Re: milk and human sociobiology

Gerold Firl (
22 Jan 1997 20:44:46 GMT

In article <>, (omar shafey) writes:
|> In article <5c5fo0$>,
|> (Robert Snower) wrote:

|> > (Gerold Firl) wrote:
|> >
|> > >Here is an interesting question: did the genes for lactose tolerance
|> > >diffuse outward from a single source, or did evolution locally select
|> > >for it in areas where cattle were kept for meat? Actually, both
|> > >processes undoubtedly occured, but which was faster?

|> > To me the more interesting question is, why did the lactose
|> > intolerance develop? And when? And why was it adaptive?

|> I hope someone can help me out with references on this subject but I
|> recall that the evolutionary biological hypothesis for the prevalence of
|> lactose intolerance among African and Mediterranean peoples (among others)
|> suggests that melanin (skin color) is a crucial factor.

Doesn't seem likely. Lactose intolerance (LI) is common among many
mammels upon reaching adulthood; it is the norm, rather than a trait
which actively evolved in humans.

Digesting milk requires particular enzymes, which would be of no use
to an adult mammal - unless, of course, an artificial supply of milk
is made availible by dairy technology.

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