Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I just saw the culture change!

Reading an article which posits that the harms of interbreeding are oversold. Article here.

The article itself isn't really the point. What caught my eye was this passage:
"For his part, Dr. Stefansson suggested what we might call a Goldilocks Zone for inbreeding. That term, which we usually see applied to exoplanets, refers to the idea that planets need to neither too far away from nor too close to their star in order to be able to support life. In much the same way, third cousins might actually have just the right amount of genetic overlap, neither too similar nor too dissimilar, and so they enjoy a reproductive advantage."
For those who don't know, the term in astronomy comes from this fairy tale. Wikipedia provides a fascinating history of the tale.

I assume that anyone reading this has heard the Goldilocks story, and the author over at IO9 probably assumes the same thing.

However, the fact that the author assumed, either naturally or through the revision process, that a term relating to the habitability of planets around alien suns would be more immediately recognizable and relatable to the average IO9 reader (admittedly a geeky set) than the original story says something about where our culture is headed.

Something wonderful.

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