It's elf genetics time again!
- An early issue of the Tolkien Journal had a short article, mostly consisting of a genealogical chart and a brief commentary, titled "The Hereditary Pattern of Immortality in Elf-Human Crosses" by John Boardman. The scientific precision of this title, I guess, is what caught readers' eyes, and for a while there in the mid-60s, it seemed that no general-media article on Tolkien fandom was complete without a citation of this article title as proof of what wacky things those Tolkien nuts got up to.
So imagine how tickled I was to find, just now, a brand-new general-media article on Middle-earth racial genetics, written just as if nobody had ever considered the topic before! Here it is: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/12/are_hobbits_human_can_elves_and_humans_and_dwarves_interbreed.html
While I wholeheartedly agree with the author's final point, that Tolkien's hobbit heroes are truly human as characters in a story, the crashing dismissal of all the preceding genetic geekery as meaningless feels rather anticlimactic.