Re: exogamy, kinship, and heterozygosity

Robert Snower (
Fri, 04 Oct 1996 05:12:06 GMT (Bryant) wrote:

>In the IQ literature it's observed that first-cousin matings result in
>offspring with significantly impaired cognitive performance.

I have trouble with this one.

> This may have
>been observed by non-scientific cultures as well, often enough to generate a
>sense that it's not too great to mate with close relatives.

No argument here. The inclination against incest is widely reported
among many creatures.

>What baffles me is why the incest avoidance behavior isn't better
>canalized in our species. Is there a benefit to practicing sexual
>behavior with whomever is handy?

It is "canalized" for each individual, isn't it? Each to his own
specific taste. Is there a benefit to that?

Best wishes. R. Snower