Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Biology: Ur Doing It Rong

For your Bio 101 lesson of the day, I want to explain genetics.

The child's adorable little dimple is NOT from you Great Aunt Olga. You cannot attribute the brown hair to the child's mother's brother. Well, you could, but then you'd be wrong.

DNA comes from the parents. Dad's brother had nothing to do with the creation of this child (well, at least we all hope). So no, that little girl did NOT get her straight hair from Uncle Isaac (unless there's something we don't know). She and Uncle Isaac may very well have inherited the gene that determines hair type from the same source, though, but there is no possible way he passed it along to her SINCE HE PLAYED NO PART IN HER CONCEPTION.

Now that I have shared this information with the world, there will be no reason I will have to refrain from smacking someone the next time one of my father-in-law's sisters says something like, "Oh, she gets that dimple from her great aunt." Knowing, after all, is half the battle (the other half is BEATING SENSE INTO PEOPLE).

While we're on the topic of biology, let Professor Reiza tell you that, in the case of twins, the mother is the only one who determines that. Don't go patting dad on the back for doing anything spectacular. It was mom who either released two eggs or provided conditions in which a single egg could split. Also, you can save yourself the trouble of inquiring as to whether or not twins run in the dad's family. See above. Although, a father can pass down that genetic tendency to his daughters if his mother had fraternal twins. However, if his father's mother had twins, then nope, no deal.

My favorite response to, "Do twins run in your family," is, "Now they do."

Professor Reiza would also like to remind you that, when the answer to, "How far apart are they," is "One minute," chances are that they're twins. Please don't stare at the parents with your brow furrowed completely unable to comprehend that any children could possibly be a minute apart. Please don't follow that question up with, "Are they sisters/brothers/cousins/guinea pigs?" And in the case of flustered parents of twins of any age (particularly newborn), please refrain from distracting them to ask questions of any type (particularly stupid ones). Smile at them. Nod. Then GET THE HELL OUT OF THEIR WAY.

Now you know. Go forth and share your knowledge with the world. Class dismissed.


TheFeministBreeder said...

Okay, good, then you can tell me this: WHERE THE FUCK did my TWO boys get BLUE EYES from then??? And WHERE did my older son get BLONDE HAIR! BLONDE, I say! You've seen my Mexican Husband and his Carrot Top Wife. WTF happened?

Perhaps somebody snuck in the house and replaced the sperm in John's balls with the sperm of some Swedish man's balls whilst we weren't looking.


TheFeministBreeder said...

OH, btw, my absolutely FAVORITE comment (as in I fucking hate it and will stab the next person that says it) is "Where did he get that pretty red hair from?" - When his BRIGHT RED HAIRED MOTHER is standing right there. Where the fuck did they *think* he got it from.

Jesus, people are stupid.

Reiza said...

Gina, do you and John both have dark eyes? If so, did one of your parents have blue eyes? Even if both parents have brown eyes, if each had a blue-eyed parent, there's a 25% chance of having a blue-eyed baby. With one blue-eyed parent and one dark-eyed parent who had a blue-eyed parent, there's a 50/50 chance.

As for the blonde hair, were you a blonde when you were younger?

A rabbi friend is from Columbia. He was bright blonde as a baby. His daughter has black hair and dark eyes. He told me his parents see the pictures and videos of the baby and ask, "Where did this Spanish-looking child come from?" :-)

And I hear ya on the hair comments. A friend of mine (also a redhead) complained about the same thing. Her oldest son has bright red hair and whenever her sister is around, strangers say things like, "He must have gotten his red hair from his aunt." Um...#1. That's not possible. #2. His mother, WITH HER RED HAIR, is standing right there next to him. I guess most people just assume she dyes it.

Heather Griffith Brewer said...

My favorite is when people claim possible/impossible as far as genetics go. People assume that a girl should resemble her mother and a boy should resemble his father. I look so much like my father that people question whether my mother is actually my mother. Most people don't grasp the concept of dominant vs. recessive traits either, and I think that's where most confusion comes from. It's almost a genetic crapshoot most of the time.
My son and my brother's baby pictures are almost identical...because my brother and I came from the same gene pool. NOT because my brother fathered my son.
As far as most comments we get from other folks...it really just comes from the fact that most people are idiots.