Natural selection’s role in the height of the Dutch

Martin Enserink, for Science/AAAS:

The study, published online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, shows that tall Dutch men on average have more children than their shorter counterparts, and that more of their children survive. That suggests genes that help make people tall are becoming more frequent among the Dutch, says behavioral biologist and lead author Gert Stulp of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

“This study drives home the message that the human population is still subject to natural selection,” says Stephen Stearns, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University who wasn’t involved in the study. “It strikes at the core of our understanding of human nature, and how malleable it is.”

I haven’t been to the Netherlands yet, but one thing I noticed as soon as I arrived at Copenhagen Airport: every single male there was 6′5″.