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“Slouching” Erratum: “Humans Have Coevolved wiþ Culture & Geography”: First Edition p. 377
Yes, humans have coevolved with culture and geography. Those of us whose ancestors moved far from the equator are descended only from those among the migrants who developed mutations disrupting their melanin-production genes, so that enough sunlight could get through the outer layers of the skin to turn cholesterol into Vitamin D. It looks as though lactose tolerance has evolved six times in the past 6,000 years. Yes, we wish right now that whatever founder effects produced Tay-Sachs disease had not occurred.
Ann McCants writes, correctly, that this is:
a fundamental conceptual error…. Coevolution, by definition, means that two forces are in dynamic play with each other, that each changes the other without one being prior. It is conceptually possible that humans have coevolved with their cultures in the sense that both might change, even if slowly. But is it possible that human change can change geography? So what do you mean here?
I wrote back: It should be “Yes, humans have coevolved with culture and migration”, in an acknowledgement that breaking the melanin-production genes and doing everything possible to amp-up the immune system against malaria have very powerful Darwinian advantages and have shaped our genes.