"De"volution Redux

Human quadrupeds discovered in Turkey - Yahoo! News:
LONDON (AFP) - The discovery of a Turkish family that walks on all fours could aid research into the evolution of humans.
Or not.

About a month ago, my bud posted on this story from World Science and
I asked if anyone had any Op on't (no response yet, eh...) Apparently the BBC is going to run on story on this family. Well, regardless of the relevance to the anicent evolutionary path of our particular species, I think it sounds like someone is simply misinterpreting the data.

Two sisters and one son have only ever walked on two hands and two feet, while another daughter and son occasionally walk on two feet.

All five are mentally retarded and have problems with language as a result of a form of underdevelopment of the brain known as cerebellar ataxia.

However Humphrey told the Times
their behaviour may be partly the result of their parents tolerating the behaviour in childhood.
The emphasis there is mine, and I'm thinkin' yeppers. That sounds about right. {shakin'head}

At least this particular article isn't using the political term I've hacked in this post's title. Though a
little research shows it's also used, at least sparingly, in a biological sense.

Weird stuff...


  1. Speaking of strange stuff.

    I saw something on The Learning Channel (TLC) a week or so ago about a rare genetic mutation that is only found in Mexico. It results in people growing, literally, hair all over their faces ... men AND women. It was actually a very sensitively done documentary on the trials and tribulations of living with that condition. They look like werewolves. Really. But interestingly enough, they marry and have children and live normal lives in many respects.

    It seems, however, that the men are unable to find work in Mexico (discrimination, I believe), so they come to the United States to find work in circuses and then send money home. They are more accepted here than in their home (they are also able to find other types of work here, but not in Mexico).

    And apparently there are many women who find them quite charming and attractive. To each his/her own I say. I have nothing against men with hair on their eye-lids, by I prefer mine clean-shaven.


    But seriously. It was very interesting. Try to catch it on TLC if you can.

  2. Ahh hhmmm.. yes. Shaving is all well and good, but there's nothing quite like the pleasure of an invigorating full-frontal waxing.

    Yikes! lol

    But seriously, I think I have read about these folk. If I recall correctly, they're occasionally accused of being the mythical chupacabra. I could see how Demons might be spurned by human communities, but... {sigh}

    Silly humans... T'anks for the TLC tip.

  3. Hi, Michael,

    Interesting. I've worked with severely disabled folks, and you can sometimes see very unusual behavior among them. But such things are almost always LEARNED -- either the people learned them as a way of defending themselves or communicating or were taught them out of ignorance or in a mistaken attempt to help them.
    Usually, given enough time and competent, consistent reinforcement, they'll break such habits. Any genetic influence is minimal at best.

  4. You know, I'm not a doctor, but I can use reason and logic and empirical data as well as anyone and it just seems, from anecdotes like yours, my own experience with people - disable and simply eccentric - and everything I know about genetics from the popular science mags, Oh! and quite frankly from the articles I've read about these kids themselves, the walkin' on all fours thing is about as likely to be genetically inherited as is the propensity to cuss like a sailor.

    I'm sure there could be a mutated or damaged gene to cause the weakened muscles and curved spine. How the family dealth with these children's condition simply seems a more likely cause of their ambulatory behavior.

    Good to hear from ya Jay.

  5. I think that's how they walk around in the White House, isn't it?


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