'Rosie the Riveter' Italian?

September 27, 2004

According to one account, an Italian-American aircraft worker, Rose Bonavita, became the inspiration for a 20th-century icon, Rosie the Riveter.

Source

During WWII, women on the home front took over many factory jobs. Rose Bonavita-Hickey, and partner Jennie Florio, drilled 900 holes and placed 3,300 rivets in an airplane tail end within six hours at the former General Motors Eastern Aircraft Division in North Tarrytown [New York]. Mrs. Hickey was recognized with a personal letter from President Roosevelt, and became afterwards identified as our own "Rosie the Riveter."

Source

The "WE CAN DO IT!" poster, created in 1943 by J. Howard Miller, encouraged women entering the workforce. 1942's "Rosie the Riveter," a popular homefront song, became a nickname for women in the war workforce. These "Rosies" included Rose Bonavita, who drove a record 3,345 rivets into a torpedo bomber in 1943.

Source

Study Clarification II

September 22, 2004

Dienekes Pontikos already wrote a complete deconstruction and exposé of the following study and its politically motivated authors on his old blog (also available on his website), yet the study continues to be cited regularly by Nordicists, Afrocentrists and Macedonian Nationalists in support of their racial and political agendas. So it's worth revisiting this disputed paper to summarize its scientific inaccuracies, and compare it to later, more reliable research.

Study:

HLA genes in Macedonians and the sub-Saharan origin of the Greeks


Arnaiz-Villena et al. (2001)
Tissue Antigens

Link to Full Text

Misused Quote:

Greeks are found to have a substantial relatedness to sub-Saharan (Ethiopian) people, which separate them from other Mediterranean groups. Both Greeks and Ethiopians share quasi-specific DRB1 alleles, such as *0305, *0307, *0411, *0413, *0416, *0417, *0420, *1110, *1112, *1304 and *1310. Genetic distances are closer between Greeks and Ethiopian/sub-Saharan groups than to any other Mediterranean group and finally Greeks cluster with Ethiopians/sub-Saharans in both neighbour joining dendrograms and correspondence analyses. The time period when these relationships might have occurred was ancient but uncertain and might be related to the displacement of Egyptian-Ethiopian people living in pharaonic Egypt.


Clarification:

At about the same time this study was published, its main author, Antonio Arnaiz-Villena, had a similar HLA study published in Nature, which was later dropped following criticism by three top men in the field of population genetics (Risch, Piazza and Cavalli-Sforza 2002). They rejected the conclusions Arnaiz-Villena drew based on the HLA DRB1 allele — the same marker analyzed in the present study:

Even a cursory look at the paper's diagrams and trees immediately indicates that the authors make some extraordinary claims. They used a single genetic marker, HLA DRB1, for their analysis to construct a genealogical tree and map of 28 populations from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Japan. Using results from the analysis of a single marker, particularly one likely to have undergone selection, for the purpose of reconstructing genealogies is unreliable and unacceptable practice in population genetics.

The limitations are made evident by the authors' extraordinary observations that Greeks are very similar to Ethiopians and east Africans but very distant from other south Europeans; and that the Japanese are nearly identical to west and south Africans.
It is surprising that the authors were not puzzled by these anomalous results, which contradict history, geography, anthropology and all prior population-genetic studies of these groups. Surely the ordinary process of refereeing would have saved the field from this dispute.

We believe that the paper should have been refused for publication on the simple grounds that it lacked scientific merit.

Note, however, that when analyzed properly even HLA genes, while not ideal markers for tracing ancestral relationships, demonstrate the affinity of Greeks to other Balkan and European peoples, as shown by two recent studies:

In the present study we analyzed for the first time HLA class I and class II polymorphisms defined by high-resolution typing methods.... Phylogenetic and correspondence analyses showed that Bulgarians are more closely related to Macedonians, Greeks, and Romanians than to other European populations and Middle Eastern people living near the Mediterranean.

Ivanova et al. 2002

The present study is the first to be performed in Macedonia using high-resolution sequence-based method for direct HLA typing. ... A phylogenetic tree constructed on the basis of the high-resolution data deriving from other populations revealed the clustering of Macedonians together with other Balkan populations (Greeks, Croats, Turks and Romanians) and Sardinians, close to another "European" cluster consisting of the Italian, French, Danish, Polish and Spanish populations. The included African populations grouped on the opposite side of the tree.

Petlichkovski et al. 2004

More importantly, this obvious affinity has been confirmed with the most up-do-date research on autosomal microsatellites. For example, Ayub et al. 2003 used 182 loci (as opposed to Arnaiz-Villena's one) to group several world populations based on genetic distance. Their results reveal Greeks' distance from Africans, and closeness to Basques and other Europeans:


Update 10/26/04: A new textbook written by geneticist Mark Jobling uses this very Arnaiz-Villena study as an example of shoddy research based on arbitrary interpretations. You can access relevant passages at Dienekes' blog.

Update 04/27/11: A group of academics have put together a website containing a lengthy article that addresses and thoroughly refutes this study and others like it, calling for them all to be retracted. Read more.

'Celts' Are Not Really Celtic

September 17, 2004

Famous 'Celtic' nations may be misnamed


Genetic studies hint at unexpected origins of clans


Sept. 9, 2004

DUBLIN, Ireland - Celtic nations like Ireland and Scotland have more in common with the Portuguese and Spanish than with "Celts" — the name commonly used for a group of people from ancient Alpine Europe, scientists say.

