Hrdlicka on "American type"

Some general remarks from The Old Americans, Ales Hrdlicka's report on his research into the physical anthropology of "those American whites who have been longest in this country".
The Old Americans are seen to represent on the one hand a group of still considerable variability, but on the other hand a group that already comes closely to deserving the characterization of an anthropological unit. In other words, the "melting pot," while its work of unifying the many component elements is evidently not yet completely finished, has nevertheless advanced so much in that direction that the stock possesses already a moderately distinctive character.

The Old American stock, as it may now be called, stands in general nearer than any other branch of the whites to the stock of Great Britain. But it is not, or no more, identical with the same; it is American. There is some justification therefore in speaking of the "American type" of white people. This is near the English, Irish and Scotch types, but is at least as different from any of these as these are different from each other.

From a purely morphological standpoint all the more important characteristics shown by this Old American stock are favorable, showing in some respects perceptible improvement and in none a degeneration. With rational guidance the improvement may well be extended.

Geographically the stock differs remarkably little. The north and south show much smaller regional differences than generally believed. The only section of the stock that does differ perceptibly and in some important points disadvantageously from the rest, is that of the isolated Appalachian highlanders. The reasons appear to be inbreeding and lack of cultural development, both of which can be remedied. [p. 408]

The research was carried out between 1910 and 1924. Hrdlicka restricted his analysis to
those Americans whose ancestors on each side of the family were born in the United States for at least two generations--in other words, all those whose parents as well as all four grandparents were born in this country. The third native generation of adults means roughly an ancestry on each side of the family of at least 80 to 150 year American. As a matter of fact the mean "nativity" of those examined was nearer the latter than the former figure and for the whole series it probably surpassed an average of 150 years, for there were many who on one or both sides exceeded the minimum requirements of three generations. In a large majority of cases the American ancestry of the one examined, while only three or four generations on one side, extended to from four to eight generations on the other; and there were fairly numerous instances where the ancestry was pure native on both sides for four generations, while occasionally it was five, six, and in a few cases even seven generations. [pp. 4-5]

Ales Hrdlicka. The Old Americans. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1925.

Craniofacial Anthropometry of some Julio-Claudian Portraits

Unsurprisingly, these findings are consistent with Coon's belief that "[o]n the whole, the well-known sculptures of Caesar, Augustus, and others [are] not reliable from the standpoint of accurate measurement":
In order to investigate the possibility that physiognomic characteristics might be undervalued in the process of identifying uncertain portraits, we conducted a preliminary study, collecting measurements of marble portraits, normalized by calculating ratios of various measurements. This technique is in common usage in the analysis of human craniofacial anthropometry for reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery. . . . Our analysis of the 25 portraits of Augustus, Caligula, Claudius and Germanicus indicates that craniofacial anthropometry is in fact of very little use in portrait identification.

"Italian-American" myths, part 3: Christopher Columbus

According to the State Department:
In the United States, Columbus Day is typically a celebration of Italian and Italian-American cultural heritage, Columbus generally being considered a native of Genoa. . . . Italian immigrants were the first to celebrate the holiday annually in U.S. cities where they had settled in large numbers, in part as a celebration of their heritage, since Columbus was believed to be Italian. In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, then held every October 12 and now on the second Monday in October.

We notice immediately that Genoa is in northern Italy while most "Italian-Americans" trace their origins to southern Italy or Sicily. Physically, according to Columbus's son:
The Admiral was a well-built man of more than medium stature, long visaged with cheeks somewhat high, but neither fat nor thin. He had an aquiline nose and his eyes were light in color; his complexion too was light, but kindling to a vivid red. In youth his hair was blond, but when he came to his thirtieth year it all turned white.---Description by his illegitimate son, Ferdinand [Morison 1942: 44]

In stark contrast:
Special studies of southern Italians and Sicilians have been made in America, where several millions of these people live. . . . This group is . . . slightly under medium in stature . . . the great majority are thick-set, short-necked, short-fingered, broad-handed, and heavy-torsoed. They incline to corpulence in middle age, and few of the women remain slender past the period of child-bearing. . . . Facial and upper facial indices are mesoprosopic and mesene. . . . The skin color is as a rule dark; over 50 per cent of unexposed shades are definitely light brown or olive-colored, while the exposed skin often tans to a distinctive reddish-brown. Ten per cent are freckled. About 20 per cent have black hair, and 48 per cent dark brown; reddish brown shades, or dark to medium brown with a reddish glint, account for some 16 per cent, while the remaining 6 per cent have light brown or blondish colors. Pure dark eyes are found among 44 per cent of those studied; mixed eyes among 50 per cent, and pure light eyes among 6 per cent. (Carleton Coon, The Races of Europe)

More fundamentally, as the State Department site points out, "the United States evolved out of British colonization rather than the Spanish claims of Columbus and his successors".

Geography lesson

Here is where Columbus voyaged (composite based on maps from Wikipedia):

This is the United States of America:

Here is the overlap:

Haiti might be a more appropriate location for Italians to celebrate the legacy of Columbus and other Romance speakers in the Western hemisphere.

"Celtic Southern" myth

Vanishing American points out:
But I have a problem with not only the South being made the perpetual whipping boy, but now it seems this newly-discovered 'Scots-Irish' population of the South.

I've said before: look in the phone directory of most cities or towns in the South (before the current invasion) and you would see a preponderance of English surnames. The Scottish surnames in certain areas might be more numerous; I don't have as much knowledge of Appalachia, the supposed stronghold of the Scots-Irish people, but in the rest of the South, English and Welsh surnames combined far outnumber the Scottish names. Yet there is this popular notion that the old-stock Southron people are homogeneously 'Celtic' or Scots-Irish. I would like to see some documentation of this, and I don't think any is forthcoming. After centuries, I think most old-stock people in the South are a mix of Anglo-Saxon with Scots and Welsh and a dash of French (via the Huguenots in some areas) and a little German.

VA's understanding agrees with mine. Compared to New England, the South historically had a greater proportion of Scots-Irish relative to English, but the former were in the minority everywhere. Scots-Irish actually made up a slightly larger share of the population in Pennsylvania than in the South. The following table from A Century of Population Growth (pdf of the chapter in question) shows national origins of the white population in 1790 by state.

Ben Stein guilty of "blood libel on Western Civilization"

Says Derbyshire:
Western civilization has many glories. There are the legacies of the ancients, in literature and thought. There are the late-medieval cathedrals, those huge miracles of stone, statuary, and spiritual devotion. There is painting, music, the orderly cityscapes of Renaissance Italy, the peaceful, self-governed townships of old New England and the Frontier, the steel marvels of the early industrial revolution, our parliaments and courts of law, our great universities with their spirit of restless inquiry.

And there is science, perhaps the greatest of all our achievements, because nowhere else on earth did it appear. China, India, the Muslim world, all had fine cities and systems of law, architecture and painting, poetry and prose, religion and philosophy. None of them ever accomplished what began in northwest Europe in the later 17th century, though: a scientific revolution. Thoughtful men and women came together in learned societies to compare notes on their observations of the natural world, to test their ideas in experiments, and in reasoned argument against the ideas of others, and to publish their results in learned journals. A body of common knowledge gradually accumulated. Patterns were observed, laws discerned and stated.

. . . And now here is Ben Stein, sneering and scoffing at Darwin, a man who spent decades observing and pondering the natural world — that world Stein glimpses through the window of his automobile now and then, when he’s not chattering into his cell phone. . . . The “intelligent design” hoax is not merely non-science, nor even merely anti-science; it is anti-civilization. It is an appeal to barbarism, to the sensibilities of those Apaches, made by people who lack the imaginative power to know the horrors of true barbarism.

See also: Lawrence Auster.

"Italian-American" myths, part 2: exceptions that prove the rule

A bit over a century ago, millions of southern Italian peasants began pouring into the US. Not long after, they began to attempt to write themselves into the nation's history. We see this today with web pages like this one from the "National Italian American Foundation".

Analysis of the 1790 Federal census suggests about 90% of the ancestry of white Americans of that era derived from Britain, with Irish, German, Dutch, and French accounting for almost all the rest. All other origins taken together equate to 0.3% of the population [1]. Needless to say, Italians did not play a major role in founding the United States.

Promoters of "Italians-American" pride are left primarily with two options: (1) outright lying (or, to be as charitable as possible, extreme wishful thinking combined with invention of fact), as we've seen with William Paca; and (2) claiming as "Italian" any figure with fractional (generally Northern) Italian ancestry.

Today, we'll look at a couple instances of the latter.

