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*Note - This article was initially published on January 29, 2017.
Oh, wow! After publishing my first article titled “Beware of Junk Science Regarding Older Fathers” here on HubPages last year, I never thought that I would be revisiting the topic of older fathers again. Unfortunately, I have stumbled across an article on the Internet that has set forth claims that are even more ridiculous than those that Dr. Kári Stefánsson and his organization, deCODE Genetics, introduced in his so-called research study regarding older fathers not too long ago. The name of that article is “Young Dads have Better-Looking Kids than Old Dads (on average).” Its author is Dr. Mairi Macleod, who proclaims to be an evolutionary biologist and science journalist. This woman is such a joke that it’s pathetic. When I saw her statement therein that children “born to older dads are more likely to suffer from conditions like autism, ADHD and bipolar disorder, are more likely to exhibit suicidal behavior, get worse grades at school,” I immediately suspected that she was another one of Dr. Stefánsson’s shills, if not a loyal member of his fan club. I was right, because, sure enough, it turned out that her “recent post” that is mentioned therein eventually led back to that same faulty research study of Dr. Stefánsson and deCODE Genetics regarding older fathers, after I clicked a few links here and there. Therein she also states that children born to older fathers “are more likely to . . . become obese.” I don’t know where she came up with that assertion of hers, because I did not find it mentioned in the online report of Dr. Stefánsson and deCODE Genetics’ so-called research study or in any online research study report. In fact, it is a falsehood, because another research study that was conducted in Greece concluded that children of older fathers were less likely to be obese. This same research study even concluded that younger fathers contributed to the likelihood that their offspring would be obese. This same research study determined that “children whose father was older than 46 years were less likely of being obese than children having a younger (< 42 years old) father.” I honestly couldn’t care less where Dr. Macleod got the assertion of hers that older fathers procreate obese children, because it carries no weight. No pun intended. In contradiction to all her malarkey, recent research from the Ottawa Health Research Institute in Canada shows that 50-year-old fathers produce healthier children than teenage fathers. The irony of that fact is that there are teenage fathers out there who actually believe that their kids are healthier than those of middle-aged men as I pointed out in my previous article titled “Beware of Junk Science Regarding Older Fathers” here on HubPages.
I find Dr. Macleod’s article to be both offensive and infuriating in that its claims could not be any further from the truth. Even the comment that one of her fans (bumface) posted below her article on June 10, 2016 is intellectually bankrupt at best, and it is representative of the kind of fan base that she attracts on the Internet. The name of Dr. Macleod’s website where her article was published is “Sexy Science,” but I find nothing sexy about it, to say the least. I have researched Dr. Macleod’s background, and I have found nothing scandalous about her. However, the fact that she did her collegiate studies in London causes me to question what her ulterior motives might be for writing her article. After all, the United Kingdom has been known for its men to put off marriage and children until their forties or fifties. Then I ask myself whether perhaps some British chap left Dr. Macleod standing at the altar, and her article is her way of getting even with every British man who reminds her of that lost love of hers. Well, I will not speculate about her personal background. However, I will call her out on her misinformation every way I can herein, because there are likely many youngsters out there whose fathers were older men when they were born and whose feelings that her article may have also needlessly hurt after they read it. I am not averse to the truth; but when someone stretches the truth or does not even tell the truth at all, then I have to jump in and set the record straight. This woman works in the field of medical science, and she ought to know better than to write a misleading article as she has done.
In her above-described article, Dr. Macleod states that “if your dad was old when you were born then you’re more likely to be challenged in the looks department too.” She does not specify therein what her exact definition is of an “old man.” However, after you click the link in her article where it reads “recent post” and you read that same “recent post,” you get the distinct impression that she is talking about men over 45 years of age. In the report of the so-called research study that a Dr. Susanne Huber and a Dr. Martin Fieder performed at the University of Vienna in Austria, no specification is provided as for what their exact definition is of an “old man.” In fact, that same online report provides hardly any information at all. Because that same online report does appear to make reference to Dr. Stefánsson and deCODE Genetics’ so-called research study regarding older fathers, I am under the impression that Dr. Huber and Dr. Fieder consider a 45-plus-year-old man to be an “old man.” I don’t think most men consider themselves to be old until they get to be Hugh Hefner’s age. In any event, I looked into Dr. Huber and Dr. Fieder’s respective backgrounds, and I did not find anything objectionable about them from a legal standpoint. That is, neither one of them appeared to have the kind of checkered past that Dr. Stefánsson has. Nevertheless, the manner in which they both conducted their so-called research study still brings up concerns for me regarding their professional integrity and ethical responsibility or rather their lack thereof.
