Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sense of Humour

We received a report that a soldier went into a tent at 11pm and came out at 3am. It could have been sex for pleasure, it could have been sex for favours, or it could have been a discussion on Ancient Greek philosophy, we don't know


I think he remembered a popular joke at an inopportune moment.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Battle of the Sexes - v

I couldn't control myself as the article heading used my regular post caption for the precise reason.

if a specific gene located on a non-sex chromosome is turned off, cells in the ovaries of adult female mice turn into cells typically found in testes. Their study, published in Cell, challenges the long-held assumption that the development of female traits is a default pathway. At the same time, it grants a valuable insight into how sex determination evolved.
In humans and most other mammals, an individual's sex is determined by its sex chromosomes: females have two X chromosomes, males have one X and one Y. Scientists had long assumed that the female pathway -- the development of ovaries and all the other traits that make a female -- was a kind of default: if it had a gene called Sry, which is located on the Y chromosome, an embryo would develop into a male, if not, then the result would be a female. But in adult animals it is the male pathway that needs to be actively suppressed,

I don't think male or female default pathway makes much sense. Or it doesn't at least to me. However, considering the fact that only one of the two X-chromosomes in female is activated, my belief is that genetically male is a high feature being than female. In other words, male is naturally both male and female but female is only female and wannabe male. In a different way, the present study also supports this position.

Via Science Daily

Friday, November 06, 2009

Closing the blog

May be because of my less intelligence I'm bored. The motivation for this blog was to improve my English skills. By my own assessment I have been a spectacular failure in that objective. I don't like my own words. And five years is too long a time for that project and it has to be scrapped.

Thank you readers and thank you for your comments! I'll keep this blog open for one more day so that you know that I'm closing it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Race and Medicine - i

A recent study on Indian genetics made an unqualified statement that it would help in medical research on specific disease prevalence among endogamous castes. Anyway, number of people in each caste may range from few thousands to few crores. I suppose, they need to identify each caste group as < state name >.< district name >.< village name >.< caste name >.< sub caste name > to proactively identify the salient diseases. Though in hindsight prevalence of certain diseases among Indians could be attributed too much inbreeding in the form of caste. However, that doesn't need any caste specific studies. But I don't think even that is a credible explanation considering different caste sizes and almost uniform presence of diseases. That probably has to do with our behaviour, environment and food habits.

Today I came across a study on prevalence of Diabetes among African Americans and European Americans. From the article:
The study, available online in advance of publication in the October 2009 edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, found that when African Americans and whites live in similar environments and have similar incomes, their diabetes rates are similar, which contrasts with the fact that nationally diabetes is more prevalent among African Americans than whites.

Via Science Daily

Not sure whether generally Population geneticists overlook to nullify 'other conditions'. Though some of the race promoters may do so.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Caste Based Census - 2011

This is badly required for population genetics studies. Without the weighted representation, the overall picture given by the samples is always going to be error prone.

Via Indo-Eurasian_research Yahoo Group.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Out of India - I

As new studies are coming up in the field of population genetics, it is becoming increasingly apparent that, while cultural identity may have been the preserve of males, genetic identity is determined by females. The reason can be very simple. Once colonized the matrilineages stay put even when the patrilineages change.

mtDNA and autosomal analysis:
Considering the fact that in most part of the old world mtDNA is around 50000-40000 years old, it's no wonder that all the later male sweeps in the last 3000-4000 years would hardly leave any genetic imprint in the population except for their Y-chromosomes. One of the visible proof is is the looks (physical shape) of the population that I have already discussed before.

- In the case of Austro-Asiatics in India, even though male lineage Y-chromosome O2a predominates, they look like Indians than SE Asians mainly because of their Indian matrilineages.

- In the case of Finnish, even though male lineage Y-chromosome N1c predominates, they look like Europeans than East Asian mainly because of their European matrilineages.

- In the case of Cameroonians, with a high percentage of Y-chromosome R1b, they look entirely like Africans than Europeans mainly because of their African matrilineages.

But considering the fact that New World fairly recently colonized (around 15000 years), the genetic diversity is very low compared to the old world colonizers who moved there in the last 500 years or so, we may see some strong presence of old world genetic imprint in their autosomal analysis.

But this can never be the case in the old world itself. Here, over time the native matrilineages assert themselves and this could be observed in autosomal analysis.

Ancient Indian Females:
A recent study, "Reconstructing Indian Population History", rather beautifully illustrates the ancient migrations of Indian matrilineages. It has found two distinct components, Ancient North Indian(ANI) and Ancient South India (ASI). The distinction was made by comparing the markers with Europeans, North Africans and West Asians. ANI is observed among those groups and ASI is restricted only to India. Though in India both ANI and ASI are found mixed in population.

This interesting observation reinforces the fact that all the West Eurasian (North Africa, West Asia and Europe) matrilineages were ultimately derived from an Indian macro haplogroup mtDNA R. With this study we can even confirm that, one of M lineages, M1, which is found mostly in Mediterranean region was also part of the migration from India.

The researchers make one more observation that Onges, one of the Andaman tribes, are sort of close to ASI. We do know that Onges' Y-chromosome is exclusively Y-Haplogroup D, found mostly in Tibet and Japan but their matrilineage is M31a, found mostly in East India or S E India. This is another case where matrilineage asserting itself (through autosomes) over patrilineage.

The evidences till now appear to support the old model of northern migration route instead of now popular the coastal migration. I have already argued the more the barrier the greater will be the need to migrate for Homo Sapiens before the advent of new technologies. Thus the coastal migration is not a viable hypothesis. Therefore, in my opinion, there were two groups, one in East and the other in North India (that moved from East) that later colonized whole India(or South Asia). The northern group is also responsible for West Eurasian matrilineages though the latter's patrilineages(like R1, E1b1b) might have later swapped the original patrilineags. Even then Y-Haplogroup J (aborigine West Asian), Y-haplogroup I (aborigine European) are sort of closely related to Y-Haplogroup H (aborigine Indian). However, all their matrilineages are descendents of Indian mtDNA R(H, U, JT) and mtDNA M(M1).

Genetics does not consider a standard trait as the original trait. It considers various genotypes of a single trait as the pre-existing condition and any single genotype as a clue for bottlenecks. However, pseudo-science like anthropometry makes the mistake of considering standard look and derived look by admixture. By anthropometry, Indians are measured in terms of standard looks of Australian aborigines, SE Asian (so-called) Negritos, Europeans and Mediterraneans.

But when it comes to autosomes, we can see that diversity creates few standards (because of bottlenecks and isolation) and not popular myth (part of Anthropometry) that the admixture creates diversity (which could be observed only in Y-chromosome haplogroups which themselves change so rapidly to leave any genetic footprint in a population).

Now considering the fact that these so-called standard populations' matrilineages are but a subset of Indian matrilineages, we can argue all those standard looks are subset of Indian diversity. Those are all bottlenecked population.

By population genetics, I would think present day stereotypical Homo Sapiens looks could be attributed to the two main components.