Caesar Rodney

The NIAF say Declaration of Independence signer Rodney was of "Italian origin". They are about 1/64 right. Rodney's Italian ancestor, gggg-grandfather Julius Caesar Adelmare (WorldConnect pedigree), immigrated not to America, but to England--about 1550. Adelmare, whose origins lay in Treviso (near Venice, in northern Italy), was a physician to Queen Mary. I find it hard to locate in Adelmare or his gggg-grandson an argument in favor of mass immigration of Sicilian peasants to the United States--but maybe that's just me.


The NIAF are happy to claim as Italian anyone named "Taliaferro". Their list of "Italian officers in the American Revolution" contains two individuals bearing variants of the name.

The pattern should already be familiar. The first Taliaferro immigrant to America, Robert, was born in 1626 in England. His grandfather, born in Venice in 1530, had immigrated to England. Robert's ancestry was about 1/4 "Italian". His Revolutionary War-era descendants probably had "Italian" ancestry about as dilute as that of Caesar Rodney.

[1] Ales Hrdlicka. The Old Americans. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1925. pp. 9-10.

Two maps

The geographic distribution of "significant figures" born in the United States, from its founding to 1950 (Charles Murray, Human Accomplishment, p. 304):

The distribution of Congregational churches ca. 1930, showing roughly the spread of the descendants of New England Puritans (Madison Grant, The Conquest of a Continent, p. 218):

National origins of America's founders

An analysis of the surnames of heads of families recorded in the first Federal census presents us with the following breakdown of American ancestry in 1790:

The "Hebrew" (Jewish--mostly Sephardic I'm guessing) fraction of the population is about 0.04% (1,243 out of 2,810,248 in the census schedules available).

Source: Ales Hrdlicka, The Old Americans, pp. 10-12; based on Census publication A Century of Population Growth.

"Disappearing" Smiths

The desis are baffled:
Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science asks where asks where all the Smiths have gone:
Sam Roberts writes,
In 1984, according to the Social Security Administration, nearly 3.4 million Smiths lived in the United States. In 1990, the census counted 2.5 million. By 2000, the Smith population had declined to fewer than 2.4 million.
Where did all the Smiths go from 1984 to 1990? I can believe it flatlined after 1990, but it's hard to believe that the count could have changed so much in 6 years.

Perhaps it's the difference between the SSA and Census methods of counting
Here's another explanation, it's the inverse of the phenomenon of those claiming Native American ancestry in the United States doubling in 10 years. Many Smiths were at one point Schmidts, who knows if some of them didn't revert now that WASP surnames aren't as value-added?

Naturally, Newamul Khan is hilariously off base. The Columbia blogger was on the right track. Nathaniel Weyl discusses the SSA data in The Geography of American Achievement:
. . . a little known publication of the Department of Health and Human Services entitled Report of Distribution of Surnames in the Social Security Number File September 1, 1984. This covers all surnames of persons who have been enrolled with Social Security from the inception of the program in 1936 to the date of the report. Total coverage is 346,417,726, or considerably more than the total 1984 poulation of the United States, which was approximately 237 million. The excess is due primarily to deaths and name-changes caused by marriage. [p. 9]

So, there were approximately 2.33 million Smiths living in the US in 1984 [(3.4/346.4)*237], in line with the 2.5 million Smiths in 1990. No mystery exists. That's not to say we don't have problems. From the original NYT story:
The number of Hispanics living in the United States grew by 58 percent in the 1990s to nearly 13 percent of the total population, and cracking the list of top 10 names suggests just how pervasively the Latino migration has permeated everyday American culture.

Garcia moved to No. 8 in 2000, up from No. 18, and Rodriguez jumped to No. 9 from 22nd place. The number of Hispanic surnames among the top 25 doubled, to 6.

Compiling the rankings is a cumbersome task, in part because of confidentiality and accuracy issues, according to the Census Bureau, and it is only the second time it has prepared such a list. While the historical record is sketchy, several demographers said it was probably the first time that any non-Anglo name was among the 10 most common in the nation. “It’s difficult to say, but it’s probably likely,” said Robert A. Kominski, assistant chief of social characteristics for the census.

Luis Padilla, 48, a banker who has lived in Miami since he arrived from Colombia 14 years ago, greeted the ascendance of Hispanic surnames enthusiastically.

“It shows we’re getting stronger,” Mr. Padilla said. “If there’s that many of us to outnumber the Anglo names, it’s a great thing.”

2008-04-23 links

Cognitive Daily: Changing belief in free will can cause students to cheat

Genomics: Drowning in the Flood of Next-Gen Data

Cavalli-Sforza: PCA maps may be meaningless (abstract)

Genealogy: Arab-style (via Genealogue):
It is too easy to think of Arab sheiks as exotic. Indeed, tribesmen often like to romanticize themselves. "They will tell you these enormously fanciful genealogical stories that trace everyone back to one guy who was the ancestor of them all," said retired Col. Patrick Lang, formerly the Defense Intelligence Agency's regional director for the Middle East. "Sometimes they just invent these things. Sometimes families get associated with a tribe and convince themselves that they, too, are descended from this original ancestor."

A tribe is formally defined as a "segmentary lineage," a kinship network organized by branching lines of descent from a common ancestor, with the most-direct male-line descendants holding the greatest prestige. But anthropologists are quick to note that such kinships are often hazy or even fictitious, projected onto the past to justify practical arrangements in the present. Tribal sheiks hold power not because they can recite their distinguished ancestry but because they can get things done.

New issue of JoGG

The Spring 2008 issue of the internet Journal of Genetic Genealogy is now available. Contents include a review article called "Where Did European Men Come From" by Kalevi Wiik. Some of the dates and inferences contained in the article are no doubt questionable. But these maps are hard to argue with:

Cherokee cancer gene? Not quite.

A headline at the Columbus Dispatch proclaims "American Indians, not Germans, likely carrier of mutation".
Researchers, including a team at Ohio State University, have traced a genetic mutation that causes the most common form of inherited colon cancer back 500 years, probably to early American Indians, and discovered that even more of us carry it.

This is bad journalism. In the original journal article which gave rise to the story, researchers actually claim (my emphasis):
data are suggestive of an earlier founding event than was first thought, which likely occurred in a European or a Native American population.

As we shall see, evidence for the "Native American" theory is quite thin.

The researchers start with 40 families who carry the mutation (most of whom come from Kentucky, Ohio, or Texas) and manage to link these into seven "subfounder" pedigrees most of whose "founding couples" were born or married in southwestern Virginia, western North Carolina, or eastern Tennessee in the late-18th or early-19th century. So far, so good.
With this in mind, we are left with two hypotheses, both of which are supported by the mutation age calculations. Either, the subfounder families were in the United States for several generations before that of the current subfounder common ancestors, which would allow for the possibility that the mutation was either brought into the United States by a single European immigrant during an earlier period or that the mutation had been introduced into these European lines by a Native American individual during this early colonial period. Or, the mutation originated within Europe several generations before it arrived on the shores of the United States, probably through several individuals.

The lack of evidence for the AFM outside of the United States is perhaps more supportive of the first hypothesis; however, there also lies the possibility that most of the possible carriers of the mutation in Europe may have emigrated or that many failed to pass on the mutation to subsequent generations and so we might predict a significant reduction of cases, or even an absence of cases in the founding country. In addition, our search for the AFM in Europe has by no means been exhaustive, so it is still possible that there are AFM mutation carriers in Europe that we have just not been able to identify yet. We have speculated, based on our genealogic studies, that Scotland in particular is a potential European source for the mutation; however, we have only been able to identify a single candidate (individual with a known exons 1–6 deletion of MSH2) from this region, who was shown not to carry the AFM. In addition, samples we have screened from an ancestrally related population (Ireland) were also negative for the mutation, and to the best of our knowledge, it has not been described elsewhere in the British Isles. Until evidence in support of one of these two hypotheses is obtained, whether it is the identification of a single common ancestor within the United States or the presence of a case of the AFM in another country, we cannot make firm conclusions as to the origins of this mutation.

Notice, when looking for evidence of the mutation outside America, the researchers did not look in England. English was only the primary component in the ancestry of colonial Virginians. But, since the researchers "speculated" that Scotland was a potential source of the mutation, I guess they decided it was unnecessary to check in England (they did see fit to check samples from France, Sweden, Italy, Poland, Germany, Ireland, and Scotland).

Nor, of course, do the authors report finding the mutation in Amerindians, but they apparently don't consider it worth mentioning this point as evidence against the "Native American" hypothesis. How did "Native Americans" get drawn into this story to begin with?
Various families in most of the subfounder groups also have reported Native American ancestries, specifically Cherokee

"Various" out of 40 families with roots in Kentucky and/or Texas claim to have "Cherokee" ancestry? What are the chances of that? If only the researchers had probed a bit further, maybe they could have narrowed the elusive ancestor down to a "Cherokee princess".
but thus far this seems verifiable in only three or four families.

