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Switch to Forum Live View Serial Killers/Cannibalism
6 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2012 - 11:00PM #31
Posts: 10,148

Unlikely. While there are genetically coded behaviours, they tend to be much more directly applicable to evolutionary advantage. If a cannibalism gene was beneficial to us in an evolutionary sense, natural selection would ensure that it became a dominant trait. Now, various cultures (maybe most cultures if you go back far enough) have practiced religious cannibalism and a few cultures still do but that's something culturally quite distinct. In those cultures, that's how one shows proper respect to the dead. There is also desperation cannibalism, where circumstances force humans to eat one another to survive (the survivors of that air crash for example) but genetically coded behaviours are usually those with simple and direct evolutionary advantages.

What is more likely is that, as evolution throws up random mutations every generation (we are all host to around 150 minor mutations), these people have simply been the beneficiaries of random evolutionary luck. A helpful mutation will rapidly become dominant. An unhelpful mutation leads to the entinction of the subject's genetic line but cannibalism is such a rare behaviour that it would likely mitigate against a genetic base.

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. ~ Proverbs 14:31

Fiat justitia, ruat caelum

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6 years ago  ::  Jun 10, 2012 - 8:44AM #32
Posts: 9,274

I thought to look up Native American cannibalism, to know more about my own ancestors' past.  Then it was interesting to read the history of the area where my tribe once existed, West Virginia.  They were Wicomico, part of the Powhatan Confederacy.  But there exists no more of my tribe, just some records.  My ancestor Robert da Vassey who came down from Northern Europe (probably Ireland), to fight in the Battle of Hastings, was successful, and his offspring settled in England and a few surrounding countries. The surname took different spellings, one of which is my last name.  A few hundred years later, one of his offspring comes to America and settles in Massachusetts in 1640.  Either he or his family goes to the Wicomico Indian tribe.  His sons and grandsons become Great Men (chiefs) four times from records.

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