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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 06:27 PM

21. That wouldn't be a good comparison

The idea is that transportation in slave ships was so tough that you had to be healthy and strong to survive it; and slave owners would sometimes follow that up by forcing their best slaves to have sex to produce strong slave children. But the genocide of the Jews wasn't particularly selective - most were killed whatever their health. In some labour camps, I suppose it might have been possible that the healthier did survive better; whether that could have an effect in the genome in a few years could be another matter (as opposed to a couple of centuries for slavery).

I've just watched the programme. It also suggested that the mixing of people from many parts of Africa - from Senegal right down to South Africa (between which there's a lot of genetic variation) could also have increased the health of their descendants. But it seems to be just a hypothesis - there didn't seem to be any evidence for significant genetic differences between the population shipped to the Americas, and those in Africa.

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