The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2003.11.05 The science behind it all

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

SCIENCE suggests there’s hope for everyone. The stupid, the old, the ugly, the selfish. Where to begin?

Take stupidity. A famous scientist says it’s just a disease. It’s been 50 years since British scientist James Watson, along with his buddy Francis Crick, announced the discovery of DNA—the chemical code for all life. Watson and Crick explained how genetic information is passed on from one generation to the other.

A few months ago, Watson said that low intelligence is inherited and it should be curable. Don’t blame poverty and other environmental causes, says Watson, just blame the genes. He wants molecular biologists to come up with gene therapies to get rid of stupid people. Watson also thinks it would be good for genetic engineering to create beautiful people.

“People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty,” Watson said. “I think it would be great.”

Watson has taken some heat for these ideas. A bioethics expert thinks Watson’s statements should only be considered amusing. It’s not something science could or should do. A well-known geneticist said Watson’s comments about beauty should be considered daft, since beauty is such a subjective concept.

“Watson likes to annoy—no question—but he’s no fool,” the scientist added. I guess that means he’s not stupid.

WATSON’S beauty talk leads directly to another study that says ugly individuals can sometimes do better than good-looking ones. This time it’s Australian evolutionary biologist Rob Brooks at work.

He knows that peahens prefer peacocks with long, brightly colored tails, and he knows that human females prefer tall men. Those traits are supposed to lead to offspring with a better chance for survival.

But if all women went for tall men, then all males should be tall after so many generations of evolutionary selection, and all birds and fish should look pretty similar. Brooks decided to take a look at guppies. All the females liked males with bright orange spots and big tales. You could have guessed that. But there was also a group of females who liked males with black markings, and so guppies still don’t all look alike.

Stop worrying about adhering to the Hollywood ideal, Brooks suggests, because you probably have what someone out there needs. Somebody will be able to smell your beauty.

Maybe it happens like this, Brooks says. Everyone inherits a selection of immune system proteins called MHC molecules. These help you fight off disease. Men with different MHCs smell differently and women can smell the difference. More than that, they tend to prefer the smell of men whose MHCs complement their own. You might not be so handsome, but you’ve got just what I need.

THAT TAKES care of the stupid and the ugly. What else has science found to comfort us? We learned that beauty isn’t everything, but now comes a report that says it is everything—even aging beauty.

“You’d think that men would always go for 20-year-olds, but they don’t,” says evolutionary psychologist George Fieldman of Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. “Men prefer attractiveness over youthfulness when selecting a long-term partner.”

Men have always been thought to go for quantity over quality, while women tend to go for the best-quality mate. Fieldman has shown that men choose, too. They go for the woman they see as the most attractive, even if she’s twice as old.

    – Nov. 5, 2003 

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