Monday, September 3, 2012

Harry Potter and the Genetic Hypothesis

So if you're a best-selling author, by the name of, for example, "J.K. Rowling," and you create an incredibly detailed universe of hidden magic, and you want to link that universe to our real universe, then you may be tempted to explain the magical universe in semi-scientific terms. I understand the temptation ... but the results can cause Pottermaniacs great consternation.

Case in point: Rowling described the wizarding gene as "dominant," which explains why Tom Riddle is a wizard (with one Muggle parent), but runs into big problems because it does not explain why Hermione Granger can do magic (with two Muggle parents) or why Argus Filch cannot (with two wizard parents).

What to do? Deploy the science wing of the Pottermaniacs! They will produce a detailed, footnoted explaination involving trinucleotide repeats that will establish once and for all how Rowling is right but Hermione and Filch can still exist. Whew.

Now, we just need some DNA from a few wizards to track down this gene, and a few gene therapy events later we can all be wizards. And maybe someone can fix poor Filch.

By the way, if someone can write a similar guide to Quidditch strategy that explains how Quidditch could actually be a strategic game and not just a vehicle for exciting writing (150 points for one event in the game? Come on!) ... well, I'd read that too.

[UPDATE: Thanks to Deanna from Deanna's Corner for the link.]


Joe Ban said...

Dude this fan-fic literally adresses both the genetic inheritance structure of the wizarding gene (with scientific tests included), but also talks about the complete unbalanced nature of quidditch. I'm about halfway through, and am loving it!

BenMc said...

I KNEW I wasn't alone in being bothered by Quidditch! Thanks for the site, Joe, and hope you're doing well.