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Jake

Those two were clearly half-orcs.. You saw a lot of those following the War of the Rings.. Not to mention more than a couple half-halflings.. Thanks to Merry & Pippin.. The Hobbits were a randy lot..

Jake

On a more serious note, couldn't those two also be explained by the expression of Neanderthal genes acquired when the Neanderthal population was overwhelmed by the Homo Sapiens? Flattened features.. pronounced brow ridge.. A native dialect similar to the one spoken by the Librarian at the Unseen University..

Richard Scott Nokes

I don't understand the surprise that Down Syndrome is "not a modern disease." Why would we have thought it was a modern disease? Surely the chromosomes of our ancestors were just as likely to be damaged as our own, no?

gail

Scott, this is from the original article, and explains the argument they were answering:

"Given the distinctive phenotype and prevalence of Down syndrome in the modern era, a number of authors have sought historical evidence of individuals who lived before its initial recognition, particularly in Renaissance and earlier art. Interchanges among various authors were published in the Lancet in 1968. Mirkinson [[1968]] hypothesized that Down syndrome was a modern disease, given its apparent rarity in art, and challenged others to find historical depictions of the disorder as evidence against."

I think it's more an intellectual exercise than anything.

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