[ExI] The ugly Neanderthal

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sat Dec 12 09:17:48 UTC 2020

On Wed, Dec 9, 2020 at 3:33 PM Anton Sherwood via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On 2020-12-08 23:19, Rafal Smigrodzki via extropy-chat wrote:
> > "The Goodness Paradox" by Richard Wrangham offers the opposite
> > perspective - Neanderthals were untamed, violent, reckless and
> > dangerous. We know that because their skulls do not show signs
> > of the domestication syndrome. [...]
> I recently enjoyed that book.
> I wonder: if you were to repeat the Belяev fox experiment, but selecting
> for some irrelevant feature of the domestication syndrome (e.g. white
> spots) rather than for tameness, would tame animals result?
> ### Probably yes, since white spots may be produced by defects in
mesenchymal cell migration, and such defects often have pleiotropic
effects, affecting the neuroendocrine tissues and parts of the brainstem.
However, as always when you select for a proxy, the selective effect on the
true target trait will be weaker, or unreliable, compared to direct
selection for the target trait.

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