white race” doesn’t exist, then all the great accomplishments of Western science and invention that gave us the modern world, of Newton and Einstein (assuming Jews count as white) and Edison and Bell, etc. then don’t belong just to the white race – whites have no claim on being special. OTOH, if whites don’t exist, then neither do blacks so we have to get rid of affirmative action and all of the other things that specially benefit blacks. Fundamentally, SJW world is Alice in Wonderland – race does not exist except when say it does.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  66. anonymous[394] • Disclaimer says:
    @I, Libertine

    yeah that was utterly bizarre. 4th cousin is more like proving steves point that race exists–nobody ever introduces someone at a christmas party as “Bob, my 4th cousin.”

    i would only recognize my 4th cousins as….white.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  67. Remarkably, researchers have found that a pair of siblings may share as much as 61.7 per cent of their DNA, or as little as 37.4 per cent.

    No, they will share more than that.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  68. anonymous[394] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Chomsky noted that Foucault, unlike his colleagues, was actually intelligible if you sat him down in conversation. Chomsky said:

    “I’ve met Foucault (we even have a several-hour discussion, which is in print, and spent quite a few hours in very pleasant conversation, on real issues, and using language that was perfectly comprehensible — he speaking French, me English)

    I don’t particularly blame Foucault for it: it’s such a deeply rooted part of the corrupt intellectual culture of Paris that he fell into it pretty naturally, though to his credit, he distanced himself from it.”.

    Now, as Open Culture notes, Foucault admitted to his friend John Searle that he intentionally complicated his writings to appease his French audience. Searle claims Foucault told him: “In France, you gotta have ten percent incomprehensible, otherwise people won’t think it’s deep–they won’t think you’re a profound thinker.” When Searle later asked Pierre Bourdieu if he thought this was true, Bourdieu insisted it was much worse than ten percent.

  69. @I, Libertine

    I probably have fourth cousins, but I’ve never met them, or even heard of them. Ergo, I’ve never called them kin. They’re probably living in the old country.

    It seems to me that you’d have to be European royalty, or a Roosevelt, to have actually met a fourth or fifth cousin. Just curious: Could anybody here pick one of their own out of a lineup?

    I did it once just by hearing a guy laugh. He sounded like my uncle, and it turns out he is in fact a fourth cousin.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  70. @I, Libertine

    It seems to me that you’d have to be European royalty, or a Roosevelt, to have actually met a fourth or fifth cousin.It seems to me that you’d have to be European royalty, or a Roosevelt, to have actually met a fourth or fifth cousin.

    Or a genealogist. I met many ninth cousins at one “reunion”– a reunion of genes; we’d only “met” online before that. Another time I was at a computer terminal at the state historical society in Madison, and noticed that the man next to me was researching a familiar name. He was the president of the society for that name, which was my great-great-grandmother’s. They had just finished their convention that day.

    In the first case, there were two major families with the same name, a huge one in Massachusetts and smaller one in Connecticut and English Long Island. One lonely guy came down from Canada (or perhaps up; bits of Ontario are farther south than Lexington), and he was the only one representing the smaller family. I don’t remember if I knew it then, but I descend from both, so he was my distant cousin as much as all the others were. Plus, he’d have been their cousins, and mine, many times over through other families.

    In the second case, there are several separate families with that name, in both England and Scotland, so I don’t know if the man at the terminal was a relation. But had I attended the conference, I’d have certainly met many cousins through that line.

    I attended another celebration, a 350th wedding anniversary, in Quebec City, with a ninth-cousin-once-removed. The one I married. That makes me tenth cousin to my kids.

    Finally, I did my brother-in-law’s West Virginia genealogy. He was surprised to find some of his neighbors’ surnames in his own family tree. Yeah, they were third or fourth cousins.

    One of those names is mountain German (like Hoover, Eisenhower, and Earnhardt), but otherwise he’s pure (and stereotypically) Scots-Irish. Yet he’d never heard the term until I told him.

  71. ic1000 says:
    @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    > I too am bewildered that “human and chimp DNA is 99% identical” but “a pair of siblings may share as much as 61.7 per cent of their DNA, or as little as 37.4 per cent.”

    Two different questions:

    1. When I compare the sequence of a length of DNA from one source to a similar piece of DNA from another source, how alike are they at the base-pair level?

    2. Comparing two siblings or cousins, what fraction of their DNA do they share, that can be traced as having been inherited from a common ancestor?

    To take the simplest case for #2, Alice gets half her DNA from Mom and half from Dad; same for her sibling Bob. If the DNA is perfectly shuffled, Alice and Bob “share” 50% of what they inherited from each parent. So they have in common 25.000% of Mom’s and 25.000% of Dad’s, or 50.000% total.

    Mainly because meiosis interferes with the perfect shuffling, that total is often in the high 40s or low 50s, and in extreme cases might be “as much as 61.7%, or as little as 37.4%.”

    Back to #1. There are stretches of DNA that are crucial to the proper function of essential genes. (Nearly) every human shares (nearly) identical DNA at all of these chromosomal locations. You might have inherited one of your copies of, say, the coding regions of MYL3 (the essential light chain of myosin) from your maternal great-grandfather or your paternal great-grandmother — but it wouldn’t matter, because they are all the same. Many of these genes are identical among all primates; some go even further.

    So when stating that “humans and chimps are 99% identical,” people are doing raw counts of DNA similarity for all the chromosomes, base by base. For thinking about sibling similarity, people are using the heterogeneous regions of DNA to figure out who-inherited-which-segment-from-whom, then calculating the fraction that siblings share, ancestor by ancestor. This kind of analysis has to focus on those DNA segments that vary between human individuals (there are many).

    The shared-by-all-humans segments that Alice and Bob got from different ancestors are still identical, but they don’t count for “shared ancestry” in #2 above.

  72. @Coag

    At least he was upfront about the fact that his belief system was a religion. Doubt these scientists are so honest, even with themselves.

  73. jim jones says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    And just look at France today:

  74. @ben tillman

    Remarkably, researchers have found that a pair of siblings may share as much as 61.7 per cent of their DNA, or as little as 37.4 per cent.

    No, they will share more than that.

    Like 98% with a chimpanzee. So I’m closer to Cheeta and J Fred Muggs than to my own brother.

    And progs wonder why people roll their eyes at them. It’s not a chimp tic.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  75. @Hypnotoad666

    A simple relatedness quotient like this would cut through much of the Lewontin-style semantic obfuscation.

    Would fixation index perhaps be what you’re looking for, albeit maybe the probabalistic inverse thereof?

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  76. JimB says:

    Is Meehan Crist related to Peaches Christ? It would explain a lot.

  77. @Reg Cæsar

    One of those names is mountain German (like Hoover, Eisenhower, and Earnhardt), but otherwise he’s pure (and stereotypically) Scots-Irish. Yet he’d never heard the term until I told him.

    Mountain German brings to mind all the Germans in Colorado.

