MathBench > Probability

Linked Genes and Recombination
Advanced Punnett

Putting it all together

In an amazing feat of time-travel technology, Captain Kirk and Luke Skywalker have met in a bar on Vogon, and after several beers, they begin to discuss alien physiology.

pointy-eared vulcan Kirk starts by saying that Spock once told him that occasionally, a Vulcan child would be born without pointy ears, and that that child would also seem to be lacking in the ability to mind-meld.

pointy-eared yoda" What an amazing co-incidence!" exclaimed Luke. It turns out that his erstwhile Jedi master, Yoda, had said much the same thing about young ... um, what kind of children would Yoda have, anyway? OK, young Yodites, who when round-eared seemed unable to Use the Force.

Kirk called over Bones (aka Dr. McCoy) who acerbically noted that he was "a doctor, not a damned genetics student". However, Bones did allow that one cause of this odd pattern might be that the genes for pointy-earedness and for psionic power might be linked in both species (Vulcans and Yodites, that is).

"You mean we should get the same pattern in Vulcans and in Yodites?" interrupted Kirk excitedly.

"No, captain. If you would let me finish for once -- Vulcans and Yodites are different species, from different parts of the galaxy and different millenia. They are unrelated. You would have to test whether the genes are linked in Vulcans, and do a completely separate set of tests in Yodites."

"Great," enthused Kirk. "Make it so!"

Bones walked away with a new data collecting mission and a new headache.