Saturday, December 09, 2006

Kissing Cousins

Percentage of consanguinous marriages world-wide:

Let's compare to a map of the Islamic world:

Notice the high frequency of consanguineous marriages in the Islamic world? Does it mean anything? I didn't get my genetics degree at K-mart but if history HAS shown us one thing, it has shown us that too much inbreeding leads to extinction. I know Mark Steyn has a different take on this, but is it just a matter of time for the Arabs? From the British Medical Journal:
"Available data suggest that genetic and congenital disorders are more common in Arab countries than in industrialised countries; recessively inherited disorders account for a substantial proportion of physical and mental handicap...

High consanguinity rates—25-60% of all marriages are consanguineous, and the rate of first cousin marriages is high (figs 1 and 2; table A on w1
In addition, isolated subpopulations with a high level of inbreeding exist.
Furthermore, in many parts of the Arab world the society is still tribal.5 6 w1
This has made the epidemiology of genetic disorders complicated, as many families and tribal groups are descended from a limited number of ancestors and some conditions are confined to specific villages, families, and tribal groups, leading to an unusual burden of genetic diseases in these communities (table B on 2 5
And very few Nobel prize winners... Oh, and Jimmah Carter can still kiss my ass.