  78. @Tiny Duck

    Could that also fix your inability to learn punctuation?

  79. @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    One way to think about this is to think of the rough calculations involved.

    Take two sibs. Suppose that in the mating population of their parents, there is already average 99% identity in genes/alleles. Then, because for sibs the average sharing of genes due to common descent alone is 50%, the average identity in genes/alleles is going to be 99.5% — that is, 50% of those genes which are not already identical in the larger population will be rendered identical because of identity by descent. The actual numbers for the siblings will vary depending on how much DNA they actually got in common — which could be more or less– again, likely in the range of 37-63%.

    You could also throw in the effects of assortative mating in the mating population to improve estimates.

    • Replies: @candid_observer
  80. Jack D says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    So I’m closer to Cheeta and J Fred Muggs than to my own brother.

    More to the(ir) point, you are (supposedly) closer to Trayvon Martin than you are to your own brother. The whole idea is to turn leapfrogging loyalties into “science”.

    They had Frank Gehry (real name Goldberg) on the Skip Gates “Finding Your Roots” show. Gates asked Gehry what % Ashkenazi Jewish he thought he was. Gehry said, “40%”. The real answer was 98%. Gehry protested “but I feel so international”, as if feelz could change your DNA. I thought this was a joke, but I watched it again recently and he says this in all seriousness and Gates lets it pass without calling him on it in any way.

    If you are some Brooklyn hipster working in the Hillary campaign, you FEEL much closer to your fellow hipsters, who are black, Indian, Asian, Jewish, Latino, etc. than you do to your icky 2nd cousin the hairdresser who lives back in your hometown and who could have been you if you had been dealt a few less IQ points and hadn’t gotten that scholarship to Wellesley. And isn’t it nice that science confirms your gut feeling that you owe no special loyalty to her (let alone the white race)?

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Reg Cæsar
    , @ATBOTL
  81. bomag says:
    @Altai

    It’s almost like diversity isn’t an asset or something.

    You can drop the “almost” in today’s climate.

    As highlighted in the linked passages, diversity is a temporary state of affairs until one group can assert dominance. Initially, she wanted to fit in with the Beckys. Now the Beckys are following her lead.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  82. utu says:
    @Jack D

    98% Ashkenazi Jewish is already very international. 50% European and 50% ME.

    • Replies: @Joe Walker
  83. @Jack D

    Jack,

    It’s simply really. There is no such thing as race. It’s a social construct. However, people (especially men) with White skin – which, as we all know, is a superficial difference – refuse to accept this reality and continue to discriminate (consciously and unconsciously) against non-Whites.

    Race isn’t real, but racism is real

    Therefore, we must take steps educate people with White skin that their skin tone doesn’t make them different in any material way from people with other skin tones. (These White people really don’t want to let go.) But until the day comes that people with White skin stop discriminating on the basis of skin tone, we need affirmative action.

    How will we know when that day arrives? Easy, people with different skins tones will achieve at similar rates.

    What’s that you say? The success of NE Asians and South Asians? Well, I really don’t think that is the topic of this discussion. We’re talking about Whites and blacks. Besides, it’s probably cultural. What’s that, why can’t the black-White divide be cultural? Well, Whites destroyed important parts of black culture during slavery and Jim Crow, so even if it was cultural, it would still be the fault of Whites.

    Now, please put on this hairshirt and remember to acknowledge publicly twice a day how you and ancestors are guilty of crimes against humanity. It is only when you accept your guilt that we can move forward toward a better world. Well, either that or when you and your kind are dead or bred out of existence.

  84. The weird thing about the cousin discourse is that it’s extremely common for Jews to get a lot of ghost distant cousins in their relatives matches that are not really cousins because Jews as a whole share so much DNA with one another.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  85. @candid_observer

    Maybe the best way to think of the way relatives share genes is that this sharing works on top of pre-existing similarities.

  86. utu says:
    @ic1000

    I would define it as follows: Genetic distance between two individuals is a number of SNPs they do not share. So you get the distance for the siblings and then you divide it by their avg genetic distance to the world population.

  87. bomag says:
    @South Texas Guy

    I wonder what the fall back position will be when lefties finally are forced to acknowledge that race does actually exist?

    LOL. They sure believe when it comes time for Affirmative Action.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @King Baeksu
  88. It is as though mental midgets like Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin are still running around the halls of ivy with baseball bats bashing in the skulls of physicists while screaming “Phlogiston theorists deny SCIENCE!!!” because somewhere, buried deeply in the minds of said physicists, grappling with the nuances of quantum mechanics, general relativity and string theory, is the notion of “heat” as part of their world view.

  89. bomag says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Starcraft 2 video game has a world championship, almost completely dominated by Korea. This year the winner was a Finn.

  90. Zimmer cites research showing that out of any hundred pairs of third cousins, one pair wouldn’t share any identical segments of DNA.

    What does this mean? We all share 99+% of our DNA. What is meant by “identical segment” here? Usually SNPs are used as features for classification, yet even unrelated people will share many of the same SNPs that vary across the population, it is the overall pattern that is specific. I can’t make head or tail of the above statement.

    • Replies: @ic1000
  91. OT: The Coalition of the Fringes is getting more and more impatient with its White leaders.

    Everyone’s favorite Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is teaming up with a group of ex-Bernie supporters known as Justice Democrats to challenge the party’s more conservative members and to get party officials look more like their voters, i.e. not White.

    The group is calling its new campaign #OurTime. The initiative asks Justice Democrats’ army of activists to help identify Democratic House incumbents who are “demographically and ideologically out-of-touch with their districts,” and identify people who might make good primary challengers to them.

    Joining Ocasio-Cortez in backing the #OurTime initiative is Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

    Ms. Tlaib is a Palestinian-American (well, sort of American) woman. She’s also a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Finally, she’s critical of Israel, so she’s got that.

    Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and others are looking to push out the White Democratic leadership.

    Ocasio-Cortez and leaders of Justice Democrats say they are driven by a conviction that most current Democratic members of Congress are not up to the task of enacting the radical solutions to address the country’s ― and the planet’s ― most pressing problems. The most urgent of those crises, they said, include climate change, widening economic inequality and persistent racial injustice.

    Btw, in case you were wondering who’s going to actually organize this band of Hispanic, black and Muslim misfits if not the Jews, well, let me introduce you to Saikat Chakrabarti.

    “There are some good people who want to push for stuff, but they don’t have the backup right now to do anything big,” said Saikat Chakrabarti, a founder of Justice Democrats who is headed to Washington to serve as Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff. “So we need new leaders, period. We’ve got to primary folks.”

    The blacks and browns in the Dem Party are tired playing second fiddle to the Schumers and Pelosis. Jewish insiders probably feel that they can still control them, and they’re probably right. However, I’m not so sure that they’ll be able to control the NE Asians and Indians over time.

    Of course, this is all happening as the GOP base of Whites is slowly getting rid of its worthless cucks.

