"If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin."
- Charles Darwin

Aug 1, 2007

Life Lessons - Dr. Lummaa's Response

A few weeks ago I called out Bruce Chapman, President of the Discovery Institute, for insulting the work of biologist Virpi Lummaa. Dr. Lummaa found support for the grandmother hypothesis to explain why humans go through menopause. See my earlier post "Life Lessons" here.

Dr. Lummaa contacted me with the following response:

Dear Eric

I must say that when I read the title of your email, my heart turned around and I was scared to read what an earth is going on. We recently published a paper in PNAS about the effects of male co-twin testosterone in utero on their sisters, and I have had lots of positive letters from the twins themselves since the publication of the paper... but now I thought someone must have got offended.

But it was far more amusing, thanks so much for forwarding this to me. And many thanks for your reply too. I doubt nothing is going to convince these guys though, and if their arguments are that pathetic then I can only laugh.

best wishes,

Dr. Lummaa is still waiting for your apology Bruce. If you'd like to give Mr. Chapman your views on attacking a biologist without bothering to understand her work, his e-mail address is

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