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Thread: Man made natural selection.

  1. #1 Man made natural selection. 
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    I had a brain wave at work today (I know first time for everything). We were talking about boxing and in particular, the lack of good heavyweight boxers. This got me thinking about the places in the world were the top heavyweight boxers and sprinters come from, mainly Britain, North America and the Caribbean and, most importantly, they are generally black. So are black people naturally bigger/stronger/faster ? No. Why ? Because then we would expect to see a lot more boxers, sprinters etc coming from Africa. Heres the brain wave part.......

    During the slave trade period, the people that were chosen would have been the biggest, strongest, fittest etc and because of social conditions they would have not mixed with white people. So therefor the weaker genes have been taken out of their gene pool, making them superwo/men and obviously superb athletes.

    Thinking about this now, it seems so obvious. So has anyone heard of this idea before ? Have we unintentionally created super humans ?


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    Rubbish, African americans have all the training facilities to hand, and as has been shown all to often in recent history the performance enhancing drugs to go with it, have a look at marathon runners over the last 20 or so years and you'll find a bunch of Ethiopeans right there at the top.

    As I remember it a white english chap by the name Henry Cooper gave Mohammed Ali [then Cassius clay] a hell of a run for his money and, fairly knocked him to the ground on one occasion almost for the count. Cooper later lost the fight simply because of a burst blood vessel above the eye. I think you ought to look at the whole spectrum of sport, shot-put, etc, and middle distance running (Ovett & Coe, again White English)

    During the slave trade, they rounded up everyone, if anything some of the fittest would have escaped, but as you well know they took the women as well, if there were any selection, it would have been to favour younger people in general, taking pensioners would have been pointless.


    Take a look at this.
    http://www.spiritofsport.co.uk/images_versions/379.jpg


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    Yes i understand that MB, and Henry Copper is someone i am very proud of, but i did use the two words "mainly" and "generally". Have a look at those Ethiopian marathon runners, would you chose one of those over a Linford Christie if you were a slave trader? Between an Ethiopian runner and Linford Christie, which one would you expect to survive the voyage ? Yes i am omitting most sports but in heavyweight boxing and short distance running a big frame and strength are two of the basic requirements. Apart from that huge Russian boxer and that Greek sprinter (I can't remember their names) When was the last time a white or African person won either of those events ? And as for training facilities, do the Caribbean sprinters or boxers have those facilities ? Yet they still produce some of the worlds best.
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  5. #4 Re: Man made natural selection. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    During the slave trade period, the people that were chosen would have been the biggest, strongest, fittest etc and because of social conditions they would have not mixed with white people. So therefor the weaker genes have been taken out of their gene pool, making them superwo/men and obviously superb athletes.
    Are you suggesting that slaves were selectively bred? This is the first time I've heard anything of the sort.
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    We discussed this topic at varsity a decade ago already and the general consensus seemed to be that it is logical that a selection occurred for physically stronger individuals.

    Some of the voyages across the sea had more than 80% mortality rates and it is obvious that the strongest were selected for.

    I therefore agree completely that the African American and black UK athletes are from a genetic pool in which there is a better chance of superior performers to emerge, but I have to add that it's not a new idea!

    By the way, I'm an Olympic shot putter myself and even though my event is completely dominated by whites, it is in my opinion purely because you need equipment to train my event (which makes it more difficult to get into) and a cultural preference for the decades of work needed to get to your best and these things are not present in the black communities. I am sure that there are many black athletes who are much more talented than me or most of my opponents, but who were never developed to become throwers.
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    If the members of one community spend longer enduring physically hard work to survive over another then of course they will develop [individually] to be phisically stronger. THe phenotype is perfectly happy with this, there are countless examples, eg the unerathing of skeletal remains from victims of early English wars where the upper right forarm was more developed that the left, (bowman), centuries of use of the Bow in england by many generations has not led to any perceptible natural growth in the right arm of the population today even though most are right handed. I cannot see that taking a group of strong individuals will neccessarily yield strong offspring, remember once the slaves were abroad no more of the selective breeding would have taken place, all born would have been seen in terms of their 'asset value'. So if anything you are talking of 'selection' over one generation only.
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    No Megabrain, the selection I'm talking about wasn't only over one generation. It might have been mainly over one generation, but certainly also continued over many more generations. The selection over one generation can probably be better described as a bottleneck than selection, but I'm sure that even a single "selection" like this would have made a perceptable difference to the overall gene pool though.

    If you take this bottleneck in combination with the fact that they were also selected for a good physique before the journey and with the fact that mortality amongst slaves must surely also have been higher than amongst masters because of more severe living conditions, I think the total selection could very well have shifted the whole polulation's gene pool towards the more physically gifted side.
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    Well as far as I remember captured papers from the Germans at the end of the war revealed that their efforts to consciously achive effectively the same thing we are talking about failed completely. One so called pairing in 1937 actually led to the birth of three mentally handicapped offspring, and overall there was no discernible difference. At the moment we can debate till the cows come home, or one of us could find a reputable study to back it up. If it's anything like dogs or corn though, it takes hundreds of generations to begin to tease out the traits you want. As to survival it is not always the fittest that survive, in the Vietnam war, hulking great 'fit' US marines were far more likely to die of their wounds than vietcong living in muddy tunnels (yes I know why).

