[ExI] Racist foxes

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Wed Apr 6 22:37:56 UTC 2011

On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 11:43 AM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:

> Agreed. Human culture and institutions are far more significant in
> human behaviour. Genetic changes cannot possibly have such an
> immediate and powerful effect.

I am kind of amazed that you deny the results of several decades of
twin studies.

Or for that matter the horror of David Reimer

You don't have to be politically correct on this list.

Culture and institutions do indeed have an effect.  But if everyone is
well fed, the differences in say, adult height, are due to genes.

> Show me the capitalist gene that is supposed to have appeared in
> Britain in a few generations!

Come back in a decade or so when we have mapped the genes that became
more common over 400 years of a stable society that was both drawinian
and malthusian.

It might not take that long.  They already have a list of some 40
genes that are different between tame and wild foxes.  Given that we
fished out the DNA of Neanderthals, it should not be too hard to get a
decent DNA sampling from a 1000 years ago in the UK and compare it to
the current prevalence of various genes.

> Especially as the trading and business
> culture developed across Europe centuries before the British
> Industrial Revolution.

And farming came in ten millennia before that.  I suspect that farming
drove the selection for acquisitiveness at least in the northern
temperate zone.  In a bad winter those who just had enough food and
fuel to make it through a normal winter died and the children of the
ones who had piled up more than most thought they needed repopulated
the farms of those who starved or froze.


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