Re: puzzle of the negrito: isolated archaic populations

Gerold Firl (
16 Dec 1996 21:06:58 GMT

In article <>, (Larry Caldwell) writes:
|> In article <>, (Dan Barnes) wrote:

|> > From these results it is not suprising that a people who have spent a long
|> > time living exclusively in rain forests would develop a decrease in height. It
|> > would seem that if Ruff's analysis is valid that it is an example of parallel
|> > evolution - with two groups of people adapting to similar environmental

|> This whole discussion is based on the proposition that height is determined
|> by genetics. This is not true. The average caucasian height was 5'4" only
|> a century ago, and has varied up and down with diet for centuries. It
|> takes at least two generations of changed diet to express fully, probably
|> because of maternal influences.
|> Put them on a beefsteak and bean diet for two generations and then measure
|> their height. Until then, you have no data whatever.

Dietary variations *do* confound the data somewhat, but there can be
no question of the fact that the pygmy and negrito people are shorter
than other races. You could argue that the difference is exagerated
due to dietary deficiencies among the forest dwellers, but based on
the descriptions I've seen of the african pygmy lifestyle, it appears
that the pygmies are actually better fed than their bantu neighbors.

We don't have perfect data, by any stretch, but the data availible
appears sufficient to show that the size of the pygmies is a physical
adaptation to forest life.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf