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Thread: Muggles, Squibs, and Purebloods

  1. #11
    Honigkuchenpferd Hufflepuff
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    Thanks for the explanation, Nadia. You needn't have though, as Mendel's Laws are a specialty of mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    I think you meant the W gene is dominant. A Squib, like a Muggle, would be ww.

    A half-blood or Muggle-born would not necessarily be Ww. If purebloods were always WW and always passed on W genes to their children, and Muggles were always ww and passed on w genes to their children, then it would be impossible for two Muggles to produce a wizard child, or for two pure-bloods to produce a Squib.

    This all assumes that the wizard genotype is based on one pair of alleles with a simple dominance relationship, which is unlikely.
    I, too, tend to believe that the wizard genotype is based on more than just one pair of alleles. If it were as easy as one allel, there would be no Muggle-borns or Squibs. But unless Rowling herself explains how that system works, we're traipsing in the dark here.

    Regardless, thank you, to both of you, for the help.
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  2. #12
    Momo Wellish
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    I would just like to point out that the Black family did NOT die out, just the male bloodline. Narcissa didn't die in the series and Draco had a son, which continued the family. The Blacks also lived on through the Weasleys, because Septimus married a Black and his son was Arthur, so Harry's kids are part of the Black family.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momo Wellish
    I would just like to point out that the Black family did NOT die out, just the male bloodline. Narcissa didn't die in the series and Draco had a son, which continued the family. The Blacks also lived on through the Weasleys, because Septimus married a Black and his son was Arthur, so Harry's kids are part of the Black family.
    I think the major point was that the name of Black had died out, and in the end, that's really all that matters. Inheritance and status is usually passed through the male line, and when the men die, well, that's basically the end of the family. At least that's how I understand things.

    Way to remind us of Biology, Nadia! Good job on Mendel's Laws! I've nearly forgotten everything about genes and biology and the like. Cookies for you!

    Speaking of Squibs, how hard could it be to hide a lack of magical ability? Okay, maybe it would be a little tough to get into Diagon Alley — maybe he or she could pretend they've misplace there wand at the portal — but outside that, with the right job and position in life, a person could conceal this fact for years. A powerful wizarding family could probably ensure the placement of their child in an inauspicious job and disguise the embarrassing mark on the family.

    Think about it. They could work at most any store or work with magical creatures without ever being detected. Also, think about the Daily Prophet. What if Squibs were the majority of the workforce? It's a possibility, though I imagine the actual printing is performed by magic. Copy editors and most reporters could probably get away without using magic.

    Also, would St. Mungo's take care of the Squib if she was ill and needs help? Or would she rather go to a Muggle sanatorium?
    First, I think it depends on how tied to the magical world the individual Squib is, and the physical ailment the person is suffering. If they're from a wizarding family, I'm sure they'd go to St. Mungo's; I can't see Filch, who works in the wizarding world, going anywhere else. Figg, on the other hand, would probably be more likely to go to a Muggle place.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racing Co

    Also, would St. Mungo's take care of the Squib if she was ill and needs help? Or would she rather go to a Muggle sanatorium?


    First, I think it depends on how tied to the magical world the individual Squib is, and the physical ailment the person is suffering. If they're from a wizarding family, I'm sure they'd go to St. Mungo's; I can't see Filch, who works in the wizarding world, going anywhere else. Figg, on the other hand, would probably be more likely to go to a Muggle place.
    Hm... I think your right, although I think it also depends on what sickness they have. I'm not sure about this, but couldn't Squibs get magical and unmagical sicknesses? So if they have a macical sickness, they would go to St. Mungo's; if it were unmagical they would go to a muggle hospital.
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  5. #15
    MorganRay
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    hmmm

    I think you meant the W gene is dominant. A Squib, like a Muggle, would be ww.
    Why are we assuming a 'wizarding gene' would be dominant? There seem to be a lot less wizards in the world than Muggles, so it's very likely that any wizarding gene is recessive. Therefore, Muggles and Squibs who have the dominant gene (aka are non-magical) would be more common. Therefore, if two wizards (ww) breed, they would keep having wizarding children UNLESS they had Muggle blood in their family. Even if they did have Muggle blood in their family, they would still have a 1:1 change of having a magical child. Admittedly, pure-bloods would then have a real reason to fear breeding with Muggles because it <i>would</i> cause them to have more non-magical children.

