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velvet
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 12:43 AM
Iceland Is So Inbred It Needs a Website to Avoid Incest

When your society has inhabited a small, remote island for countless generations and boasts a population of only 300,000, the odds of having sex with a relative are significant. Luckily, Icelanders now have a handy tool to avoid family-sex.

Íslendingabók (http://www.islendingabok.is/)—meaning "book of Icelanders"—is an online incest avoidance search engine. Plug in your name and that of a potential mate, and the site searches a genealogical database to see how closely you're related. It's likely that you'll have some overlap many generations back—in which case you're probably safe from mutant children. But if you share great-grandparents, you might want to reconsider your Nordic hookup.

But there's a twist! As GlobalPost reports, new research says sexing with a distant cousin is actually beneficial for fertility, as your genes are more comptable than someone from the other side of the planet. So, avoid creepy incest, but seek out good incest. Iceland—constantly at the top of quality of life lists, and an easy place to sleep with an attractive cousin.

Source (http://gizmodo.com/5882644/iceland-is-so-inbred-it-needs-a-website-to-avoid-incest)



REYKJAVIK, Iceland — The television commercial for a local mobile phone company here wouldn’t work in many places outside Iceland.

It portrays a curly-haired couple who just woke up next to each other after what appears to be a one-night stand. (That isn’t the scandalous part in this famously liberal society.)

The two are pictured lingering in bed, on their smart phones, checking out a genealogical website called Íslendingabók. Their smiles freeze when they find out they are related. Closely.

While other nations might find the commercial funny — mainly for its “as if” value — Icelanders can relate on levels unimaginable in larger countries. The commercial works here because, in this isolated island country of 300,000 people, these situations actually happen. Regularly.

Most Icelanders have heard a story of somebody, who knew somebody, who found out a bit late in the game that the subject of their romance is actually an estranged cousin.

More from Wanderlust

Elin Edda says it happened to her friend. “She really liked this guy and then found out they had the same great-grandparents,” she says. “It really freaked her out and she broke it off. It was just too weird.”

Edda clarifies, however, that such mishaps only happen in families that aren’t close-knit. “It could never happen in my family. I know everybody,” she says.

When she meets an Icelander she doesn’t know, she asks the same question every else here does: “Hverra manna ert þú?” (Who are your people?)

For centuries, this is how Icelanders have gone about identifying their ancestors, since family names do not exist here. Foreigners are often amused by the fact that the Icelandic phonebook is organized by first names.

But Icelanders are increasingly migrating to cities and urban environments, which tends to make the traditional meeting — as well as mating — process more anonymous.

That’s one of the reasons Íslendingabók (the Book of Icelanders) has been so widely popular here. To avoid incest, all one has to do is put in their name, their prospective girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s name and the database will spit out exactly how related they are to each other.

Virtually every Icelander since the 18th century is in the database, according to the website. Any Icelander living now can sign up for a username and password and gain free access to some of the data, such as names and birth dates, and view full information on everyone who shares a great-grandparent with them. One can also find out if they have common ancestry with any given Icelander and uncover their exact lines of descent.

Aside from looking up lovers, one of the more popular ways to use the site is searching how one is related to famous Icelanders. Hence, locals can (and do) tell you exactly how many generations separate them from Björk, or more precisely according to Íslendingabók, Björk Guðmundsdóttir, born Nov. 21, 1965.

Alli Thorgrimsson, for example, learned that he and Björk are related seven generations back, on both sides. He shares a closer ancestral tie with the current prime minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. Thanks to Íslendingabók, he also knows that his ex-wife was his seventh cousin, or in other words, not close enough to trigger an incest alarm.

Thorgrimsson, 31, reckons he began using the site a decade ago, shortly after it became popular. He has looked up the girl he was dating at the time and has done the same with every girlfriend since.

“It was curiosity to see how far away we're related, because the chances of me meeting a girl and not know that she's a close relative are slim to none,” he said. Still, even though he wasn’t expecting to find he was dating a first cousin, he was surprised to find out he was, in one way or another, related to every single Icelandic girl he has ever dated.

This conclusion would hardly surprise Friðrik Skúlason, a software entrepreneur who created Espólín, an online genealogical database of Icelanders as a hobby in the early 1990s. Later, Skúlason and the founders of an Icelandic genetics company, Decode Genetics, formed Íslendingabók.

