Thursday, September 20, 2007
End of redheads? Or Nat'l Geographic's good sense?
Alas and woe, the September 2007 National Geographic — which was brought to my attention by a friend at a dinner party last night — digs up the unsettling (but unbelievable) news that some scientists expect redheads to be extinct by 2100. Surely I will be extinct by then, but unless some extraordinary calamity falls upon all the offspring of today's redheads, I'm quite sure there will still be members of our identity caucus roaming the earth.
The short magazine story appears to have picked up the tale from articles way back in May 2005 reporting that the Oxford Hair Foundation (ooh! that sounds trustworthy!) predicts our extinction in less than a century. Naturally, I appreciated this note of skepticism:
But with 4 percent of 6.4 billion people carrying the gene, says University of Rochester Medical Center's David Pearce, it is too large a figure to be wiped out completely in the next 95 years.
"I think someone may want to check their calculator," he says.
Also worth noting: The alarmist scientists are (or were) part of a Procter and Gamble Hair Care research group. Surely someone at National Geographic must have thought this story didn't quite pass the plausibility test.
("Will rare redheads be extinct by 2100?" Robin L. Flanigan [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle], Seattle Times 5.9.05)
Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 20 September 2007 at 8:19 AM