I'm shocked. And, of course, the "verifiable" Amerind ancestry in this 8-10% of the families evidently does not come by way of the "founding couples", and thus is almost entirely irrelevant to the study.
These Native American links are certainly possible because the geographic placement of the progenitor couples, as given above, is either just inside or very close to the known Cherokee territorial boundaries of the time.

As were the ancestors of many westward migrating Southerners at the time. The map below shows claimed Cherokee territory prior to European contact (broadest expanse encompassed by black borders), in 1791 (intermediate black borders), and in 1838 (small, red borders; source).

I've added letters to indicate earliest known locations of "founding couples" (after Figure 2 in the paper under discussion, "wherein A, C, D, and E correspond to marriage locations of the common ancestors, and B, F, and G correspond to the regions that the common ancestors were born in").

All the birth locations of "founding couples", where known, are northeast of the widest claimed expanse of the Cherokee nation (the borders of which contracted southwestward over time). Considering that the flow of settlers overwhelmingly pointed west (not east) in this time period, this map hardly supports the Cherokee theory. Chances are, the common ancestor lived even farther east. To me, all evidence suggests the ancestor either lived in Europe or was an early (17th-century, probably English) settler of Virginia. It's not impossible the ancestor was Amerindian, but the authors have presented no good evidence in favor of that hypothesis.

The pedigrees (including links to Rootsweb WorldConnect databases) and a copy of the paper are available here.

Clendenning et al. Origins and Prevalence of the American Founder Mutation of MSH2. Cancer Research 68, 2145-2153, April 1, 2008. doi:0.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6599

(Story via The Genetic Genealogist.)

2008-04-21 links

Ancient Britain: First druid burial discovered?
The extraordinary find was made at the Essex village of Stanway, near Colchester. It is among a number of graves of eminent people interred around the time of the Roman invasion of Britain in AD43.

Following Queen Boudica's uprising in AD61, Emperor Claudius ordered the druids be wiped out. Their Anglesey stronghold and sacred groves were destroyed, along with their entire history.

In the grave, archaeologists uncovered a board game with the glass counters laid out, medical equipment – the earliest ever found – a tea strainer still containing some kind of herbal brew, and some mysterious metal poles.

Comedy: A confused Rienzi rants against "anti-southern European Nordicist" Iceman. Iceman is actually a part-Jewish communist who believes "white and Caucasoid mean the same thing", who considers his views to be directly opposed to those of "Nordicists", and who is merely parroting Rienzi's old friends "Dienekes Pontikos" and "Racial Reality" in holding up his end of the ridiculous "debate". Here is the original thread, in which RR absurdly declares the 38,500 year-old IJ Y clade proves "Nordics are derived from Mediterraneans"; supposed "Nordicists" (Poles and Finns) attempt to inject some common sense, and Dienekes and "EagleEye" (Iceman) line up in the Racial Ridiculousness camp.

DNA testing: WaPo mulls "deeper" uses in legal system; author Weiss and "ethicist" Botkin predictably detect "Shadows of Eugenics":
Genes have had a rocky relationship with justice, dating at least to the early years of the last century, when eugenics laws encouraged forced sterilizations to break the cycle of "inherited criminality."

"Shiftlessness, nomadism, pauperism all were assumed to have biological and genetic causes," said Jeffrey R. Botkin, a physician and ethicist at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Longevity: Is it her genes?
Maybe it was a lifetime of chores on the family farm that accounts for Edna Parker's long life. Or maybe just good genes explain why the world's oldest known person will turn 115 on Sunday, defying staggering odds.

Scientists who study longevity hope Parker and others who live to 110 or beyond — they're called supercentenarians — can help solve the mystery of extreme longevity.
[. . .]
Two years ago, researchers from the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University took a blood sample from Parker for the group's DNA database of supercentenarians.

Her DNA is now preserved with samples of about 100 other people who made the 110-year milestone and whose genes are being analyzed, said Dr. Tom Perls, an aging specialist who directs the project.

"They're really our best bet for finding the elusive Holy Grail of our field — which are these longevity-enabling genes," he said.

Negro entry in 1911 encyclopedia

So, years ago, some company OCRs the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica and puts it online. Hilarity ensues:
The 1911 Encyclopedia, or the LoveToKnow Free Online Encyclopedia, is advertised as "what many consider to be the best encyclopedia ever written. As a research tool, this 1911 encyclopedia edition is unparalleled - even today." But what about the definition for Negro? It reads in part: "A dark skin, varying from dark brown, reddish-brown, or chocolate to nearly black; dark tightly curled hair, flat in transverse section,1 of the 'woolly' or the 'frizzly' type; a greater or less tendency to prognathism; eyes dark brown with yellowish cornea; nose more or less broad and flat; and large teeth." Can an encyclopedia with definitions like these be considered useful at all?
posted by josephtate (40 comments total)

Yes, it's now objectionable to point out negroes have dark skin, nappy hair, and so forth (or so believes the eunuch above). Later (and perhaps not in direct response to the post I've cited), 1911encyclopedia excise their "Negro" entry. For those who may be interested, I reproduce the entry below. It's cleaned up a bit compared to what appeared on, but no doubt errors remain. Scans of the actual pages may be viewed here. See also "Negro Race" in a Catholic encyclopedia of the same era.
NEGRO (from Lat. niger, black), in anthropology, the designation of the distinctly dark-skinned, as opposed to the fair, yellow, and brown variations of mankind. In its widest sense it embraces all the dark races, whose original home is the intertropical and sub-tropical regions of the eastern hemisphere, stretching roughly from Senegambia, West Africa, to the Fijian Islands in the Pacific, between the extreme parallels of the Philippines and Tasmania. It is most convenient, however, to refer to the dark-skinned inhabitants of this zone by the collective term of Negroids, and to reserve the word Negro for the tribes which are considered to exhibit in the highest degree the characteristics taken as typical of the variety.

These tribes are found in Africa; their home, being south of the Sahara and north of a not very well-defined line running roughly from the Gulf of Biafra with a south-easterly trend across the equator to the mouth of the Tana. In this tract are found the true negroes; and their nearest relatives, the Bantu-negroids, are found to the south of the last-mentioned line. The relation of the yellowish-brown Bushman and Hottentot peoples of the southern extremity of Africa to the negro is uncertain; they possess certain negroid characters, the tightly curled hair, the broad nose, the tendency towards prognathism; but their color and a number of psychological and cultural differences would seem to show that the relation is not close. Between the two a certain affinity seems to exist, and the Hottentot is probably the product of an early intermixture of the first Hamito-Bantu immigrants with the Bushman aborigines (see AFRICA: Ethnology). The relation of the negroids of Africa to those of Asia (southern India and Malaysia) and Australasia cannot be discussed with profit owing to lack of evidence; still less the theories which have been put forward to account for the wide dispersal from what seems to be a single stock. It will be sufficient to say that the two groups have in common a number of well-defined characteristics of which the following are the chief: A dark skin, varying from dark brown, reddish-brown, or chocolate to nearly black; dark tightly curled hair, flat in transverse section,1 of the "woolly" or the "frizzly" type; a greater or less tendency to prognathism; eyes dark brown with yellowish cornea; nose more or less broad and flat; and large teeth.

Sharing these characteristics, but distinguished by short stature and brachycephaly, is a group to which the name Negrito (q.v.) has been given; with this exception the tendency among the negroids appears to be towards tall stature and dolichoce-phaly in proportion as they approach the pure negro type. As the most typical representatives of the variety are found in Africa, the Asiatic and Australasian negroids may be dismissed with this introduction. The negro and negroid population of America, the descendants of the slaves imported from West Africa, and in a less degree, from the Mozambique coast, before the abolition of the. slave-trade, are treated separately below.

In Africa three races have intermingled to a certain extent with the negro; the Libyans (Berbers: q.v.) in the Western Sudan-; and the Hamitic races (q.v.) and Arabs (q.v.) in the east. The identity of the people who have amalgamated with the negro to form the Bantu-speaking peoples in the southern portion of the continent is not certain, but as the latter appear to approach the Hamites in those characteristics in which they differ from the true negroes, it seems probable that they are infusec with a proportion of Hamitic blood. The true negroes show greal similarity of physical characteristics; besides those already mentioned they are distinguished by length of arm, especially of fore arm, length of leg, smallness of calf and projection of heel characteristics which frequently fail to appear to the same degree among the Bantu, who are also as a rule less tall, less prognathous, less platyrrhine and less dark. A few tribes in the heart of the negro domain (the Welle district of Belgian Congo) show a endency to round head, shorter stature and fairer complexion; mt there seems reason to suppose that they have received an nfusion of Libyan (or less probably Hamitic) or Negrito blood.

