Monday, October 10, 2011

Evolve already

Interesting story here based on an anthropological field study in Quebec. The people behind the study would certainly be fun to study. A decrease in age at first child from 26 to 22 wouldn't be fertility per se. Human females have always been fertile much younger than 26. One could ascribe it to social mores. That's not entirely convincing, though, because teenage mothers were fairly common before the 20th century. My other thought is that for some reason miscarriages used to happen more often. So many questions.

Overall I do believe the implications of the study. In a way, microevolution is just an extension of the little mutations that always occur between parents and children. Plus ça change and all that.


susan said...

I read this article a couple of days ago and remain confused about how the fact that a group of women giving birth to a first child at age 22 rather than 26 could be said to have anything to do with evolution. As you say, women much younger than either of those ages give birth quite often. Considering it was once quite typical for people to marry before they were 20 I can't fathom how in this community 6 or more years would pass before the average couple had a child. Maybe they didn't know what to do. Current evidence could show stupidity is also heritable.

Ben said...

Eh, I don't want to make too much out of inherited stupidity. Maybe it's a fishing community, and the guys can't get any until they're promoted to the less smelly jobs.