Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Inbreeding is breeding between close relatives, whether plant or animal. If practised repeatedly, it often leads to a reduction in genetic diversity, and the increased gene expression of recessive traits, resulting in inbreeding depression. This may result in inbred individuals exhibiting reduced health and fitness and lower levels of fertility.Results of inbreeding:
Inbreeding may result in a far higher expression of deleterious recessive genes within a population than would normally be expected. As a result, first-generation inbred individuals are more likely to show physical and health defects, including:
- reduced fertility both in litter size and sperm viability
- increased genetic disorders
- fluctuating facial asymmetry
- lower birth rate
- higher infant mortality
- slower growth rate
- smaller adult size
- loss of immune system function.
China has had, for the last 3,000 years, a population that seldom bred outside the confines of the village. Added to this, has been an ongoing program to cull from the herd any individuals that were, well, individual. Anyone who acted with independence – Chop! Anyone who showed courage in the face of Confucian ‘Authority’ – Chop! Anyone who had their own ideas about how society should be – Chop! The results of this culling program combined with the reduced size of the gene pool (now believed to be a small gene puddle), not to mention artificial genetic manipulation via environmental poisoning, are clear to anyone who travels outside the major cities: all kinds of weird and wonderful birth defects, low life expectancy, reduced variety in individuals.
I’ve seen the One Legged Man (who nonetheless sported three feet at the end of his one leg), whole tribes of Six Toed Dwarves, thousands of large facial moles sprouting luxurious lengths of hair, and vast quantities of birthmarks that make Mikhail Gorbachev’s inkspot look like a mere freckle.
All that pales, however, in comparison to the sight that greeted me yesterday: The Oddly Breasted Munchkin.
So, there’s this girl. She’s fairly short, not bad looking, otherwise indistinguishable from the sweating masses, except in one respect – her breasts are too low. Now, I don’t mean that they sagged, I mean that they were too low. Call me an old-fashioned kind of guy, but I reckon that having your breasts start at the bottom of your ribcage cannot be a good thing. Everything else was right – good cleavage, nice shape – but the altitude had me muttering “Pull up! Pull up!”. It was, honestly, something that I never expected to see and I hope I never see again.
The Chinese have a word for all these weird mutations. They call it ‘lucky’.
I think there’s something in that for all of us.