Category: gene-culture interactions

Genetic Variation and Environmental Interactions

Genetic variation and environment.

Of interest, re: genetics, culture, and race, I note this methodology paper:

Identifying interactions between genetics and the environment (GxE) remains challenging. We have developed EAGLE, a hierarchical Bayesian model for identifying GxE interactions based on associations between environmental variables and allele-specific expression. Combining whole-blood RNA-seq with extensive environmental annotations collected from 922 human individuals, we identified 35 GxE interactions, compared with only four using standard GxE interaction testing. EAGLE provides new opportunities for researchers to identify GxE interactions using functional genomic data.                    

Basic findings were that environmental risk factors (e.g., substance abuse, exercise, BMI) can interact with genetic variation and affect gene expression. But the effects were modest, these were not large influences compared to other possible (e.g., additive) effects, and may have been affected by confounding factors (a possible problem when probing interactions for which there can be many variables).  In addition, some of the observed effects may have been in part epigenetic, presumably modifications due to environmental factors, rather than interactions between those factors and gene sequence variation itself.

On the one hand, the effects, being modest, cannot plausibly be invoked by anti-genetic determinists to prop up environment as the primary factor affecting gene expression (and, hence, eventual phenotype).  On the other hand, effects were observed, and these cannot be dismissed.  Of interest would be effects and interactions due to environmental factors other than those cited above.

Can culture, through its many manifestations, shaping the environment, interact with genetic variation to affect gene expression and, thus, phenotypic outcomes?  Would different ethnic and racial groups, characterized by group-specific genetic variation, exhibit variable gene expression when immersed in the same cultural environment?  Conversely, would genetically similar individuals and groups exhibit altered gene expression when placed in radically different cultural environments?  

And this goes beyond the more fundamental observation that genes affect culture (through the different phenotypes of culture creators, maintainers, or destroyers) and, conversely, culture can actually affect genetic variation itself (rather than just interact with it) by exerting selective pressure favoring one genotype over another.  Gene-culture cross-talk, if you will. See this old TOQ paper I wrote some time ago for more on that topic. Also, epigenetic effects, mentioned above, are another way in which culture can affect gene expression, but not to the extent, or in the manner, than the anti-determinists fervently hope.  The basic foundation for all of this is genetic variation; there is no evading that inconvenient (for some people) truth.

In summary, all of this bolsters the importance of genetic variation and, hence, genetic interests.  It also shows how reckless the globalists are in their indiscriminate mixing of genes and cultures (in Western nations).

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Behold the Parasite

Jews and net EGI.

Of course, Jews are neither wasps nor fungi, nor do they stand in the same relationship to us as do the parasitic wasps and fungi to their hosts just mentioned. Jews are either a closely related species to us, or are a subspecies of the same species. In either case, as repulsive as are parasites, and as loathe as we may be to admit it, Jews are genetically quite similar to us and are in fact extensively cross-bred with us. Doesn’t this effectively rule out their being biological parasites upon us? 

No, not at all. In fact, it makes it even more likely. In 1909, an Italian entomologist named Carlo Emery discovered what is now known as Emery’s Rule. The rule states that that social parasites (that is, parasites of social species — and Homo sapiens is certainly a social species) tend to be parasites of species or genera to which they are closely related. Matt Johnston of the University of Arizona states that, “One explanation for the apparently close relationship between social parasites and their hosts is that in order to get past the hosts’ defenses, the parasite needs to have evolved communication systems similar to the host. This may be more likely if the two share a close evolutionary history.”

