Re: Central America

Sun, 02 Apr 1995 12:11:48 GMT

In article <>, Evan Hodgens ( writes:
>In article <>,
>Bonedaddy <> wrote:
>> On Fri, 24 Mar 1995, Jack Davis wrote:
>> >
>> > Alcoholism has been a huge problem for all Native American groups with
>> > which I am familiar. Is there a genetic link? Maybe the fact that
>> > Europeans have been consuming alcohol a lot longer than have Native
>> > Americans who seem to not have had alcohol until the European
>> > I suspect, therefore, that Euro-Americans have a bit more tolerance to
>> > low-alcohol drinks than do natives, although purified alcohol has only
>> > existed for what, 800 or 900 years, and now reeks havoc on us as well.
>There has been some researchers who have suggested that the amount of time
>alcohol has been used in a population does seem to have a correlation to the
>incidence of alcoholism. Use of alcohol appears to be longest in the
>Mediterranean region, and incidence of alcoholism among the
>populations there relatively low. As the use of alcohol spreads
into Northern Europe later, alcoholism seems to be more prevalent
the further from the Mediterranean you go.
>Native Americans don't seem to have known of it until contact with
>Europeans, and rates of alcoholism are high. The theory suggests
>that what we have going on here is a form of natural selection --
>the drunks die out and folks who aren't as prone to alcoholism
>replace those who are. True? I don't know how respectable this
>research is. I have come across the information that alcohol was
>known in Meso America - I have even heard that among the
>Aztec nobility getting drunk was a capital offense.

I think that the most potent natural selection may have been
climatic. Drinking in very hot climates can be fatal. Islam
prohibits alcohol. It seems reasonable that the desert tribes that
overan the Graeco-Roman Eastern world may have discovered tht wine
was a severe handicap to their progress. The religious injunction
might have had a very practical rationale. The United Nations Forces
in the Sinai buffer zone had an absolute prohibition on alcohol.
The Mediteranean cultures drank mainly wines and often watered
these. The colder the climate the stronger the spirit that can be
consumed. Next to climate cultural coping stragies for anxiety must
be examined. Manana, Avrio, Allakefiq, Normalement..are all cultural
postponements of "time-locked" pressures. The Northern, Protestant
response to such a leisurely response is furious impatience!

A world driven by accountants is rapidly detroying the cultural
defences against anxiety..but that is another debate.

For the American natives of the United States the worst possible
typeof liquor was combined with the lowest ebb of culture and I
suspect the worst diet available.

I think these considerations far outweigh any marginal differences
in enzyme capacities.

On a physiological note I would venture that what the heart and mind
can endure simply passes the reponsibility to the liver. WE nee to
look at cirrhosis in those cultures that think they are coping!

Robin Walker