Posted by Stolzi on October 24, 1997 at 13:12:26:
In response to First cousin Marriage -- an expert opinion..., written by The Mysterious H.C. on October 20, 1997 at 19:22:07
Thanks for a fascinating post, which leads me to make a couple of comments:
] As to negative social implications of marriage: Queen Victoria married her first cousin, as did Charles Darwin, and many others.
Ironically, the genetic disaster which Victoria brought into the royal lines of Europe had nothing to do with her cousinal marriage. Apparently through a spontaneous mutation, she passed on to some of her descendants the gene for hemophilia, "which has never been in our family before" - she was correct on that. Most famous sufferer, of course, the Tsarevich Alexis, Victoria's great-grandson.
But to see real genetic disaster through inbreeding, look at the Hapsburg line of Spain.
I mentioned "apparently unrelated" because it is obvious that all humanity is somehow related. The question is one of degree. Guy Murchie, in his book The Seven Mysteries of Life, tells how geneticists such as J. B. S. Haldane, Theodosius Dobzhansky, and Sir Julian Huxley accept the notion that no human being can be less closely related to any other human than approximately fiftiethth cousin, though most of us are a whole lot closer.
This is fascinating, given the wide separation of continents. But maybe 50th cousin takes us back so many generations as to precede that?
A note: the states (in the USA) which currently prohibit first cousin marriage are: AZ, AR, DE, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SD, UT, WA, WV, WI, AND WY. In addition, NC prohibits marriage between double first cousins,
It's noticeable that MS and NC are the only Southern states on the list, presumably carrying on the Southern tradition of cousin marriage. To get back to our page theme of romantic novels, a notable example: Melanie Hamilton and Ashley Wilkes.
. That marriage was recognized as legal in PA, even if it was not legal to become so married in that state. .
This is due to the US Constitution's granting of "full faith and credit" to the legal proceedings of one State in another State. An item recently brought to public attention due to the proposed legalization of homosexual marriages in Hawaii.
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