The color of the skin, which is also distinguished by a velvety surface and a characteristic odour, is due not to the presence of any special pigment, but to the greater abundance of the coloring matter in the Malpighian mucous membrane between the inner or true skin and the epidermis or scarf skin.2 This coloring matter is not distributed equally over the body, and does not reach its fullest development until some weeks after birth; so that new-born babies are a reddish chocolate or copper color. But excess of pigmentation is not confined to the skin; spots of pigment are often found in some of the internal organs, such as the liver, spleen, &c. Other characteristics appear to be a liypertrophy of the organs of excretion, a more developed venous system, and a less voluminous brain, as compared with the white races.

In certain of the characteristics mentioned above the negro would appear to stand on a lower evolutionary plane than the white man, and to be more closely related to the highest anthropoids. The characteristics are length of arm, prognathism, a heavy massive cranium with large zygomatic arches, flat nose depressed at base, &c. But in one important respect, the character of the hair, the white man stands in closer relation to the higher apes than does the Negro.

Mentally the negro is inferior to the white. The remark of F. Manetta, made after a long study of the negro in America, may be taken as generally true of the whole race: "the negro children were sharp, intelligent and full of vivacity, but on approaching the adult period a gradual change set in. The intellect seemed to become clouded, animation giving place to a sort of lethargy, briskness yielding to indolence. We must necessarily suppose that the development of the negro and white proceeds on different lines. While with the latter the volume of the brain grows with the expansion of the brainpan, in the former the growth of the brain is on the contrary arrested by the premature closing of the cranial sutures and lateral pressure of the frontal bone.3 This explanation is reasonable and even probable as a contributing cause; but evidence is lacking on the subject and the arrest or even deterioration in mental development is no doubt very largely due to the fact that after puberty sexual matters take the first place in the negro's life and thoughts. At the same time his environment has not been such as would tend to produce in him the restless energy which has led to the progress of the white race; and the easy conditions of tropical life and the fertility of the soil have reduced the struggle for existence to a minimum. But though the mental inferiority of the negro to the white or yellow races is a fact, it has often been exaggerated; the negro is largely the creature of his environment,
1 This point has been fully determined by P. A. Brown (Classification of Mankind by the Hair, &c.), who shows conclusively that unlike true hair and like true wool, the negro hair is flat, issues from the epidermis at a right angle, is spirally twisted or crisped, has no central duct, the coloring matter being disseminated through the cortex and intermediate fibres, while the cortex itself is covered with numerous rough, pointed filaments adhering loosely to the shaft lastly, the negro pile will felt, like wool, whereas true hair cannot be felted.

2 It is also noteworthy that the dark color seems to depend neither on geographical position, the isothermals of greatest heat, nor even altogether on racial purity. The extremes of the chromatic scale are found in juxtaposition throughout the whole negro domain, in Senegambia, the Gabun, upper Nile basin, lower Congo, Shari valley, Mozambique. In the last region M de Froberville determined the presence of thirty-one different shades from dusky or yellow-brown to sooty black. Some of the sub-negroid and mixed races, such as many Abyssinians, Galla, Jolof and Mandingo, are quite as black as the darkest full-blood negro. A general similarity in the outward conditions of soil, atmosphere, climate, food charged with an excess of carbon, such as the fruit of the butter-tree, and other undetermined causes have tended to develop a tendency towards dark shades everywhere in the negro domain apart from the bias mainly due to an original stain of black blood. Perhaps the most satisfactory theory explains the excessive development of pigment in the dark-skinned races as a natural protection against the ultra-violet rays in which tropical light is so rich and which are destructive of protoplasm (see C. E. Woodruff, Tropical Light, London, 1905). The expression " jet black " is applied by Schweinfurth to the upper-Nilotic Shilluk, Nuer and Dinka, while the neighboring Bongo and Mittu are described as of a "red-brown" color "like the soil upon which they reside" (Heart of Africa, vol. i. ch. iv.).

3 La Razza Negra nel suo stato selvaggio, &c. (Turin, 1864), p.

and it is not fair to judge of his mental capacity by tests taken directly from the environment of the white man, as for instance tests in mental arithmetic; skill in reckoning is necessary to the white race, and it has cultivated this faculty; but it is not necessary to the negro.

On the other hand negroes far surpass white men in acuteness of vision, hearing, sense of direction and topography. A native who has once visited a particular locality will rarely fail to recognize it again. For the rest, the mental constitution of the negro is very similar to that of a child, normally good-natured and cheerful, but subject to sudden fits of emotion and passion during which he is capable of performing acts of singular atrocity, impressionable, vain, but often exhibiting in the capacity of servant a dog-like fidelity which has stood the supreme test. Given suitable training, the negro is capable of becoming a craftsman of considerable skill, particularly in metal work, carpentry and carving. The bronze castings by the cire perdue process, and the cups and horns of ivory elaborately carved, which were produced by the natives of Guinea after their intercourse with the Portuguese of the i6th century, bear ample witness to this. But the rapid decline and practical evanescence of both industries, when that intercourse was interrupted, shows that the native craftsman was raised for the moment above his normal level by direct foreign inspiration, and was unable to sustain the high quality of his work when that inspiration failed.

In speaking of the form or forms of culture found among negro and negroid tribes, the dependence of the native upon his environment must be kept in mind, particularly in Africa, where interchange of customs is continually taking place among neighbors.

Thus the forest regions are distinguished by a particular form of culture which differs from that prevailing in the more open country (see AFRICA: Ethnology). But it may be said generally that the negro is first and foremost an agriculturist.

The negritos are on a lower cultural plane; they are nomadic hunters who do no cultivation whatever. Next in importance to agriculture come hunting and fishing and, locally, cattle-keeping. The last is not strictly typical of negro culture at all; nearly all the tribes by whom it is practised are of mixed origin, and their devotion to cattle seems to vary inversely with the purity of race. The most striking exception to this statement is the Dinka of the upper Nile, the whole of whose existence centres round the cattle pen. Of the other tribes where pastoral habits obtain to a greater or less extent, the Masai have a large percentage of Hamitic blood, the eastern and southern Bantu-speaking negroids are also of mixed descent, &c.

The social conditions are usually primitive, especially among the negroes proper, being based on the village community ruled by a chief. Where the country is open, or where the forest is not so thick as to present any great obstacle to communication, it has often happened that a chief has extended his rule over several villages and has ultimately built up a kingdom administered by sub-chiefs of various grades, and has ven established a court with a regular hierarchy of officials. Benin and Dahomey are instances of this. But the region where this "empire-building" has reached its greatest proportions lies to the south of the forest belt in the territory of the Bantu negroids, where arose the states of Lunda, Cazembe, &c.

The domestic life of the negro is based upon polygyny, and marriage is almost always by purchase. So vital is polygyny to the native social system that the attempts made by missionaries to abolish plurality of wives would, if successful (a contingency unthinkable under present conditions), result in the most serious social disorder. Not only would an enormous section of the population be deprived of all means of support, but the native wife would be infinitely harder worked; agriculture, the task of the women, would be at a standstill; and infanticide would probably assume dangerous proportions.

Descent in the negro world is on the whole more often reckoned through the female, though many tribes with a patriarchal system are found. Traces of totemism are found sporadically but are rare.

Of the highest importance socially are the secret societies, which are found in their highest development among the negroes of the west coast, and in a far less significant form among'Some of the Bantu negroids of the western forest district. In their lighest form these societies transcend the tribal divisions, and the tie which binds the individual to the society takes precedence of all others. But the secret society cannot be called a definitely negro institution, since it is found in the west only.

As an agriculturist the negro is principally a vegetarian, but this form of diet is not the result of direct choice; meat is everywhere regarded as a great delicacy, and no opportunity of obtaining it is ever neglected, with one exception-that the cattle-keeping tribes rarely slaughter for food, because cattle are a form of currency. Fish is also an important article of diet in the neighborhood of large rivers, especially the Nile and Congo. It is worthy of note that the two cultivated plants which form the mainstay of native life, manioc in the west and centre and mealies in the south and east, are neither of African origin.

Cannibalism is found in its simplest form in Africa. In that continent the majority of cannibal tribes eat human flesh because they like it, and not from any magical motive or from lack of other animal food. In fact it is noticeable that the tribes most addicted to this practice inhabit just those districts where game is most plentiful. Among the true negroes it is confined mainly to the Welle and Ubangi districts, though found sporadically (and due to magical motives) on the west coast, and among the Bantu negroids in the south-western part of Belgian Congo and-the Gabun.