    American politics may be poised for a more acrimonious – but, in many ways, more honest – future.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  92. Race doesn’t come into it

    Oh, the punning possibilities that inhere in this headline. (“Head” line! Ha ha!)

    But you can’t top (“top”!) Camille Paglia’s sperm spitoon.

  93. @ic1000

    Two different questions:

    1. When I compare the sequence of a length of DNA from one source to a similar piece of DNA from another source, how alike are they at the base-pair level?

    2. Comparing two siblings or cousins, what fraction of their DNA do they share, that can be traced as having been inherited from a common ancestor?

    There may be two different questions, but no one ever distinguishes between them. We are just told the “answer” and expected to accept ludicrous contradictions.

    Moreover, the answer to number two is always misrepresented as being the total amount shared without reference to any notion of inheritance from a common ancestor. This is, by the way, a clarification that would be trivially easy to make.

  94. so many words, so little to say. it’s sad. i woould feel sorry for steve, but…

    the homogeneous society is preferable for many reasons other than any supposed or actual genetic superiority of its members to those of other societies.

    steve is unaware of these many reasons or he’s just controlled opposition, a potemkin hereditist.

    it’s just disgusting.

    this comment will not be posted because steve is a fraud and he knows it.

    • LOL: ic1000
    • Troll: Mr. Rational
  95. gregor says:

    This is the Buzzfeed statement from the 67 “scientists,” a term which is apparently broad enough to include law, sociology, and black studies professors.

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/bfopinion/race-genetics-david-reich

    Throughout, it uses the term “race” in scare quotes. You see, “races” do not exist. There are just “racialized groups.” So I guess Africans and Europeans aren’t difference races; it’s just here in America the dominant group (coincidentally from Europe) “racialized” the oppressed group who just coincindentally came from a different continent, were morphologically dissimilar, and had undergone at least 50,000 years of divergent evolution.

    This doesn’t mean that genetic variation is unimportant; it is, but it does not follow racial lines.

    How is this a defensible statement?

    The public should not cede the power to define race to scientists who themselves are not trained to understand the social contexts that shape the formation of this fraught category.

    The whole point of science is that it should be objective and independently verifiable. And there’s no scientific reason we can’t apply the usual biological methods to humans. Bringing in people trained in “social context” just opens the door for sophistry. This is a call for removing science from the issue.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @bomag
  96. ZeroDay says:
    @Anon

    Awesome. His rap sheet and mug shot are even worse than his tweets!

    I’ve said it before, but if the right wanted to derail the far left and outrage media, they could create a few thousand minority/trans/gay sjw Twitter accounts, then do a slow drip of faux racist incidents that would get picked up by news outlets desperate for clicks. If anyone on the left questioned it, simply tar them as a bigot and they would probably back down.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  97. @Jack D

    If you are some Brooklyn hipster working in the Hillary campaign…

    …you might be tricked into believing that Frank Gehry is an architect, rather than a glass graffitist.

    Still, you can’t blame “hipsters” for his eyesores, as they have neither the clout nor the assets to bring them about. My guess is that businessmen and public beancounters find his designs even cheaper than modernism.

    Well worth thirteen minutes, an excellent TED Talk on what glass does to our cities:

  98. istevefan says:

    In a sense, we are all royals,…

    Is this a variation on ‘we wuz kangs’?

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  99. eah says:

    link

    1) She has a BA in English; 2) An MFA in ‘non-fiction writing’ (ie another junk degree); 3) Is an obvious ideologue — so why waste your time?

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @eah
    , @Reg Cæsar
  100. @ic1000

    In fact, he and his collaborators found that ‘the overwhelming amount of genetic diversity was between individuals. The genetic differences between major groups accounted for only 3-5 per cent.’ Rather than defining biological boundaries between racial groups, cutting-edge genetic studies like Pritchard’s suggest a dissolution of these boundaries.

    That’s impossible because “genetic diversity” isn’t a defined term. Nor is “genetic differences”, which, according to the quote, is the same thing as genetic diversity.

  101. ic1000 says:
    @Forked Animal

    See if my reply to Mark Spahn upthread (here) is useful.

  102. @blahbahblah

    David Brooks announced excitedly that he was a third cousin, genetically speaking, to Steven Pinker.

  103. eah says:
    @eah

    Consider the platform.

  104. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    The more ethnic and fractious the Democrats of the Fringes become, the more poorly they will be able to organize (Muslims look down on Africans, for example, and will try to grab their gibs for themselves) and the more they will turn their venom on White people in general.  The more this hatred becomes explicit and turns Goodthinkers who voted out of sympathy into hated Beckies who get a face-full of it with every campaign action, the more the Beckies and other Goodthinkers are going to either #WalkAway or swallow red pills.

    You can’t see too many suburban White women voting for Ocrazyeyes-Cortex, can you?

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  105. @ZeroDay

    The funny part of this is that it would probably work, but to carry it off would take a level of personal dishonesty that’s quite alien to conservative types.  I bet that the number of people with the required political leanings and also the personality traits to enjoy such trollery is minuscule.

    On the plus side, the media is destroying itself quite nicely already.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    , @ZeroDay
  106. “People could walk from, say, China to France in 1491, but how many did?”

    Strictly 1491? Can we count the Huns, who pretty much did it a millenium earlier?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  107. @I, Libertine

    A third cousin in the Hague told me later that same evening (as I was drinking coffee with her family at home) that she had immediately known that I was a relation when I walked into the room where she and the other members of the quartet she played with were about to sooth our frazzled nerves with Beethoven and Brahms.

    But third is not fourth, so you may well be on to something.

  108. @George

    My favourite story about the dangers of people walking hither and thither comes from the mouth of an English duke who, in the late 18th century, warned his fellow peers, who were debating a bill “for the improvement of the roads outside the towns” that such an idea was dangerous in the extreme, as it would allow the people to “move about” and see new sights; thus learning, perhaps, that their native village did not, after all, possess all that was needed for a fulfilled and happy life.

    He was right, of course, as gloomy reactionaries invariably are.

  109. notanon says:
    @res

    wouldn’t most 4th cousins be nth cousins by multiple different pathways and wouldn’t this be additive to some extent?

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    , @res
  110. @Mr. Rational

    I was thinking of something simple that would be able to impart an intuitive sense of relatedness to a layman. Fixation Index may be expressing the same idea but it sure aint simple. Per Wikipedia it is a complex polynomial equation using obscure statistical factors. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixation_index#Definition

    Anything involving both algebra and statistics is meaningless to 99% of people. When presented with statistics a normal person’s eyes glaze over and they grasp for something simple — if nonsensical — like Lewontin’s straw-man definition of race.

    In fact, that’s why Lewontin’s fallacy is so persistent. It is a simple (simple-minded) definition, and there is no simple, functional counter-definition of a “race” to compare it to. So Lewontin’s fallacy wins by default.