The original idea was to use the online genealogical database and combine it with medical records to help them see how inherited diseases are spread through generations. In turn for their willingness to participate in the genetics research, Decode gave Icelanders access to what they were truly interested in: genealogy.

“Icelanders are obsessed with genealogy,” says Kári Stefánsson, founder of Decode Genetics. “We are an extraordinarily narcissistic nation.”

The site became immensely popular almost immediately. It wasn’t without a few well-publicized scandals, though. Those early hiccups mostly dealt with privacy issues, specifically the one Icelanders refer to as “rangfeðrun,” or the fact that people’s recorded fathers are not always their biological fathers.

Stefánsson estimates the database is "99.9 percent accurate" when it comes to matriarchal relationships. “The question is errors in paternity. Non-scientific literature says it’s about ten to 15 percent. That’s bullshit,” says Stefánsson. “It’s only about one percent.”

According to Stefánsson, Iceland is one of the world's most genetically homogenous nations. To put it bluntly, Icelanders — because there are so few of them — are more likely to have children with somebody that they are related to.

Contrary to popular belief, this is good news for fertility rates, says Stefánsson.

It turns out that fertility works best when couples are sufficiently related to each other because their genes are more compatible. A study published three years ago by Decode in Science Magazine reported “significant positive association between kinship and fertility, with the greatest reproductive success observed for couples related at the level of third or fourth cousins.”

Luckily, it’s never been easier to find third and fourth cousins in Iceland.


Source (http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/offbeat/111011/wanderlust-iceland-where-everyone-related-bjork)

Mööv
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 02:12 AM
Some years ago I was dating a girl. We got pretty deep into it. But than one day my father was driving through her street and saw her outside her house with her father. He came home and I received a big sh*t storm from him. Turned out she was my third cousin. Soon after my entire family got pissed over it, everyone urging me to end it. Her household didn`t mind it on the other hand. A weird experience.

Germaid
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 12:41 PM
Honestly, I do not see a problem when people get married to their second, third or more distant cousins and I certainly would not call it incest. Incest to me is between relatives in a direct line, e.g. parent with child, siblings with each other or grandparents with grandchildren (which is abhorrent, of course, and rightfully a crime!).

When I became more interested in genealogy, I found out that lots of my ancestors married their cousins (first, second, third degree or more distantly related). This is not surprising, as they all lived in little villages and people were not very mobile back then. They all got married within a radius of maximum 50km, occasionally there was a person from farther away, but this was the exception. I believe this is true for lots of Europeans whose ancestors didn't travel around very far. Even today, marrying your first cousin is legal (in Germany), but this would be too closely related for my taste.

velvet
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 01:51 PM
Yeah, the headline is a bit cheesy, even "negatively" formulated, still it goes on to mention this:


Contrary to popular belief, this is good news for fertility rates, says Stefánsson.

It turns out that fertility works best when couples are sufficiently related to each other because their genes are more compatible. A study published three years ago by Decode in Science Magazine reported “significant positive association between kinship and fertility, with the greatest reproductive success observed for couples related at the level of third or fourth cousins.”

This is a heavy blow into the face of the race-mixer propagandists, claiming it would be positive to expand a people's biodiversity through foreign races, when in fact, the kinship of two mates is much more positive and produces healthier offspring.

And indeed it's not incest to mate with second, third or forth grade cousins, even first grade cousins imho are okay if it doesnt become the rule.

The Kurgan hypothesis assumes that the Indo-Aryan/Indo-Germanic people started off with just 7 female individuals (who were most likely already related to each other too), so there was first and second degree "incest" for quite many generations, which obviously did not harm us at all as a people. Good to see this info, that it is actually even positive to be somehow related, gets into the public and mainstream. :thumbup

Gerhardt Maritz
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 02:00 PM
The Rothchilds became a dynasty through in breeding and look how cushy they ended up.

Primus
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 04:02 PM
Some years ago I was dating a girl. We got pretty deep into it. But than one day my father was driving through her street and saw her outside her house with her father. He came home and I received a big sh*t storm from him. Turned out she was my third cousin. Soon after my entire family got pissed over it, everyone urging me to end it. Her household didn`t mind it on the other hand. A weird experience.

I'd hardly consider dating a third cousin to be an affront to moral sensibility. It'd just be slightly odd when you think about it, no? :-O

Frostbite
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 05:27 PM
When someone is your third or fourth cousin, at that point you both are barely related. How many people even know their family members who are that distant?