With regard to crafts the most important and typical is that of iron smelting and working. No negro tribe has been found of which the culture is typical of the Stone age; or, indeed, which makes any use of stone implements except to crush ore and hammer metal. Even these are rough pieces of stone of convenient size, not shaped in any way by chipping or grinding. Doubtless the richness of the African soil in metal ores rendered the Stone age in Africa a period of very short duration (see AFRICA: Ethnology). A good deal of aptitude is shown in the forging of iron, considering the primitive nature of the tools. Considerable skill in carving is also found in the west and among the Bantu negroids, especially of Belgian Congo south of the Congo. Weaving is practised to a large extent in the west; the true native material being palm-leaf fibre. The cultivation of cotton, which has become important in West Africa, deals with an exotic material and has been subjected to foreign influences. Among the. Bantu of the Kasai district the art of weaving palm-cloth reaches its highest level, and in the east cotton-weaving is again found. Pottery-making is almost universal, though nowhere has it reached a very advanced stage; the wheel is unknown, though an appliance used on the lower Congo displays the principle in very rudimentary form. The production of fire by means of friction was universal, the method known as "twirling" being in vogue, i.e. the rapid rotation between the palms of a piece of hard wood upon a piece of soft wood. Trading is practised either by direct barter or through the medium of rude forms of currency which vary according to locality. Value is reckoned among the tribes with pastoral tendencies in cattle and goats; among the eastern negroes by hoe-and spear-blades and salt blocks; in the west by cowries, brass rods, and bronze armlets (manilas); in Belgian Congo variously by olivella shells, brass rods, salt, goats and fowls, copper ingots and iron spear-blades, &c.

As regards religion, the question of environment is again important; in the western forests where communities are small the negro is a fetishist, though his fetishism is often combined more or less with nature worship. Where communication is easier the nature worship becomes more systematic, and definite supernatural agencies are recognized, presiding over definite spheres of human life.1 Where feudal kingdoms have been formed, ancestor-worship begins to appear and often assumes paramount
1 The three volumes by Colonel Ellis mentioned in the bibliography form an excellent study of the development of negro religion.

importance. In fact this form of religion is typical of all the eastern and southern portion of the continent (see AFRICA: Ethnology). With the negro, as with most primitive peoples, it is the malignant powers which receive attention from man, with a view to propitiation or coercion. Beneficent agencies require no attention, since, from their very nature, they must continue to do good. The negro attitude towards the supernatural is based frankly on fear; gratitude plays no part in it. A characteristic feature of the western culture area, among both negro and Bantu negroid tribes, is the belief that any form of death except by violence must be due to evil magic exercised by, or through the agency of, some human individual; to discover the guilty party the poison ordeal is freely used. A similar form of ordeal is found in British Central Africa, to discover magicians, and the wholesale "smelling-out" of "witches," often practised for political reasons, is a well-known feature of the culture of the Zulu-Xosa tribes. Everywhere magic, both sympathetic and imitative, is practised, both by the ordinary individual and by professional magicians, and most medical treatment is based on this, although the magician is usually a herbalist of some skill. Where the rainfall is uncertain, the production of rain by magical means is one of the chief duties of the magician, a duty which becomes paramount in the eastern plains among negroes and Bantu negroids alike. But the negroes and negroids have been considerably influenced by exotic religions, chiefly by Mahommedanism along the whole extent of country bordering the Sahara and in the east. Christianity has made less progress, and the reason is not far to seek. Islam is simple, categorical and easily comprehended; it tends far less to upset the native social system, especially in the matter of polygyny, and at the same time discourages indulgence in strong drink. Moreover the number of native missionaries is considerable. Christianity has none of these advantages, but possesses two great drawbacks as far as the negro is concerned. It is not sufficiently categorical, but leaves too much to the individual, and it discountenances polygyny. The fact that it is divided into sects, more or less competitive among themselves, is another disadvantage which can hardly be overrated. This division has not, it is true, as yet had much influence upon the evangelization of Africa, since the various missions have mostly restricted themselves each to a particular sphere; still, it is a defect in Christianity, as compared with Islam, which will probably make itself felt in Africa as it has in China.

As regards language, the Bantu negroids all speak dialects of one tongue (see BANTU LANGUAGES). Among the negroes the most extraordinary linguistic confusion prevails, half a dozen neighboring villages in a small area often speaking each a separate language. All are of the agglutinating order. No absolutely indigenous form of script exists; though the Hausa tongue has been reduced to writing without European assistance.

AUTHORITIES.--T. Deniker, Races of Man (London, 1900); A. H. Keane, Ethnology (London, 1896); Man Past and Present (London, 1900); A. B. Ellis, The Tshi-speaking Peoples (1887); The Ewe-speaking Peoples (1890); The Yoruba-speaking Peoples (1894); B. Ankermann, "Kulturkreise in Afrika," Zeit.f. Eth. (1905), p. 54. See also AFRICA, 3, Ethnology.

(T. A. J.)

2008-04-20 links

Darwin: Private papers go online

23andMe: Pimp their service to adoptees

Sequencing technology: The $100 Genome
The technology necessary to achieve a $100 genome is still at least five years away, says George Church, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School, in Boston, and a member of Complete Genomics' scientific advisory board. "But [it's] coming from a company that has an almost-as-good technology coming out this year."

Both Drmanac and Boyce-Jacino say that one of the biggest advantages of their technology will be the ability to sequence very long strands of DNA. The newest sequencing technologies in use today read DNA in fairly short spurts, from about 30 to 200 letters, which are then stitched together by a computer. This approach works well for some applications, such as resequencing a known genome. But a growing number of studies suggest that the small structural changes in DNA, such as deletions or inversions of short sequences, play a significant role in human variability, says Jeff Schloss, program director for technology development at the National Human Genome Research Center, in Bethesda, MD. "Those are much harder to pick up with short reads."

Neanderthals: Poor speakers. So says computer simulation.
That conclusion doesn't fit in with Neanderthals' large brains, which may have been an adaptation to language, says Erik Trinkaus, an anthropologist at Washington University in St Louis. "Ultimately what is important is not the anatomy of the mouth but the neuronal control of it."

Denmark: "World's happiest country" (chart); douchebag Tim Ferris comments

Testosterone: Salivary T correlated with trading success (via NYT)


Sympathetic co-tribalist Jonathan Marks recounts the life of race charlatan "Montague Francis Ashley-Montagu". I find the letter of introduction hilarious. Carleton Coon also makes an appearance (in the second block quote, discussing the 1950 UNESCO "Statement on Race").
Certainly the most vocal and influential exponent of anti-racist anthropology was the enigmatic Ashley Montagu (Sperlin 2000). Born Israel Ehrenberg in London's East End, he began by studying physical anthropology informally with Sir Arthur Keith, and later studied cultural anthropology formally with Bronislaw Malinowski at the London School of Economics. At this time, he reinvented himself as Montague Francis Ashley Montagu. In 1931, he emigrated to the United States, writing a letter introducing himself to Hooton at Harvard, in which he cavalierly misrepresented his credentials:
I am twenty-six, educated at Cambridge, Oxford, London, Florence, and Columbia. M.A., Ph.D., etc. fifteen anthropological publications. Recommended very generously by Sir Arthur Keith, who has furnished me a too-glowing testimonial which you may see if you wish. Sir Arthur once told me that I can always say that he will speak for me, so I may as well mention this too, for if you hold him in as great respect as I do, this should be impressive (December 28, 1931, EHP)
In fact Montagu had not matriculated at either Cambridge or Oxford. He would not earn a PhD for several years, and it would be in cultural anthropology, under the supervision of Ruth Benedict. Nevertheless, he got a job teaching anatomy to dental students through Hrdlicka. In 1941, he launched his first attack upon the central concept of physical anthropology -- race -- combining the Boasian approach with the arguments advanced in Britain by the biologist Julian Huxley adn the anthropologist Alfred Cort Haddon in their We Europeans (1936). Montagu maintained a cordial correspondence with Hooton, whose sponsorship (or at least benign neglect) would be needed for any advancement in physical anthropology.

Meanwhile, in the wake of revelations of Nazi horrors UNESCO's president, Julian Huxley, sought to have a formal statement issued about race. An international panel of anthropologists was assembled under Arturo Ramos, a Brazilian anthropologist, who died suddenly, leaving Montagu acting as "rapporteur" (Barkan 1996). The resulting UNESCO Statement on Race was issued in 1950, and left the "old guard" biologists and physical anthropologists sputtering about the divide between cultural and physical anthropology. To them, it was evident that the Statement had been drafted principally by cultural anthropologists -- and authored by its rapporteur, Montagu (Stewart 1961). As one of the angered physical anthropologists wrote, the original statement
was drawn up by eight men, one each from seven countries with Ashley Montagu as rapporteur. Only one, save the rapporteur, is a physical anthropologist -- Juan Comas of Mexico. The United States was represented by a Negro sociologist, E. Franklin Frazier; France by Claude Levi-Strauss, a Jewish sociologist, the UK by Morris Ginsberg, profession unstated. Not a single expert on race had anything to do with it. There were no Germans or Austrians.

