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How might this relationship between physiology

How might this relationship between physiology - dietary...

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How might this relationship between physiology, ecology, and culture have evolved? Unlikely to have been through conscious choice: 1) Nutritional effects of processing are not detectable without biochemical analysis 2) Effects on health and survival likely to be relatively subtle: given all the other sources of child mortality, even a 10% increase in child survival would require elaborate epidemiological research design to verify, and not be noticeable with small samples available over any one individual's own lifetime Hence, more likely explanation is that maize processing arose for other reasons (e.g., kernel-softening) in individual households (probably independently several different times, given different methods used in different parts of the Americas), then spread through process of natural selection (on culture, not genes) in areas where maize was
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Unformatted text preview: dietary staple That is, those individuals who engaged in alkali processing had slightly more surviving children, who in turn passed on the technique to their offspring (given 10% selective advantage, it would take 74 generations, or about 1500 years, to spread to fixation in a population of 1000) This interpretation strengthened by fact that food preparation traditions tend to be passed from mother to daughter, since such "vertical" (parent-to-offspring) cultural transmission mimics genetic transmission, and practice will spread because it "creates more little heads to be copied into" (Why didn't processing spread everywhere? Perhaps where maize is not a staple, extra work involved in alkali processing discouraged its adoption; and certainly natural selection for processing would have been much weaker)...
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