    We definitely need some intuitive metric that corresponds to Steve’s recurring point that “race” is really an extended family. Maybe the measure is how many common ancestors are shared over the past 100 generations. But it has to be simple and it has to relate to the concept of ancestry that people understand — as per the current craze for DNA ancestry tests.

  111. @Tiny Duck

    We are all human and the only reason we look different is because of racist thinking and not celebrating our differences

    I don’t want to say this is a Duck classic, because the Duck has had some comments that were knock outs. But i will say the sentence above–quality work.

    The amazing/depressing thing–you hear “progs” actually saying stuff like this with complete sincerity.

  112. @Mr. Rational

    “I bet that the number of people with the required political leanings and also the personality traits to enjoy such trollery is minuscule.”

    IDK, are you aware of the “weaponized autists” of 4Chan. This is right up their alley. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlXepby4Ck4

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  113. ZeroDay says:
    @Mr. Rational

    Good point on conservative personality types.

    Think it would take a few engineers who would view it primarily as a fun side project. Perhaps add some short positions on Twitter stock, if the company takes a large reputation hit, to sweeten the pot. Kind of like a AltRight Big Short.

  114. notanon says:

    they’re not sending their best but

    our two parents the product of four grandparents, who are descended from eight great-grandparents, and so on. But such a tree eventually explodes into impossibility. By the time you get back to the time of, say, Charlemagne, you have to draw over a trillion forks. In other words, your ancestors from that generation alone far outnumber all the humans who ever lived. The only way out of that paradox is to join some of those forks back together. In other words, your ancestors must have all been related to each other, either closely or distantly.

    she’s almost there by accident.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  115. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    There’s no agreeing with this satire, and no way to LOL at it either.  But it’s damn good.

  116. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says:

    any notion of biological racial purity

    Who is arguing for biological purity? And if Zimmer thinks all people are the same kind of Mongrels, he should tell Israel to allow Right of Return and have Jewish women breed with Palestinian men.

  117. @notanon

    I seem to recall that the average ethnic English is related overall to other English at about the level of a third cousin.  All those overlapping shared ancestors have an impact.

    If the typical person you run into on the street might as well be a third cousin by genetics, it probably means that a real fourth cousin is actual quite a bit closer than that.

    • Agree: Curmudgeon
    • Replies: @notanon
    , @gcochran
  118. @Hypnotoad666

    Anything involving both algebra and statistics is meaningless to 99% of people.

    Having tried to teach algebra to a lady friend who was being mis-educated in commie college, and having seen the calculus behind the equation for best-fit of a line to a set of points, I have to say that 99% is almost certainly an under-estimate.

    We definitely need some intuitive metric that corresponds to Steve’s recurring point that “race” is really an extended family.

    I suspect that the instant you try to get quantitative with this, the eyes of all 99.x% will glaze over.

  119. @Hypnotoad666

    The weaponized autistes are definitely a highly select group, and they might be one of the few able to enjoy such work.

  120. @Hypnotoad666

    In fact, that’s why Lewontin’s fallacy is so persistent. It is a simple (simple-minded) definition, and there is no simple, functional counter-definition of a “race” to compare it to. So Lewontin’s fallacy wins by default.

    Lewontin’s Fallacy isn’t — and doesn’t include — a definition of anything.

    • Replies: @utu
  121. @Altai

    16 years old: I start waxing my upper lip regularly. Boys start paying attention to me.

    Yes, dear, if you want heterosexual masculine attention it’s a good idea to get rid of your moustache.

    Even unlucky Beckies do that.

  122. Coag says:

    This is an old article from 2009 but is just loaded with iSteve themes:

    https://www.haaretz.com/amp/1.4755797

    The Education Ministry on Wednesday threatened to prosecute parents of students in a West Bank settlement school under the mandatory education law, unless the students returned to their classrooms.

    The Ashkenazi students of the ultra-Orthodox Beit Yaakov girls’ school in Immanuel stayed home on Wednesday, yet again, as part of an organized protest against the decision by the Education Ministry and High Court to end the segregation between Sephardi and Ashkenazi students.

    “No court ruling or Education Ministry decision can bring the two groups together,” an Immanuel resident said Wednesday.

    “It’s like putting Americans and Africans together. They can’t study together with such huge mental differences,” he said.

    “It’s a disgrace to this place, the ministry must intervene to stop the segregation once and for all,” the father of one Mizrahi student said. “The Ashkenazis think they’re more intelligent than we are, but what really bugs them is our skin color.”

  123. @Toño Bungay

    What continues to amaze me is the eagerness of mediocre journalists to demonstrate their conformity to popular orthodoxy.

    What’s amazing about it? Were you under the impression that the mediocre have better options?

  124. @Hugh

    Zimmer is cherry picking. Iceland had a DNA project that set out to test what the population generally believed – that they are all related. Guess what, more than 90% of the population is related. The same would be the case in places like Samoa, Fiji, the Canary Islands, and the “original” Hawaiian population.
    Even in the UK, up to a century ago, people married people within a 50 mile radius of where they were born. At some point, there was going to be a lot of relatives marrying relatives, although not first cousins.

  125. Somewhat OT:

    The Chicago Tribune now has a fake advice column written by a “diversity and etiquette expert”:

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/sc-fam-social-graces-plantation-wedding-1127-story.html#nt=oft13a-19gp1

    Q. You get invited to an event on an old slave plantation. You feel uncomfortable and aren’t going. Should you tell the host the real reason you won’t attend?

    Aren’t advice columnists supposed to answer questions submitted by anonymous readers whose real names are replaced with catchy euphemisms that alliterate with their hometowns (Triggered in Tulsa, Microaggrieved in Minneapolis, etc.)? Not anymore, I guess. They can’t even manufacture the pretense that this is a genuine query from an actual person. It’s a bullshit hypothetical scenario that has no bearing to any situation that anyone will ever encounter in real life.

    A: It’s so easy to wiggle out of an uncomfortable situation by — let’s call it what it is — lying. Responses like, “Oh, I have another engagement on that very day at that very time,” or, “I would love to attend at the plantation, but I will be traveling that day,” are neither truthful nor ethical.

    Why lie? Are you afraid you’ll miss future invitations from this person, or that this person will think less of you? Do you think this person would be embarrassed if you tell the truth?

    If the truth is that you are horrified at the thought of entering an old slave plantation, be honest without causing an affront to the host. Respond genuinely, keep it short and end on a pleasant note.

    Suggested responses:

    1. “No, thank you. Knowing the history of slavery makes visiting an old plantation not for me. Enjoy, and keep in touch afterward.”

    2. “A slave plantation? I’ll pass. Thank you for thinking of me, though.”

    3. “My mother would serve my head on a platter if I visited an old slave plantation. No, thank you. I hope you understand.’’

    Never compromise your values or ethics. You’ll be amazed how it feels to clear out the cobwebs of obligations.

    — Sharon A. Hill, diversity and etiquette expert

    How much does Sharon A. Hill get paid for crapping out this tripe?

