Writing Glitch #77

Today’s glitch:


I’m sorry, but I must address the Bad Science first this time:

A hundred people aren’t enough for a viable gene pool in this situation. Unless you’ve got access to some sophisticated medical tech (which you probably won’t have if you’re on an isolated island and the rest of civilization is gone), you need a larger pool. Also, choosing these people at random is stupid. Ethics aside (although you should not ignore that), what if some of them are too old (or too young) to become parents, or are otherwise infertile/not part of the breeding population? What if some of them carry recessive genetic diseases that aren’t expressing in them but may express in their offspring? (If you’re having to restore the entire species from a very few survivors, this does matter.) Individuals may be from different countries but have very similar genes; just making sure no two people are from the same country won’t give maximum diversity.

Anyway, here’s the version with the punctuation and whatnot corrected:

A man-made virus has wiped out more than half the population. After screening, one hundred virus-free people are chosen at random, abducted, and placed on a remote island in case the whole human race is wiped out. To ensure as much genetic diversity as possible, no two people are from the same country.


About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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