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Response to Daily Stormer article “Black Africans are Genetically Closer to Bonobos Than to White Humans”

UPDATE:

I emailed one of the researchers and I got this response:

Hello,

you are of course absolutely right. Bonobos are equally distant to
people from Africa, Europe or anywhere else in the world.

The X/A ratio measures something completely different: It compares
individuals from a certain group (bonobos, chimpanzees, or human
populations) and compares how different the X autosomes in this group
are from the autosomes (the non-sex-chromosomes, i.e. everything that is
not X and Y). Since each generation you have three X chromosomes per
four autosomes (XX for the mother + XY from the dad = three X), you would
expect that the ratio should be 3/4 (thats why there is a dashed line at
0.75 in the plot). But there are many ways in which this measure could be
nudged off this expected value. That Europeans look different in this
measure could for instance be explained by later waves of primarily male
migrants out of Africa that mixed with people in Europe, but there are
other ideas as well.

I am really sorry to see that the plot is misconstrued as evidence for
racist ideas. Hope this helped to clear up what is meant with this plot.

Cheers

 

 

lolindeed

‘lol’ indeed. Learn how to read scientific papers

800 words

Seems to be a bit of misinformation going on because of this piece so I thought I’d clear it up.

Andrew Anglin claims that the Nature article says that blacks are genetically close to bonobos than to Europeans.

That couldn’t be more wrong.

First off, the article doesn’t talk about any type of actual genetics being closer to anything that is mentioned in the article. What the article is talking about is social and sexual behaviors.

Although they are similar in many respects, bonobos and chimpanzees differ strikingly in key social and sexual behaviours and for some of these traits they show more similarity with humans than with each other.

It also says:

We find that more than three per cent of the human genome is more closely related to either the bonobo or the chimpanzee genome than these are to each other.

And? Is that supposed to mean anything? Cats have 90 percent homologous genes with humans; 82% with dogs; 80% with cows; 79% with chimpanzees; 69% with rats and 67% with mice.

90% of the mouse genome could be lined up with a region on the human genome.

99% of mouse genes turn out to have analogues in humans.

We  share 97.5 percent of our DNA with mice.

So we see here that we share a lot of DNA with other animals, as well as animals also sharing similar amounts of DNA, which shows that it comes down to how genes are expressed and not the amount of genetic distance between the 2 animals being tested.

Looking to the image on top of the article, it shows the X/A ratio between Europeans, Africans, the Pan Ancestor and Bonobos.

The X/A ratio is the ratio between the number of X chromosomes and the number of sets of autosomes in an organism. It’s used primarily to determine sex in some species, such as the drosophila flies.

A simple reading of the text above and below this chart that was referenced to supposedly show that Africans are genetically closer to Bonobos will show you that it’s talking about the X/A ratio, not about genetics.

 

Differences in female and male population history, for example, with respect to reproductive success and migration rates, are of special interest in understanding the evolution of social structure. To approach this question in the Pan ancestor, we compared the inferred ancestral population sizes of the X chromosome and the autosomes. Because two-thirds of X chromosomes are found in females whereas autosomes are split equally between the two sexes, a ratio between their effective population sizes (X/A ratio) of 0.75 is expected under random mating. The X/A ratio in the Pan ancestor, corrected for the higher mutation rate in males, is 0.83.

Similarly, we estimated an X/A ratio of 0.85 (0.79–0.93) for present-day bonobos using Ulindi single nucleotide polymorphisms in 200-kb windows.

Under the assumption of random mating, this would mean that on average two females reproduce for each reproducing male. The difference in the variance of reproductive success between the sexes certainly contributes to this observation, as does the fact that whereas bonobo females often move to new groups upon maturation, males tend to stay within their natal group.

Here’s the main point:

Because both current and ancestral X/A ratios are similar to each other and also to some human groups (Fig. 4), this suggests that they may also have been typical for the ancestor shared with humans.

Talking about the X/A ratio, not genetics.

Here is the text below Fig. 4:

The X/A ratios for Ulindi (bonobo), an African human and a European human were inferred from heterozygosity, and that for the Pan ancestor was inferred from ILS. The low X/A ratio for the European has been suggested to be due to demographic effects connected to migrating out of Africa30. Errors, 95% confidence interval

I hope this clears up anything about this article.

