Mac Tegmark

Dear Professor Tegmark:
I liked your thoughtful letter to Economist (October 15, 2016 page 16).  It is good to think that excellent minds are concerning themselves with the most important issue of all – the very survival of the human species.  Quite properly you protest the dismissal of all existential threats as claptrap.

There is one risk that just about nobody takes seriously, which is poised to make a demographic sweep like a new windshield wiper across a rain dappled windshield.  The weight of the evidence that I have collected suggests that – within the resolution of the data – all human births will begin to drop to zero starting with the richest countries and the brightest and best minds globally.  Let me scream that, if you don’t mind:


I shall attach a copy of a talk I gave to the Triple Nine Society recently.  We are a social club for all adults with an IQ in the 99.9th percentile.  I’m sure you could get admitted, given the legendary brilliance of all at MIT.  Given that, as I understand it, only about 1% of people have any interest in belonging to a social club, (I know not if the 99% include the very young, the very old, the infirm, the very poor or members of some disaffected minority group) the maximum size of the club in the US cannot be over about 3,000; we boast over a thousand; the numbers are about the same for Europe.  In the bad old days, relationships among the fellowship were rancorous; you might have called it an anti-social group.  But things are pleasant now; could I persuade you to give us a bit of your presence I would feel like a hero. 

The only knowledge assumed for the presentations is the plain old Mendelian laws of inheritance you learned in high school or for you maybe in the cradle.  But there are a few logical steps that will be unfamiliar so I implore you to read it over twice.  If you have any questions, get in touch with me any time night or day.  This is my whole life so you won’t be interrupting anything.  It has been fifteen or sixteen years since if found the first proof (and there are a number of independent proofs, each relying upon mainstream and well accepted scientific publications); I have failed at getting any interest in making an attempt at salvage or even pursuing an understanding of the matter.  Perhaps that will now change.

Off topic, I see that you are a cosmologist.  What fun.  I have tinkered with a cosmological idea for almost fifty years.  If the cosmic structure is as I have speculated, then nothing should ever seem to fall into a black hole.  When the rather recent gravitational wave was published, I wrote a letter to Kip Thorne to tell him I had been disproved and congratulating him.  He’d answered a letter of mine years ago, but this time no response.  Since then I have puzzled over it a bit and find myself skeptical of the data as presented.  Perhaps some day, after humanity has been saved, we can sit down over a cup of tea and chat about it, but for now the universe can wait (yes, my model does involve an existential threat, but that could be far in the future – not a billion years I should say, but far – and the demographic issue cannot be ignored for very long, if indeed it is not already too late). 

So please turn your searing intellect to the attached talk; I think I can guarantee that is will be new and will be evidence based.  Whether you have anything to offer is or course a different matter.


M. Linton Herbert MD

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