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Health

Say "bye bye" to the Stone Age

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanJuly 12, 2006 7:17 PM

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A few months ago I posted on a conundrum that faces liberal moderns when it comes to engaging "traditional" peoples. The short of it is that

the typical Eurasian pathogen load is deadly over the life history of individuals from many smaller isolated populations

. I posted after reading Land of the Naked People, an attempt by an Indian science journalist to assay the situation on the ground in the Andaman Inslands. Now, John Hawks points to an article in Science which moots many of the issues I brought up. Fundamentally a liberal order

assumes equality before the law

, but, as realists who know there is human variation we generally take this as an idealization. Nevertheless, we assume that within reasonable bounds blindness before the law can work because we share powerful commonalities as human beings. But contact with other human beings might be fatal from some humans, and as a whole the Andanman Island population seems very vulnerable. Should we care? Should we treat them like ethnic Bubble Boys?

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