    • LOL: bomag
    • Replies: @J.Ross
  126. Forbes says:
    @peterike

    There was an interesting psychology experiment I read about some years ago. It was set up in an attempt to discover or identify what facial characteristics were considered visually/physically attractive.

    They took male and female photos of whites, blacks, and Asians, and had them ranked by the opposite sex in communities that had no previous contact with the other two races.

    It turned out that the rank ordering was consistent in each case, across the races. The ranking within the same race was matched by those having no previous contact with each of the other two races.

    So, not only do people correctly identify racial distinctions (as you assert), they also similarly rank (distinguish) attractiveness within those races.

    We know what our eyes see even if we can’t articulate why.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  127. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Toño Bungay

    There’s two bases to media: the “build a better mousetrap” idea applied to writing, talent vindicated by the market, and then there’s Madison Avenue pretending to be disinterested researchers, and who pays the piper calls the tune.
    It’s inevitable that any journalist, who isn’t in the ballpark of Steve or John McPhee or Jonathan Rausch or that guy that founded Salon, is a hack who is terrified of saying the wrong thing and happy to get paid.

  128. ATBOTL says:
    @Jack D

    Sounds like Gehry is already familiar with the rough amount of Near Eastern DNA in Ashkenazi Jews and that’s what he meant. I guess this “Ashkenazi DNA” includes the European component.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  129. Forbes says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    How will we know when that day arrives? Easy, people with different skins tones will achieve at similar rates.

    It’s kinda amusing (or sad) to think about, but when all this Celebrate Diversity! has melted in the melting pot–when all the different skin tones have fairly merged/evolved into one bland tan–people still won’t achieve at similar rates.

  130. BB753 says:
    @Altai

    I once had the hots for a buxom Pakistani girl. Personally, I didn’t mind her fuzzy mustache, as all the other feminine goods were of prime quality. Did I mention I like my women to be natural? As a hairy Caucasian man, feminine fuzzy hair in legs and armpits does not bother me at all and I hate waxed pubises. Women should grow up and embrace their body hair. For instance, the great Sofia Loren never shaved her armpits. Google it up.

  131. anon[270] • Disclaimer says:
    @South Texas Guy

    I wonder what the fall back position will be when lefties finally are forced to acknowledge that race does actually exist?

    That day will never come.
    Like religions and other political faith beliefs, it can go on forever, or until it is replaced by another arbitrary belief.

  132. Anonymous[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @George

    Marco Polo famously travelled overland between Europe and China.

    • Replies: @Eagle Eye
  133. @Calvin X Hobbes

    Well, I have read the book, and I just read Cochran’s review.

    Cochran accuses Reich of being mean to Harpending, Wade, and Watson. Fair — but that’s not lying.

    Cochran, after all, is being mean to Reich:

    Watson’s a prick, but he’s a great prick, and what he said was correct. Henry was a prince among men, and Nick Wade is a decent guy as well. Reich is totally out of line here: he’s being a dick

    Okay, so in Cochran’s view, Jim Watson is a “prick,” and Reich is a “dick” for pointing this out, and that would make Cochran a ??ick for accusing Reich of “lying” when Reich tells the truth about these guys, albeit in an uncharitable manner?

    Enough already.

    Some of the “lies” or “fallacies” that Cochran discusses are lies or fallacies that others make and that Reich (gently) debunks. You have to read Cochran carefully to see that, though.

    The main difference between Reich and Cochran is that Reich is generally more tentative, diffident, and diplomatic in presenting truths that he knows will cause many people to simply explode in righteous anger. That is not lying. That is a difference in tone and approach.

    Reich is a professor at Harvard; he wants ordinary, intelligent people, not just people already obsessed with HBD, to take seriously what he writes. Furthermore, the book is primarily about ancient human evolution, not about HBD: Reich really did not need to address these issues at all, but he did so out of intellectual honesty.

    I too wish Reich had slightly toned down his criticism of Wade, Harpending, and Watson — although, in truth, even in Reich’s telling, Watson comes off pretty well: the reader is inclined to grin and just say, “Yeah, that’s wild-and-crazy James Watson, all right!”

    But, in general, I think Reich’s decision as to tone and presentation was right, given that he wanted to get ordinary people to take the truth seriously.

    Let’s be honest here: Reich is risking his entire career and reputation, a position at the country’s top university, by diplomatically telling the truth. How many people have that much courage?

    Let’s not denounce a guy who is getting himself in trouble by courageously telling the truth just because his tone and manner is not exactly the same we might use ourselves. Reich is trying to move the culture in the direction of the truth and is being personally attacked as a result.

    Reich deserves praise, not condemnation.

    • Agree: utu
  134. If you go back far enough in the history of a human population, you reach a point in time when all the individuals who have any descendants among living people are ancestors of all living people.

    Sure, but you have to go back before modern humans, as we see no Neanderthal or Denisovan ancestors among most modern sub-Saharan Africans.

    In a population that breeds randomly, it only takes about 1500 years to get to that point where “all the individuals who have any descendants among living people are ancestors of all living people”. I did a computer simulation of that in college. It’s a pretty remarkable result!

    Of course breeding isn’t random, and when two populations are 100% isolated from each other you can get things like Africans having no Neanderthal blood. But random breeding is a useful simple case, and it’s plausible that, in western Europe, everyone alive in Julius Caesar’s time is either the ancestor of everyone alive today, or of no one at all.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  135. Maybe there are two races after all…

    The white (stupid) race…

    And the human race.

    • Troll: Mr. Rational
  136. bomag says:
    @gregor

    The public should not cede the power to define race to ______

    A frank admission that race is real; it’s important; and they’re not going to let science bring any light to this political struggle.

  137. Joe Walker says: • Website
    @utu

    What research papers show that Ashkenazi Jews are 50% European?

    • Replies: @utu
  138. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Stan Adams

    You get invited to an event on an old slave plantation.

    Their entire cosmos is things that would never happen.
    Now, old estates in the South sometimes get turned into parks or things, and in the 80s there was a concert venue called “The Plantation.” But the best this gets is like refusing to visit the Topkapi palace because after all Turks killed and enslaved a lot of people. It never gets to the point where it makes any sense.

  139. @Reg Cæsar

    We’d be more impressed if you were your own grandpa, Reg.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  140. anon[220] • Disclaimer says:

    revealing that we are all genetic mongrels and any notion of biological racial purity is just a fantasy. Among the outmoded biological concepts that science suggests we need to abandon is that of a ‘white’ race.

    Neither yogurts nor chocolate cakes are homogeneous entities. That doesn’t mean we can simply abolish the notion of cakes and yogurts as distinct entities, even though both are desserts. The same with dog breeds. Does anyone argue they don’t exist because I can find a common ancestor between pit bulls and chihuahuas?

