The “ask me anything” post

I didn’t have the slightest notion that so many readers (over 200) would weigh in on the “ask me anything” post of a few days ago. I think I’ve answered almost every question, excepting those that other readers answered before me. I’ll try to make it an annual event. If you asked a question there and I didn’t answer it, feel free to repeat it in this thread, but please, no new questions. 

As for “boxers vs briefs” (nobody seemed to think that “commando” was an option), I’ll leave that to the readers’ imaginations. That is in fact the first question I asked Richard Dawkins when I interviewed him at Northwestern, but I told him I was only joking.

35 Comments

  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Probably a good test of patience I would think. Often the response could be – What the hell would you ask that for?

  2. Posted August 28, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    What role, if any, do genes play in intelligence? And is this difference racial?
    Is IQ a good measure of intelligence?

    • jaxkayaker
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      I may have missed it in the other thread, but these appear to be new questions. Jerry requested no new questions.

    • bluemaas
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      I have no idea re the researches behind this statement of Cort Pedersen, MD, of the University of North Carolina and of http://cds.web.unc.edu/people/mentors/pedersen-cort: “The evolution of mother love was essential for the evolution of intelligence.”

      I have known of it / its impact — that’s “intelligence” and nothing less, Dr Pedersen states — since the birthings within the last two decades’ time of my own two granddaughters. Maybe, makagutu, the science behind the genetics of his researches and, thus, this statement of Dr Pedersen’s are online.

      Blue

      • Posted August 28, 2016 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

        Thank you.
        I will check it out

    • Posted August 28, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      I’ll take a stab at this one. There’s a heritable component to IQ, but it is dispersed over 1000s of genes. The environmental component plays a greater role. There may differences by race, but they are, at present, uninterpretable. The more salient questions relate to how to make acheivement and success more likely for everyone.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    … (nobody seemed to think that “commando” was an option) …

    Oh yeah? Look again.

    • Posted August 28, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      I’m thankful that I missed that. . .

      • Posted August 28, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Seriously. Taking breaks from writing this morning to find myself inadvertently pondering (but not imagining) the various undergarment preferences Jerry might have. My imagination blocks me from visualizing it. It’s a bit like that scene from the Brady Bunch where one of the kids is told to imagine the audience in their underwear. As hard as I try, I can never do that.

        I can’t actually imagine PCC(E) without jeans much less in what’s under jeans.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for sharing, Marsha.

        • Christopher
          Posted August 28, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          Nevermind the boxers, I just realized I can’t imagine him in anything other than cowboy boots. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about his underdoodles, but he’s shared his footwear quite often. how about a mental image of PCC in sandals, but the question is: with or without socks?!

          Birkenstocks and black socks, perhaps? Nah, he’s too cool for that.

        • Posted August 28, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          All I’m channeling now is the yellow glow on the see-u-nekked airport body scanner….

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Others (well at least one) considered commenting on the option, considered finding an (in-)appropriate Samuel Peypes quote to spice it with, and decided to ask a more interesting question.
      To misquote some 1970s dude like Huggy Bear, “A man’s choice of underwear is between him and the cat sitting in his lap.”

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 28, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for sharing, Det. Starsky.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted August 28, 2016 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          Platform soles and …. maroon velvet suit?
          Medallion. Don’t forget the medallion!

  4. rudolphpaul
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    No questions, but I would like to thank you for the wonder full books and the equally fascinating web site. They all help me maintain sanity in a world infested with nutty ideas.

  5. Estragon
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Jerry: I think you missed my question regarding death from old age. A thread has developed. My question is no. 65. Thanks.

  6. Damien McLeod
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    What do you think about Dr. Guy McPherson’s predictions Dr. Coyne?

  7. KevinP
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Can you please provide any more of the back story of Hili and her staff? I think you started you visits in 2013, is that correct?

  8. tubby
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    You sure you want to leave that to my imagination?

  9. BobTerrace
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    There are boxer-briefs.

    • Posted August 28, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      My head is seriously resisting the Jerry in his nether region coverings.

      Boxer-briefs conjures up an image of boxers (the dogs) sitting in a circle at the White House giving POTUS some very serious intel.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 28, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        I dunno, Charleen, with all your struggling to resist, you’re starting to sound like Lord Byron’s Julia, who “whispering ‘I will never consent’ — consented.” 🙂

  10. bluemaas
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    re “Boxer-briefs conjures up an image of boxers (the d*gs) sitting in a circle at the White House giving POTUS some very serious intel” — —

    = Yeah, for me too.
    Blue

  11. Roger
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Not a question but an observation. The older one gets, the more commando and no socks one gets.

    • Posted August 28, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Speak for yourself!

      I’ll get to the remaining questions Monday or Tuesday. But please–NO NEW ONES.

    • Christopher
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Really? I thought that’s when one wanders about the house in boxers, black socks, and a partially undone shirt.

      Does remind me about Bill Bryson’s book Life and Times of Thunderbolt Kid. Bryson’s father apparently enjoyed walking about nude from the waist down, including once when the sister was having a slumber party…today he’d be on the registry for that!

  12. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    It was a great idea, and thanks for the effort! (My question had been asked and answered when I saw the post.)

    On “boxers vs briefs” the answer should be “fur naturelle”, I think.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      the answer should be “fur naturelle”, I think.

      Unclean! Unclean!
      Why did you choose to put that idea into my head? You knew it would lead to the counter though of “fur, not naturelle” which would then have to be interpreted.
      Believe me, this is not the lowest depth that could be plumbed.

  13. Posted August 28, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Posting my question again here because it didn’t get a reply possibly because it got buried between other large comment threads.

    Here goes again…

    I think that you and Sam Harris are on the same page on the topic of free will but not so on the worth of the word spiritual.

    What do you think of Sam’s claim that meditation can reveal some states of mind that are qualitatively different from more accessible states such as wonder or curiosity and that they can potentially help subjectively observe a lack of free will?


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