A recent study from the University of Edinburgh states that people who are more distantly related are taller and have a bigger IQ than those with less diverse genetic backgrounds.
The humanist benefits of multiculturalism brought on by genetic diversity have been known for a long time. Nations which have a more genetically diverse population tend to also have more productive societies and adopt a higher number of innovative ideas.
But many scientists have argued that genetic diversity can also reduce the risk of certain inherited medical conditions being passed on. However, the new study found that no relation between genetic diversity and a smaller rate of high cholesterol and blood pressure.
The study focused on four traits, namely lung capacity, height, educational attainment and general cognitive ability. Although it found no rate of reduction of blood pressure in genetically diverse groups, it did establish a link with other traits.
By analyzing data from 100 different studies totaling around 350.000 subjects from around the world , the Edinburg team was able to establish links between genetic diversity and increased height or improved cognitive abilities.
This improvement in intelligence could partly be explained through the culturally diverse education which is usually received by people with highly diverse genetic parents.
Usually when two parents are highly genetically diverse, their cultural background is also very distinct. This allows their children to experience a more wide variety of ideas and exposes them to an assortment of traditions and life concepts.
It is also more common for children of multicultural environments to speak at least 2 languages while also being more tolerant in regards to different doctrines and morality types.
The study also contributes to the idea of the “Flynn Effect”, which is the concept by which it is believed that every generation is increasingly smarter than the previous one.
Cultural and genetic diversity has also helped humans improve their nutrition, since people belonging to one set of cultural and genetic traits have influenced and sometimes completely changed how other populations eat through trade and conquest.
Future studies are expected to analyze many of the other medical benefits that are popularly believed to be caused by genetic diversity. These studies are now possible because of the complete mapping of the Human Genome completed in 2003.
Image Source: hr.unimelb.edu.au