Friday, June 29, 2012

Prince to Frog and back

I've never managed to disagree with Richard Dawkins before, so this is a big moment for me. He must be getting old. In his latest book: 'The Magic of Reality' he asserts that it's impossible to turn a prince into a frog.


Put a prince into a sealed glass box. Add lots of water and boil. Leave to cool. Introduce plant seeds and open the box to the air. Leave it until you have a nice pond.  Introduce frogs (mating pair). Wait. Soon you will have many frogs, and they will be made mostly of prince.

The reverse transformation is harder because of the conservation of mass, but you can turn a lot of frogs into one prince, and it's actually easier. Sometimes you'll get princesses too.

I'm not sure that we'd learn much from the experiment though, so I imagine it might not get past the ethics committee. We'd have to do it as some sort of reality TV show. It's been a while since Dawkins did the Royal Society Christmas Lectures.

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