What it’s saying is, is that the X/A ratios for the bonobo, African and European were gathered from heterozygosity, for the Pan ancestor is was gathered from incomplete lineage shortages (ILS).

Low X/A ratio for the European doesn’t mean more genetic distance from Africans or bonobos.

Response to Daily Stormer article on the Paleo Diet

1700 words

So I came across this Daily Stormer article a while ago and had a nice laugh. The article is full of misconceptions, half-truths and other things that will have the person who is not knowledgeable about nutrition think that what he says in that article is right. This will be a pretty lengthy article, and I will also touch up on 5 reasons why the Paleo diet is pathetic.

For those who do not know, the paleo diet comes from the word “paleolithic.” The idea is that our bodies are evolved to eat the hunter-gatherer diet, and that the introduction of grain (though necessary for the development of civilization) was a negative health development which our bodies have never fully adapted to.

Nothing really wrong here, except where he says “our bodies are evolved to eat hunter-gatherer diet”. As far as I know, there is no literature that Europeans “evolved to eat a hunter-gatherer diet” and to say that a certain group of people needs to eat these types of food has no foundation in science. Actually, there is WAY more variability in the way that individuals process healthy and unhealthy foods. Noted in this study are:

  • High interpersonal variability in post-meal glucose observed in 800-person cohort
  • Using personal and microbiome features enable accurate glucose response prediction
  • Prediction is accurate and superior to common practice in an independent cohort
  • Short-term personalized dietary interventions successfully lower post-meal glucose

In today’s issue of Cell, two groups led by Eran Elinav and Eran Segal have presented a stunning paper providing startling new insight into the personal nature of nutrition. The Israeli research teams have demonstrated that there exists a high degree of variability in the responses of different individuals to identical meals, and through the elegant application of machine learning, they have provided insight into the diverse factors underlying this variability.

This right here refutes what he says, but I’ll just go through the article and pick it apart.

In particular, grains contain gluten and antinutrients which can irritate your digestive system.

This is so wrong that I don’t even know where to start.

According to this RD (someone who I would listen to, over some blogger), she says that they have “incredible health benefits” and “In many cases, they’re the very same components that are thought to give beans, lentils, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits their well-documented disease-fighting powers. In fact, you may know these “antinutrients” by another name – “phytonutrients,” the highly-prized, health-boosting compounds that we celebrate in whole foods.”

In the end, she says you don’t need to worry about antinutrients as long as you eat a varied diet of nutrient-rich whole foods.

Now on to gluten. In this study, it was found that each treatment diet, whether it contained gluten or not, prompted subjects to report a worsening of gastrointestinal symptoms to similar degrees. Even when the placebo diet was identical to the baseline diet, the people still reported a worsening of symptoms. They could find absolutely no specific response to gluten.

Basically, you want to think if something would have been available to you in the natural habitat of Europe, where we are tuned to live.  Or if it is nutritionally identical or very similar to something that would have been in our natural environment in Europe.  If it is not, it is probably no good.

Source?

There is no limit to how much you can eat.  You should eat until you are full, even if you are overweight.

Asking for eating disorders and weight gain here.

If you are using this diet to lose weight and so are going very low carb, you still must once a week eat carbs to let your body know you are not in a state of starvation. If you go more than a week without eating any carbs, your metabolism will slow drastically, which causes you to keep the weight on.

Half right. No idea where he gets “you still must once a week eat carbs to let your body know you are not in a state of starvation”, but you do need to have a carb refeed once a week.

Lowering carb intake does lower leptin, which is a fat-burning hormone. But it won’t be enough to cause “your metabolism to slow drastically, which causes you to keep the weight on.”

The number one thing here is to avoid all grains.  These include bread, pasta, cereals and so on.  Even if you believe I am too extreme in believing these things are negative, there are, even based on nutritional information everyone agrees on, options far better than these.

Good advice, but you don’t need to consistently avoid them. Pareto Principle (80/20 rule). Just be on point 80 percent of the time and you’re fine.