B. Easily Identifiable Flaws in Dr. Huber and Dr. Fieder’s Research
First of all, as described in Dr. Macleod’s article, Dr. Huber and Dr. Fieder enlisted subjects to act as beauty critics to the high school yearbook photographs of over eight thousand male and female high school graduates from a large U.S. dataset. Dr. Macleod’s article does not explain how Dr. Huber and Dr. Fieder found out the ages of the fathers of each of these youngsters in these high school yearbook photographs, and the actual online research study report to which she links her article doesn’t provide those specific details either. Anyhow, the so-called research study that Dr. Huber and Dr. Fieder performed supposedly provided feedback in which the subjects rating these high school yearbook photographs claimed that “the graduates born to older fathers were less attractive than those of younger fathers . . .” Even though Dr. MacLeod claims that these youngsters being rated were high school graduates, the yearbook pictures of them would have to have been taken when they were still in high school. Therefore, I would have to say that it is safe for me to presume that they were all between 14 and 17 years of age.
If these same high school yearbook photographs described in Dr. Macleod’s article were taken when these 8,000 and so male and female high school graduates were 14 to 17 years old, then these youngsters were undoubtedly in their formative years from both a physical and cosmetic standpoint when they posed for these pictures. Dr. Huber and Dr. Fieder’s online research study report revealed that the high school yearbook photographs were from 1957. Well, kids went into puberty back then at later ages than they do now, and it wasn’t unusual for even a 17-year-old girl or an 18-year-old girl to be still maturing in her physical and cosmetic characteristics back then. Therefore, conventional wisdom holds that these youngsters had not stopped changing in their physical and cosmetic characteristics when they were photographed, and, for that reason, such a research study could not have been any faultier than it was.
Some of you men reading my article may remember homely girls you knew back in high school who turned out to be stunning knockouts when you saw them once again at your 5-year or 10-year high school reunion. How is it fair to determine whether a youngster is always going to be homely for the rest of their life simply because they are not the prospective homecoming queen when they are only 14 or 15 years old? I know that I would certainly not want for anyone to have based my ultimate looks on how I appeared to others when I was only 14 years old. In figurative language, it takes some youngsters a longer time to blossom out into creatures of beauty than it does for others, and the year 1957 was no exception to this rule regarding teenagers. In fact, if you compared high school yearbooks from 1957 with very recent ones, you would notice that teenagers looked more like children back in 1957 inasmuch as they were less physically developed back then than they are now. This is where I have to say that Dr. Huber and Dr. Fieder committed major shortcomings, if not overall professional malfeasance, in their so-called research study regarding the children of older fathers. If Dr. Huber and Dr. Fieder had used recent photographs of men and women in their early-to-mid twenties for their subjects to rate these people’s looks, then perhaps I might have taken some stock in their so-called research study. Of course, I would still have checked everything out about their findings that I could do so.
There is also the question of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. It’s like that proverb that says that one man’s rubbish can be another man’s treasure. Cultural variations can influence a person’s perspective of beauty. Dr. Huber and Dr. Fieder are both Austrian. However, if they got pictures of the youngsters to be rated from a dataset of the United States of America, then these youngsters were mostly likely American rather than Austrian. Standards of attraction and attractiveness can differ from one society to another. Dr. Fieder’s statement quoted in Dr. Macleod’s article that “[the level of] attractiveness may signal mutations” is demonstrative of the shallowness of this man’s judgment. Unless he and Dr. Huber had been doing a research study on the adverse genetic effects of inbreeding or radiation exposure, I fail to see the direct relevance that one’s cosmetic appearance has to their overall state of health. That is, unless the abnormality in their physical characteristics is something substantial like a deformed limb on their body. Just because a 14-year-old girl may look like a plain Jane doesn’t mean that she is any less healthy than the most popular girl in her school. Perhaps that 14-year-old girl just needs to dress differently to appear more attractive to her peers than she does. Anyone who has ever seen the movie titled My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn would know exactly what I’m talking about.
