January 5, 2014
to be posted on nobabies.net

James K. NcNulty
Department of Psychology
Florida State University
Tallahassee FL32306

Dear Dr. McNutly:
I read with interest your article (James K. McNulty et al Though They may be Unaware, Newlyweds Implicitly Know Whether Their Marriage Will Be Satisfying SCIENCE vol. 342 no. 6162 November 29, 2013 page 1119).  I take it that some marriages are going to be emotionally rewarding and some are not and that this is established from the get go.  Consider me convinced. 

On a light note I would not be surprised if you and your team become rich and famous by starting up a dating service that includes this.  Maybe you have one of the blitz dating schemes where a person gets to meet several possible mating partners each for a brief time only you add after every encounter a questionnaire so they know how they responded consciously to each other and your MODE test to see what their automatic response is.  It seems to me that the test is subject to deliberate gaming by the subject, but to the extent that they are honest you might really have something to offer.  Of course if one is not going to be honest about relationships then one is doomed to a bad one and will take somebody else down, too.

More seriously, just as emotional fulfillment seems to be pre-ordained so to speak, fertility and reproductive success (number of children and grand children) seem fixed from the start as well.  Both of these are determined by kinship of the couples and within their respective family trees.  Basically you must marry kin or die out in the long run.  The extent to which this is true and why it should have been set up by evolution are outlined in a summary I posted on my web site this past New Year’s Day.  I don’t consider this to be the last word but it is my best start on what seems otherwise to be a neglected and terribly important field. 

Of course I am always data hungry as well as eager for anybody else to take an interest.  The question that comes to mind is whether you have or can obtain data to indicate whether higher scores at automatic attraction correlate with consanguinity.  It seems to me it ought to; there is obviously a selective advantage to a child for the parents to have a strong bond.

What do you say?


M. Linton Herbert MD

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