Baby photos

I have no heavy intellectual content today as I’m on vacation. But here are some pictures of Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus) with a human infant (Homo sapiens in statu nascendi).

This may be the only photograph in existence of me holding a baby   . (I get scared to for fear I might hurt them.) Meet Selma Louise Ludovico, the 7 month-old granddaughter of my hosts in Cambridge. Her father is Brazilian, mom is American, and she’s an adorable hybrid. And she seemed fascinated by “Uncle Jerry,” as I’m known around here.

We have a discourse on free will:



  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink


  2. Teresa Carson
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    So cute! And it’s not the first time you’ve been called Uncle Jerry!

  3. darrelle
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Looks like you’re a natural Uncle Jerry.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Fella can’t get much more avuncular than that pic.

  5. W.T. Effingham
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Selma Louise seems to be thinking, “I may be ‘in statu nascendi’, but I’m sure considering grabbing those spectacles since I couldn’t have done otherwise.”

  6. Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Babies. You never quite get over their soft squishiness.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      … said the alligator.

      (I’m sure that sounds far more sinister than you intended. 😉


  7. Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Sweet photos, Jerry! I am Uncle to several friend’s kids too.

  8. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    free will is a good topic to start with – good warm up for the chelicerata.

  9. Muffy Ferro
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Very sweet. She looks like a thinker!


  10. garman
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Selma: “You know, this guy makes some sense”

  11. RPGNo1
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink


    Moreover, I dare say that those who believe that they cannot deal with children are the best carers. 😉

    • Posted May 26, 2019 at 1:21 am | Permalink

      Yes, based on these cute photos, I am sure that PCC would be a great babysitter.

  12. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Pretty good. Does it meow?

  13. dabertini
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    AWWWWW! Great pix. And now she’ll have lots of great stories to share about her famous uncle when she is much older.

  14. Liz
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    So adorable.

  15. Posted May 24, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Wow, a human kitten

  16. Rupinder Sayal
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Awww!! The discussion on free will seems pretty intense!! 🙂 🙂

  17. Mark
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Yes, babies are cute.

    But it boggles my mind to think that anyone would conceive one now.

    • Doug
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      It’s inconceivable.

      • rickflick
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:34 pm | Permalink


  18. rickflick
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Impressive. Not just cute, another WEIT reader.

  19. Mark R.
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Nice. Come to think of it, I don’t think I have a photo of myself with a baby. Oh well.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      My most recent is ten years old. It’s pretty funny that Jerry is doing better than me in this department. Auntiness is about the only thing I’ve got him beat on!

      Gorgeous pics Jerry. Looks like the visit is going well. 🙂

  20. Vita206
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    What a delight to see.

    In your “discourse” with Selma Louise on Free Will you might share the following post with her:

    Also, a good topic for further “discourse” is to mention that Carl Linnaeus wanted to label our species as ‘Pan Sapiens” but changed it to ‘Homo Sapiens’ because of an anticipated hostile response from religion.

    It’s amazing that Selma Louise is getting such high level communication as she still rocks in the cradle.

    Hoping you have many more such moments!!

  21. BobTerrace
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink


  22. Dave
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m very fond of babies, but I don’t think I could eat a whole one.

    (Yes, I know that joke has cobwebs all over it, but I just couldn’t resist)

  23. DrBrydon
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Other people’s babies are awesome.

  24. Stephen Barnard
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Cute larva.

  25. Diana MacPherson
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Whenever I hold babies I always think they are going to suddenly stop breathing and die. I think I’m not the only one because I’ve seen comedy routines from Tim Minchin & Ricky Gervais that reference that.

    • Posted May 27, 2019 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      Used to be afraid I’d drop them, or wrench an arm trying to keep them from dropping. But I have a longtime friend who was a bruise expert for DCFS(Dept of Children and Family Services) in Chicago.

      She tells me that babies are pretty much like Tupperware, a lot more resilient than they look. But you don’t want to hear how she knows that.

      • rickflick
        Posted May 27, 2019 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

        I can imagine how she knows that. Let me just say, I’ve seen documentaries on monkey babies being mishandled frequently by members of the troop. Aunts or siblings, for example. I mean, they don’t necessarily deliberately mistreat the little creatures, but, they might, for example, have a tug of war over who gets to hold the baby. This can sometimes lead to death of the infant, but more often the little one survives to pass on genes for surviving these abuses. Probably early humans went through much the same gauntlet. Bones are flexible, not brittle. Skulls are soft not subject to fracture. A little fat here and there can ease a fall, etc.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Yeah children and babies are a lot more resilient than people think. What will break us will a bounce to them.

  26. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m not scared of what I might do to the baby, I’m acutely apprehensive of what the baby might do all over me. In the interests of my health & safety I think a modicum of protective clothing is in order –


    • rickflick
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Your very well protected. I notice you even have wrist straps to keep anything from seeping in. Probably 7 mm thick too.

    • Posted May 26, 2019 at 1:23 am | Permalink

      Has such an incident ever happened?

  27. Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    The babe in arms becomes you, Uncle Jerry!

  28. Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Your world is big enough to be a guest relative to ducks and human babies alike.

  29. Posted May 25, 2019 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    Ah, pondering free will at so young an age. I see great things in her future.


  30. Roo
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Aw, look at her imitating your hand gesture! Too cute!

  31. Joseph Baldassano
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Great Photos Professor Coyne! I have several Grandchildren ranging from 4 to 19 years old. Trust me Doc, you won’t break her.

  32. Posted June 8, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful baby! I have a 6 week old and shes the best thing that has ever happened to me! Yes it was scary for me to hold her at first, shes my first one. It gets easier!

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