I read a review of an article today on www.badscience.net that really upset me; not the post, but the article. It's published in Medical Hypotheses, an academic journal by Elsevier, and the title is "Down subjects and Oriental population share several specific attitudes and characteristics" (if you want to read the whole article go to the badscience blog post unless you have a subscription for this journal or want to purchase the article separately).
What it's all about:
Down’s syndrome is characterized not only by a typical “habitus”, mental retardation of variable gravity and several alterations of the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrenteric and immunitary system, but also by specific attitudes and characteristics that are in common with the Oriental population. Starting from the origin of the term mongolism, replaced with other terms such as Trisomy 21, Down’s syndrome, and anomaly of Down because of the racist use made in the last century, we propose, in the light of modern knowledge about the heredity of features, a reflection on those aspects and attitudes which highlight a very particular twinning between a Down person and Asiatic peoples.Proof of this claim:
Down persons during waiting periods, when they get tired of standing up straight, crouch, squatting down, reminding us of the ‘‘squatting’’ position described by medical semeiotic which helps the venous return. They remain in this position for several minutes and only to rest themselves this position is the same taken by the Vietnamese, the Thai, the Cambodian, the Chinese, while they are waiting at a the bus stop, for instance, or while they are chatting.
Where the hell did these dimtwits get their observations? Marco Polo? These bumpkins probably never set a foot to Asia.
There is another pose taken by Down subjects while they are sitting on a chair: they sit with their legs crossed while they are eating, writing, watching TV, as the Oriental peoples do.
I very much doubt that this is something that is passed genetically, rather it seems like a cultural thing.
Another aspect of Down person that remind the Asiatic population, are alimentary characteristics. Down subjects adore having several dishes displayed on the table and have a propensity for food which is rich in monosodium glutamate (a salt of glutamate), such as parmigiano, beef broth, tinned food, etc. The Chinese food abounds in monosodium glutamate that seems to be responsible for the fifth taste or ‘‘umami taste’’
Parmigiano? You mean, the Parmesan cheese from Italy and that is found in abundance in dishes like spaghetti?
The tendencies of Down subjects to carry out recreative–reabilitative activities, such as embroidery, wicker-working ceramics, book-binding, etc., that is renowned, remind the Chinese hand-crafts, which need a notable ability, such as Chinese vases or the use of chop-sticks employed for eating by Asiatic populations.
I’d like to take my knitting needles now and shove them up someone’s no man’s land where it really hurts.