1. African
2. Proto-Asian.

Prot Asian could be further divided into:
1. Indian
2. Bottlenecked Proto-Asian (East Asian)

Whereas the Indian looks could be found in South Asia, the bottlenecked looks derived from Indian looks (or could be from Proto-Asian thro' northern route hypothesis) could be found among:
1. Australian aborigines
2. SE Asian aborigines
3. North African and West Asian
4. European

1. Razib's Gene Expression.
2. Maju's Leherensuge.
3. My anthropology discussion forum.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Buddha's Name

Previously I posted an article about fictitious names of Buddha's parents. Now if I think about it, the original name of the Buddha is also rather dubious. In my opinion, Buddhism is an institutionalized ancient Indian Sramana/Jaina tradition.

In Jain tradition, a Siddha is a great soul who has achieved moksha. Our man Buddha was born with the essence(artha) of Siddha.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Agriculture in South India - notes

There is a huge population of Kannada speaking labourers in Hyderabad. They live in primitive conditions. In some cases their family life is a complete mess. Many of them own few acres of land in North Karnataka. But because of insufficient irrigation system and irregular Monsoon they had to abandon their land and migrate as coolie workers.

However, in my opinion, even with proper rains and irrigation system the prosperity of these farmers can not be guaranteed. Because of their limited land they would employ only limited resources. They most likely remain as stagnant farmers.

As I see it, in places like Karnataka we face two problems.
- Water
- Limited land of individual farmers

I have made the following observations:
1) In a water scarce land, a farmer with large landholdings still can survive and even prosper by using high technology.
2) But even in a water abundant land there is no guarantee for a farmer with limited land to reach sustainable prosperity. Few reasons for this:
(i) Not much use of high technology
(ii) Not much room for experimentation
(iii) Content, happy and petty life when the earning is below certain threshold.
All these contribute lower yield and lower profit.

But there is an additional point to (2)
2.a) A farmer with limited landholding in water abundant region can always sell his land and buy a greater stretch of land in water scarce region and become prosperous.

Bonafide Feudalism:
The best way to overcome the situation in Karnataka is to create a class of bonafide feudals. These bonfide feudals must be local to the region. More precisely, only officially Karnatakans are eligible to become bonfide feudals in Karnataka. Bonafide colonialism is not acceptable (even if the person is resident of India). The concept is simple and is generally employed by landless but money rich neo farmers. They lease the land from the farmers.

The salient features of this system:
- the land will never be owned by the bonafide feudals. They have to lease it every year.
- there is no upper limit for the acquisition of leased land.
- the farmers have to work for the feudals. The surplus farmers should work in any ventures that they run.
- all farmers' families must get monthly salary. A minimum monthly salary is a must under any conditions.
- the farmers' income is taxable but not bonafide feudals'.
- failure to pay minimum monthly salary will result in end of feudalism and the land will be available to a new feudal

Bonafide Colonialism in Ukraine

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Compilation of Kannada male names - i

There are not many Kannada male names in circulation. Most likely the names will become extinct in my next generation. Even in my generation one hardly comes across original Kannada names.

Generally in Kannada names, nouns work as adjectives. I'm afraid my English translations may not fully capture the imagination of Kannada parents of the past.

guNDappa -> The great round -> Well rounded man
mariyappa -> The great little one -> Darling man
cennappa -> The great good -> Healthy man
celuvappa -> The great beauty -> Handsome man
cinnappa-> The great gold -> Generous man
honnappa -> The great gold -> Generous man
baGgArappa -> The great gold -> Generous man
beLLiyappa -> The great silver -> Sparkling man
naJjappa -> The great envy -> Enviable man
maJjappa* -> The great mist -> Cool man
kALappa -> The great pulse -> Rich man
mAnappa** -> The great beauty -> Handsome man
bALappa -> The great life -> Zestful man
kaNNappa -> The great eye -> Eye candy man
hAlappa -> The great milk -> White man

That's an abysmally small list.

* Not to be confused with Indo-Aryan 'manju' which means charming. Dravidian 'manju' means dew, mist etc...
** 'maanu' is male name in Karnataka and female name in Tamil Nadu and Kerala as far as I know. It has survived as literary word only in Telugu (According to Dravidian Dictionary)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

How to Make an Indian Baby

Cross an African with a Chinese and you get an Indian? Still believable, I believe. Not as dumb as few population genetics morons' interpretation that you should in fact cross European male and Chinese female.

Via Pharyngula

It seems in the above spoof those non-Indian girls are atheists (I guess non-religious is euphemism for atheism). But the Indian girl is "actually" a Hindu. Now that is a problem. There are atheist Hindus who are generally communals or castiests. The regular atheists do not identify with their religion of birth. I am positive that a Hindu atheist when asked to be part of that video would have angrily said, "Why it has to be a Hindu. We are an easy prey. Aren't we? Try to get a Muslim girl and do your spoof".

That being the case, I am sure that that is a believer Hindu. A believer Hindu taking part in a parody of Christians by atheists only goes on to show she is intellectually challenged. That is not a sin. At least in Indian context believers are normal people and atheists are abnormals. So I have nothing against her.

The problem is what those light skinned atheists were thinking when they asked a believer to be part of that video. They should have selected an atheist Indian girl. They must have thought dark skinned intellectually challenged Hindu is beyond mockery. I am afraid that smacks of racism.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our Exciting Future

Green tea reduces heart attack risk by 20%
Red wine reduces heart attack risk by 20%
Cow milk reduces heart attack risk by 20%

All we need is two more liquids and we will be 100% free of heart problems.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

A View from the Origin

Runoko Rashidi on Indians

Reminded me an incident, that my dark skinned friend born into Kannada Brahmin caste told me with a roaring laughter. He and his friend, an equally dark skinned Tamil born into a non-Brahmin caste, were watching a Tennis match. The Tamil commented that he would like to see a Serena Williams win as she was also dark skinned like him.

But the most uncomfortable with dark skin lable must be females of the communities that became successful as a whole within few generations. If the success is gradual accompanied by lightening of skin tone in each generation, as many of the castes show, then one can overcome the stigma of dark and successful.

Battle of the Sexes - iv

Don't know if it belongs here but of us don't survive says the article.

"The results support the suggestion that genes that are good for males may often be bad for their mates. Therefore, in beetles at least, multiple mating does not award females with genetic benefits," says Göran Arnqvist.

Via Science Daily

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The True Historians

All other nationalities, ethnicities should retire from and refrain from the study of history and related fields. Only "Argumentative Indians" are the true masters of it.

History is all about argument. There is no absolute historical truth about anything big in history.

Via BBC news

Monday, August 03, 2009

Battle of the Sexes - iii

I'm doing a groundbreaking research on South Indian children birth weights for the last six months or so as every person contemporary to me is becoming a parent. Whatever I have read over the net indicates that on an average boys' birth weights are higher than that of girls'. Not so in the case of South Indians if my data has to be believed.


<3Kg All of them belong to middle class. All mothers are working women. Then I come across this study:

Previous research has offered evidence of a genetic struggle for supremacy only during fetal development: In the womb, some genes of paternal origin have been shown to promote increased demands on mothers, leading to fetal overgrowth, while genes of maternal origin tend to have the opposite effect. This new work suggests maternal and paternal genes continue to engage in internal genetic conflict past childbirth.

I couldn't anyway apply this study to my observations. But I felt a connection.

