A couple of reader follow-ups.
Reader A: “Derb—The purported ’scientist’ who harangued you about your
lack of science knowledge while denigrating everyone at NRO blew his
credibility from the outset. If malaria was a tropical disease, what
explains the epidemic of malaria in northern Russian in the 20th century
(not an isolated case, either – malaria was pervasive in North America until
eradicated in the 20th century)? Anyone that would make such an obvious
misclassification should not be trusted in anything else he might state.”
Reader B (who is a professor of biology): “Dear Mr. Derbyshire—I don’t
know which ‘expert’ was pontificating to you regarding the genetics of
homosexuality—care to tell me who it was?—but I will say that he or she
was vastly overstating things, and is far too sure of her or himself. I
won’t even mention the completely unnecessary and clearly partisan attacks.
… The subject of genetics and homosexuality is complex. The twin study
of 20% your correspondent quoted is not correct from anything I have read.
… Rather than debate it, I found you a pretty even handed website to
… I loved it when your correspondent started discussing heterozygote
advantage and population genetics…since the latter field was INVENTED by
your mathematical friend Hardy in the early part of the 20th Century.
“If you want to know more about heterozygote advantage and its effect on
gene frequencies, here is a place to start. In any event,
homosexuality looks like a mix of genes and the environment. But there was
no cause, at all, for the person writing to you to be so rude.”
Ah, it goes with the job, Prof. I did, however, get an e-mail from the
expert concerned, complaining because I had omitted his name from my Corner
posting! (His actual words: “So why did you cut my name? Hell, I want to
be at the head of the p***ing line.”) So I guess it’s OK to say it was