July 19, 2017


Dear Gabi Plumm:
I have watched with great interest the first segment of “Skeletons in the Cupboard.”  I don’t know whether you can make use of this, and it will require some patience.  Just imagine you are detained by the ancient mariner; at least I look the part.  Let me redefine a couple or three terms, just for this message.  By “cousins” otherwise specified I shall mean somewhere from third cousins to sixth cousins.  (And that is a gross oversimplification.)  By “unrelated,” I shall mean more distant than tenth cousin.  By “breeding true” I shall mean having a mating strategy consistent with survival of a population for a long time – tens of generations. 

Marrying consistently closer than cousins produces “inbreeding” with lamentable effects on offspring.  We know that.  Marrying consistently with unrelated people will produce “outbreeding,” with reduced fertility.  That one is just about unknown.  Either strategy followed for a few generations will result in extinction.  The importance, as well as the obscurity, of this should need no emphasis. 

I trust by now you are thinking, “That’s going to need a lot of evidence in support, a reason it should happen and a mechanism consistent with what we already know.”  Indeed, your own video produces enough evidence to convince – in my opinion – any fair minded person.  You will find all, or most, of it at: It had been on a preprint server, but that now appears to have vanished. 

If that much does not convince you, do let me know if you are willing to discuss it.  From looking at your video, it appears that the descendants of the pre-Maiori peoples have been breeding true.  The only way to breed true is to marry a sufficient number of cousins.  If the population is the right size, and that appears to be fewer than a thousand in humans, no unrelated people need be introduced at all, any more than an occasional case of incest is needed. 

So if you are able to discover what the mating strategy has been of these ancient lineages, and what their attitude is toward marrying cousins, it might be most useful to them.  (Maybe Robin Fox looked at the Maiori in his Kinship and Marriage, but not likely the peoples you have found.)  Looking at global numbers, it appears to me that the developed countries are not breeding true and are in imminent danger of having their (our) fertility collapse catastrophically within the next generation. 

I could prattle on further about such things as the evidence that the final common pathway of inbreeding and outbreeding fertility is the same, that humans and mice appear to favor status over love while fruit flies and Japanese quail favor love over status, why the evidence suggests that the final post-zygotic crash is happening right under our eyes and why I suspect this whole issue is being shrugged off as is your own issue, but I shall spare you unless you express an interest.


M. Linton Herbert MD 

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