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Old 08 August 2014, 12:49 AM
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Default 2000 years ago, babies were ~20 times more likely to have tails

I found a list of "facts" that includes this: "At the time of the Roman Empire babies were nearly 20 times more likely to be born with a tail than they are today"

http://list25.com/25-mind-boggling-f...ctive-history/

None of these have many details or any source.

Is this true? How would you know that?

If it's true, I wonder what could have caused such a trend. I don't see how that trend could carry over among separate non-interbreeding populations.
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Old 08 August 2014, 06:40 AM
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Well, I don't know about that, but this is definitely wrong:
Quote:
After ruling Egypt for hundreds of years, Cleopatra was the first in her family to learn Egyptian
I know for a fact that Cleopatra did not rule for hundreds of years.
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  #3  
Old 08 August 2014, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
Well, I don't know about that, but this is definitely wrong:
I know for a fact that Cleopatra did not rule for hundreds of years.
You're missing the secret vampire angle, here. The "asp" was a euphemism for the wooden stake that finally ended her blood reign.
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Old 08 August 2014, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Billion View Post
I found a list of "facts" that includes this: "At the time of the Roman Empire babies were nearly 20 times more likely to be born with a tail than they are today"
Aside from your very valid viewpoints, the world has over 6 billion people, and 0 of them have tails. So, 20 times 0 is still 0.

That is a useless factoid presented as a quantifiable piece of trivia.

You could counter with "2000 years ago, babies were 50 times more likely to be born as fully developed adults".

Just as true.
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  #5  
Old 08 August 2014, 01:23 PM
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The number of babies born with tails is small, but it is not 0.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6...?dopt=Abstract
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  #6  
Old 08 August 2014, 01:33 PM
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You know, I used google and got nothing but makeup images of halloween costumes.

But, like the 0.9999999 is one, the point still stands

Seriously, by using the data that I got from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population - and the number 33 (assuming that number is extant today, not just reported cases up to 1984 as stated in the extract. Assuming large rather than realistic.)

It is curious.

33 out of 7 billion today vs ?? out of 200 million at the turn of the millennium.

A little cross multiplying...a small bit of rounding...

That makes 1 case at the turn of the millennium on the whole earth.

Very interesting
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Old 08 August 2014, 07:17 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Right. My thought was that there is approximately as many babies born in the world each year now as there were people total 2000 years ago.
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Old 11 August 2014, 03:33 AM
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D'oh!

I assume they're basing this off the idea that the smaller world population would mean a proportionally larger amount of tailed people, which makes no sense because the ratio of people born with tails to anyone else would probably stay perfectly level.

Either that, or it's some BS about humans being thoroughly evolved since then so tails are now less likely to show up, which is even sillier.

But most online factoid collections are full of complete nonsense anyway.
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Old 11 August 2014, 07:06 PM
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I agree that this is all pretty much hokum. But:

What if the implication is, 2000 years ago, people born with tails and tail-like growths were more often killed at birth as "monsters" or whatever, and/or maybe people with the genes for such a growth might have had genes that made them, in a "Darwinian" (for certain values of Darwinian) sense, less likely to pass on their genes in tougher times, so that nowadays the genetic predisposition for tails is much rarer?

Most likely tabloid hokum, though.
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Old 11 August 2014, 07:19 PM
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Humans have become much more transient in the last 2,000 years than before, and the bloodlines are much more mixed now than they ever were?

OY
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