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Me again on Evolution

Mary K. Kuhner mkkuhner at phylo.genetics.washington.edu
Mon Aug 28 15:47:38 EST 1995

In article <41t03c$nt5 at hecate.umd.edu> me at ram.org writes:
>Mary K. Kuhner (mkkuhner at phylo.genetics.washington.edu) 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 (if you are violently allergic to alcohol you are
probably less likely to drink it)--and this is under selection under
current conditions.  There are also probably physical traits (alcohol
resistance, hand-eye coordination, etc) which reduce the likelihood of
dying in a drunk driving accident, at least slightly, and these are also
under selection.  It's rather weak selection because often the person
driving is not the one who dies....

Probably current conditions will change long before such selection can
have much effect.

Mary Kuhner mkkuhner at genetics.washington.edu

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