french canadians still evolving


i haven’t had a chance to read the research article yet, but here from nicholas wade in the nyt:

“Natural Selection Leaves Fresh Footprints on a Canadian Island”

“From parish records in a French-Canadian island, researchers have uncovered what may be the most recent known instance of human evolution in response to natural selection.

“The island, Île aux Coudres, lies in the St. Lawrence River 50 miles northeast of Quebec. Its church registries hold an unusually complete record of births, marriages and deaths. From this data, a team of researchers led by Emmanuel Milot and Denis Réale of the University of Quebec at Montreal have extracted the histories of women born on the island between 1799 and 1940.

“Over this 140-year period, the age at which a woman had her first child — a trait that is highly heritable — fell to 22 years, from 26. Because of this change, women on average had four more children during their reproductive lifetime, the researchers report.

“The finding ‘supports the idea that humans are still evolving,’ the researchers write in Monday’s issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”


but wait! there’s more:

“Dr. Milot said the genetic changes in his study showed up so clearly because other factors that might cloud them had been held to a minimum by the particular social conditions on Île aux Coudres. The island was granted by royal decree to the priests who managed the Quebec seminary and was settled by 30 families who arrived between 1720 and 1773. The families took up farming, then other professions, like fishing. Throughout the period, considerable equality was maintained, and the population lacked the gradations of wealth that can influence who has how many children.

Also, because most people married locally, the island’s population became considerably inbred, despite a ban on marrying first or second cousins.

“These two factors, and the homogeneity of the population, left the field open for genetic effects to become prominent, Dr. Milot said.”

inbreeding?! wait, wait, wait. of course this somewhat isolated population could’ve evolved faster ’cause they were homogeneous so the “genetic effects” could more quickly “become prominent.” but couldn’t it be that they just had more babies ’cause they were inbreeding?! (or maybe the two are the same thing….)

i gotta go look at the research article.

(see, françois? a post about french canadians! at least one sub-group of you guys anyway. (^_^) )

see also: amish paradise from greg cochran.

(note: comments do not require an email. i <3 canada!)

‘sup with the canucks?!

wtf happened there? 150 people hospitalized? can you say losers — with a big L! (and not ’cause they lost the cup.)

well, at least we now know that white folks can riot.

rioting over sports — wins or losses — has got to be one of the dumbest things i can think of. i mean, how are they going to react if (when) there’s hyper-inflation (coming soon to an economy near you) and they can’t afford to buy bread? at least in that case rioting — or protests, anyway — would be understandable. but over a game?? please.

now that i’m talking about sports, can i just say: sports are dumb. dumb, dumb, dumb.

i know a lot of you prolly like watching|playing sports — and i know there’s all that group cohesiveness business — and i know it’s a proxy for war — but still, what a colossal waste of everyone’s time!

i can maybe see if you actually play a sport — that might be fun while you’re hanging out with pals — but sitting around watching other people play? and paying money for for the privilege?? nope. don’t get it.

plus, i can never understand why anyone can root for, say, the ny yankees or the chicago bulls when most of the players aren’t new yorkers or chicagoans. i just don’t get it. it’d be like rooting for mercenaries in a war your country was fighting. sure you might like ’em to win, but it’s not like your own people are fighting.

i always thought professional (and college, for that matter) teams should just get renamed the blue team or the red team or whatever. now i see from steve sailer that that’s what the chariot teams used to be called back in old constantinople (under emperor justinian). at least that makes some sense! as opposed to pretending or imagining that there’s anything new yorkan about any of the ny yankees players.

why couldn’t we have come up with some other activity that would promote group cohesiveness and competition that would’ve been useful? like, let’s see which group can construct the biggest and bestest aqueduct first! or a space race! oh, wait. we did that. and lost. (did anyone riot then?) but maybe we could do it some more anyway!

my father always likes to lament about all the wasted human energy that has gone into wars when instead we could’ve done something useful like colonize mars or something. (he doesn’t get biology, but that’s ok.) i always like to retort that he should think about all the gazillions of wasted man hours that have gone into sports! if we would just quit running around after little balls in silly games, then we could really get something done! (maybe.)

/rant (~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. no, i never was a cheerleader. how did you guess?)