Via Science Daily

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Battle of the Sexes - ii

Although some of the genes on the Y chromosome have been maintained, most of them have died, and the team found evidence that some others are on track to disappear, as well. "Even though some of the genes appear to be important, we still think there is a chance that the Y chromosome eventually could disappear," said Makova. "If this happens, it won't be the end of males. Instead, a new pair of non-sex chromosomes likely will start on the path to becoming sex chromosomes."

Via Science Daily

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Teyyam Story

The man is from stone cutter caste. He wants to live an adventurous and warrior life unbecoming of his birth. He migrates from Malayala region to Kodava region. He falls in love with a woman known for her valour. They marry. But before he could go and start his family life, he would meet a Muslim woman who charms and seduces him. The Kodava woman comes to know of his infidelity and in anger does not agree to consummate their marriage.

The man starts working as a merchant. One day he is waylaid by thieves on his way back home. He defeats them in the fight and reaches home. There he realizes that he has dropped the wedding ring given by his wife. Fearing the humiliation from his wife for losing it, he goes back to the place where he has fought the thieves. The thieves, who have his ring, are ready and kill him.

The wife comes to know of the whole incident. She goes to the place where he was killed and confronts the thieves. In the ensuing fight she kills them all and retrieves the ring.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Roma

"Who are these people?" asks the man behind the counter in the photo store in Southall, an area also known as London's Little India.
He is handing over my order: a hefty pile of colour photographs, of which a picture of two Roma women and their children (above) is the first.
"They look just like the Banjara in Rajasthan - that's where I come from," he says.
He points to a beautiful print on the wall, showing a glamorous group of female Banjara dancers.
The similarity is striking.
Historians agree that the Roma's origins lie in north-west India and that their journey towards Europe started between the 3rd and 7th Centuries AD - a massive migration prompted by timeless reasons: conflicts, instability and the seeking of a better life in big cities such as Tehran, Baghdad and, later on, Constantinople.
Some of these Indian immigrant workers were farmers, herdsmen, traders, mercenaries or book-keepers. Others were entertainers and musicians.
They settled in the Middle East, calling themselves Dom, a word meaning "man".

Post-war European governments on both sides of the Iron Curtain denied the Roma Holocaust survivors any recognition or aid
To this day they retain their name and speak a language related to Sanskrit.
Large numbers moved into Europe, where the D, which was anyway pronounced with the tongue curled up, became an R, giving the word Rom. Today's European Roma (the plural of Rom) are their descendants.

Via BBC on the Roma

In my opinion, comparing the Roma with the Banjara (Lambani) because of their looks can be misleading. It's obvious that the comparison has stemmed out of their relative lighter skin tone as compared to South and South East Indians.

But the Lambani and the Roma are two different groups. The Roma can be only compared to Domba (another nomadic group in India). But Dombas look just like South or South-East Indians.

The Roma are predominantly Y-haplogroup H and Y-Haplogroup R2 people. Interestingly they carry negligible or nil Y-Haplogroup R1a1, a predominant north-west Indian lineage.

There is also a view that their language which was initially thought to be close to north-west Indian languages could be in fact close to Sinhala. The ancestors of Sinhalese are from eastern India.

Considering their haplogroup profile coupled with their linguistic roots, they would rather match with central-east Indians than north-west Indians.

Now, the fact is many of them do look like light skinned Lambanis(or vice versa). The light skin of the Roma is because of their admixture with West Asians and south-western Europeans.(The route they took appear to be north-west India->West Asia->Mediterranean->south-western Europe/north-eastern Europe-> Central Asia).

But what explains Lambani lighter skin tone? Well, interestingly, it appears they are European nomads in India, just like the Roma are Indian nomads in Europe. According to Sahoo et al.(2006), they carry Y-haplogroup R1b at around 28%(5/18). Considering the fact that they lack J and E, they are most likely from central-west European lands than from West Asia. It should be noted here that Y-haplogroup R1b is hardly present in castes and tribes of India. Also, curiously, they carry mtDNA N1a. There is N1a in India which is close to Iranian samples(Mountain et al.(1995), Baig et al (2004)). However, Lambani N1a is different (according to a Russian expert on mtDNA). I wonder whether their R1b haplotypes and N1a motifs could be compared to present or ancient DNA found in Europe.

Whatever the case, the Roma are from the present day nation state India. But making that point from the skin deep observations is pointless. In fact, as I have explained above, it might ironically show non-Indian inputs in this case. But BBC has always been a fine example of Anglo-Saxon literal view.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rise of Patriarchal Society - VII

Matrilineal traditions:
My previous post on the same topic, I discussed how matrilineal traditions consider semen as mere nurture but not the essence of life. This is in contrast to patrilineal traditions which consider semen as the essence of life and woman or womb as mere nurture.

One of the examples given was matrilineal Musuo community of China. This community assigned semen the role of rain. I believe matrilineal traditions were strong in northern Indian and Nepali regions close to Sino-Tibetan influence.

During the times of drought it is/was a tradition in Nepala and Uttara Pradesha for women to plough naked in fields to please rain god Indra. We fairly guess how wily wise men of the past synthesized matrilineal traditions with their patriarchal gods. This also gives good clue why Indra upstaged original rain god Varuna.

Seeing thro' patrilineal eyes, matrilineal traditions may look rather strange. This may lead to patrilineal rationalization of those traditions. It doesn't go well with Varuna's character to be enticed by women. But Indra is known for his loose morals.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Origins of Indians : Version 8.2

Coastal Migration Theory and I:
I have been a skeptic of the 'Coastal Migration Theory'. In my previous post on the same topic I found the theory unreliable because of Y-haplogroup distribution pattern in India.

Evidence from mtDNA:
A new study says (Via my discussion forum) not only mtDNA N is older than M but also M in East Asia is older than South Asia. At least one study before this also found that M in East Asia and Oceania is older than South Asia. These facts coupled with our stereotypical knowledge of India at the receiving end of most of the migrations from East or West goes against the legend of the Coastal Migration.

Sanity is restored:
The argument put forth for the Coastal Migration which I found rather bizarre is;
"It is easy to move along the coast and colonize the whole world than it is possible in any other way"
I don't understand why early man should have the explorer's zeal. The coastal areas of India are generally abundant with food supplies. Why would any population leave that region?

Another argument is northern East Asia, an alternative root to colonize SE Asia and Oceania( and has been the stereotypical case in the known past), because of inhospitable mountainous and cold environment early humans might not have moved to those regions.

But I would think man moved when he found imposing mountain but not the other way round. I would propose another hypothesis for the rapid movement of early humans.

Quest for warmth:
Since Homo Sapiens Migrated from hot African regions, they might have always preferred to live in tropical regions than temperate regions. The reason we don't find many older haplogroups in Europe and Central Asia because those were cooler regions unlike Africa. Early humans were in constant motion in search of summers. Most likely the early movement that gave rise to early Australians is;

Europe-> Central Asia->northern East Asia->western East Asia->SE Asia->Australia.

Note it's all thro' inhospitable regions never touching the coastal regions. Some of them(Y-haplogroup C and D) did adjuste to northern East Asia. Some continued south until they reached mostly hotter SE Asia and Oceania.