    The author creates an artificial distinction/definition and then argues against it, drawing a flawed conclusion as a result of the initial flawed premise – that race doesn’t exist because racial purity doesn’t exist. The conclusion that race is artificial only comes about here because his original definition (and interpretation) was artificial, inappropriate, and short-sighted to begin with. The author argues that race doesn’t exist because pure genomes do not exist. However, it is not necessary for a person to be “pure” to believe oneself to be a member of a racial ingroup just as it is not necessary for me to share all of my DNA with a family member to belong (or believe that I belong) to a family of related individuals; the same with a chocolate cake not needing to share all of the same ingredients with a carrot cake to be both a cake and a separate category of cake at the same time.

    Ex: I do not share all of my DNA with my aunt; does that mean the concept of the family doesn’t exist? From a biological perspective, that is absurd. Humans have evolved psychological mechanisms to favor kin (or at least recognize it), such as parents favoring progeny over non-progeny and siblings who grew up together being repulsed by the idea of having sexual attractions to one another. Nature sure thinks family exists as it has shaped our primal psychology. Race is just an extension of that logic: the same biological mechanisms that recognize and induce one to favor family likely work in extended, interrelated, groups as well.

    That’s not surprising considering humans evolved in scattered hunter-gather groups of about ~150 – 300 individuals for most of prehistory. As has been noted, certain alleles can spread very quickly in small groups, much more so than in large groups spread over large geographic areas. Therefore, individuals in such pre-historic societies should have had extra impetus to evolve (or refine the previous kinship detection) mental modules and put them to favoring genetically related in-groups as some more distantly related competitor’s DNA could potentially spread very rapidly at one’s expense (it’s easier for your genes to go extinct in small social groups where there are dominant males) if one wasn’t busy forming groups and alliances to prevent it, with more related individuals being somewhat better allies in this effort because they share a common interest: passing on their shared DNA; humans have likely evolved to tell like from dislike in an effort to accomplish this. This same evolved psychology should exist today because there haven’t been enough generations between then and now to change it significantly.

    The author loses sight of the forest for the trees. People have evolved to think things like race exists just as people evolved to think symbols like money (just cloth, paper, and ink) have real value; just because a dollar bill isn’t literally made out of something I can eat doesn’t mean it has no value/doesn’t exist/shouldn’t exist/or can be abolished from society’s psyche through simple rhetorical arguments. Thinking money has some worth beyond what is literally in front of your face is a subset behavior produced from some evolved mental mechanism that gave your ancestors an advantage over others who lacked it. This line of rhetoric is no more likely to abolish people’s conception of race as an argument that money is just cloth would abolish it to the status of toilet paper.

    It is almost like there is some kind of political agenda here, perhaps one aiming to influence whites against becoming racially aware in multicultural USA. Notice how the author uses “white” in reference to the demographic that is least race conscious and not some other group that is much more racially polarized. Won’t work though. The democrats have announced the revolution, so lots more people are going to get polarized, and soon.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational, Trevor H.
  141. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    “Topkapi” was the name of the hat-vending stand at Six Flags in St. Louis. They sold sombreros and whatnot and would embroider your name on it for free, freehand from an industrial sewing machine.

    There was also the “Mod Mod Whirl” which was basically a head shop minus actual paraphernalia, and the little Kodak camera hut where they sold an astonishing assortment of film and accessories.

    And the sky ride cars were powered by a Volkswagen engine through a gearcase with VON ROLL BERN cast into it, being made in Switzerland for ski lifts.

    Amazing what you remember forty years on.

  142. Anonymous[351] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    In fact, that’s why Lewontin’s fallacy is so persistent. It is a simple (simple-minded) definition, and there is no simple, functional counter-definition of a “race” to compare it to. So Lewontin’s fallacy wins by default.

    What makes it a fallacy?

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  143. Anonymous[351] • Disclaimer says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Let’s be honest here: Reich is risking his entire career and reputation, a position at the country’s top university, by diplomatically telling the truth. How many people have that much courage?

    What important truth has Reich told in his book? Would you recommend his book to laypersons?

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  144. Anonymous[351] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    I did a computer simulation of that in college. It’s a pretty remarkable result!

    What kind of academic subject or major covers this? What course?

    • Replies: @International Jew
  145. utu says:
    @Joe Walker

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5380316/

    “The simulation results (Fig 2) suggest that the European component of the AJ cohort is 34% Southern EU, 8% Western EU, and 8% Eastern EU. ” – This is 50% European.

  146. King Baeksu says: • Website
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Overwhelmingly, elites in the West benefitted financially from slavery and colonialism, and yet somehow the descendants of Western plebes are held morally, and in turn economically and politically, for these “crimes against humanity.”

    It’s a pretty ingenious trick our elites have managed to pull off, I must say. And they are still getting rich off the backs of the developing world to this day.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  147. utu says:
    @ben tillman

    Lewontin’s Fallacy isn’t — and doesn’t include — a definition of anything.

    He used fixation index to measure distance form populations as fraction of diversity.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  148. King Baeksu says: • Website
    @bomag

    Ironically, affirmative action has reified race so much that Shaun King, who looks like a ghost, is “African-American” and Elizabeth Warren is “Native-American.”

    When race is considered “real enough” to benefit certain races economically, socially and politically, while at the same time discriminating against others in the very same categories, then the debate over its biological reality is almost a diversion.

    Either race is real or it isn’t. In arguing that there is no such thing as the white race, leftists want to have it both ways, since you never hear them arguing that “blackness” isn’t real.

    When the police are called over posters that say, “It’s Okay to Be White,” while mainstream culture proclaims that “Black Is Beautiful,” you have reached a point in which “structural racism” is indeed very real, except that it is now aimed largely at whites.

    And this in turn reifies “whiteness” all the more. In other words, leftists are helping to create the very monster they fear the most.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  149. King Baeksu says: • Website
    @Hypnotoad666

    Race is like pornography – generally speaking, you know it when you see it.

  150. @Anonymous

    It was an introduction to computer programming.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  151. @PhysicistDave

    He would deserve praise if he didn’t try to pander to the leftists in academia who are never going to accept the argument now matter much he tried to sugarcoat it. I just skimmed the the section on Harpending and Wade at the local bookstore and he was being a dick. The whole tone about it could have been lifted straight out an SPLC press release.

    He attacks Henry for being a crimethinker and just states baldly that all Ashkenazi neurological diseases are due to drift, even though Cochran and Harpending completely demolish that notion in their paper. Even with unrealistic assumptions favorable to the drift theory, the model doesn’t work. So he either he never bothered to read the paper but attacks it anyway to curry favor with the higher ed commissars or he is contributing to the non-testing of it because it involves the tribe, of which he is a member. Neither possibility suggests courage at all.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  152. Jack D says:
    @ATBOTL

    No, find the video somewhere – that’s not what he meant. It was clear from the context that he was just self-hating and unwilling to acknowledge that he is of pure Jewish descent – he was trying to show that he is an international figure who has transcended his little ethnic group. He surely knew that he was 100% Jewish but admitting it would diminish him somehow, maybe even be bad for business. The same reason he changed his name.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  153. @Redneck farmer

    We’d be more impressed if you were your own grandpa, Reg.