It was sent to about 90 scientists, including myself. Darlington, Sir R. Fisher, Genna (Italy) and I "are frankly opposed to the statement". (Carleton Coon to Sarah Dees [undated], CP)
[. . .] the conservative backlash against the 1950 statement was powerful, particularly in England. The British journal Man published a long series of critical comments on it; and in response, a second UNESCO Statement on Race was drafted in 1951. Anxious lest the meeting be dominated by "out-and-out racists," which would result in a "pretty sad" statement (Dobzhansky to Montagu, February 24, 1951, AMP), the anti-racist scholars arranged to have the liberal geneticist L.C. Dunn serve as rapporteur. The second statement emphasized the biological aspects of debates about race -- and principally the indeterminacy of many key issues, such as intelligence. Even so, many senior physical anthropologists and biologists took exception to this statement. Their criticisms were solicited and published as The Race Concept: Results of an Inquiry, by UNESCO. [. . .]

Montagu had successfully undermined the concept of race, central to physical anthropology, but at enormous professional cost. Untenured at Rutgers, he was a prime target for the McCarthyites. Succumbing to political pressure, Rutgers summarily fired him, and he found all other academic avenues blocked. He was forced to earn his living as a lecturer and writer. [Oy vey iz mir.]

[pp. 245-246]

Marks, J. (2008) Race across the physical-cultural divide in American anthropology. In: A New History of Anthropology, edited by H. Kuklick. New York: Blackwell, pp. 242-258.

Quote of the day

"America, it depends on you, I solemnly declare, to save civilization and to produce a race of demigods."
--Georges Vacher de Lapouge (New York Times; Sep 28, 1921; pg. 11)

Hrdlicka on Old New Englanders

[New York Times; Apr 9, 1937; pg. 23]
Dr. Hrdlicka Says 'Excellent Stock' There Is Tallest, and Still Growing


BOSTON, April 8.--The "excellent stock" represented in many of Boston's older families is one of the most hopeful influences in the development of a distinct "American race," said Dr. Ales Hrdlicka, curator of the division of anthropology at the National Museum, in an address today before the women's Republican Club.

Dr. Hrdlicka has been investigating the composition of the country's racial development since 1910. He mentioned the aggregation of types in some sections. One of these came for the most part from England and located in cities in New England and the South.

"They lost something distinctly European here, and developed something American," he said. "They are the tallest and largest individuals of any group in America, and they are still growing.

"They are excellent, healthy white stock. It is something of a pity that they can't be kept in an Eden and stay there forever."

He added that what had been a trend toward aggregation had ceased and that now "in some of their strongholds like Boston others are mixing in."

"There is no help for that," he went on, "and perhaps there should not be, for if any stock remains without a mixture it becomes 'stale' and degenerates." [Oh, right.]

In contrast to the healthy old American stock, Dr. Hrdlicka described another of seven racial strains influencing America's growing racial type. The Appalachian mountaineers, ranging from New York State to Alabama and numbering as many as 8,000,000, are the "sore on the American Continent," in an anthropological sense, he said.

"There is something that needs the hearty attention of the biological and anthropological part of America."

2008-04-15 links

Dienekes: Asthenic type and debrachycephalization

Genetic Future: Genome-wide association studies taken to the next level

John Hawks: Disease, pathogens, and collectivism:
Would it be surprising that early agriculturalists living in emerging villages and cities might have been subject to pressures that enhanced collectivism? Such changes may have been facilitated by genetic changes, but would have also included cultural adaptations. Yet a correlation with pathogens would emerge as a side-effect of the history of agriculturalism, not as a direct cause.

Lega Nord: also known as "the xenophobic Northern League", in the BBC's totally objective reportage:
The party scored more than 8% in the national vote, almost twice what it garnered in the last elections. It is no longer seeking independence for the north, as it initially did, but it demands extensive autonomy.
[North vs. South Italy]

Newsweek: On personal genetic testing: May We Scan Your Genome? Nothing new if you've been following the field.

Coon on American race

Some excerpts from Carleton Coon on the racial types of Americans.

The Races of Europe (1939):
North America became, by the nineteenth century, the greatest Nordic reservoir in the world. But the century which saw the erection of this reservoir also witnessed the beginnings of its change in character; the tide of immigration brought with it members of all the other races of Europe. The people who came to America, from the time of the Pilgrim Fathers to the imposition of the laws restricting immigration, were selected; none were fully representative of the countries from which they came. In America they were subjected to environmental forces of a new and stimulating nature, so that changes in growth such as their ancestors had not felt for centuries produced strange, gangling creatures of their children. In America we have before our eyes the rapid action of race-building forces; if we wish to understand the principles which have motivated the racial history of the Old World, it behooves us to pay careful attention to the New. [pp. 651-652]

[Two Americans from the Photographic Supplement:]

FIG. 2 (3 views). A metrically similar New Englander from a Massachusetts coastal city, of Colonial Yankee lineage. He represents, a reëmergence or survival within the New England stock of the same British Mediterranean element.

FIG. 4 (3 views). New Englander of Colonial British descent. This tall, slenderly built, ash-blond-haired Nordic is an extreme example of the Corded type which entered Britain first during the Bronze Age in conjunction with brachycephals, and later during the Iron Age as an element in the Nordic invading groups. Its presence in New England in 1938 can only be regarded as a complete reëmergence.

[Personally, I think it would be hard to mistake the "Mediterranean" New Englander for anything but the British-descended American he is.]

Races: A study of the problems of race formation in man (1950; with Garn and Birdsell):
[From their list of "races of the world":]
4. Northwest European--Most of Scandinavia, much of the British Isles, Northern France, the Benelux countries, and northwest Germany is inhabited by a population characterized by medium to tall stature, medium build, brown hair, mixed or blue eyes, light skin, straight to wavy hair of moderate abundance, and facial features intermediate between the fine chiselling of the Nordic or Mediterranean and the broader, fleshier Alpine (Plate 2). As types in this population one finds Nordics, Mediterraneans, and stocky, large-headed, broad-faced, often hairy individuals who may have such paleanthropic characters as large teeth and heavy brow ridges. This third type apparently recapitulates in some degree the pre-agricultural population of this region. Western Irish, Scots, Norwegians from the central coast, Swedes from new Goteberg, and certain other local groups deviate srongly in the direction of this type.

The northwest European race is also found as the characteristic form of the major breeding unit in the United States and Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and white South Africa. The white American mean falls so close to it that no further designation is needed. [p.120]

Although [the Nordic] is common as a type, few populations in Europe or elsewhere can be called Nordic in the strict sense. Most which other authors have called Nordic fall into our Northwest European category. [pp. 129-131]

[Coon illustrates the "Northwest European" type with a photograph of himself.]

The Living Races of Man (1965):
The Racial Composition of the People of the United States

The history of the post-Columbian settlement of the United States being the bailiwick of professional historians, we may know less about it than that mythical person, the informed layman, to whom many excellent books on the subject have long been available. Our special interest is to trace the evidence of who came to our country whence and when; where the newcomers settled; to what extent they may have been selected by social and environmental forces before they left and after they arrived; and who mixed with whom.

The present population of the United States is composed principally of the descendants of three ethnic and racial elements: Europeans, Negroes, and American Indians, in order of numerical importance.

[. . .]

In the settlement of the United States the immigrants were not chose at random. Whole congregations migrated with their pastors to New England, and settled in sheltered coves and river mouths. Three centuries later, agents of New England textile mills recruited cheap labor from Sicilian villages, and most of the Albanians who came to work in shoe factories were members of the Orthodox minority from Korca. Middle-class artisans and skilled craftsmen predominated in early New England, and English aristocrats could be seen in the stately mansions of Virginia. The Sicilian laborers were humble and vigorous peasants, whereas among those who more recently have sought refuge from Hitler's police, there were some of our most gifted scholars and scientists.

Selection in migration operated from the beginning. In the early days of colonial settlement it was only natural that citizens of seafaring nations on the Atlantic shore of Europe should be the first to arrive in numbers. Of these nations, Spain and Portugal had business elsewhere. No glittering gold, silver, or heaps of emeralds met the northern explorers' eyes. The densely forested shores of North America were cold and forbidding and the Indians hostile. The British, French, and Dutch were the obvious candidates.

The settlement of the United States is usually divided into four periods: 1620-1790; 1790-1860; 1860-1924; and from 1923 to the ever-advancing present. The first date commemorates the landing of the Pilgrims, despite Jamestown's priority; the next two years are those of elaborate censuses; and 1924 is the date of the immigration law which limited the annual quota from any one country to 2 percent of its representation in 1890. During the first period the settlers came primarily from England and secondarily from Scotland and Scottish communities in Northern Ireland. Neither the Dutch in the Hudson Valley nor the Swedes and Finns in the lower Delaware were ever numerous. In general the English stayed near the coast, and the Scots, as might be expected, forged ahead into higher and more perilous terrain.