Another wave that moved South Asia took West Asia (where you find mtDNA M1) route. South Asia gave warmth and hospitable region leading to stagnation.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


What is Velupillai Prabhakaran's Y-Haplogroup? I guess they might have done only haplotype matching with his son. But that should give us fairly good idea of his haplogroup. It would be better if we can find his matrilineage too.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Essence of Male - i

What is a male being?

Is male essentially a Heterosexual? No.
Is male essentially a Homosexual? No.
Is male essentially a Bisexual? No.

Male is Asexual.

What makes a male? Y-chromosome.
What is a Y-chromosome? An asexual chromosome.

The essence of male is the essence of its Y-chromosome.

Battle of the Sexes - i

Another change in neo-X that Bachtrog suspects is taking place is the elimination of genes that are harmful to females. Biologists have realized recently that some genes have opposite effects in males and females, and evolution is a tug of war between males jettisoning genes that they find detrimental only to have females put them back, and vice versa.

"A good place to put sexually antagonistic genes that are beneficial to one sex but detrimental to the other is on the sex chromosomes," she said. The Y always ends up in the male, she said, so genes on the Y chromosome won't affect females.
"Conversely, the X chromosome becomes feminized with genes that are good for the female but detrimental to the male," said Bachtrog, adding that the X also becomes demasculinized, losing genes that are of use only in the male.

Via Science Daily.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Origins of Indians: Version 11.0

Indian skull shape:
Anthropometry has been traditionally used in the reconstruction of history of particular region. This is one of its numerous pseudo-scientific applications. We know that;
- Communities of a particular lineage/s in a region can change its skull shape because of change in lifestyle (nomadic to sedentary). eg. China and Middle East
- Tribal populations because of restricted food supply and region can drift towards certain type of skull shape.
- Of course, looks of matrilineage generally prevails upon in mixed population as it's more stable. This is in the sense men move or change in any region.

However, anthropometry has been widely used to stereotype the looks of a particular region. Then employ this stereotypical look to give an identity based on present day identities to faceless old populations of that region. And there are still many people who think this is more scientific than skin colour studies to identify the groups.

But thanks to Population Genetics now we can get clear picture of old populations and their relationship to one another. Here too just like skin colour based notions, skull shape based ideas fail miserably.

In India, it's been traditionally thought that Mundas predate Dravidians and IE speakers. Many a time their skull shape has been considered as a standard. Now we know that just like their language their main male lineage (Haplogroup O2a) is observed in Austro-Asiatic populations of SE Asia/S China. But their matrilineage is typical to India. Their looks can't be considered as a standard. We now know that their male ancestry skull shape was entirely different. Therefore, present day look of Mundas is misleading.

Other examples:
We can find such examples in other parts of the world too.
Generally, Finnish were considered as epitome of Nordic look(Blond/Dolichocephalic). But now we know that a big chunk of male ancestry(Y-haplogroup N1c) could have had entirely different look. Only their matrilineage is completly European. Therefore, present day look of Finnish is misleading.

North Africa:
In the case of Mundas and Finnish the original male look would have resembled present day East Asian look. A similar story could be found in North Africa. Light skinned North Africans are predominantly Y-haplogroup E1b1b. This haplogroup and it's closest branch Y-haplogroup E1b1a could be found among their southern dark skinned population. But their matrilineage is predominantly European. Therefore, the present day look of North Africans is misleading. Hilariously, there are Europeans who claim ancient Egyptian civilization as their own. Those people are handicapped by American model of white skin distribution thro' European males. But European male lineages are insignificant in comparison to their female lineage either in North Africa or West Asia. Considering how patriarchy prevailed in the past, probably, dark skinned Africans have higher claim on Egyptian civlization than Europeans.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Father is Complete Parent; Mother is Half - i

We have seen that ignorant wise men of the past had made complete fools of themselves by thinking semen is seed. But the modern science is giving some respect to their one idea that man is complete but woman is not. It is in parenting we find the difference. As of now, it's the only area we find the clear differences between the sexes.

A discussion on what one mean by clear difference would be relevant here. There are studies that talk about various differences between the sexes. But in those studies difference is expressed in terms of average difference of statistical distributions of certain measurements. Frankly, I don't understand how to interpret them. I wonder when I see these results, do my opinion about them also gets normally distributed? Or do I need to select a certain interval and view it as true and the rest false? But the practical application of statistical analysis is not only to measure the variability but also to minimize it by tweaking the variables. Hence, it can be also viewed as a measure of success or failure of our optimization.

Considering all these complications, I would prefer having binary opinion. This of course requires;
- binary results for any experimentation
- no room for optimization

And I have found in the case of parenting this could be obtained. I have already blogged about couple of studies on this:
1. Mother's positive influence on daughter. Mother' no influence on son. Father's influence on both son and daughter.
2. Mother's negative influence on daughter.

There is a new study that further supports the second point.

the participants listened to 30-second audio recordings of remarks from their mother. Some comments were praising, some were critical and others were neutral in content. The comments were previously recorded over the telephone with the permission of the mothers. The participants were also asked to rate their mood on a scale from one to five after hearing the different kinds of remarks.
Despite being healthy and reporting similar conscious reactions to the recorded comments, the formerly depressed showed different activity in their brains, compared to those who had never been depressed. "When we asked them how they felt after being criticized, they responded in the same way as the controls did," said Hooley. "But when we looked at the brain scans, the patterns of activation were quite different. So this is happening under the radar of awareness."

The results of those studies are captured in the following tables.

Father's Influencepositivenegative

Mother's Influencepositivenegative

Thus we can say that father is a complete parent as he can influence both his son and daughter but mother is just half as she can influence only her daughter.

Now what about the combined influence of parents? Especially when one is positive and the other negative. There would be influence nevertheless but will it be positive or negative? It is very clear that there can't be any combined influence on son. What about the daughter? I haven't come across any studies on them. I can't apply logical AND or OR function here. We have to understand here, positive or negative they just complete the influence and hence true. To understand the combined influence we need to understand the underlying biological basis for this.

The first clue could be found in mother's non-influence on her son. The only reason why a mother can't influence her son could be the difference in sex chromosomes or SRY region of Y-chromosome in particular. Therefore, everything boils down to sex chromosomes. And this in turn gives further clue why a father can influence both his son and daughter. Now our interest is what happens when one of the parents have positive and the other negative influence. A simple model is mother influences thro' her X-chromosome and father thro' his. It's all Epigenetics (Epi=Beyond; Genetics).

We know that a defective gene expression is suppressed by a corresponding normal gene. This we can view as negative getting nullified by positive. Taking this concept further we can say that negative epigenetic behaviour is suppressed by positive epigenetic behaviour. Hence, a daughter can have positive outlook even with just one parent being positive about her.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rise of Patriarchal Society - VI

Matrilineal traditions:
If patriarchal traditions have their foundations in male centric ignorance about sexual reproduction, how about females of the past. I don't think unrelated males and females sit together and come to a common conclusion in the matters of knowledge. Any association should be strictly within the sex. The ideas that grow into ritualization are either matrilineal or patrilineal. If matrilineal ritualizations became powerful, males adopted it and vice versa.

