Re: milk and human sociobiology

Robert Snower (
Fri, 24 Jan 1997 22:17:41 GMT (Gerold Firl) wrote:

>In article <5c6487$>, (Robert Snower) writes:
>|> (Gerold Firl) wrote:

>|> >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.

>|> I didn't know that. Are you sure it is the norm among primates?

>Nope. My information on the subject is pretty scanty. Here is the
>source of my claim above: "In Sherratt's view (A.G. Sherratt, in I.
>Hodder, et. al., eds,, _patterns of the past_, cambridge uni. press,
>1981, and personal communication, 1982), developments from scattered
>places were gathered together in northern mesopotamia (or at any rate
>on the fringe of the fertile cresent)c. 6000 years ago, as a package
>in which the plow was the salient invention. Thence it radiated north,
>south, east and west, in association with the milk-drinking mutation."
> "Almost all mammals lose the ability to digest milk sugar
>(lactose) after infancy, and milk is then harmful to them; the same is
>true for most human beings." (Nigel Calder, _timescale_, 1983, p.

Just in case you missed this, I repeat:

I think all of you are all wet. I just called the zoo. The man
assured me that they feed all of the adult chimps and gorillas milk
every week, and he has never found any of them lactose intolerant.

I believe lactose intolerance began, as an adaptation, in hominids and
is not characteristic of our primate relatives. And I know the reason
why, and nobody else does.

The oddballs are humans, not mammals in general. Lactose tolerance is
the normal condition.

Best wishes. rs