Most of this early immigrations occurred within the first few decades of the first period. During this time land travel remained slow and overseas contact intermittent. By 1790 the names of the heads of families are listed by counties and townships. In Massachusetts, one of the most solidly English states, names appear which are still listed in the 1965 telephone books of the same communities. There were then 989 families of Smiths, 340 of Whites, and 187 of Adamses. The Putnams numbered 80; the Eliots, variously spelled, 62; the Emersons 58. Among the top Boston Brahmin families of later periods, only 27 Forbeses, 16 Lowells, 9 Cabots, and one Saltonstall appear. The Gaelic contingent included 150 names beginning with Mc, 60 Kelleys, 8 Murphys, 6 O'Briens, and 3 Sullivans. In other states the proportions varied but the ingredients were, in most cases, the same.

The second period was dominated by the arrival of many Germans, Scandinavians, and Irish, along with more English. Because the English people themselves were a mixture of Celts, Germans, and Scandinavians, English history was only repeating itself in America. The genes remained the same.

After 1860 the pattern changed. Slavs, Russian and Polish Jews, both northern and southern Italians, Peloponnesian Greeks, and Lebanese began to join the stream, which grew into a torrent between 1890 and 1924, when it was suddenly dammed.

[. . .]

During the last two centuries, Americans of British descent, being the easiest to identify in Colonial records, have grown 3 1/2 inch taller than their Revolutionary ancestors, and proportionately heavier. By 1930 the rate of increase had begun to level off. G. T. Bowles surmised, to use his own word, that equilibrium might be reached between 1970 and 1980, at a mean stature for adult males of about six feet, or a little taller. That is as tall as any population measure to date. Bowles's apical decade, which will be a boon to shoe manufacturers, is nearly upon us.

[. . .]

The fourth question--how much "white blood" does a colored person need to pass for white--is difficult to answer because the act of passing is shrouded in secrecy.

[. . .]

The last question is hardest of all because anyone who passes, under the eagle-eyed scrutiny of American white people, is probably largely European genetically, as indicated by the fact that the so-called African blood type cDe is no commoner among white Americans than in many European populations. Glass and Li consider the genetic impact on the American population of passing, no matter how few or how many have achieved it, to have been negligible.

[pp. 301-307]

Ancestry of John Archibald Wheeler (1911-2008)

NYT: "John A. Wheeler, Physicist Who Coined the Term ‘Black Hole,’ Is Dead at 96"

Wheeler comments on his ancestry in Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics:
My mother was tall--as tall as my father--and pretty, with naturally curly blond hair and blue eyes. [p. 65]

My father was about 5'8", slender, blond, and blue-eyed. He was a no-nonsense achiever and a man of principle, committed to serving the public. [p. 66]

Both of my parents had ancestors in America going back many generations. It is not easy to say what influence this had on my development, my career, or my nature. It does make me a little unusual among physicists of the 1930s. Many of my American physicist colleagues at that time were newly arrived from Europe: Eugene Wigner, Edward Teller, Albert Einstein, Hans Bethe, Enrico Fermi, Leo Szilard, and George Gamow, to name some of them. Gregory Breit, my first postdoctoral mentor, arrived in the United States from Russia as a child. Robert Oppenheimer was the son of immigrant parents. Yet I was not unique in having deep roots in America soil. Ernest Lawrence, the inventor of the cyclotron, and Arthur Condon, an early contributor to quantum mechanics and later director of the National Bureau of Standards, shared this kind of American heritage with me.

My father was of Puritan stock and grew up in a strict home. His father (my grandfather Wheeler) left a steady job as assistant to the vice president of the Boston & Maine Railroad to become a Swedenborgian minister, and spend the latter part of his life ministering to communities in southeastern New England, from Providence, Rhode Island, to Bridgewater, Massachusetts. His parents, in turn (my great-grandparents Ezekiel and Mehitable Wheeler), although not in the ministry, were much concerned with religion, and spent evenings in their New Hampshire home arguing theological points, each trying to save the other's soul. Further back, the Wheeler clan in this country had arrived with other Pilgrims from England via Holland, not long after the Mayflower landed. By 1640, a year after the town of Concord, Massachusetts, was founded, thirty-five Wheeler families lived there. Wheeler was the most common family name in the town.

Adventure is to be found on my mother's side. Her Scottish ancestors, after emigrating to Ireland in search of a better life, found themselves besieged in Londonderry in 1689 . . . [p. 68; I'm unable to view p. 69 on Google Books, but you can read more about Wheeler's mother's family in this interview.]

I still feel closely linked to my parents and their parents and grandparents. My father, in his later years, gathered and summarized much of the history of his and Mabel's forebears in neatly typed, bound books. I continue to look out for more information with which to embellish his record. I have always loved history, and I find the histories of the Wheelers and Archibalds as fascinating as the histories of great leaders and great conflicts elsewhere in the world. I take pride in my American heritage. [p. 71]

A lengthy video interview with Wheeler is available at Peoples Archive.

There's also the other interview linked above:
The early settlers in Massachusetts came, of course, primarily for religious freedom. My wife and I visited in Leiden, Netherlands, the church where the early Pilgrims had met before they made their trip to Plymouth in the new world. Freeman Dyson tells me that it took at that time about seven years of one's earnings to buy a trip to the new world. I do not know the financial story of them all. But we have been lucky enough to have visiting us at various times the historian Carl Brieenbaugh, who died a couple of years ago. His books include one called Vexed and Troubled Englishmen, analyzing the reason's why Englishmen left the old country for the new.

Ancient Basque DNA

Press release:
Ancient DNA: reconstruction of the biological history of Aldaieta necropolis

A research team from the Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology & Animal Physiology in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the Leioa campus of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), and led by Ms Concepción de la Rúa, has reconstructed the history of the evolution of human population and answered questions about history, using DNA extracted from skeleton remains.

[. . .]

Aldaieta brings together certain important features which make this site a prime archaeological and historical record and its conservation an important task of restoration and study. In this vein, the Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology & Animal Physiology in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), has undertaken a study of DNA in the necropolis at Aldaieta (Araba).

[. . .]

Despite the problems inherent working with ancient DNA, the methodology drawn up for the current work as well as the precautions and criteria of authentication undertaken have enabled reliable and verifiable results of the population buried at Aldaieta to be obtained.

Within the great homogeneity of the mitochondrial lines on the European continent, the genetic substrate of the population buried at Aldaieta falls within the variability of that expressed by current populations on the Cantabrian coast and Atlantic axis, thereby indicating the existence of genic flow between these human groups in ancient times.

Besides the characterisation of the mitochondrial genome, they have carried out the characterisation of the chromosome Y, using techniques focused on ancient DNA, an have shown the existence of family relationships within the necropolis, given that certain mitochondrial lines have a particular distribution, the grouping of individuals belonging to the same line having been discovered at nearby burial sites. Besides, there exists a significant differentiation gender wise, men having qualitatively and quantitatively more important funerary artefacts than women.

Some UPV/EHU pdfs are available here, though I don't recall seeing any ancient Y-DNA results published by this group as yet.

Update: Here is a web page of the lead investigator mentioned in the release. No recent publications listed.

Whence African mtDNA in Eastern Europe?

Eur J Hum Genet. 2008 Apr 9 [Epub ahead of print]

Reconstructing the phylogeny of African mitochondrial DNA lineages in Slavs.

Malyarchuk BA, Derenko M, Perkova M, Grzybowski T, Vanecek T, Lazur J.

1Genetics Laboratory, Institute of Biological Problems of the North, Far-East Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Magadan, Russia.

To elucidate the origin of African-specific mtDNA lineages, revealed previously in Slavonic populations (at frequency of about 0.4%), we completely sequenced eight African genomes belonging to haplogroups L1b, L2a, L3b, L3d and M1 gathered from Russians, Czechs, Slovaks and Poles. Results of phylogeographic analysis suggest that at least part of the African mtDNA lineages found in Slavs (such as L1b, L3b1, L3d) appears to be of West African origin, testifying to an opportunity of their occurrence as a result of migrations to Eastern Europe through Iberia. However, a prehistoric introgression of African mtDNA lineages into Eastern Europe (approximately 10 000 years ago) seems to be probable only for European-specific subclade L2a1a, defined by coding region mutations at positions 6722 and 12903 and detected in Czechs and Slovaks. Further studies of the nature of African admixture in gene pools of Europeans require the essential enlargement of databases of African complete mitochondrial genomes.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 9 April 2008; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2008.70.

