How Globalization Spurs Terrorism: The Lopsided Benefits of "One World" and Why That Fuels Violence

By Fathali M. Moghaddam | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Intergroup Contact and
Catastrophic Evolution

“… there is the clearest evidence that a cross between individuals
of the same species, which differ to a certain extent, gives vigour
and fertility to the offspring; and that close interbreeding continued
during several generations between the nearest relations, if these
be kept under the same conditions of life, almost always leads to
decreased size, weakness, and sterility.”

—Charles Darwin1

Thousands of years before Charles Darwin (1809–1882) wrote about the benefits of crossbreeding and the detrimental effects of inbreeding, these ideas had been put into practice. Farmers and shepherds had learned that by selectively introducing “new blood” into a stock of their domesticated animals, bringing about “intergroup contact,” they could change and often improve the characteristics of these animals. The result would be faster horses, dogs with keener senses, chickens that are more hardy in the face of disease, cows able to give more milk, and other changes that can make animals more useful to humans in carrying out their daily tasks and surviving.

By introducing “new blood” into their stocks, farmers and animal breeders selectively mimic natural trends in the wild. Crossbreeding takes place continuously under natural conditions among wild animals as the members of one group roam into the territory of other groups and as migrations bring together enormous numbers of animals from different groups. The evolutionary benefits of such behavior patterns were clear to Darwin and others well before the pioneering research of Gregor Mendel

-95-

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