The Opposing Thumb

An opinionated digit leafs through the biological literature
Media Roundup

Quote of the day: The sacred mysteries.

“‘Do you have children?’ I was asked by the very distinguished Professor of Theoretical Physics shortly after I joined the staff of Birmingham University. ‘Four,’ I replied, ‘equally spaced and alternating in sex’; and because my interlocutor was a theoretical physicist known to be privy to the dark secrets of the atomic bomb, I added ‘We biologists do not choose that a number of facts about reproduction should be generally known.’ The physicist did not realize that I was teasing, and for a moment I think he was rattled by the implication that a mere biologist might know something that a theoretical physicist did not.”

Peter Medawar, Memoir of a Thinking Radish (Oxford University Press, 1986).

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