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Thread: Squib Possibility

  1. #1
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Squib Possibility

    I have had a recent pondering that I really need some imput on. Can a Squib be born to a Muggle-born or a halfblood, or is it more a result of pureblood imbreeding? I suppose that also raises the question whether a child is a Squib or not is determined at conception or if it is some sort of deformity that occurs afterwards.

    Any thoughts or imputs?

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    As I recall, Albus Dumbledore's mother was Muggleborn but his sister, Arianna was a Squib.

    *runs to Lexicon*

    Ok, Arianna wasn't a Squib, she was traumatized by being attacked by a group of Muggles who saw her performing magic, and she never recovered.

    Given that wizards probably don't have any understanding of genetics, it seems unlikely that they would be able to test for being a wizard or not. JK has said that being a wizard or witch means that one had a witch or wizard for an ancestor somewhere, which doesn't quite make sense to me, shouldn't there be way more witches and wizards running around if magical genes are apparently dominant over Muggle ones?

    Applying genetics to how the ability to do magic gets passed on seems somewhat ridiculous. All children of Muggles and wizards and witches seem to become wizards and witches (that we know of), many wizards and witches are born to two Muggle parents and it seems extremely rare that a wizard and a witch don't have magical children.

    That being said, in-breeding does all kinds of odd things to genetics. But that doesn't explain how someone with magical abilities can be born to two Muggles and have a wizard or witch ancestor.

    I think the only Squibs that show up in the books are Filch and... Harry's neighbor lady, who's name I can't remember... the crazy cat lady. I don't think their families were ever talked about.

    Gah, I hope this wasn't too rambling.
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    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    But what I wonder is do you believe it would be possible for a Muggle-born or a halfblood to give birth to a Squib, or is it believed that the birth of a Squib is the result of the inbreeding that being a pureblood must insue?

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    Seventh Year Hufflepuff
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    I think the genetics of wizardry according to JKR imply that it should be pureblood inbreeding, but honestly it could be anything. I've never really gotten a good explanation for why Muggleborn wizards and witches exist if magic is supposedly a dominant gene (which it otherwise acts like) and they do have a wizard or witch ancestor. The math doesn't quite work out.
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    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    But what I wonder is do you believe it would be possible for a Muggle-born or a halfblood to give birth to a Squib, or is it believed that the birth of a Squib is the result of the inbreeding that being a pureblood must insue?
    A Squib is a non magical person born to two magical parents. They are the opposite of a Muggleborn. I don't think it necessarily means they're the result of inbreeding, although that's a decent hypothesis. There is a theory that Muggleborns have a squib ancestor somewhere - a throwback if you like.

    I think it highly possible that a Squib could have a Muggle-born and halfblood parentage. But I don't think you'd be classified as a Squib if your mum was a witch, your dad a Muggle and you had no magic at all. You'd just be a Muggle.

    Squibs are supposed to have a low level of magical intelligence, hence Filch could access Hogwarts and wasn't replelled by the anti-Muggle Charms.

    I would think that being a Squib is a genetic thing occurring at conception, but until JKR writes that encyclopedia we won't know.

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    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    But I though the gene that passed down magical ability was a dominant gene, seeing as almost all children born to one wizard and one Muggle are born with magic. Why is it that when a child born without magic to two wizarding parents is a Squib, while children born to split parents are only Muggles?

    What is the logic in that? Or do you think it was some sort of pureblood ideal that child born to split families are innately inferior, even when they have the same genetic mutation?

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  7. #7
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    But I though the gene that passed down magical ability was a dominant gene, seeing as almost all children born to one wizard and one Muggle are born with magic.
    How do we know that? It's not like the Muggle children of "mixed" (ie Muggle and wizarding parent) would really appear in the books... I think at some point in a huge genetics discussion the outcome was that the magical ability gene can't really be classified as dominant or recessive, but I tend to believe that it's more recessive than dominant, and that it only surfaces when there is some sort of magical ancestry in both parents.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    But I though the gene that passed down magical ability was a dominant gene, seeing as almost all children born to one wizard and one Muggle are born with magic. Why is it that when a child born without magic to two wizarding parents is a Squib, while children born to split parents are only Muggles?

    What is the logic in that? Or do you think it was some sort of pureblood ideal that child born to split families are innately inferior, even when they have the same genetic mutation?
    There is no logic in that. Rowling fails at genetics, just like she fails at math.

    She said some vague stuff about wizarding genetics at some point, but she pretty clearly did not know what she was talking about. We don't know exactly what the odds are of having a magical or non-magical child depending on whether you have zero, one, or two magical parents, but those odds clearly don't conform to any realistic genetic behavior.

    Is a non-magical child born to a wizarding parent and a Muggle parent a Squib or a Muggle? I think that depends on your viewpoint. We don't know that Squibs are actually genetically different from Muggles at all. (It's reasonable to assume that a Squib with one or more wizard parents might have more of a chance of passing on the magic "gene" to his or her own children than a Muggle, but this is also not certain.)

  9. #9
    TheCursedQuill
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    As Carole said, I think it's more of just a name, just something to classify a person who is born from two wizard parents, but has no magic in them.

    A half blood child would simply be a muggle because they have a muggle parent. I don't think it has anything to do with genes, it's just what makes the most the sense. To me, a squib is just like a muggle. But why call him/her a muggle when they have parents who are magical? They *should* be magical, but somehow there was a flaw and ended up not to be; so they're called a squib.

    A muggle child who has one parents that's a witch or wizard, isn't really "flawed" in my opinion, because it's a 50/50 chance that they're magical or not.

    And I don't think you can determine whether some one is a squib or not until they hit a certain age. I remember in the books Neville's grandmother was scared he would be a squib, but he just showed signs of magic at a late age. To me, that suggests a squib has nothing to do with genetics or anything, or else someone would be able to tell from birth if they would be a squib or not, right?

    For the question about squibs being the result of inbreeding, I think it's quite possible. As I referred to it before, it's sort of like a flaw, or defect of a child to be born with no magic when both parents have the power, and inbreeding is the result of many defects of a child. I feel like i'm using the wrong word because that sounds mean.. but you understand me, I hope.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah
    To me, that suggests a squib has nothing to do with genetics or anything, or else someone would be able to tell from birth if they would be a squib or not, right?
    That would presume that wizards actually know about DNA and are able to perform genetic testing... and that they have discovered where the gene is on which chromosone. It's possible to see how genetic diseases get passed on without knowing where exactly the defect is, but to test for the disease requires knowing.

    For instance, people have known for a long time that Huntington's is autosomal dominant. But they didn't know until relatively recently where the gene defect was. Now that they know where it is and what kind of defect it is, they can test whether someone who has a parent with Huntington's has the defect and how soon they will develop symptoms.

    Wizards and witches seem to rely on magic in lieu of science, so perhaps someone could develop a spell that would do the same thing, but I have no idea how.

    To me, the idea that Neville's family couldn't tell whether he had magic or not is indicative that wizards and witches don't know much about genetics, not that being a Squib is determined at conception.
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