"There is a received wisdom that the origin of the people of these islands lie in invasions or migrations ... but the affinities don't point eastwards to a shared origin," said Daniel Bradley, co-author of a genetic study into Celtic origins.

Early historians believed the Celts — thought to have come from an area to the east of modern France and south of Germany — invaded the Atlantic islands around 2,500 years ago.

But archaeologists have recently questioned that theory, and now Bradley, from Trinity College Dublin, and his team, say DNA evidence supports their thinking.

Geneticists used DNA samples from people living in Celtic nations and compared the genetic traits with those of people in other parts of Europe.

The study showed that people in Celtic areas — Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Cornwall — had strong genetic ties, but that this heritage had more in common with people from the Iberian Peninsula.

"What we would propose is that this commonality among the Atlantic facade is much older ... 6,000 years ago or earlier," Bradley told Reuters.

He said people may have moved up from areas around modern-day Portugal and Spain at the end of the Ice Age.

The similarities between Atlantic "Celts" could also suggest these areas had good levels of communications with one another, he added.

But the study could not determine whether the common genetic traits meant "Celtic" nations would look alike or have similar temperaments. Dark or red hair and freckles are considered Celtic features.

Link

Body Build and Climatic Adaptation

September 14, 2004

The following table depicts the ratio of stature (cm) to weight (kg) for inhabitants of different parts of the world, and shows how it correlates with climate, starting out low (stocky build) in cooler environments and tending to get higher (gracile proportions) as temperatures increase. This works to better conserve heat in the cold, and throw it off in places with hot climates.


Population

CAUCASOID
Finland
United States (Army)
Iceland
France
England
Sicily
Morocco
Scotland
Tunisia
Berbers
Mahratta (India)
Bengal (India)

NEGROID
Yambasa
Kirdi
Baya
Batutsi
Kikuyu
Pygmies
Efe
Bushmen

MONGOLOID
Kazakh (Turkestan)
Eskimo
North China
Korea
Central China
Japan
Sundanese
Annamites
Hong Kong
Stature


171.0
173.9
173.6
172.5
166.3
169.1
168.9
170.4
173.4
169.8
163.8
165.8


169.0
166.5
163.0
176.0
164.5
142.2
143.8
155.8


163.1
161.2
168.0
161.1
163.0
160.9
159.8
158.7
166.2
Weight


70.0
70.2
68.1
67.0
64.5
65.0
63.8
61.8
62.3
59.5
55.7
52.7


62.0
57.3
53.9
57.0
51.9
39.9
39.8
40.4


69.7
62.9
61.0
55.5
54.7
53.0
51.9
51.3
52.2
Ratio


2.44
2.48
2.55
2.57
2.58
2.60
2.65
2.76
2.78
2.85
2.94
3.15


2.78
2.90
3.02
3.09
3.17
3.56
3.61
3.86


2.34
2.56
2.75
2.90
2.98
3.04
3.08
3.09
3.18


Paul T. Baker. "The Biological Adaptation of Man to Hot Deserts". The American Naturalist, 1958.

Stats on U.S. Ethnic Groups

September 10, 2004

Here are some interesting statistics from Michael Barone's book The New Americans, which contrasts the experiences of past Irish, Italian and Jewish immigrants with those of modern Blacks, Hispanics and Asians (respectively). The stats are quoted from a review of the book at FrontPage Magazine.

  • By 1990 Italian-Americans earned income 17 percent above the national average and were 50 percent more likely to have college degrees.
  • ...during the Al Capone era in Chicago, only 30 percent of those in organized crime were Italian-Americans, while 29 percent were Irish-Americans and 20 percent were Jewish.
  • By 1937, Jews were 25 percent of the population of New York City — but 65 percent of lawyers, 64 percent of dentists, and 55 percent of physicians in the city were Jews.
  • ...Jewish-Americans who were 4 percent of the U.S. population in the 1930s have declined to only 2 percent today. Intermarriage with non-Jews characterized 50 percent of their marriages during the 1990s, with only 28 percent of children from such marriages being raised as Jews and only 20 percent getting Jewish religious education.
  • By 1960 more than 75 percent of Jewish-Americans voted Democratic or even farther to the Left.
  • By 1995, Asian-Americans were 4 percent of America's population but 14 percent of all those scoring 700+ on the verbal Scholastic Aptitude Test and 28 percent of those scoring 750+ on the math portion of the SAT.
  • Today Asian-Americans are 19 percent of all students at Harvard, 28 percent at MIT, 22 percent at Stanford, 39 percent at Berkeley, 38 percent at UCLA, and 10 percent at the University of Michigan.

Ukrainians: Plates

September 7, 2004

Photographic survey of racial variation in the Ukraine, from the Slavic Anthropology website.

http://www.slavanthro.org/ukranians.html

Representative samples:





Group Photo of French Basques

September 2, 2004

Basques are a pretty good standard of "Europeanness" since they're known to be of extremely old stock and virtually free of later admixture. Below is a large random sampling of French Basques who, according to Coon, are even lighter than Spanish Basques. Yet still, almost all of them have dark brown hair, and a few would no doubt appear mixed or non-European to the average American.