In present times, especially in Indian traditions, we don't see clearly delineated male specific ideas or female specific ideas. But before dwelling into that the question needed to be asked, is it possible to have male specific or female specific ideas? I think it's possible. What we see here, the foundations(of ideas) are always misunderstanding about physio-chemical phenomena. The obvious physical differences manifest in differences in the world views based on them. Therefore, diversity in ways, paths, points of views are just a limitation of knowledge or pure misunderstanding.

At the next level, domination of either patrilineal philosophies or matrilineal philosophies result in one sex taking up prejudices of other sex, which can be unnatural for the borrower sex.

But ideas are not always linear. By this I mean, the foundations aren't just restricted to familiar domain. People develop ideas based on unfamiliar domains. Men can hold certain views about women and vice versa. This is ignorance multiplied and hence non-linear. And mainly responsible for many degrading practices where linear ideas and non-linear ideas mix.

Vagina and Menstrual Blood:
I would think the following linear ideas in the early societies.
- Men glorify their penis and its secretion semen
- Women glorify their vagina and its secretion menstrual blood

This of course makes sense. These glories are associated with bodily waste and hence dirty. But there is no reason to believe that women would be ashamed of their vagina and menstrual blood as men haven't. The association with creative power is the obvious reason for positive view. However, it appears in many societies (Not universally) men had developed non-linear idea about menstrual blood. And the result had been degrading menstrual blood practices where these negative ideas had been ritualized. However, it is unknown (to me) whether women had developed negative views about male glories and ritualized it in their matrilineal traditions.

Snake Worship:
This is a curious tradition. Generally, women are n the forefront of snake worship. Snake has generally (as far as I know) been held to be a representation of penis. Does that mean women had developed a positive attitude towards unfamiliar domain? Maju@Leherensuge in fact informed that some anthropologists consider snake a complete manifestation of genitals. The head as vagina and the body, penis. I would think early females most likely considered the only head part.

If you consider the ritual then it becomes very clear. Generally, snake is worshipped by pouring milk into the anthill. Milk of course here is the representation of semen. Matrilineal Musuo community in China considered semen as rain. If men thought women are mere nurturing condition, so did women. Semen is milk, a mere nurture for their glorious vagina.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rise of Patriarchal Society - V(ii)

Case Studies:
As I have already argued in my previous post, the (mis)understanding of sexual reproduction developed and limited metaphysical thought in the old cultures. One of the knowledges that pervaded in the past was that semen is seed. That means it's complete by itself to create a life.

The extreme exposition of this theme probably could be found in Sankara(IAAHE)'s 'Knowledge of Self'. If you observe all his nouns and pronouns - king, seer, wise-man, yogin, he - are exclusively males. Indeed, only males need the knowledge of self.

Though he didn't talk about creation in 'Atmabodha' ( I haven't read his other works), we can peruse his source book, Upanishads, to understand his knowledge. There it's clearly given Brahman ('it' that turns into 'he') created other selves.

This is where his understanding of condition and illusion developed. Brahman transformation from 'it' to 'he' clearly showed a condition or an incubator or an earth was added thus the great self (or the great selflessness) became male self.

Ultimately, the knowledge here is that just like the great self the men selves are complete by themselves with their seeds.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Origins of Indians: Version 10.0

Skin Colour:
My model of the caste system basically envisages a phenomenon derived from purity-pollution rules of West Asian priestly caste (Check Origins of Indians: Version 6.x). With this, I think I can move away from the skin colour based caste system model proposed by the self-loathing Europeans and try to understand whether skin colour without any technological advantage had any positive selection in India in the remote past.

My first assumption: Europe, North Africa, West Asia and South Asia were isolated regions until the appearance of light skin colour. This assumption isn't from thin air and strongly derives from non-overlapping male lineages of these regions.

Origin and spread of skin colour:
The genetic studies on skin colour are still in progress. I think the present knowledge is that skin colour arose in European population (unclear which part of Europe) around 10000-20000 years back and swept across North Africa and West Asia. Another assumption here is that I consider Europe, North Africa and West Asia are 100% light skinned regions.

Second Assumption: Europe is the region where light skin colour gene mutations first appeared.

Note: The light skin of East Asia and SE Asia is due to different genetic convergence for that trait. The population movement to South Asia is mostly from West and Central Asia, therefore, I won't consider East and SE Asia populations.

Skin colour gene and Haplogroup association:
The present topic requires the clear association of genes responsible for lighter skin (SLC24A5, SLC45A2) with mtDNA or Y-haplogroups. Since there are no clear studies on this, I can make educated guesses based on predominant haplogroups in Europe, West Asia and northern Africa.

Region -- Y-Haplogroup -- mtDNA
Europe -- R1b, R1a, I -- H, U
North Africa -- E1b1b, J -- H, U
West Asia -- J, E1b1b -- H, U

Since the colour genes are present on autosomes, the mutations' first appearance on Y-haplogroup or mtDNA isn't important. But if the first occurrence is in Europe, it's most likely in any of the R1b or R1a or I or mtDNA H or mtDNA U haplogroups.

Third Assumption: Y-haplogrups R1a, R1b, I, mtDNA Haplogrups H and U are the root lineages for the spread of light skin.

Spread to North Africa and West Asia:
If you consider haplogroup frequencies of R1b and R1a in North Africa and West Asia, it's most likely around 10-15% comparable to darker Dravidian regions but probably lesser than equally darker East Indian regions.

In this situation spread of lighter skin to these regions could only be explained by female specific sexual selection. The early development of agrarian society probably helped these regions to get lighter skinned females from European lands without much changing male genetic composition.

The situation is different in India. Here similar male Y-haplogroup frequencies haven't resulted in wider spread of lighter skin for South and East Indian population. In north-west India probably lighter skinned female presence in the incoming population (during IVC and later during IE migrations and invasions) has raised the lighter skin population. It should be noted here that north-west Indian share of root light skin haplogroup (R1a) is higher (around 30-40%). Almost twice that of North Africa or West Asia. But north-west India isn't as light skinned as the other two regions. That plausibly mean male centered sexual selection didn't happen.

Therefore, light skin of north-west India is a phenomenon similar to West Asia and North Africa. Female centered sexual selection for light skin.

Dravidian Region:
From the look of it, lack of root light skin females and lack of male centered sexual selection for light skin appear to be the reason for darker Dravidian regions. But even natural selection could be one of the reasons. If you see some of the tribes like Todas(J2 and R1a) who are lighter than most of the caste population, geographical regions might have made the difference too. The strongest evidence comes from Soejima et al. (2007) study.

Here is an interesting explanation given in Soejima et al.(2006) about the spread of allele SLC45A2 in South Asians.
There are several scenarios to explain the differences in allele frequency of the coding SNPs between the SLC24A5 and SLC45A2 genes in South Asian populations. One of them is that 374L has a selective advantage against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVB), and the frequency of the 374F allele migrating from Central Asian populations might have been reduced by purifying selection in South Asian populations. This may mean that the functional constraint is stronger on SLC45A2 than on SLC24A5. Sequence analysis of the SLC24A5 gene flanking the p.A111T polymorphism and functional analysis of the coding SNPs will help us understand the evolution of these
two pigmentation genes.

