The crystal:
Many years ago on a lark I went with a friend to a quartz crystal mine near Hot Springs, Arkansas.  We spent a happy afternoon getting tired and dirty digging in the mine.  The owner gave us buckets and shovels and said that if we were not happy with what we found, we could return the buckets with the crystals for a full refund.  It sounded like a good deal, and today I still have dishes of bright crystals waiting for me to think of some use for them.

At one point the owner spun a yarn.  He was down in a hold digging while his brother was doing the same some yards away.  Presently he called, “I have just found the biggest crystal you ever saw.” 

His brother called back, “No, I have just found a bigger one.” 

They went back and forth taunting each other until the both climbed out of their respective holes and looked at each others’ work.  It was a single crystal, some eighteen feet long. 

That is the mood I am in right now.  For years I have been working on the issue.  I can sum it up saying, “Fertility in humans, as in other animals, (and possibly sanity in humans) is mediated by an epigenetic mechanism that probably has pre-zygotic components and post-zygotic components and requires a minimum degree of consanguinity for optimal fertility.”  I would have thought that was a pretty big deal.  Empires fail because it has never been understood.  The industrial revolution occurred because consanguinity gave it a chance to occur.  We face possible extinction because of failure to head evolution’s command.  That ought to be enough. 

And I should think I would get points for bold assertions like that.  Who am I to see what any intelligent person should have noticed at any time since there were people at all?  I would think myself grandiose to the point of madness except the stream data has always kept pouring in always with the same message. 

However, I have just read a couple articles that suggest I have been far too timid all along.  Two teams in what seem like totally different fields have hit each on its own gleam of crystal.  In a couple of forthcoming articles I shall describe them in open letters to the respective teams if I can find addresses, otherwise in articles here.  The subjects will be, “Inbreeding depression in Butterfly Blues,” a kind of garden flower and “Health and smoking among immigrants” to the United States. 

I doubt the two teams suspect they have a lot in common, but on the face of it they very much do and are related to my own topic.  I am still pondering this, and it is far from proven – as the fertility issue is proven – but I am coming around to recasting the summary as, “Fertility in plants and animals (and possibly longevity and in humans possibly sanity) is mediated by an epigenetic mechanism that probably has some pre-zygotic component(s) and post-zygotic component(s) and requires a minimum degree of consanguinity for optimal fertility (and maybe sanity and longevity) and the same mechanism accounts for inbreeding depression.” 

I intend to post the two articles over the next few days.

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