Tuesday, 19 August 2008

On bicycles, dogs and genetic birth defects

In Suffolk in the late 19th century the growing population still lived clustered in the villages they had inhabited for centuries. A six-day working week left only Sunday for courting, and as horses were either farm vehicles or the preserve of the rich, the 'courting radius' for the average villager was the distance that a young man could walk there and back with some courting in between. The result, of course, over the centuries, was a shrinking gene pool; the young lady with seven fingers and webbed toes was probably the cousin of the young man with three fingers and elephant ears who was wooing her.

The bicycle changed all that. It tripled the courting radius and over a generation or two not only did Suffolk villagers grow noticeably in height but the unfortunate genetic anomalies began to disappear. By 1914 Suffolk could provide whole battalions of healthy men all with the same number of fingers to be sent abroad to be killed.

Dogs aren't into courting in a big way. A few seconds sniffing each other's bottoms is about all it takes. And they don't really care about incest, either. And this country has a few real idiots who encourage them. The result is a Brahmin class of wheezing, crippled, deformed mutts that can barely crawl to the Cruft's winners podium without cracking a hip. Moves are afoot (apaw?) to change this disgraceful practice.

Public concern is easily accessed on behalf of dogs in the UK; just look at the respective funding levels of the RSPCA and the NSPCC. And that tells you why another very uncomfortable fact is shoved firmly under the carpet - that of inbreeding amongst our Pakistani population cohort.

Of course it's not called inbreeding in polite society; "preferential patrilateral parallel cousin marriage" - in which the boy marries his father's brother's daughter - is the accepted term for the preference of traditional communities in Pakistan. First cousin marriages are not illegal in the UK, and the odd first cousin marriage in a large mixed society does no great harm overall. But within the Pakistani community such first cousin marriages are repeated generation after generation within a biologically tiny gene pool. Some 55% of Pakistanis in the UK are married to their first cousins; in Bradford more than 75% of all marriages amongst Pakistanis are between first cousins. The result is entirely predictable. Despite forming only 1.5% of the UK's population, Pakistanis have 30% of the country's genetic birth defects and unacceptably high levels of infant mortality. This cannot continue.

If we change the rules for dogs but leave the practice unchanged amongst our fellow citizens, what does it say about our values?

10 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

Why does the law have to intervene? Surely this is a case of "education" rather than "compulsion"?

A friend of mine has Pakistani parents and she is paranoid about them discovering her white partner. I confess to not understanding the requirement to marry within one's ethnic group.

Anonymous said...

This is one more reason to suppose we have Peak Islam rather than the Islamisation of the UK.

If this ethnic group are producing an army of web-footed Koran-bashers while their rivals are producing 6ft scientists then it's going to be a decidely one-sided confrontation should one occur.

Nick

Newmania said...

That is superb where on earth did you get that stuff about Suffolk ?
The incest taboo is a strong one and a vital one . In fact it is counter intuitively more dangerous an occupation that it appears .Your parents do not pass on differing genetic baggage but an identical one with differing genes being expressed .For procreation purposes then you are identical with your siblings then. The taboo instinct can be fooled by separate upbringing it is a simple rule ...’the person with me when young is not available for sex ‘. This caused great difficulty in the Kibbutz system with its pooled parenting.
Many behavioural rules in the animal world are simple . When a deaf goose slaughtered all he young it was discovered her rule was anything near the desk that does not squawk like a gosling must be killed. Sad really or funny , depends on whether you are reading Beatrix Potter of a Goose recipe

Newmania said...

the desk =The nest( Freudian)

Anonymous said...

There is no need for the dead hand of the state. This is a self-regulating problem.

Check out the stats on cousin marriage and IQ in Saudi Arabia. It looks like Islam as a whole is going to be a self-regulating problem.

hatfield girl said...

You don't actually have to be father's brother's son or mother's brother's daughter, or whatever. The category is applied to a spouse and they are treated as if. One kinship category can often cover for another: cousin covers a lot of sins, for instance. Unfortunately there are always fundamentalists in any system of thought who insist on actually doing it. This causes all sorts of trouble, and here causes horrifying physical effects. It's fundamentalism, not cousin marriage that's at fault.

dearieme said...

An aquaintance of mine has given up working with horribly handicapped mites because she can no longer look upon them as the result of rotten luck; they are now, in her part of London, almost entirely the result of an odious marriage habit.

William Gruff said...

It can only help things if we refrain from describing Pakistanis in our community as 'the Pakistani community', as in so doing we merely encourage them to persist in their alien and undesirable ways.

Newmania said...

their alien and undesirable ways.


Cough cough splutter , don`t mince your words WG . Don`t you like curry?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

You are right that this sort of situation gets swept under the carpet, particularly by the BBC as it does not fit in with their propaganda remit, but I think legislation is a bad idea. We interfere enough in peoples' lives already. What should stop is immigration from countries whose cultures are in conflict with the British way of life.