Dutch Treat

rik smits shaquille o'neal

Rik Smits (The Flying Dutchman), guarded by that pipsqueak (and Irish poet) Shaquille O’Neal

I like me some Dutch people. I lived in Holland for half a year back in the ’90s for a “study” abroad during college. Mostly I just drank beer and played soccer and ate Chinese food with my Dutch roommate Huub (“Wil je chinees” he would ask me: “Do you want to Chinese?” I always got the foe yong hai met krab). When you’re in Holland and you’re standing in a crowd of people, it quickly becomes apparent that you are short, and not just compared to the men; most of the women also tower above you (if you’re a wee little 5’11” lad like I am).

The bottom line is that the Dutch are just em-effing tall. A new study posits that the Dutch (who were shorter than Americans in the 19th Century) have become taller in the last sesquicentury not only because of better nutrition, but because of natural selection – tall genes have been selected for. I would say that this is better described as sexual selection – Dutch folks are attracted to tall folks, which tilts the evolutionary odds in favor of taller folks. It should be obvious, but this is further proof that humans didn’t just stop evolving at some point.

Tot ziens!

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