    Just about every couple with similar roots will be about ninth cousins. It’s just that in Quebec and New England, they bothered to write everything down.

    Tell me about rednecks. My brother-in-law is a hillbilly, which is different. Very.

  154. @Tiny Duck

    You guys are finished

    And those guys are varnished.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  155. The Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good

    More like A Hole in the Ground is the Friend of the Ostrich Whose Liveliehood Depends on Ignorance.

  156. @The Alarmist

    Strictly 1491? Can we count the Huns, who pretty much did it a millenium earlier?

    They didn’t walk. Their horses did.

  157. @Jack D

    he was just self-hating

    No, deracination is not self-hating. It’s pretty much precisely the opposite.

  158. @eah

    The most disturbing thing on her Twitter feed is the Aug 16th retweet of a shot of a bulletin board with French nouns and adjectives peppered with hyphens to make them genderversatile. Looking more closely I noticed that this board must be in Canada. I sure hope the French themselves aren’t doing this to their language.

    It’s also interesting that the solicitation for Jesus is in English.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dku2LqEXgAEVUfu.jpg:large

  159. Anonymous[153] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    Thank you. Count me surprised, as that seems like fairly sophisticated mathematical work. What background in mathematics should one have to get the most out of a computer programming course?

    • Replies: @International Jew
  160. Anonymous[153] • Disclaimer says:
    @Unladen Swallow

    who are never going to accept the argument now matter much he tried to sugarcoat it.

    What precisely is “the argument” at issue?

    • Replies: @Unladen Swallow
  161. @Anonymous

    What makes it a fallacy?

    Lewontin says biological race doesn’t exist because (to paraphrase), the range of most differences between individuals within the same race is greater than the average differences between members of different “races.”

    It’s a fallacious straw-man argument, however, because no one had ever proposed that particular test as the definition of a “subspecies,” or “race” to begin with. Moreover, it would make no logical sense to use that definition.

    For example, the range of size difference between Chihuahuas and Great Danes is greater than the size difference between most domestic dogs and coyotes. Under Lewontin’s test, it is therefore supposedly “meaningless” to talk about domestic dogs and coyotes as distinct biological groupings.

    But no matter how many physical traits and genes they have in common, the genes which are different (and which are distributed at different frequencies) make dogs and coyotes look and behave in a totally different manner. Whatever words you want to use, the biological differences between the two groups is clearly identifiable, and clearly important to understanding either population.

    Lewontin’s logic would say we should just refer to them all (probably along with wolves and foxes for good measure) as four-legged canids, or something, and avoid using different names. But even if we took his advice it wouldn’t make the biological differences disappear. It would just make it harder to talk about the groups meaningfully.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Slugger O’Toole
  162. anon[321] • Disclaimer says:

    Is Obama black or is he white? Dunno, but isn’t that like asking if peanut butter is a solid or a liquid? Hmm, maybe it’s a little bit of both, like how Obama is a little bit of both?

    It would be astounding if categories devised by mere humans perfectly divided all natural phenomena into disjoint subsets.

    So yes, race is a social construct ,but a pretty darn useful one.

  163. @Anonymous

    Anonymous[351] asked me:

    What important truth has Reich told in his book? Would you recommend his book to laypersons?

    The important truth I was referring to is that, of course, there are exceedingly likely to be significant genetic differences of various kinds between different population groups: it’s just elementary evolutionary theory. Reich is honest about this and explicitly says this may include genes that influence intelligence and behavior.

    The main subject of the book, though, is what we can learn about human prehistory from ancient DNA. I do strongly recommend it for laypeople (I’m just a layperson in this context — not much physics in the book, obviously!): anyone interested in prehistory, human biology, evolution, etc. should enjoy the book.

    I personally was pleased to find out that those of us of English descent are (partially) descended from the Bell Beaker folk: I’ve always been interested in the Beaker folk, and a couple years ago actually saw some Beaker artifiacts in British museums. Reich goes in to detail on the Beaker folk: it is an interesting interaction of cultural transmission and migration. Anyone interested in that sort of thing will like the book.

  164. @Unladen Swallow

    Unladen Swallow wrote to me:

    That problem is largely [Reich's] own fault, from the large amount of PC spin in his tome, which added nothing of value to it according to Greg Cochran, to his constant bashing of people who reached the same conclusion he did with older methods.

    There was not a “large amount of PC spin” in the book: it was more forthright than pretty much anything you will see in the mainstream media anywhere. And there was not “constant bashing” of others: Cochran admits that there was some justice in what Reich said of Wade, and what Reich said of Jim Watson was more amusing than hurtful. In any case, that was a tiny fraction of the book.

    Most importantly, there was a huge amount of interesting factual information about human prehistory and human ancestry in the book. Facts matter. Public presentation of interesting and relevant facts is a very good thing.

    Read the book. Yes, you or I or Sailer or, of course, Cochran would have written a somewhat different book. But, it is a good book by a brilliant scientist who was really sticking his neck out professionally in telling the truth.

    It’s easy for a guy using a screen name of “Unladen Swallow” to wax heroic on the Web. But it really does take courage for Reich to have told the truth on subjects where it was quite certain that he would anger most of his friends and colleagues.

    • Replies: @Unladen Swallow
  165. @Mike Zwick

    “Fear of the unknown kept people in place.”

    Plus, if you looked “different” you might be spotted as a stranger and killed or robbed – after all, who would revenge you with no relatives or compatriots around?

    That’s why even today men hate hate hate asking a stranger the way when lost.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  166. notanon says:
    @Mr. Rational

    yes, that’s what i was imagining – little bits of shared ancestry from each of many dozens of overlapping branches adding up to a lot.

  167. @PhysicistDave

    I wrote 3 Taki’s columns about David Reich’s book. That’s a record, I believe.

  168. notanon says:
    @PhysicistDave

    …those of us of English descent are (partially) descended from the Bell Beaker folk…snip… it is an interesting interaction of cultural transmission and migration.

    90% population turnover

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  169. It’s a sleight of hand, humans and apes are 96% the same also we’ve been repeatedly told by the public schools and globo-homo media complex. The Devil is in the details. If you had 2 batches of pudding that were made 96% the same but in batch B you added 4% arsenic would the 2 batches taste the same?

  170. res says:
    @notanon

    wouldn’t most 4th cousins be nth cousins by multiple different pathways and wouldn’t this be additive to some extent?

    That’s what I would expect. It seems like one could do an empirical analysis of genetic distance (e.g. Hamming distance for SNPs, which I think is the metric utu prefers) of something like the UKBB and see how that varies for related/same race/different race cases.

    In terms of thinking about group differences PCA is probably a better approach. The UKBB technical materials have plots of something like the first 20-30 PCs which are interesting.

    It would be interesting to evaluate how phenotypic similarity varies with regard to principal components and/or genetic Hamming distance.

