Thursday, September 13, 2012

Science, Math and Biology! Oh, my!

Disclaimer: I do not profess to be a statistician, mathematician nor a biologist.  I did, however, do really well in 9th grade biology, so everything that follows is probably pretty sound.  Just saying.

My dad said something that's been looping around in my head like the Mexican Hat Dance on repeat.

If you want to know what that experience is like, click the following link.  But don't say I didn't warn you:

Mariachi Mexican Hat Dance

Why suffer alone when you can take others down with you?

Anyway (You watched it, didn't you?  Despite my warnings.  I see how it's going to be between us.  *Sigh*) my dad said, "You know, you can't control how your kids are going to turn out."

My first and immediate response was something like this:

What a versatile visual.
I mean.  If everyone could control how their children turned out, we'd all be doctors and lawyers and other assorted well-compensated adults.  Rather than a bunch of hooligans.

But I digress.

I remember from Mr. Fetterman's 9th grade biology class, doing diagrams where you would show dominant and recessive genes from both the parents -- Punnett Squares was what they were called (and no -- before you laud me for my amazing memory, I just Googled "gene diagram for dominant and recessive" and it was my first search result.  I swear, we're going to be the first generation with worse memory functions than our parents) and they were a good pictorial representation of how genes play out and what the chances are of certain attributes showing up in the child.

I've got all sorts of things I can't stand about myself -- my inability to play Tchaikovsky as he intended, my struggle to break the four minute mile, the fact that I find it a physical impossibility to get my hand to the bottom of a Pringles container -- stuff like that.

There's also stuff I like about myself.  I'm far too humble and good looking to go into detail, but you get my drift.

My wife is the same way.  Sure -- 99.9% of her is practically perfect in every way

Despite popular opinion, I am not, in fact, married to Mary Poppins.

but even she (I'm sure) has a thing or two she wouldn't mind seeing skipping a generation.

So, being the science-minded academic that I am, I put together the following Punnett Square:

 Figure 1.1

The thing about a Punnett Square is that every quadrant has an equal chance of occurring.  So it's a 1 in 4 chance we'll have the most cherubic baby ever and it's just as likely that we could give Rosemary's baby a run for his money.

Child A is like winning the lottery.  She's well behaved and intelligent and smart and kind and pretty and self-motivated and all the things you would hope for your child to be.  Child D is the child your parents wished on you when you were bad.  "I hope you have one just like you" is actually an old Italian curse.

Odds are we're going to have one that's some mash-up of our best and worse qualities.  And, seeing as the both of us seem to have turned out relatively competent and self-sufficient, the odds are our child has more than a fighting chance at being a decent human being.

But this begs the question which I posed in a previous entry:

Where do a$$hole children come from?

And I think I've found my answer:

When demonspawns have babies with a normal person, the chart begins to look like this:

Figure 1.2
The chances of having a normal child remain constant, but the odds of a demonspawn are now 50%!  It's a flip of the coin, people!  This is why dads are so freaked out about their daughters dating hooligans!  It's a biological imperative to protect the species from self-destruction.

But even with the visual, if my exploits on SEPTA are any indicator, the tide is quickly turning, and more and more demonspawn are being born...thus, we must turn to science for the answer"

Figure 1.3
And this is why people should need a license to breed.  It's not my opinion.  It's science and math.  Just saying.


  1. Ironically, every one of the aforementioned "Hooligans" is now richer than pretty much any type of Doctor, Lawyer or other well-compensated adult! Greasers for life...Soc's suck!!!

    1. At the very LEAST, the number of children you are permitted to have should directly correspond to how high your IQ is! Level of attractiveness can be a small variable as well, I reckon. Being such a dashing and astute "young" man, I better get started if I'm going to fill my government-issued quota of 30 kids!

    2. Nice. Here's hoping that you guys have lots of sets of multiples. Because 30 individual pregnancies is probably grounds for state-funded neutering.