Re: milk and human sociobiology

Gerold Firl (
28 Jan 1997 21:02:59 GMT

In article <5cjsbt$>, (Robert Snower) writes:

|> (Gerold Firl) wrote:

|> >In article <5cbcic$>, (Robert Snower) writes:

|> >|> 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.

|> >If so, it seems very strange that the only human groups which are not
|> >lactose intolerant (LI) are those which have recently (in the last few
|> >thousand years) begun keeping domesticated herds. The cultures which
|> >do not keep domesticated ungulates all evolved LI, according to your
|> >theory; did the lactose tolerant groups then re-evolve this trait, or
|> >simply never lost it in the first place?

|> The lactose tolerant groups re-evolved this trait. Hominids became,
|> remarkably enough, lactose intolerant in the same way ancient peoples
|> often developed intolerances to prohibited food--to the eating of the
|> sacred animal, the "unclean" animal or plant, the totem animal or
|> plant.

If you're suggesting that jews are genetically pork-intolerant, I'll
have to disagree. What possible biological mechanism could have such a

|> The most universal eating prohibition, of all the great
|> variety of them, was, in the primordial hominid culture, the real or
|> imagined adult drinking of milk, as a derivative of the maternal
|> incest taboo (cf. Mark Shapiro's *The Sociobiology of Homo Sapiens*
|> 1978). This incest prohibition, concurrent with the deliberate
|> temptation, was highly adaptive, accounting for the expansion from
|> biological kinship to the first cohesive society.

Sounds like lysenkoism. Did you have a selection mechanism in mind?

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=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf