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Published on September 10, 2007 By Phil Osborn In Life
I awoke in the middle of the night last night suddenly understanding why the incest taboo is such a driving force. Of course, we all know the biological, genetic reason. Closely related people share a LOT of bad genes that would be masked in 99.9% of the cases of mating with a random stranger by the corresponding functional gene from the other partner. Thus, mating with your sister is a BAD idea - at least if you're planning on having kids with only one head, or a functioning brain.

However, the problem is that by nature, the closer and more knowledgeable about someone that you are, and the more kindred in spirit, the more perfect that person is a mirror of your soul, a natural mate and lover, as love is driven by the same urge to see "out there" in reality a clear, detailed reflection of ones self and ones actions in the world, as is every other significant human endeavor.

And who, then, is closer and more attuned to ones self than those of a similar age with whom one had lived ones entire life in close proximity? However, if this natural tendency is followed, disaster results.

The clever reader will now be able to put 2 and 2 together and see how this ties into the novelty seeking gene, and the unnatural neurotic drives for power over others that virtually every culture nourishes. The woman looks for a man who seems like a little boy, an idiot savant, brilliant, powerful and just a tad emotionally retarded and defenseless. The man is arroused, not by the perfect mirror, but by the challenge of the willful, playful, teasing Dominique Francon (Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead").

These perverse, seemingly inexplicable impulses are the way that we preserve the incest taboo. Note that the cultures of the East that have the most family centered social arrangements also have the highest percentage (~85% of the population) carrying the novelty gene.

on Sep 11, 2007

When it comes to the natural problems that occur with incest, I have to wonder something.  There are ethnic groups with very few familly lines.  Why aren't those groups more susceptible to these birth defects as those groups with infinite lines?

Also, if susceptibility to birth defects is the reason for the taboo (and ban) on incest, why isn't there a taboo or ban against any other matching with a high incidence of birth defects?

on Sep 11, 2007
If all men were brothers, would you let one marry your sister?
on Sep 11, 2007
Actually there are typically bans against mating with one's parents or children or their children or first cousins as well.

That said, small tribes or insular villages can get very inbred quite quickly, regardless, like the famous town in Maine with an average IQ of 70.

On the other side, inbreeding does force negative recessive genes out of the gene pool, whereas if everyone married someone of an entirely different racial background, while the immediate result would be hybrid vigor - high IQs, spectacular athletic capabilities, etc., the longer term result would be an accumulation of bad recessive genes that otherwise would get filtered out, as they would rarely be duplicated in the first generations of the matings.
on Sep 11, 2007
You know, when I first clicked this I thought I was going to read something extremely disturbing advocating incest...thank God I was wrong.

However, all the genetics talk kind of makes me want to whip out some Punnet squares.

on Sep 11, 2007
However, all the genetics talk kind of makes me want to whip out some Punnet squares.

See, it made me want to Punnet my head into the desk . . .