A reply from Scientific American:
I had written Marietta DiChristina, who is the editor of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN.  I was thrilled to get a prompt response.  That puts her in a very small league in terms of courtesy and kindness.  Of course she is unconvinced, which is a very large league.  This was her letter.


Thank you for your note, and for your interest in Scientific American.

Your argument conflates correlation (in the past, people married cousins more frequently and there were more babies per woman) with causation (marrying cousins necessarily leads to greater fertility levels per woman). You add a third element: that increasing the rate of live births per woman is necessary and desired, despite the sustainability issues raised by current population levels and trends--which indicate sharp increases in overall global population through at least 2050. As sorry as I am to disappoint you, because I much prefer to be supportive, the evidence doesn't persuade at present.



I made bold to answer her thus:
Dear Marietta DiChristina:
You are tops with me.  You read my letter, understood it and responded.  Indeed you met my challenge to “blurt something out.”  Everything you say is true.  Accept my sincere thanks and congratulations. 

But your letter rather misses your own point, doesn’t it, that every idea is being worked on by a thousand people?  So is this a new idea?  If not, who are the other 9,999 people working on it?  I have tried out the issue (if cousins marry does that necessarily mean more offspring?) with fruit flies and the answer is yes.  (unpublished, attached) I have run down the epigenetic mechanism to the point where the next step is locating the actual methyl groups.  (available, cumbersome) I have worked out the reason, not related to environment, why nature limits population size.  It actually could be true. 

We both agree that birth rate is critically important.  Understanding it is a priority.  But if I am alone, this idea is one heartbeat from extinction.  The general rule is that you must attend to an idea if enough people care.  This time the fact that perhaps only one person cares makes attention important.

So is the idea unique? 

Busy as she must be, I am sure she did not have the time to read my response.  Well at least she looked at the matter and responded. 

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