Science News

Genetic Diversity Produces Taller, More Intelligent Offspring

For millions of years, human populations have evolved in isolation, coming together sporadically if at all. Although some human populations remain relatively homogenous genetically, our multi-cultural, multi-ethnic societies are producing racially diverse offspring, reported to be taller and more intelligent.

The study is presently the largest of its kind and explores the implications of people beginning to reproduce beyond their genetic and ethnic gene pool.

Couples who come together from different countries share fewer genes in common which appears to lead to taller children with increased intelligence. Unfortunately, the benefits of a diverse gene pool aren’t all encompassing as children are still prone to medical concerns such as high blood pressure.

As reported by The Independent, Charles Darwin theorized that in-breeding can yield devastating genetic consequences due to human beings re-hashing the same genetic patterns without injecting new genes that could expand their gene pool. Producing offspring with an ethnically or racially different mate is referred to as ‘outbreeding’ and is becoming an exciting topic of exploration as an increasing number of people choose to marry a partner from a different background.

Published in the Nature journal, the research highlights 100 studies conducted separately involving over 350,000 people and explored genetic traits such as height, cholesterol levels and intelligence. Four key areas of improvement have been noted by the research; lung capacity, height, educational achievement and cognitive ability.

Dr Joshi, the first author of the study further explains Darwin’s theory of evolution in which he highlights that, “genetic diversity would be beneficial in terms of evolutionary fitness.”

There has been speculation ever since Charles Darwin that genetic diversity would be beneficial in terms of evolutionary fitness. We think genetic diversity decreases the chances of inheriting defecting copies of the same gene from both father and mother.

The research, which spans four continents and 100 communities has been reported on by The Guardian which makes mention of ‘The Flynn Effect’ where intelligence seems to increase from generation to generation.

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