Geometry and Evolutionary Biology

Photo by Lynn Locifero, © The Flying News, 2014.

Statisticians have known of the strong positive correlation between interest in geometry and number of descendents for more than thirty years. Until recently, no one had proposed any explanation for this curious fact. A recent study by Nikolaj S. Henriksen of Louisiana University suggests that the correlation is causal, that is, studying geometry makes one a more attractive mate. Thus, studying geometry directly causes an increase in population.

Henriksen’s study focuses on the important role of geometry in packing trunks for family vacations. Since it is a well documented fact1 that most children are conceived during family vacations, Henriksen argues that a frustration free packing experience increases the likelihood that spouses will feel inclined to procreate while taking a family trip.

In response to this study, Gregory J. McMorrow, Vice-President for Long Range Planning at Population Connection (formerly known as Zero Population Growth) remarked that his organization is considering recommending a decreasing emphasis on geometry in schools as part of their extensive educational outreach: “Traditionally, geometry has been highly regarded as an important branch of mathematics. It has also been recognized as having important practical applications ranging from carpentry to sculpture to circuit board design. Given the pernicious influence of geometry on population growth, we must reverse this. We must find other ways to accomplish these practical goals without geometry. Instead, students should study entomology, since it is a well-known fact that bugs make people less attractive.”

  1. See the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence.

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