PMID: 18398433 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

[From the same group: On the origin of Mongoloid component in the mitochondrial gene pool of Slavs]

What is an American?

Robert Reis gives his answer at MR. Reis is nosing in the right direction (on this particular question), but Harry Laughlin's answer remains the clearest and most comprehensive:
Definition of the American race
Suitable for Legal and Technical Use, -- and for General Understanding

Racially, an American is a Caucasian each of whose ancestral lines traces directly to a member of the foundation racial stock of the American people, or to a race-assimilant thereto who was fully assimilated thereby.

(a) The foundation racial stock of the American people consists in all Caucasians who were inhabitants of the territory of the original United States at the consummation of American independence, September 3, 1783.

(b) A race-assimilant to the foundation racial stock of the American people is a person readily assimilable thereby on account of nearness in blood-kinship thereto; such a person is a Caucasian all of whose ancestral lines trace directly to one or more of those previously established European races which furnished the ethnic elements of the foundation racial stock of the American people.

Rienzi inanity

Lothrop Stoddard

Pathetic time wasting: Rienzi tries argument by appeal to the authority of some Wikipedia editor's summary of some leftist academic's interpretation of Lothrop Stoddard.

Had Rienzi bothered to actually pick up a copy of Re-Forging America, he might have noticed:
  • The book is about forging American national unity, not "white unity".
  • Stoddard did not suddenly become rosy on "New Immigrants" (Southern and Eastern Europeans) once immigration reform was accomplished. He stresses:
    • Immigration restriction averted disaster and this potential disaster must not be forgotten, and,
    • "New Immigrants" must accommodate themselves to the America, not the reverse. Those who can't can and should go home.
  • Stoddard comments positively that (at the time he wrote):
    • Colonial stock Americans still constituted almost half the white population, and most of the other half were of closely-related Northern European origins.
    • "New Immigrant" birth rates were falling, and it appeared unlikely they would increase their fraction of the population much.
    • Old-stock Americans still ran the country.

  • Stoddard glowingly praises his friend Madison Grant and quotes approvingly from Passing of the Great Race.
  • Stoddard notes that "New Immigrants" are concentrated largely in Northeastern industrial centers. At one point, Stoddard addresses himself to Americans who find themselves in areas like this and urges them to take heart and remember all the (real) Americans in the Midwest, West, and South who will come to their aid if alien elements attempt to exert control.

The Wikipedia article contains the claim that:
Stoddard was less concerned with which varieties of European people were superior to others (Nordic theory), but was more concerned with what he called "bi-racialism," seeing the world as being composed of simply black and white races.

Which is simply retarded. When Stoddard wrote, blacks were the only numerically significant non-white group in the US, and "bi-racialism" is merely Stoddard's name for his proposed solution to what at the time was the biggest race problem in America. The solution: outlaw racial inter-mixture and institute separate-but-equal segregation nation-wide. Organize America into separate black and white spheres, and allow blacks to rise within their sphere as far their talents lift them. That is bi-racialism--Stoddard's idea of a kinder/gentler/fairer Jim Crow. In other words, a practical proposal that has nothing much to do with post-modernist "white" identity deconstruction. (Incidentally, Stoddard considered "bi-racialism" an imperfect solution, and saw colonization as something eventually to shoot for.)

Stoddard clearly did not believe all whites were equivalent, and his chapter on "bi-racialism" contains no calls for "white unity" or attempts to minimize differences between whites. ("Bi-racialism" could be seen as implicitly acknowledging that black-white differences are larger than white-white differences, but such has always been obvious, and I know of no "Nordicist" who has argued otherwise.)

OMG Arab coins in Sweden!

Weak innuendo: "Were coins the only things brought back from the Middle East?"

I don't know, Rienzi. Swedes do seem suspiciously swarthy. You know what else? Vikings traveled throughout Northern Europe, no doubt spreading their Arab taint to the ancestors of Americans. To be safe, I suggest you exit my country immediately and commune with your personal hero on the island of his birth. They may speak a Semitic language there, but I don't think anyone has ever found any Arab coins in Malta, have they?

AVPR1a and altruism

Nature news:
'Ruthlessness gene' discovered

Selfish dictators may owe their behaviour partly to their genes, according to a study that claims to have found a genetic link to ruthlessness. The study might help to explain the money-grabbing tendencies of those with a Machiavellian streak — from national dictators down to 'little Hitlers' found in workplaces the world over.

Researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem found a link between a gene called AVPR1a and ruthless behaviour in an economic exercise called the 'Dictator Game'. The exercise allows players to behave selflessly, or like money-grabbing dictators such as former Zaire President Mobutu, who plundered the mineral wealth of his country to become one of the world's richest men while its citizens suffered in poverty.
[. . .]
Prosocial hormone

Ebstein and his colleagues decided to look at AVPR1a because it is known to produce receptors in the brain that detect vasopressin, a hormone involved in altruism and 'prosocial' behaviour. Studies of prairie voles have previously shown that this hormone is important for binding together these rodents' tight-knit social groups.
[. . .]
There was no connection between the participants' gender and their behaviour, the team reports. But there was a link to the length of the AVPR1a gene: people were more likely to behave selfishly the shorter their version of this gene.

It isn't clear how the length of AVPR1a affects vasopressin receptors: it is thought that rather than controlling the number of receptors, it may control where in the brain the receptors are distributed. Ebstein suggests the vasopressin receptors in the brains of people with short AVPR1a may be distributed in such a way to make them less likely to feel rewarded by the act of giving.
[. . .]
Researchers should nevertheless be careful about using the relatively blunt tool of the Dictator Game to draw conclusions about human generosity, says Nicholas Bardsley at the University of Southampton, UK, who studies such games.
[. . .]
This suggests that the apparently more altruistic players in Ebstein's game may in fact be motivated by a desire simply to engage fully with the game, perhaps just because they feel that that is what's expected of them.

If that is true, then apparently ruthless dictators may be motivated not by out-and-out greed but by a simple lack of social skills, which leaves them unable to sense what's expected of them.

The paper (pdf manuscript here):
Genes, Brain and Behavior. Volume 7 Issue 3 Page 266-275, April 2008.
Individual differences in allocation of funds in the dictator game associated with length of the arginine vasopressin 1a receptor RS3 promoter region and correlation between RS3 length and hippocampal mRNA
Knafo et al.
Human altruism is a widespread phenomenon that puzzled evolutionary biologists since Darwin. Economic games illustrate human altruism by showing that behavior deviates from economic predictions of profit maximization. A game that most plainly shows this altruistic tendency is the Dictator Game. We hypothesized that human altruistic behavior is to some extent hardwired and that a likely candidate that may contribute to individual differences in altruistic behavior is the arginine vasopressin 1a (AVPR1a) receptor that in some mammals such as the vole has a profound impact on affiliative behaviors. In the current investigation, 203 male and female university students played an online version of the Dictator Game, for real money payoffs. All subjects and their parents were genotyped for AVPR1a RS1 and RS3 promoter-region repeat polymorphisms. Parents did not participate in online game playing. As variation in the length of a repetitive element in the vole AVPR1a promoter region is associated with differences in social behavior, we examined the relationship between RS1 and RS3 repeat length (base pairs) and allocation sums. Participants with short versions (308–325 bp) of the AVPR1a RS3 repeat allocated significantly (likelihood ratio = 14.75, P = 0.001, df = 2) fewer shekels to the ‘other’ than participants with long versions (327–343 bp). We also implemented a family-based association test, UNPHASED, to confirm and validate the correlation between the AVPR1a RS3 repeat and monetary allocations in the dictator game. Dictator game allocations were significantly associated with the RS3 repeat (global P value: likelihood ratio χ2 = 11.73, df = 4, P = 0.019). The association between the AVPR1a RS3 repeat and altruism was also confirmed using two self-report scales (the Bardi–Schwartz Universalism and Benevolence Value-expressive Behavior scales). RS3 long alleles were associated with higher scores on both measures. Finally, long AVPR1a RS3 repeats were associated with higher AVPR1a human post-mortem hippocampal messenger RNA levels than short RS3 repeats (one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA): F = 15.04, P = 0.001, df = 14) suggesting a functional molecular genetic basis for the observation that participants with the long RS3 repeats allocate more money than participants with the short repeats. This is the first investigation showing that a common human polymorphism, with antecedents in lower mammals, contributes to decision making in an economic game. The finding that the same gene contributing to social bonding in lower animals also appears to operate similarly in human behavior suggests a common evolutionary mechanism.

Associations for AVPR1a with "creative dance performance" and "spirituality", eating behavior, and autism have also been claimed. Populations vary in allele frequencies at a nearby SNP, but a quick search fails to locate any data on population variation in RS3 repeat length. If you find some, post it.