A piece by Carl Zimmer in Thursday’s New York Times called my attention to a new paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B (reference and link to download below) by Gert Stulp et al. on the remarkable height of Dutch people and some evidence that natural selection (probably via sexual selection) is acting to promote their vertical ascent. (Stulp himself is 6′ 7″.)
When I visited Amsterdam and Groningen a few years ago, I was immediately struck at how tall the Dutch were; I was altitudinally challenged when talking to them. The new paper by Stulp et al. not only shows that they’re the tallest people in the world, but that they’re getting taller. And some of that increase may be due to genetic evolution. For a multi-generation study shows that, at least among men, the tallest Dutch people have the most children.
Here’s the present situation as described the paper…
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