Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Is fertility heritable?   posted by Razib @ 5/02/2007 06:24:00 PM

Correlation of Intergenerational Family Sizes Suggests a Genetic Component of Reproductive Fitness:
Reproductive fitness is a complex phenotype that is a direct measure of Darwinian selection. Estimation of the genetic contribution to this phenotype in human populations is confounded by within-family correlations of sociocultural, economic, and other nongenetic factors that influence family sizes. Here, we report an intergenerational correlation in reproductive success in the Hutterites, a human population that is relatively homogeneous with respect to sociocultural factors that influence fertility...We interpret these results as indicating a significant genetic component to reproductive fitness in the Hutterites.

The Hutterites are notoriously fecund, I wouldn't be surprised if recent, recent, human evolution is at work here....