Re: Good Mutations.

D. Eric Greenhow, M.D.,Ph.D. (
Sat, 29 Nov 1997 23:53:19 -0500

At 09:03 PM 11/28/97 -0600, you wrote:
>At 09:48 PM 11/28/97 -0500, George Murphy wrote:
>>Glenn Morton wrote:
>>> I don't have a reference on this, but there is a mutation in an Italian
>>> family which allows them to avoid the harmful effects of cholesterol. They
>>> can eat all the bad stuff and never have heart attacks. This is a good
>> We can't say that any mutation is "good" in an absolute sense,
>>for it depends on whether the result has a net benefir in a particular
>>environment. Again sickle cell is a classic example: The mutation is
>>on balance good for a population in heavily malarial areas, & on balance
>>bad for a population in an area where malaria isn't so much of a
>Of course, I must agree with you here. The fact that this family is
>unlikely to die of a heart attack means that they are more likely to die of
>cancer and that is bad.
>Adam, Apes, and Anthropology: Finding the Soul of Fossil Man
>Foundation, Fall and Flood
>Are you saying it is better to die from heart disease than from cancer?