    One thing these ideas leave out is non-SNP (e.g. CNV) genetic variation. Not sure how important that is relative to SNPs, but my gut instinct is it is an underappreciated aspect of group differences.

  171. Anonymous[173] • Disclaimer says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Plus, if you looked “different” you might be spotted as a stranger and killed or robbed – after all, who would revenge you with no relatives or compatriots around?

    That’s why even today men hate hate hate asking a stranger the way when lost.

    I doubt it. Robbery or murder could start a damaging blood feud with a neighboring tribe that could cause harm to other people in your own group.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  172. res says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    For coarse group membership I think PCA plots are the way to go. Here is an example. Much more at http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2010/07/one-principal-component-to-rule-them-all/#.W_QZgOhKj8A

    Finer groups can be represented by looking at higher order PCs OR by creating PCA plots of subgroups.

    I am not sure how best to think about individual differences. Hamming distance (mentioned above) seems like a good metric, but does not distinguish phenotypically un/important variation.

    One issue is that relatedness is not necessarily transitive (though it may be probabilistically). A useful thought experiment is to think of two parents who are as genetically divergent as possible (race, height, build, …) who have two children. Each child gets its SNPs from the opposite strand of each parent’s DNA (and you could arbitrarily have SNP groupings that accentuate traits, e.g. all of the tall alleles from both parents). The children would both be related 50% to each parent, but they would be 0% IBD related to each other. The Hamming distance (and probably phenotypic similarity) would depend on how homozygous each parent was at the relevant SNPs.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  173. @Hypnotoad666

    Excellent explanation. My understanding was that Lewiston used blood types in his analysis.

  174. @PhysicistDave

    Have you read Nicholas Wade’s Before the Dawn and if so would you say Reich’s book offers much that Wade doesn’t already cover?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @PhysicistDave
  175. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    Have you read Nicholas Wade’s Before the Dawn and if so would you say Reich’s book offers much that Wade doesn’t already cover?

    Do you have an opinion on this?

    • Replies: @gcochran
  176. @Anonymous

    There was no math involved. It was an exercise in handling trees (which are part of the bread and butter of any programmer’s toolkit).

    As I learned a few years later, there is an elegant mathematical theory that gets at the same problem. Look up “branching stochastic processes” if you’re interested.

    To your second question: 99% of working computer programmers use no math at all in their work.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  177. @PhysicistDave

    It is pointless, not heroic, look at this review and group denunciations his book has generated, the leftist elite can’t accept these ideas in any shape or form, or under any circumstances. Oh, and btw he did unfairly attack Harpending who is dead. He won’t look at the Ashkenazi Jewish theory for either ethnocentric reasons or for reasons of political correctness, or both, not heroic in either case.

  178. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:
    @notanon

    90% population turnover

    From when to when?

    • Replies: @notanon
  179. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    Many thanks for your reply.

    On the issue of math background, what mathematics would you recommend as useful, even if not completely necessary?

  180. gcochran says:
    @Mr. Rational

    “about the level of a third cousin.’

    no.

  181. gcochran says:
    @Anonymous

    Loads of new results.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  182. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:
    @gcochran

    Loads of new results.

    What are the most significant ones?

  183. Jack D says:
    @res

    IRL siblings that are totally unrelated (or totally identical) is pretty much impossible. According to the article, the range is in the vicinity of +/- 12%. 38% as a minimum and 62% as a maximum. If I mix together a jar full of red and blue marbles and randomly deal them into 2 piles, the odds that 1 pile is going to be all blue and the other is going to be all red is pretty much nil.

    • Replies: @res
  184. @Anonymous

    We’re talking about walking from France to China. In medieval times who’s going to notice one missing Frenchman in Heidelberg or Pilsen, let alone Kiev or Astana?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  185. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    We’re talking about walking from France to China. In medieval times who’s going to notice one missing Frenchman in Heidelberg or Pilsen, let alone Kiev or Astana?

    That uncertainty cuts both ways. Indeed, who or what sort of people may notice? May be better not to take a risk in angering them. They could be Heaven sent, or backed by formidable Gods, or a powerful tribe, or the United States. See the Aztecs, the Inca, The Iliad.

  186. @utu

    His article includes some definitions. His fallacy, as repeated by the propagandists does not. And repeated in that way, it does not come close to saying what you claim Lewontin calculated.

  187. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Yet he’d never heard the term until I told him.

    What term?

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  188. notanon says:
    @Anonymous

    iirc the arrival of the Bell Beakers in Britain c. 4000 years ago resulted in a 90% population turnover (according to Reich’s research).

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43115485

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  189. @International Jew

    International Jew asked me:

    Have you read Nicholas Wade’s Before the Dawn and if so would you say Reich’s book offers much that Wade doesn’t already cover?

    I never made it all the way through Wade’s book. My impression is that Reich has more information, and, obviously, I found it more interesting since I did read Reich’s all the way through.

    Incidentally, I respect Wade’s work, which I have followed since his important exposés of serious fraud in science back around 1980: so, I’m not trying to take sides in any feud between Reich and Wade!

  190. MarcB. says:

    Zimmer is a good soldier in the Left’s never-ending war on reality.

  191. @notanon

    Being serious and not facetious, people in the near future may look back and see a population replacement nearly as drastic as that in the City and County of Los Angeles. Even California as a whole.

    • Replies: @notanon
  192. @Anonymous

    Race has a biological basis, it is not according the left “socially constructed”. Reich is trying to get them to accept it by attacking some people who have said it before him for some reason.

  193. res says:
    @Jack D

    Understood. That is why I made the parenthetical comment ” (though it may be probabilistically)”.

  194. Eagle Eye says:
    @Anonymous

    Large traditional societies always had some clan groups/jatis that had adapted to a peripatetic lifestyle as an ecological niche, no doubt often through happenstance.

    In China, India, and Europe, there were well-known groups subsisting over centuries as roving intermediaries, craftsmen and, yes, criminals.

    Gypsies famously moved gradually from Greater India to Europe over a thousand years ago.

    Once you get used to a traveling lifestyle and develop the necessary group support system, some intrepid group members will literally go far, ranging back and forth across Eurasia.

    Although historical material is sparse, the pace of continent-wide cultural development between 800 BCE and 200 BCE was breathtaking and indicates that significant cultural exchanges must have taken place over vast distances, and involving individuals at the highest end of the educational spectrum.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  195. Anonymous[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @Eagle Eye

    In China, India, and Europe, there were well-known groups subsisting over centuries as roving intermediaries, craftsmen and, yes, criminals.

    See the Radhanites.

  196. @ic1000

    Thank you, ic100, for this explanation. So when computing the percentage of shared genes between siblings, you are looking at only a small subset of their genomes, the part that can vary due to descent, without looking at basic genes that are shared by all their ancestors (going all the way back to protoplasmal primordial atomic globules; see
    https://gsarchive.net/mikado/html/notes.html#21 ).

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