But noticeable feature is that SLC45A2 is almost absent from South Indian population and it occurs at 0.1 to 0.25 in North Indian population (According to Razib at Gene Expression).

As such from where the present studies stand I make the following conclusions:
1. Light skin didn't give any advantage to European males in North Africa and West Asia. On the contrary, during Neolithic time advanced dark skinned population of these regions took up light skinned European females and lightened the whole region.

2. South Indian dark skin is misleading from the point of view of spread of light skinned males. Here, rather than artificial sexual selection(that may not have taken place due to lack of light skinned females), natural selection had a higher say.

1. Skin Colour posts at Razib's Gene Expression.

Origins of Indians: Version 6.2.5

I was going thro' Sankara's Atmabodha (Knowledge of Self). One sentence there strike me as rather uncharacteristic.

One should understand the self to be always like a king, different from the body, senses, mind, consciousness, and eyes, the witness of their activities. (18).

A sage or seer would have made sense. But why 'king'?

This led to me read Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, supposedly Sankara's source for 'knowledge of self'. I found rather strange explanation in it about the origin of Varna system(Section 1.4).

11. Verily in the beginning this was Brahman, one only. That being one, was not strong enough. It created still further the most excellent Kshatra (power), viz. those Kshatras (powers) among the Devas,--Indra, Varuna, Soma, Rudra, Parganya, Yama, Mrityu, Îsâna. Therefore there is nothing beyond the Kshatra, and therefore at the Râgasûya sacrifice the Brâhmana sits down below the Kshatriya. He confers that glory on the Kshatra alone. But Brahman is (nevertheless) the birth-place of the Kshatra. Therefore though a king is exalted, he sits down at the end (of the sacrifice) below the Brahman, as his birth-place. He who injures him, injures his own birth-place. He becomes worse, because he has injured one better than himself.

I thought brahman and brAhmaNa became rather ambiguous terms here. What really comes out clearly here is Kshatra is higher than Brahman. There is nothing beyond Kshatra therefore it is the highest and hence Kshatriya must be the highest. A lower phenomenon producing a higher phenomenon is rather weird. But weirdness doesn't end there. Why talk about 'injury' here?

I have copied the rest of Varna development below but don't find them much helpful except for another weirdness of Devas being divided into four Varnas.

12. He 1 was not strong enough. He created the Vis (people), the classes of Devas which in their different orders are called Vasus, Rudras, Âdityas, Visve Devas, Maruts.

13. He was not strong enough. He created the Sûdra colour (caste), as Pûshan (as nourisher). This earth verily is Pûshan (the nourisher); for the earth nourishes all this whatsoever.

14. He was not strong enough. He created still further the most excellent Law (dharma). Law is the Kshatra (power) of the Kshatra 2, therefore there is nothing higher than the Law. Thenceforth even a weak man rules a stronger with the help of the Law, as with the help of a king. Thus the Law is what is called the true. And if a man declares what is true, they say he declares the Law; and if he declares the Law, they say he declares what is true. Thus both are the same.

15. There are then this Brahman, Kshatra, Vis, and Sûdra. Among the Devas that Brahman existed as Agni (fire) only, among men as Brâhmana, as Kshatriya through the (divine) Kshatriya, as Vaisya through the (divine) Vaisya, as Sûdra through the (divine) Sûdra. Therefore people wish for their future state among the Devas through Agni (the sacrificial fire) only; and among men through the Brâhmana, for in these two forms did Brahman exist.

Some of the observations I can make here.
- This explains why Sankara choose 'king' as a perfection.
- Loyalty of Brahmins to a god(Agni) associated with their ritual aspect(Note that Iranian counter part 'Atar' doesn't have an IE etymology). This probably explains decline of gods related to IE pantheon in India. The identity of priestly caste is West Asian and not European.
- No, it doesn't imply three fold division of Indian society just like IE society. I would rather think that concept probably was created and preserved by IE bards only. These bards anyway became part of West Asian priestly class in Iran and India. Since we don't see strict division of IE societies in European lands, I would consider even there the concept was just part of bards poems not really the rule imposed on the population.
- It implies appropriation of three fold division concept (chieftain/raja, common people/vis and serfs/swartr/sudra) by a West Asian origin endogamous priestly caste.
- It shows a bit hesitation and creation of a escape passage in claiming priests as the most superior considering the current idea of king as a supreme person.
- This probably explains the triumph of Buddhism only in Sri Lanka. The four fold caste division there had been, raja, bamanu, vindalo, govi(sudra?). Note the primary position of king. Also, the term is 'raja' and not 'kshatriya'. The latter is an innovation of Brahmins in India and not part of IE concept. The term raja is still a cognate with 'rig' of European three fold class system.

Sankara (if at all he existed) had only shown his intellectual dishonesty.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tit for Tat

Now I'm so used to giving serialized headings to my posts that I feel a sense of inadequacy whenever I have to give an isolated heading like the one for this post. The need for my posts to be part of a greater theme restricts my freedom to comment upon many dangling events around me. But the question would be we Homo Sapiens of common descent can ever come out with expressions that would not be part of some common theme? I think it is the pseudo-identities built upon misguided knowledge but are accepted as legitimate that make these expressions as dangling events. The artificial, if not illegitimate, expressions can become realities in such setting when took up by opposing identities. This is the reason I feel Shekhar Kapur has to tell the story of '"Elizabeth: The Golden Age" and Danny Boyle, "The Slumdog Millionaire".

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Predictions - I

I used to think South India would herald Indian Renaissance. Now, I'm more and more getting convinced that it would be Pakistan. I should have guessed it earlier. After all, it was Christian heartland of Italy that heralded the Renaissance in Europe.

Buddhism and Jainism in South India -7

Initially I thought this is a present day perversion of Buddhism;

there's a new wave of Indians—affluent, rational, metropolitan, English-educated individuals impatient of organised religion and willing to experiment with alternate spiritual forms—who are increasingly turning to the Buddha's teachings for anwers to their dilemmas. A far cry from Ambedkar and his Dalit followers who converted to Buddhism 50 years ago as a way of getting back at Hinduism and its hierarchy, these small bands of new-age spiritualists shy away from the very word 'Buddhist' with all its political baggage. Their Buddhism instead is more therapy than religion, a self-help practice that enables them to cope with the daily pressures of city life—nuclear families, generation gap, divorces, collapse of family support systems, relationships, pressures of jobs and joblessness, lifestyle diseases, teenage angst and loneliness—even as it unlocks their hitherto hidden potential.

Then I thought this perversion was there from the beginning in India. Buddhism changed a big chunk of marauding nomads of Mongolia and Tibet to celibate monks and defined their identities. In those regions most likely Buddhism acted the way it was expected to. But here in India it(along with Jinaism) was a mere utilitarian religion to rich merchants in the past. Though I think we can fairly guess why it didn't change their caste identity.

Buddhism and Jinaism are totally clueless about normal life. As a result while caste identity clearly defined ideals (or lack of it) for rich people in their worldly life, they could take time out and spend some time in non-worldly life of Buddhism and Jinaism. For not so rich people Buddhism and Jinaism were useless in the past as it is now.

Its present success with Dalits in India is rooted in the question of identity(as pointed in the article). That probably tells us that unclear or non-existent religious identities of East and SE Asia probably helped it to grow there. However, Srilanka is still a mystery. Maybe Brahmins never went there or too small in a number to have any say in social life. Likely, the society was structured around king and subjects. In societies where king ruled supreme his identity became that of his subjects (the spread of Christianity in Germanic lands). In Indian region king's position was always subordinate to Brahmins.

Seeing in the dark (Outlook)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Legacy of purity and pollution

Manu's Smriti
Like its uneasy relationship with Gandhi (how do you attack a meticulously devout Hindu who may be a Muslim-lover?), the Sangh parivar has an uneasy relationship with the modern Indian woman. How much freedom should she be allowed? The parivar may have travelled some distance from the barefoot, pregnant and in-the-kitchen mindset to the current Smriti Irani position. Ms Irani is the ideal, modern Indian woman for the parivar. In her body language, sartorial style, fluent opinions and exaggerated sindoor, she represents how far the parivar is prepared to go to accept modernity. The inestimable Ms Irani wouldn’t dream of wearing figure-hugging jeans, much less sip the occasional glass of white wine. Smriti, no doubt, works in the decadent and morally loose film industry, but she is fully protected by the indestructible Hindu ethos.

Pubs are anathema to the parivar. If a woman must go to a bar, she should be chaperoned by her husband and drink only fruit juice while hubby gets sloshed. That arrangement is acceptable. However, two or three or four girls going unescorted to a pub is against our Indian culture! Why? Firstly, these women are exercising independent choice—always a dangerous thing. Secondly, they are unaccompanied by either uncles or elders. Thirdly, and this is critical, pubs are places where innocent Hindu girls are trapped by Mohammedan men with the aid of alcohol and false promises. Thus, not only is a pub a location for alcoholic vice but a venue for Hindu-Muslim social commingling. Another worry: these Muslim males are invariably fair, handsome and virile, so our pure Hindu girls are easily lured. Consequently, pub culture is a source of twin evils: liquor and inter-communal intimacy. It is okay, even admirable, for Hindu men to have illicit sex before, during and after marriage, but for the Bharatiya nari, sex outside marriage is a sin guaranteed to send her straight to hell. Only when the parivar accepts that adult men and women have an equal right to do ‘evil’ will it come to terms with pub culture.

The American journalist-writer, H.L. Mencken, believed that once you put a few drinks inside a woman, you are 90 per cent sure of getting her into bed. If he were alive today, Mencken would be a card-carrying member of the BJP.

I thought notable features of this article by Vinod Mehta are;

1. An absurd frame of reference
2. An uncharacteristic and ironic allusion
3. An ambiguous position

I tried to check Vinod Mehta's previous usages of H L Mencken's quote.
THE celebrated American journalist, H.L. Mencken, cautioned his readers not to fret over howls of "rape of democracy" from political parties since, in all probability, not even a molestation would have occurred. As the BJP’s ‘rape’ protests mount, with the party threatening to move everything from the Supreme Court to buses on the streets of Lucknow, it would be prudent to coolly consider what manner of constitutional ‘subversion’ has taken place through Governor Romesh Bhandari’s decision to impose President’s rule.

Maybe Vinod Mehta wants to become H L Mencken of India. A person with an ambiguous attitude towards social issues. Or is he just bothered that Taliban has been trivialized to 'women beaters' thus echoing H L Mencken's sentiment about "rape of democracy"?

In my opinion, it is just a law and order situation. Any intellectual analysis is absurd. There is absolutely no difference between purity pollution rules of castes and of the religions they hate. The rules of these were sanctified in West Asia.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Merits of Hatred and Jealousy

A very important study, I say:

By recognizing their inequalities, members of disadvantaged groups can mobilize and attempt to bring about social change. However, the results of a new study suggests that positive contact with majority groups may result in disadvantaged groups being less likely to support social change- with improved attitudes towards the advantaged groups and reduced attention to social inequality, the disadvantaged groups may become less motivated to promote change.

These expectations were the result of overall improved attitudes towards the advantaged group and reduced attention of the disadvantaged group members to the inequalities between the groups. However, these expectations proved to be unrealistic – the advantaged group discriminated against the disadvantaged group ...

Via Science Daily

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Notes on Dravidian Words - iiic

He He He...A Malayali poking fun at Tamils
In Tamil Nadu, people tend to pronounce 'zha' as 'la'. So God help me if M.K. Stalin's brother M.K. Azhagiri is a cousin of Dante Alighieri.

The whole issue arises because of total misunderstanding about migration of people to Tamil region. The early development of Tamil literature has muddied the objectivity of the Dravidian linguistics.

In my opinion, if one traces the migration route then Tamils are a mix of Proto-Malayali and Proto-Kannada population. It appears Proto-Malayalam has become defacto lingo whereas Proto-Kannada influence could be found in the pronunciation.

I would say zh->l change can never happen. The change should be
r->zh->y (as it's observed in Scottish and American English and probably in Norwegian too).

Other change should be;

If you observe Kerala, people would use either 'zh' or 'y' but never 'l'. In these words Tulu shows 'r'.

If Dravidian linguists keep in mind Out of Africa theory then it would help them in their work. The shortest route to Tamil Nadu is thro' west-south coastal India. This route divides into Kerala and Karnataka branches. I can still see a certain pattern in r->zh->y changes and this is not as ambiguous as claiming that since 'zh' tongue position itself is ambiguous inside the mouth all kinds of other sounds 'd', 'l', 'r', 'y' can arise.

Since languages not only change with distance but also with time, I don't think this 'oldest' or 'youngest' languages have any meaning. One can only talk in terms of older region and younger region based on migration.

Of course, If Jayaschandran thinks Tamils wrongly pronounce 'zh' then his understanding is wrong. 'l' is the sound they inherited from their proto-Kannada ancestors whereas literary Tamil phonetics is influenced by Tamils of Proto-Malayali ancestry.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Usefulness of Genetic Horoscope - ii

It's official now. We are then Burushos after all. I have already speculated that the 'Purusha Sukta' could have been the 'Burusha Sukta'.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the world and India carries more than its share of this burden. Moreover, the problem is set to rise: it is predicted that by 2010 India's population will suffer approximately 60% of the world's heart disease. Today, an international team of 25 scientists from four countries provides a clue to why this is so: 1% of the world's population carries a mutation almost guaranteed to lead to heart problems and most of these come from the Indian subcontinent, where the mutation reaches a frequency of 4%.

Heart disease has many causes, some carried in our genes and others linked to our lifestyle, but all seemingly complex, hard to pin down and incompletely understood. So the new study published in Nature Genetics is striking for the size and simplicity of the effect it reports.
The mutation, a deletion of 25 letters of genetic code from the heart protein gene MYBPC3, is virtually restricted to people from the Indian subcontinent. But there, Caste and Tribe, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and others are all united by this affliction.
The mutation was discovered five years ago in two Indian families with cardiomyopathy, but its significance only became apparent after almost 1500 people from many parts of India, some with heart disease and some without, were studied.
Scientists express this genetic risk as an odds ratio, where 1.2 would be a small effect and 2.0 a large one. For the MYBPC3 mutation, the odds ratio is almost off-scale, a staggering 7.0. Carriers usually show few symptoms until middle age, but after that age most are symptomatic and suffer from a range of effects, at worst sudden cardiac death.