    I still am not sure that any selection was carried out at the time of the 'round-up' ships generally filled up and sailed back as fast as they could, the whole thing was geared to quantity not quality, had they gone the quality route they could have shipped back three times the amount of live slaves in the same time. In short, I am not convinced of the argument, as I said it is known they shipped back slaves af all ages and both sexes.
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    Maybe you're right.
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    The hole purpose of the slave trade was to make money. There were four parts to this process. Firstly was the black African slave traders, who collected the slaves from all over Africa. Second was the white slave ships who bought the slaves from the African slave traders and sold them to the (thirdly) North and south American slave traders who in-turn sold them on to the (forth) land owners.

    The land owners who bring all the money into this industry would have wanted the strongest because the work that they required doing was unskilled manual labour. Using the blacks that they bought was the cheapest way of doing this because once bought the slaves were just that, slaves. The best way of making money all the way though this process was to buy the people with the highest value. If the ships were carrying 500 random people (lets just say half die) and they sold them for a pound each the return on that voyage would be £250. If they went for the stronger individuals which could be sold for £2 each they would make £500 for the same journey. It would have made sense for the sailer's to buy quality as well as quantity. The slave traders obtained people from all over Africa. People from Senegal were apparently the most valuable slaves even though they needed to be brought down to Nigeria to trade with the Europeans and later the Americans as well. If it was just about quantity there would be no one left in Nigeria as this is where most of the trading took place.

    MB, take a look at British sports in general. There are a far greater percentage of blacks at high level or professional sports than there is in the British population, even though we all have access to the same facility's and are part of the same culture. If i took 10 men and 10 women with dark hair to an isolated island then came back 250 years later most of that population would have dark hair. Today you will rarely see a white man and a black woman together or visa versa, 50 years ago, no chance, 100 years ago the black person would probably have been killed and the white person ostracised. So it safe to presume that most of the black people living in Britain today would have come from slaves, then later emigrated here.

    Though the process of being hand picked in Africa then a long voyage with a high death rate, plus long hard manual slave labour then add the fact that blacks have for a long time been segregated from the rest of those society's, i think it's highly likely that the average black westerner is stronger/fitter than the average white European/American or black African.
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    Cat, I agree with most of what you're saying but not with the presumption that the slave populations stayed largely genetically seperate from the caucasion populations.

    I base my viewpoint solely on the fact that I can observe (I hope objectively) with my eyes that there is a difference between the bodies (specifically the form of the cranium and the features of the face) of African Americans and "pure " Africans. When I studied in America it always gave me a kick to correctly predict if a stranger that I've never met originates from "pure" African blood or from "slave" blood. I was almost never wrong! There's obviously not a lot of scientific value in my personal success in predicting people's origans by looking at their heads, but it might very well be true that the slaves did interbreed with the masters to a certain extent.
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    I believe it is generally accepted that interbreeding was rife betwen slave drivers/owners and female slaves. This might counter any argument of the slave population being selectively bred. I also understand that at least in the early years male and female slaves were quartered seperately.
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    MB, from what i have read that is very true, the most common reasons for female slaves was as you say sex slaves plus maids and manufacturing. Although i cant find any figures on the subject, my only counter argument would be the number of slaves used as sex slaves. As horrible as this is, those men wqould have had the pick of the bunch so i don't think that it would have been rife between a large proportion of the female slaves. Plus any slave that was pregnant surely would have had the child terminated before birth if the slave 'owner' suspected that it might be his.

    Burger, i may be able to explain that one. During the shipping and farming stage of the process's mentioned earlier, the slaves were grouped in such a way so that many did not speak the same language as other members of the group. This was to stop any chance of a rebellion. Different language = different region. So ( i believe) modern day western black people that we know and love are a combination of the black people from all over Africa whereas the Africans you might meet today are still "pure" as you say. Ie: genetically pure.

    Matt, I'm not suggesting that those slaves were selectively bred on purpose. I am suggesting that through the horrible process's mentioned earlier, that is unintentionally what may have happened.
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    Cat, interesting explanation about the modern African American feautures being a mixture of different african groups. I never thought of that possibility.

    I'm not sure if I'm convinced yet though. I think the modern African American features seems to be more a mixture of African and caucasian features (less prominent lips and sharper noses for instance) than a mixture of different african features. This is a very subjective viewpoint though and I can think of several ways to attack my own position, so this can best be described as a comment, rather than an opinion.
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    Pregnancy termination? - no way, first the guy's instince is to mate with as many females and produce as many offspring as possible, and second why? - there could be no stigma, who would a slave girl tell? and if a child was born a lighter color so what? - thirdly slacves were an asset, why pay for more imports when you can (more cheaply) grow your own?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain

    As I remember it a white english chap by the name Henry Cooper gave Mohammed Ali [then Cassius clay] a hell of a run for his money and, fairly knocked him to the ground on one occasion almost for the count. Cooper later lost the fight simply because of a burst blood vessel above the eye.
    that is a poor excuse! an excuse!

    translation : cooper blew a blood vessel after being repeatedly hit by ali (jn a fair fight too! imagine that) sometimes people lose in fights simply because they cannot stand back up!

    why is it so hard to believe that a form of slave husbandry may have existed or at least attempted? I think they did it in rome and elsewhere.

    imagine being a well educated, ambitious, plantation owner with questionable erhics who shared the general view that having a slave is otay. [/i]
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    Quote Originally Posted by benign psychosis
    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain

    As I remember it a white english chap by the name Henry Cooper gave Mohammed Ali [then Cassius clay] a hell of a run for his money and, fairly knocked him to the ground on one occasion almost for the count. Cooper later lost the fight simply because of a burst blood vessel above the eye.
    that is a poor excuse! an excuse!
    Yeah, I couldn't agree more, the ref must've been in clay's pocket to pull a trick like that.
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