Re: Those Eyes! (Was: Intelligence by Race)

Ray Sullivan (ay773@FreeNet.Carleton.CA)
Tue, 17 Jan 1995 14:22:44 GMT

In a previous posting, a whole flurry of people wrote stuff like:
> If the epicanthic fold provides no survival advantage then how do
> you explain the gradual decrease in that membrane as you move down
> from Alaska to Mesoamerica? The eskimo populations have very
> pronounced folds whereas indigenous Latin-American populations do not.
> All of these people are in America as a result of Eurasian
> populations migrations. If the epithantic fold provides no
> advantages or disadvantages you would certainly expect to
> find it in all Native American populations, populations
> which have indeed been largely isolated for some 20-15,000
> years. But in fact, what you find is that as you reach the
> warmer regions it tends to dissappear. One poster earlier
> mentioned having taken an (anthropology?) course in wich it was
> pointed out that the fold keeps ones eyeballs warmer in cold
> climates.

Amerindian populations are the result of more than one migration. It is
not at all unlikely that the earliest (and most southerly because of
glaciation)arrived before the development of epicanthic folds in asia, and
the more recent migrations (mostly Inuit moving west to east accross the
arctic)included a distinct group which did have epicanthic folds.
Check out Olive P. Dickason, 1992 "Canada's First Nations: a history of
founding peoples."McClelland & Stewart, Toronto for a pretty good review.
She also discusses interesting evidence for trans-pacific contact and trade.

>>Someone here has suggested sexual selection as an explanation, claiming
>>Indeed, genetically the races are quite distinguishable. Given two
>>sets of 100 blood samples, one drawn from white Europeans and the other
>>from black Africans, a competent geneticist will have no difficulty
>>determining which set came from which population.
Whoa here. This is news to me, please cite some references. Africans are
more genetically diverse than the rest of the human population. How would
a geneticist distinguish between african populations. Given that the
(often quoted) genetic difference between human and chimpanzee is only 2%,
the genetic difference between human populations must be very smmall.
Obviously the human genome mapping project is near completion if we can
use genes to determine ethnicity!!! I'm sure O.J. Simpson's lawyers would
be interested in contacting your sources!

_________________R. Sullivan, ay773@freenet.carleton.ca_________________
Out of life, comes death and out of death life, out of the young the old,
and out of the old, the young, out of waking, sleep and out of sleep
waking, the stream of creation and dissolution never stops. (Heraclitus)