Via Science Daily

Now the main point of this post on how this genetic horoscope could be used;
CCMB director Dr Lalji Singh said on Monday that the defect could be detected very early during pregnancy through a pre-natal diagnosis. If parents choose, a foetus having two copies of defective gene (homozygous) could be aborted after genetic counselling.

Via The Times of India

Read posts at Razib's Gene Expression. Especially check the distribution tables.

As a layman Geneticist, I find the consistent 4-7% distribution of this mutation among all the communities across the subcontinent rather intriguing. The difference in haplogroup profile (both mtDNA and Y-chromosome) from Punjab in Pakistan to Tamil Nadu in South India is not trivial. Maybe there is a phenomenon called "Genetic Equilibrium in a geographical area" that I'm not aware of. Since I'm not aware of any such concepts I would say we are all Burushos.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tolstoy is wrong ...

...when he said,
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

It ought to be,
Unhappy families are all alike; every happy family is happy in its own way.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rise of Patriarchal Society - V

In one of my previous posts I have argued that 'patriliny' is a conscious structure and matriliny is a non-conscious identity. Here I'm trying to understand the development of male creator gods in patriarchal society and female creator gods(?) in older societies and matrilineal societies.

I don't think patriarchal male gods have anything to do with the superiority of physical strength of males compared to females. Matrilineal males don't show any overly feminine attitudes or any attitudes that could be construed as feminine. Similarly, not all patriarchal religions were considered stereotypically masculine. I have come across views that Hinduism is a feminine religion. With this background I would think the development of male creator gods concept is a non-sexist philosophy. This has something to do with the way various societies understood sexual reproduction.

Fundamental idea behind male creator:

I have blogged about virgin birth of the Buddha. From the article I quoted:
Suddhodhana, means "pure-rice". But rice is also seed and symbolically means "semen". In many Indian languages the word for "seed" can also denote "rice", "egg"; or semen.

What we can see here, the understanding was that man's semen is complete by itself to create a life. There was no idea of female ovum and male sperm fertilization. So what is female's role in this? She's just a pot or earth where the seed turns into plant. It's been obviously observed that man can create seed without female's help. Therefore, female is important as a helper in subsequent growth but her role in fundamental creation is non-existent.

Fundamental idea behind female creator:
The concept of female creator hasn't been argued clearly. In this case, it is tough to argue for female only creation considering that conception clearly needed a male. However, I would guess the idea probably go back to remote times when people weren't clear about the role of intercourse in reproduction. I would guess the importance could be understood only in monogamous relationship. However, even then they needed to develop a role for semen. In my opinion, it was generally conceived as mere lubricant.

Case studies:
Jesus's virgin birth clearly shows people didn't understand female's contribution. Had they understood it they wouldn't have allowed his birth to be contaminated by human part. I think more than the impurity of sexual act it's the seed of man that would trouble people.

Buddha's parents of course have been made illusions. In fact, he had an unborn birth. Or maybe that's the way the truth has been secretly revealed by the wily wise men of the past.

Coming to linga-yoni, it appears they understood the importance of intercourse. But had no idea about the gametes. I would think semen has been taken to be lubricant (linga-yoni idols are generally bathed in milk, honey etc...). However, the things are complicated in India. Here two schools of thought where one considered semen was 'seed' and the other thought semen was 'lubricant' assimilated and created a convoluted philosophy.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Dubious Term Called Westernization - V

I have never accepted that the foundation of Israel had any logic. But I have the same notion about Pakistan. I do recognize two key differences between the Jews and the Indian(negative identity but there was no alternative creations not withstanding) Muslims who respectively supported the Zionist movement and the Two-nation theory. The former experienced actual persecution the latter imaginary. Then of course the questions of the lands they claimed. However, the philosophy or the ideology behind both these creations were flawed. And here I don't recognize any other views.

But the unfortunate events in Gaza have raised many troubling questions in me. I'm a secondary citizen in any region that is controlled by movements based on purity and pollution of food and bed and identity discrimination. As an individual I'm only comfortable under atheist or secular or communist movements. It's tough for me to understand from my own default subhuman identity(in those societies) the human rights of people who support such despicable ideologies. How do I view the situation in Palestine.

Palestinians have too many alternatives. They have a secular party(I'm under no illusion that these are more secular than our right wing parties...but still), they also have a communist party. Why would they choose a fundamentalist party? However, Maju gave few reasons for the unpopularity of secular parties.

According to Maju, apart from the fundamentalist party all other parties are deep neck in corruption.

This fact is particularly pertinent here, I feel.

The Palestinian question is not a resolved issue. Corruption in such situations only plays in the hands of enemy. So why on earth secular parties controlled by generally highly educated members of the society do not see this but a fundamentalist party (with not so educated cadres) realizes it?

The obvious and probably the cliched observation would be, the corruption here is the indication of wavering identity which lowers one's ego. I would think there is a latent feeling among the seculars that since they are secular they are actually "low breed Westerners". In other words, the passion against an identity with which they feel they have certain kind of affinity may dilute the intensity. But because of identity discrimination the religious party does not have such troubling questions and hence comfortable with its identity.

This obviously raises the question what if there was no identity discrimination. Then the Islamists should show their true colours. In my opinion, they should not be consistently non-corrupt. I find a proof in Afghanistan. My reading of Afghan wars tells me wars between various Islamic groups were decided more with exchange of money than with exchange of fire.

But since "Westernization" is so recognizable word and "way of life" can Islamists be blind to it (as many of them appear to be educated)? The answer could be found in Indian Islamic preacher Dr. Zakir Naik's inane and incoherent defense of Islam. At one place he argues Europe and America are true when it comes to "Science and Technology" and Muslims are true when it comes to religion. No, it's not magnanimity on part of Dr. Naik to appreciate the Europe's achievement (I'm sure he isn't bothered about his identity as an Indian..far less understands it... or identities around the world). His blind belief in his true religion stems from his obvious understanding of the achievements of Europe and America in Science and Technology. He completely believes in stereotypical Westerners. Other identities just don't count. It is in the power of Islam's identity discrimination that he finds his solace.

The problem is already addressed in my previous posts.
- All types of knowledge can appear in every isolated human society. It's the dominant ideology that determines how a society shapes up.
- Sometimes it's just dumb luck that determines which ideology is chosen. I believe, West Asian literate culture mixed with tribal equality in European lands.
- But no ideology is an absolute identity of a particular society.
- In fact, these identities have forcefully suppressed other ideologies. And some of these lost ideologies could have become successful in other societies.
- In many regions a big chunk of the population even had a humiliating life because of the dominant ideology of the land. However, identity quest just overlooks this aspect.
- Many of the terms related to identity were coined by Europeans at certain points of time. That need not be carried forward as they aren't consistent or logical and more importantly aren't supported by genetic studies.
- I would think every one should identify himself/herself with multiple set of ideologies and probably with a regional identity that is devoid of any character. The latter is required because there is no single all accepting assimilating identity.

Where does that put me in the case of Palestine? Well, I'm still a subhuman in that society. I just don't have any questions to answer.