This is why I talk about the importance of net genetic interests (not that anyone listens). If all you care about are gross genetic interests, then you would simply measure the genetic distances involved, calculate the child equivalents, and conclude that since Jews are genetically quite similar to, and cross-bred with, Europeans, then their presence in Western societies does not exert much of an EGI cost at all. However, Jews are a highly specialized, evolved parasitic ethny with interests that are incompatible with that of Europeans, and as such Jewish behavior exerts a significant fitness cost on Europeans, so that the net effect on European EGI is enormous. Therefore, net EGI takes into account all factors that affect the genetic interests of an ethny, and provides a final tally of the outcome. If Jews promote mass alien immigration, desegregation, miscegenation, and overall societal degeneration (that imposes severe costs on, among other things, family stability and reproductive success), then their presence is extremely destructive to host EGI regardless of what the relative genetic distances are between Jews and White Gentiles. Further, if Jews consider themselves a different group than are White Gentiles, and pursue a group evolutionary strategy of their own, they would not care that their behavior damages the interests of an ethny relatively genetically similar to their own. Of course, Identity is based upon more than just genetic distances, and issues of Identity, by influencing behavior, directly affect genetic interests.

Importance of Culture for EGI

Culture influences EGI.

At my other blog I had written about the importance of gene-culture interactions and how the concept can be used prescriptively, not only descriptively, through the convergence of European genetics (without panmixia!) through a sealing off of Europeans from non-Europeans, and low level gene flow over time among the former and none between the former and the latter – a concept of genetic concentration based on Identity (current genotypes and phenotypes, culture, history, etc.). Thus, culture is directly related to EGI, and directly influences it over historic time.
I again cite this paper that I briefly mentioned before that describes the process as occurring in the past. Note how NEC genetics has been radically changed by an important cultural-historical shift (Islamization). Note also that the more EC-like genetics in the Levant (of important when considering pre-Islamic Levantine gene flow into Europe) were Middle Easternified. In general, actual genetic data tend to go against the fantasies of “the movement.” Emphasis added:

Abstract 

The Levant is a region in the Near East with an impressive record of continuous human existence and major cultural developments since the Paleolithic period. Genetic and archeological studies present solid evidence placing the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula as the first stepping-stone outside Africa. There is, however, little understanding of demographic changes in the Middle East, particularly the Levant, after the first Out-of-Africa expansion and how the Levantine peoples relate genetically to each other and to their neighbors. In this study we analyze more than 500,000 genome-wide SNPs in 1,341 new samples from the Levant and compare them to samples from 48 populations worldwide. Our results show recent genetic stratifications in the Levant are driven by the religious affiliations of the populations within the region. Cultural changes within the last two millennia appear to have facilitated/maintained admixture between culturally similar populations from the Levant, Arabian Peninsula, and Africa. The same cultural changes seem to have resulted in genetic isolation of other groups by limiting admixture with culturally different neighboring populations. Consequently, Levant populations today fall into two main groups: one sharing more genetic characteristics with modern-day Europeans and Central Asians, and the other with closer genetic affinities to other Middle Easterners and Africans. Finally, we identify a putative Levantine ancestral component that diverged from other Middle Easterners ∼23,700–15,500 years ago during the last glacial period, and diverged from Europeans ∼15,900–9,100 years ago between the last glacial warming and the start of the Neolithic. 

Author Summary 

Population stratification caused by nonrandom mating between groups of the same species is often due to geographical distances leading to physical separation followed by genetic drift of allele frequencies in each group. In humans, population structures are also often driven by geographical barriers or distances; however, humans might also be structured by abstract factors such as culture, a consequence of their reasoning and self-awareness. Religion in particular, is one of the unusual conceptual factors that can drive human population structures. This study explores the Levant, a region flanked by the Middle East and Europe, where individual and population relationships are still strongly influenced by religion. We show that religious affiliation had a strong impact on the genomes of the Levantines. In particular, conversion of the region’s populations to Islam appears to have introduced major rearrangements in populations’ relations through admixture with culturally similar but geographically remote populations, leading to genetic similarities between remarkably distant populations like Jordanians, Moroccans, and Yemenis. Conversely, other populations, like Christians and Druze, became genetically isolated in the new cultural environment. We reconstructed the genetic structure of the Levantines and found that a pre-Islamic expansion Levant was more genetically similar to Europeans than to Middle Easterners. 

These results suggest that population migration to Europe from the Near East could have started after the LGM warming and continued until the Neolithic. In addition, these results show that the modern European genetic component is more recent than would be expected from a component that developed from the initial peopling of Europe in the Upper Paleolithic ∼40,000 y.a.