Me again on Evolution

Ram Samudrala ram at
Mon Aug 28 21:20:32 EST 1995

Mary K. Kuhner (mkkuhner at wrote:
>In article <41t03c$nt5 at> me at writes:
>>Mary K. Kuhner (mkkuhner at wrote:

>>>If this pattern persists
>>>long enough I would expect to see any genetic traits that can contribute
>>>to avoiding death by drunk driving to become common--either higher
>>>alcohol tolerance, lower tendency to drink in the first place, or
>>>whatever else evolution can find to work with. 

>>This assumes alcohol consumption is a genetic trait of sorts.


>I don't think alcohol consumption is a genetic trait, but surely there
>does exist at least a little heritable genetic variability in the
>tendency to drink

I'm not so sure.  I think it'd be an interesting study if done
properly, but really I know a few people whose parents are alcoholic
and they themselves tend to be very for alcohol or very anti-alcohol.
I don't know a single person in the middle in this category.  The
anti-alcohol ones don't want to become like their parents, and the
pro-alcohol ones are pretty comfortable with it.  I think both these
actions are behavioural.  (Don't know anyone allergic to alcohol.)

I'm also not sure if intelligence (even if it's a genetic trait) is
also a good trait to have, in terms of reproductive success (personal
observation is that the intelligent (considered conventionally) people
I know don't tend to reproduce a lot or at all).

I'd say if there were genes for people against abortion, then it might
be a good one. <-:


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          He is most powerful who has himself in his own power. ---Seneca

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