A Breast or Thigh Man?

Well, feel guilty no longer. You can’t help yourself.

Cannibals in the Closet?
…In a paper in Science, Mead argued that the prevalence of these two forms, and a mathematical analysis of other mutations on the same gene, showed there was strong evolutionary pressure for defense against prion disease for much of human history. But how were people exposed to it? The spontaneous form is very rare, and mad-cow outbreaks are an artifact of industrial agriculture. That left cannibalism.

13 Responses to “A Breast or Thigh Man?”

  1. (Grasping those E-Meter handles a little too tightly, are we?)

  2. Cullen says:

    I don’t know that Bing has a tight grasp on much of anything. Not that I’m one to talk.

  3. John says:

    Sorry to inject a note of seriousness into this, but as a practicing scientist, I see no clear-cut evidence for such a thing as this:
    “strong evolutionary pressure for defense against prion disease for much of human history.”
    I’ve got an alternative explanation right here:
    Small breasts are indicative on average (not in every case, but still…) of low body fat which leads to difficulty breast feeding. Muscular legs are an indication of health and fighting fitness, both prized in warlike, primitve societies.
    OK, lets see the falsifiable test that can distinguish between those two hypotheses. Hmmm. There’s some circumstantial evidence that chimps are rarely cannibalistic, but, humans are not chimps. But the “Cannibals!” headline makes a splash with the funding agencies. All right, I’ll stop now and blog about it myself when I get time.
    But I do want to add that this is a great example of Bingley’s Twain quote from the last time we took up this topic:
    “The scientist. He will spend thirty years in building up a mountain range of facts with the intent to prove a certain theory; then he is so happy in his achievement that as a rule he overlooks the main chief fact of all–that his accumulation proves an entirely different thing.”

  4. You are just anti-cannibal, John. For a person as well traveled as yourself, you’d think you’d be a smidge more open minded.
    I think chewing your nails proves the whole hypothesis. That’s a body part, right?

  5. John says:

    It’s not the cannibals, but the head-shrinkers that are er…. open-minded.

  6. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Breast or thigh? What happened to goats?

  7. Cullen says:

    Do goats not bleed?

  8. Goats aren’t cannibals, Jeff. Or they’re not until John says they are.

  9. The_Real_JeffS says:

    I was thinking more of Ken, the way he identifies with goats and all, y’know. A sort of symbolic cannalibism, as it were.

  10. Mr. Bingley says:

    “You are just anti-cannibal, John.”
    He should have married a girl from the midwest, like I did.
    Then he’d be real used to canned food.

  11. John says:

    Mr. B, I sincerely hope your wife does not read this post, or you’ll be eating from an Alpo can.
    Besides I married a girl from Taipei who CAN cook. Have you tasted Taiwanese canned food? Especially the meats: talk about Alpo.

  12. Dave J says:

    Jenkins! Put down that leg! 😉

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