Re: how many bastards are there, anyway?

Thomas L. Billings (
Thu, 15 Aug 1996 21:24:34 -0800

In article <4v04vv$>, (sgf) wrote:

> In article <4uponn$5vn$>,
> John Savage <> wrote:
> > (Lee Rudolph) writes:
> >>In brief, Diamond's claims are that "between 5 and 30 percent of
> >>American and British babies [have been] adulterously conceived",
> >
> >This was discussed on a recent episode of the ABC Science Show, but
> >as so often happens, I'm afraid I paid less attention to the program
> >than it rightly deserves. Anyway, I think the ballpark figure they used
> >was that around 10% of children do not belong genetically to the man
> >they believe to be their father.
> I just picked up Timothy Taylor's _The Prehistory of Sex: Four Million
> Years of Human Sexual Culture_ (Bantam: 1996). Here's his summarization of
> the subject:
> (pp 77-79)
> "...In tests of genetic paternity recently conducted by Robin Baker and
> Mark Bellis [1], they found that around 10 percent of children had been
> sired by someone other than their ostensible fathers -- although the
> fathers consciously believed these children to be their own.

<much good discussion snipped to get this past my ISP>


Thanks for some numbers with recent work behind them. A previous post in
this thread had me believing in an "urban legend" status for this far too
quickly. I'll look for the B&B book.

Does anyone know of any professional evaluations of this work on the net?

> --Stephanie
> --
> <*>
> "Assiduous and frequent questioning is indeed the first key to wisdom ...for
> by doubting we come to inquiry; through inquiring we perceive the truth..."
> --Peter Abelard (..........I claim this .sig for Queen Elizabeth)

Nice sig! It warms my heart, and it even seems to be true!


Tom Billings

Institute for Teleoperated Space Development Billings)
ITSD's web site is at,