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Thread: Why Inbreeding Really Isnít As Bad As You Think It is

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    Why Inbreeding Really Isnít As Bad As You Think It is

    (...)

    Why A Little Inbreeding Can Be Good For You

    Yes, let's go there. Here, we need to look beyond first cousins to more distant relations, specifically third cousins, people who share a common set of great-great-grandparents. Their relationship coefficient isn't huge - just 1/128. But that still means about 200 of their 23,000 protein-coding genes are identical by descent, a level of relationship easily detected by geneticists.

    As weird as it might sound, third cousin marriages actually might produce healthier offspring than the general population, at least if Iceland is anything to go by. In 2008, researchers at the deCODE Genetics company in Reykjavik conducted a study of all Icelandic couples born between 1800 and 1965, a cohort that included some 160,811 couples. The results were, to put it mildly, unexpected:

    Researchers were shocked to find that for women born between 1800 and 1824, marriages between third cousins produced an average of 4.04 children and 9.17 grandchildren, while marriages between eighth cousins or more distantly related couples had averages of only 3.34 children and 7.31 grandchildren. For women born between 1925 and 1949, with mates related at the degree of third cousins, the average number of children and grandchildren were 3.27 and 6.64, compared with 2.45 and 4.86 for those with mates who were eighth cousins, or more distantly related.
    Lead author Dr. Kari Stefanson called these "counterintuitive, almost dislikable results", and yet after isolating for possible socioeconomic factors - a particularly easy task in Iceland, which is one of the most homogeneous countries on the planet - he and his team were left to conclude that there is some biological basis for this apparent increase in reproductive fitness.

    So Where Does This Biological Benefit Come From?

    That's a very good question, and one to which nobody really knows the answer. Interviewed by ABC News, Dr. Bruce Buehler, the director of HBM Genetics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, tried to explain these surprising results. He frankly admitted that the explanation eluded him:

    "At least genetically, this information doesn't suggest that second or third cousins would be at any higher risk for passing down unfavorable traits. [I] can't think of any genetic explanation for why the third or fourth cousins would have more babies. Maybe what we're seeing here is biologic attraction. If you really look alike, feel alike and think alike, then maybe you have sex more often and have more babies. We do know that there are pheromones which cause attraction, and I wouldn't be surprised if related people have higher sexual desire for one another."
    For his part, Dr. Stefansson suggested what we might call a Goldilocks Zone for inbreeding. That term, which we usually see applied to exoplanets, refers to the idea that planets need to neither too far away from nor too close to their star in order to be able to support life. In much the same way, third cousins might actually have just the right amount of genetic overlap, neither too similar nor too dissimilar, and so they enjoy a reproductive advantage. However, the underlying genetics of that explanation remain unknown.

    Ultimately, Stefansson concluded that maybe our taboos against consanguinity, or the marriage of related people, haven't just overestimated existing risks - they've actually covered up potential benefits:

    "The take-home message is that ...we, as a society of [the] 21st century, have basically ruled against the marriages of closely related couples, because we do not look at it as desirable that closely related people have children. But in spite of the fact that bringing together two alleles of a recessive trait may be bad, there is clearly some biological wisdom in the union of relatively closely related people."
    (...)

    _____________________

    Taken from this article.

    So much for 'hybrid vigour'!

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    Aka GermanischerAdler Herefugol's Avatar
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    Very interesting article. This really strengthens the argument that homogeneity is a good thing, and supposed "diversity" is not. The multiculturalists - and their central argument that foreign and exotic peoples enrich our society - will not like this one bit.

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    Cousin marriage, although it was uncommon and usually restricted to the aristocracy, never was taboo for Anglos. The modern American revulsion that such is "incest" is no older than the reforms pushed by eugenicists.

    After eugenics became a taboo itself the accusation of inbreeding stuck as status signaling. The kind of Americans who use "inbred" as an insult are using it as a codeword for whiteness, I realised.

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    You wanna hear it again?

    Legal Question:

    If husband and wife divorce in Arkansas, are they still brother and sister?

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    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    You wanna hear it again?

    Legal Question:

    If husband and wife divorce in Arkansas, are they still brother and sister?
    If they remarry is it incest again?

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