I think it's a little weird, but it doesn't seem to be hurting anything and there doesn't seem to be a bunch of defects in Iceland.

ChaosLord
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 06:34 PM
The Rothchilds became a dynasty through in breeding and look how cushy they ended up.

Most noble families and even the American aristocracy have practiced in inbreeding and inter-family relations for over a century. That's how most Hollywood stars, politicians and bankers are related.

Primus
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 07:58 PM
When someone is your third or fourth cousin, at that point you both are barely related. How many people even know their family members who are that distant?


I think it's a little weird, but it doesn't seem to be hurting anything and there doesn't seem to be a bunch of defects in Iceland.

Incest-related birth defects are from closely-related individuals reproducing. Iirc even children born from first cousins don't have that high of a chance, statistically-speaking, of having children with serious birth defects (I think it's 1%-2% higher than normal, unrelated people or somesuch). Didn't Darwin marry his first cousin and have normal kids?

Wulfaz
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 08:29 PM
Marriages and sexual relationships between first cousins is not stigmatized as incest in most cultures. However, there are a few exceptions to this. In modern secular law, notably some US states, prohibit marriages between first cousins. Currently, 24 states prohibit such marriages, and another seven permit them only under special circumstances.[65] Cousin marriages are legal everywhere else in the western world, as well as throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and other parts of Asia.[66] Communities such as the Dhond and the Bhittani of Pakistan clearly prefer marriages between cousins as they ensure purity of the descent line, provide intimate knowledge of the spouses, and ensure that patrimony will not pass into the hands of "outsiders".[67]

Before the presetn era and the deodorants the people always find the other with good smell because the feromons can tell you that the other would be compatible with you as genetic distant and Human Leucocyte Antigen (HLA). The later help to the people seek the more different immunsystem in the community what is benefitical to the baby. In this way the marriage between cousins was not a problem be cause an individual didn't draw to the worse options. The scholars research this method among Amish whos don't use deodorants and they mostly find the good partner in the point of immonological view.

http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/2/103.full.pdf

Furthermore the manind in the most of the past live in largly isolated small communtiy where everybody was cousin thus if the "interbreeding" of cousins would caused problems, it would selected under millenea.

Huginn ok Muninn
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 10:32 PM
Inbreeding is only truly dangerous when defective genetics are present. If no one had defective genes, there would be no problem at all. Even in the case of Victoria and Albert's children, where Victoria passed the gene for hemophilia to three of their children, the expression of the gene was independent of the fact that further inbreeding occurred, though this was due to the x-chromosome location of the defect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haemophilia_in_European_royalty

Not only were Victoria and Albert first cousins, but there were two cousin marriages among their grandchildren as well. The marriage of Prince Heinrich (Wilhelm II's younger brother) and Princess Irene (daughter of V & A's daughter Alice) produced 3 sons, two of whom had hemophilia, though the hemophilia, being an X-chromosome linked trait, did not manifest itself because of the parent's close relationship. Irene could have married any man and produced hemophiliac sons with the same probability.

There were many marriages between first cousins and double first cousins among European royal houses:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_coupled_cousins

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cousin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cousin_marriage

Slivers
Sunday, February 12th, 2012, 03:57 AM
From all the examples of peoples from Iceland I have seen- not a single one has struck me as being inbred? Perhaps they have been hiding this segment of the population, I'm going to wait before making any judgement and just say the site is to help avoid close calls within a small population of people.

ansuz crowning
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012, 02:47 AM
But so many of my family members are so hot! :D

Frostbite
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012, 04:28 AM
From all the examples of peoples from Iceland I have seen- not a single one has struck me as being inbred? Perhaps they have been hiding this segment of the population, I'm going to wait before making any judgement and just say the site is to help avoid close calls within a small population of people.

I think if Iceland had a problem with inbreeding it would have come out by now.

The people who are related are most likely so distantly related it doesn't even matter.

Kussmaul
Sunday, February 19th, 2012, 10:49 PM
From all the examples of peoples from Iceland I have seen- not a single one has struck me as being inbred? Perhaps they have been hiding this segment of the population, I'm going to wait before making any judgement and just say the site is to help avoid close calls within a small population of people.

You sure? Here's a guy from Iceland talking to a nice Canadian girl.