May 2, 2015
Babies Triumph over Evil on YouTube

Frederick Alt

Department of Genetics
Boston Children's Hospital
Karp Family Research Building, Rm. 09216
One Blackfan Circle
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-919-2539
Fax: 617-730-0948

Dear Professor:
I saw your name in the news and, ascertaining that congratulations are in order, offer mine.

In the 1960’s I was attending a lecture by Professor Hertig at Harvard Medical School when he remarked, “We don’t need more powerful tools.  We have excellent tools.  What we need is more powerful minds to use those tools.”  My things do change, don’t they?  To read the news article about you one might conclude that there is nothing wrong with American Science, nor will there ever be, that cannot be cured by throwing money at it.  So At first glance Hertig and I are at antipodes with you.  Yet on closer reading I suspect you might be willing to look at both sides. 

In the old days we all married cousins, and there were lots of babies.  Now nobody marries cousins and there are not many babies.  If you have 42 minutes, take a glance  at the movie referenced above; in it I speak of people who would rather have peace than war, but the science and logic are quite the same.  We don’t have the best science because those who did the best in the past did not marry cousins and their lines have died out. 

A more complete argument, and a way to get at the references at your leisure rather than as they whiz by, here is a link
(and if you hate and fear links as much as I do, go to and open the posting from last January 1.) 

The first step, of course, in analyzing infertility (and that is just what scientists and those opposed to mayhem face) is to decide whether it is pre-zygotic or post-zygotic or both.  Alas, the only paper that addresses that is one with my name on it, and it is hard to find so I attach it. 

The article said you were on the downward curve of your career.  I am a lot older of course, but I’d take umbrage with a remark like that.  You have ample time to work this out, and when you do your fame will be unparalleled and my life will not have been wasted. 

All best wishes,


M. Linton Herbert MD

There have been 189 visitors over the past month.

41 people have looked at the video Babies Triumph over Evil.

Home page.