One sure if another fails:
I’m sure you remember these lines from Browning’s “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister.”

There’s a great text in Galatians,
Once you trip on it, entails
Twenty-nine distinct damnations,
One sure, if another fails;

I was once curious enough to look for the passage.  It isn’t there.  Galatians has to be just about the most sweet-spirited book in scripture.  He chose it for the rhyme.  And he chose “twenty-nine” for the meter, obviously.  Still it’s a nice big number. 

I never tire of saying I have skatey-eight independent proofs of the fact that you cannot have much diversity and adequate fertility for many generations.  But can I match 29?

Let me try: (check out the last New Year’s posting for details)

  1. The logic that speciation precedes selection, and that in sexually reproducing species this entails a limit on population size.
  2. The Iceland study showing higher fertility among cousins.
  3. The Danish study showing the same thing among those born close to each other and living in smaller towns
  4. The Swedish study that shows fertility declines as income rises and this accumulates at least to great-grandchildren
  5. The logic that if fertility declined with population size, extinction would be universal.
  6. Southern Mesopotamian experience.
  7. Experience of Roman, Classical Mayan and Anasazi extinctions.
  8. Japanese dynasties.
  9. Chinese dynasties.
  10. Egyptian dynasties.
  11. UN demographics
  12. Long house valley extinction.
  13. Mouse plagues.
  14. Computer simulations.
  15. Field counts of wild animals complied by Sibly.
  16. Bateson’s Japanese quails.
  17. Gapminder data relating fertility and age at marriage. 
  18. Cornulier’s counts of voles.
  19. My study of fruit flies.
  20. Methylation patterns in hinnies and mules.
  21. Philippine Vergeer’s evidence in plants that inbreeding depression is epigenetic.
  22. Bacteria prefer to mate with kin.
  23. Lundström’s evidence that the Icelandic results are due to major histocompatibility group match and mismatch.
  24. The mouse utopia study of John Calhoun
  25. Anway’s demonstration of an epigenetic, heritable depression of sperm function. 
  26. Michael Lynches work on inbreeding depression and outbreeding depression.
  27. Reference in Exodus.
  28. Reference in Daniel.

The last six are not included in the summary.

Well that’s about it.  I can say dozens of independent proofs or skatey-eight, (Skatey-eight is indeterminate but should at least be twenty-eight I should think.) but not twenty-nine. 

One to go.  I watch and wait.

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