    It is possible that there is incomplete dominance of the 'wizarding gene,' too. Incomplete dominance is when the two domiant alleles produce a specific phenotype, but hetergenous alleles (Ww, for instance) produce a completely different phenotype.

    I read somewhere (shoot, now that I need to look up something my books are nowhere in sight!) that the Squib and the Muggleborn are the reversed versions of each other.
    If this is true, then the situation becomes more complicated. Punnett squares work under the assumption that the genes are independent of each other. Many genes are linked or co-dependent, and this seems the most likely situation for how a 'wizarding gene' woud be passed on to offspring. If there were more than one gene involved, having a linked gene seems to be the best suggestion for how most wizarding families have wizarding children (if the W gene is dominant), but occassionally produce a Squib. The percentage of Squibs in the wizarding world seems low compared to the population as a whole (a lot lower than the 3:1 ration that might be expected with W as the dominant gene). If a gene were linked, the distance between the alleles on the chromosome will determine how closely linked those genes are.

  6. #16
    iamlordvoldemort
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorganRay
    Why are we assuming a 'wizarding gene' would be dominant? There seem to be a lot less wizards in the world than Muggles, so it's very likely that any wizarding gene is recessive. Therefore, Muggles and Squibs who have the dominant gene (aka are non-magical) would be more common.
    Although that is a credible argument, just think of this: Many wizards are half-blood, right? So they have one "wizard gene" and one "muggle gene". Since they all turn out to be wizards (except for the few-and-far-between Squibs), wouldn't that make the "wizard gene" more dominant? None of the half-bloods at Hogwarts ever mention having Muggle siblings.

    Of course, what you also mentioned about the punett square would make sense, but would a non-magical child born of one wizard/witch and one Muggle be considered a Squib, or just a Muggle?

  7. #17
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    I found this on the official JK Rowling site.

    Quote Originally Posted by JK Rowling on her official site
    I have been asked all sorts of questions about Squibs since I first introduced the concept in ‘Chamber of Secrets’. A Squib is almost the opposite of a Muggle-born wizard: he or she is a non-magical person born to at least one magical parent. Squibs are rare; magic is a dominant and resilient gene.

    Squibs would not be able to attend Hogwarts as students. They are often doomed to a rather sad kind of half-life (yes, you should be feeling sorry for Filch), as their parentage often means that they will be exposed to, if not immersed in, the wizarding community, but can never truly join it. Sometimes they find a way to fit in; Filch has carved himself a niche at Hogwarts and Arabella Figg operates as Dumbledore’s liaison between the magical and Muggle worlds. Neither of these characters can perform magic (Filch’s Kwikspell course never worked), but they still function within the wizarding world because they have access to certain magical objects and creatures that can help them (Arabella Figg does a roaring trade in cross-bred cats and Kneazles, and if you don‘t know what a Kneazle is yet, shame on you). Incidentally, Arabella Figg never saw the Dementors that attacked Harry and Dudley, but she had enough magical knowledge to identify correctly the sensations they created in the alleyway.
    And this is on Wikipedia

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryWiki
    J.K. Rowling has stated that Muggle-born witches and wizards are descended from Squibs who married Muggles; the magical gene resurfaces after many generations unexpectedly.
    However- there's no citation for the last piece of info, and as Wikipedia is reknowned for certain inaccuracies and bogus citations, I'm not sure how much of the info is relieable.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bine
    I have a couple of questions, too. Do you think that if a Squib married a wizard, the child would be a witch?
    I don't see why not (unless the child was a boy ). If two Muggles could have a witch/wizard and Seamus had a Muggle dad, then I would think the likliehood of a Squib having a magical child would be fairly high if they married a wizard/witch.

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  8. #18
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equinox Chick
    A Squib is almost the opposite of a Muggle-born wizard: he or she is a non-magical person born to at least one magical parent. Squibs are rare; magic is a dominant and resilient gene.
    Hmm, that's interesting. I always assumed children born of a wizard and a Muggle would have maybe a 50/50 chance of being a wizard, and I wouldn't have thought of a non-magical half-blood as a Squib. But this implies that the vast majority of half-bloods do turn out to be wizards.

    It does make you wonder why there aren't more wizards, though, if magic is such a dominant gene. Either wizarding society really has remained remarkably isolated and inbred, or Rowling, as usual, is pants at science.

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