Pork is the second worst, but also the most delicious.  I eat a lot of pork.  It is a solid meat.  One thing to beware of is that sausages often contain filler which contains gluten.  As you become more natural in your eating habits, even small amounts of grain can cause a serious reaction, so one should be aware of traces.

No.

One can also live on cold cuts alone, though this could get pricey.

Please. Talks about health, yet tells people to eat processed cold cuts.

Fish is good, though larger fish can contain mercury, which you may or may not be concerned about.

“May or may not be concerned about.”

You should be concerned about it. A 200-pound man should eat no more than 3 cans of tuna per week.

Beans are not a vegetable even though some of them get called vegetables, and in my opinion there is no reason to eat them, ever. They are difficult to digest and can cause stomach complications which cause your body to use up energy dealing with them. Energy that would best be spent elsewhere. They also contain antinutrients which leach nutrients from other foods in your digestive system.

Already went over antinutrients above, but he says they “leach nutrients from other foods in your digestive system” which is bullshit. Beans are not difficult to digest (because of fiber). Good thing his “opinion” doesn’t mean anything.

Black beans are a super food and cooking beans remove most of the supposedly bad antinutrients.

To quote Dr. John Berardi:

Research suggests that the benefits of legumes outweigh their anti-nutrient content.Cooking eliminates most anti-nutrient effects, and some anti-nutrients (like lectins) may even be good for us.

Benefits far outweigh the (supposed) negatives of beans.

And there is no reason to eat them.  Yes, they do contain protein, but it is a protein much inferior to meat protein, so there is just no logical point in indulging in beans. 

Seriously? By “inferior to meat protein” I assume that he means that beans aren’t a complete protein. Combining beans and rice makes a complete protein, complimenting the other food with the missing essential amino acids to make the complete protein.

Currently, our markets are filled with fruits which are imported from tropical climates, and are thus not natural to us.

No basis in science.

something that Southeast Asians and Americans Indians are adapted to but we are not.

What?

I suppose it should go without saying, but I will say it anyway: all processed foods should be avoided completely.  This includes not only grain-based processed foods such as breads, cereals and pastas, and obviously sugary or salty processed snacks, but also processed meats such as hot dogs and processed “microwave dinners.”

>Eat cold cuts

>Don’t eat processed foods

What?

Alcohol is generally unhealthy if consumed in high amounts, but I understand well that for most men a certain amount is necessary.

Consuming alcohol once a week is fine. See here.

For the same reason it makes you tired, it also have a devastating effect on your metabolism and testosterone levels.

Nope. From the above link:

In a 3 week study, which had men and women consume 30-40 grams of alcohol per day showed a 6.8 percent test reduction in men and none for women. That’s 3 beers a day for 3 weeks, one night of drinking is not harmful.

120 grams of alcohol (10 beers) will lower test levels by 23 percent for 16 hours:

For alcohol to significantly lower testosterone, you need to do some serious drinking. ~120 g alcohol, the equivalent of 10 beers, will lower testosterone by 23% for up to 16 hours after the drinking binge. If you drink so goddamn much that you are admitted to the hospital, you get a similar effect with a reduction of about -20%.

By “have a devastating effect on your metabolism”, I assume he means that when you consume alcohol, your body takes priority to metabolize the alcohol (alcohol is the 4th macronutrient, which the general public doesn’t know about) and fat burning is put on hold until all alcohol is metabolized from the body.

On the Paleo Diet as a whole, I trust John Berardi, Ph.D. and CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist). He says that the Paleo diet “has some flaws”, such as the evolutionary arguments not holding up. He says that incorporating the foods that Anglin is telling you not to eat would likely be a big improvement.

For most people to be on a strict diet where they are barred certain foods, they will most likely not stick to it.

I could have just linked that PNAS article along with the individualized diets are best and supported by the study that came out the other day, but debunking most of the stuff he said had to be done, because people see things like this and automatically think it’s right (I noticed he included no references in his article).

Listening to people who have no background in nutrition is a recipe for failure. Listening to what he says as a basis for dietary habits is ignorant. His reasoning is ignorant. If you want to eat Paleo, go ahead, but if it’s for the reasons included in his article, his main argument does not hold up as seen in the PNAS and Cell articles.