September 12th, 2008

At work, Self portrait

I think it takes a little more than just genes though...

How genes pick our mates for us (New Scientist) - yet another article from the UK magazine, and this one is free to read on their web site, at least for the time being.

Contrary to the headline of the article, it shows that white American couples marry people they are less related to, while black African couples (in Africa) marry people that are genetically similar to them. Which, pardon me for destroying the Darwinian idyll, indicates that culture probably trumps genes in this matter. Europe was ruled for centuries by the Catholic church with its fear and trembling that fifth cousins twice removed might be looking lustfully at each other. In contrast, much of the world sets the limit with first cousins, and some places less. In countries that were only recently unified, trusting people from outside the clan may be difficult and even dangerous. None of this is genetic, thank the Light.