Darwin Dynasty Cursed By Inbreeding
2010-05-05 0:00

By Zoё Macintosh | LiveScience.com

Charles Darwin’s family suffered from the deleterious effects of inbreeding, suggests a new study that serves as ironic punctuation to the evolutionary theorist’s life work.

Pioneer of the theory that genetic traits affect survival of both individual organisms and species, Darwin wondered in his own lifetime if his marriage to first cousin Emma Wedgwood was having "the evil effects of close interbreeding" that he had observed in plants and animals.

Three of their children died before age 10, two from infectious diseases. The survivors were often ill, and out of the six long-term marriages that resulted, only half produced any children. According to researchers at Ohio State University and Spain’s Universidad de Santiago de Compestela, that alone is a "suspicious" sign that the Darwins suffered from reproductive problems.


A young Charles Darwin in 1842 (aged 33), with his eldest son William Erasmus. This was also the year in which Darwin published his book on coral reefs. Source

Inbreeding can cause serious health problems, because it increases the chances of successful gene expression for diseases otherwise rare or muted in an individual’s pedigree.

The new study, detailed in the journal Bioscience, fed genealogical data on the Darwin-Wedgwood link into a specialized computer program, which spit out a "coefficient of inbreeding," or the probability that an individual received two identical copies of a gene resulting from marriages among relatives. (Some genetic disorders are caused by recessive genes, which means they require two copies of a gene in order for the trait to manifest.)

Results revealed that inbreeding was a possible factor in the offspring’s poor health. Darwin’s children suffered from a "moderate degree" of inbreeding, the researchers concluded. When expanded to other branches of the family tree and four consecutive generations, the analysis found an even stronger association between child mortality and incestuousness.

Darwin’s mother and grandfather were also Wedgwoods, and his mother’s parents were third cousins.

The study relied solely on birth and death records. In the late 19th century it was still fashionable for wealthy families to intermarry over generations. As would be expected of prominent families, their genealogical records were also in excellent condition.

When genealogical records are not available, scientists interested in genetic heritage must rely on DNA and radiological analysis of bone samples — a type of research recently utilized for mummies.

In fact, this past February, an international team announced that a high degree of inbreeding was the likely explanation for boy pharoah King Tutankamun’s early death and frail, club footed frame. And research published last year showed the termination of the Habsburg dynasty that ruled Spain for nearly 200 years may have been a result of frequent inbreeding.


Article from: LiveScience.com



Related Articles
Top 10 Worst Hereditary Conditions
Kissing Cousins Have More Kids
New Charles Darwin film is ’too controversial’ for religious American audiences
Forgotten evolutionist lives in Darwin’s shadow
Charles Darwin spent more on shoes than books while at university, archives reveal
Vatican hosts Darwin conference (Monkey See Monkey Do)
Darwin’s Kin, Admirers, Opponents Mark 200th Birthday
Darwin, Nazi Eugenics and Selective Breeding (Video)
Inbred Illuminati Bloodlines - Visual Proof (Video) :)


Latest News from our Front Page

ABC Is Hiding Details of Killer Vester Flanagan's Manifesto ...(Must Be Littered With Liberal Propaganda)
2015-08-29 3:45
Killer Vester Flanagan was a big Obama supporter. But, you’d never know it from the liberal media. The media is hiding Flanagan’s political leanings from the American public. ABC has yet to release Flanagan’s manifesto. It must be littered with embarrassing liberal propaganda. The Tatler reported, via Instapundit: Two days ago, ABC News reported that Vester Flanagan, the murderer of two WDBJ employees, sent a 23-page ...
Austria, Libya count dead as number of migrants crossing Mediterranean soars
2015-08-29 1:37
Austria said on Friday 71 refugees including a baby girl were found dead in an abandoned freezer truck, while Libya recovered the bodies of 82 migrants washed ashore after their overcrowded boat sank on its way to Europe and scores more were feared dead. The U.N. refugee agency said the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe ...
Financial Times Calls For Abolishing Cash
2015-08-29 1:07
liminating physical currency necessary to give central banks more power The Financial Times has published an anonymous article which calls for the abolition of cash in order to give central banks and governments more power. Entitled The case for retiring another ‘barbarous relic’, the article laments the fact that people are stockpiling cash in anticipation of another economic collapse, a factor which ...
Serbian government bans anti-mass immigration protests, and plans ahead for mass immigration
2015-08-29 1:52
Nebojsa Stefanovic, Serbia’s Interior Minister said protesters who are concerned about “an EU plan” to settle thousands of illegal immigrants into the country, will not be allowed to voice their concerns in a protest march on Monday, 31st of August. “We will not allow the expression of intolerance and hatred to be something that is characteristic of Serbia” said Stefanovic. “The Ministry ...
Germany asks Facebook to remove 'racist' anti-migrant posts
2015-08-28 20:32
Heiko Maas, Germany's justice minister, says social network should remove xenophobic posts in the same way it deals with nudity Germany is calling on Facebook to remove “xenophobic and racist” anti-migrant posts from its website and apps. Heiko Maas, the German justice minister, has written to the company to demand an urgent review of its policy over hate messages. “Photos of certain ...
More News »