Some of you reading my article are probably wondering what Dr. Huber and Dr. Fieder would have to gain by providing such misleading information concerning the children of older fathers. Well, since the time that I published my last article here on HubPages concerning this topic, I found out that companies that cryonically freeze sperms charge their customers in the four-figure range. Scientists are like lawyers. Some of them are conscientious about ethical responsibility, and they practice professional integrity in their work; whereas others are just in their occupation for the money; and money can motivate even the most educated individuals to commit the most unscrupulous acts in their profession. I have a great amount of respect for both the scientific profession and the legal profession, but I also realize that both of these professions have their fair share of bad apples. As the public at large does not have a blind faith in the legal profession, we should not always trust scientists to do the right thing until we have checked out as many facts as we can, including their backgrounds.
Perhaps Dr. Macleod wants a 22-year-old stud out of this whole crusade of hers to depict children born to older fathers in a bad light. Perhaps she wants other women her age to have one too. I cannot really speculate one way or another. Whether or not she is a cougar is solely her business. However, when she goes misusing her scientific profession to shed a negative light on people whom older men have fathered, in the manner that her article has done, then I must say that she has overstepped the boundaries of her line of work. Also, it is quite obvious to anyone who reads her article that she has some kind of underlying feminist agenda that she is promoting on her website by feeding such nonsense to the public at large.
Regardless of whether or not any of you reading my article have the professional credentials to debunk Dr. Macleod and the two Austrian scientists that she cites in her article, it doesn’t take a genius to point out all of the evidence and information available to the public at large that discredits Dr. Macleod’s misleading claims regarding the children of older fathers. In the YouTube video below, a group of YouTubers talk about older fathers and make mention of Robert De Niro, President Donald J. Trump, Steve Martin, and Clint Eastwood as famous men who fit that description.
Older Fathers Are Common Among Celebrities
C. Basic Facts Proving the Inconclusiveness of Dr. Mairi Macleod’s Claims
The contents of Dr. Macleod’s article present her as both a volunteer henchwoman of Dr. Stefánsson and a used car salesman or rather saleswoman of the field of medical science in that there are many examples that refute her claims therein. I don’t approve of the so-called research study upon which Dr. Macleod based her speculation that older men father ugly kids, because I do not feel that it does justice to determine how someone will always look by rating a picture taken of them during their formative years. However, if we were to assume just for the sake of argument that we could predict people’s long-term cosmetic features by what they looked like as a minor, then I could provide numerous examples of good-looking kids whom older men have fathered. Take the example of 10-year-old Barron Trump, the son of President Trump. His father was in his sixties when he was born, but anyone can still see that this young boy is handsome and quite healthy. As a matter of fact, I had never seen so many little girls in previous presidential inaugurations as I saw in this one presidential inauguration that I watched on television on January 20, 2017. I do not doubt that these little girls had attended the presidential inauguration with their parents to honor the newly elected president, but it was no secret that most of them were mainly there to have a close look at Barron. A news reporter even interviewed a teenage girl and her three little sisters, and the three little sisters looked happier than I have ever seen any little girls look at a presidential inauguration. When people were posting comments all over YouTube concerning the mendacious video that one YouTuber (James Hunter) had published on YouTube about Barron, a whole litany of little girls were flocking to Barron’s defense by posting comments all over YouTube. On one discussion thread on YouTube, I asked this one 10-year-old girl who defended Barron whether she had a crush on him, and she replied to me that she did.
After Barron Trump travels with his mother, Melania Trump, from New York City to Washington, D.C. this summer to live with President Trump in the White House, the staff there is going to confront a whole new experience à la Justin Bieber. The tour guides who take visitors through the White House will be getting more little girls in their tour groups than to which they are accustomed. The staff members who are tasked to go through President Trump’s mail will likely be receiving boatloads of letters in pink envelopes with flower designs or cartoons on them from little girls, and these letters will all be addressed to Barron. President Trump will likely have to hire additional people to sort through all of that mail to get to the letters that are addressed to him. The Secret Service will probably have to conduct a security briefing with each and every one of their officers to prepare themselves to deal with boy-crazy little girls trying to sneak into the White House to see the First Kid. As Barron grows older, the situation is only going to intensify; and if President Trump gets reelected to office, he will likely have to hire additional Secret Service officers to keep mobs of young girls from smothering his youngest son. By then, Barron will be a teenager, and his parents will likely have a chaperone accompany him everywhere along with ten or eleven Secret Service officers. Every Secret Service officer who has a teenage daughter by then will be getting pressure from their teenage daughters to take them to work with them to meet Barron. Anyhow, you get my point. Barron is not an ugly kid, and he will never be an ugly person despite anything that Dr. Macleod has stated in her article regarding children fathered by older men.
Author Len Filppu is in his mid-sixties, and his very young children are both adorable in their looks. There is a picture of them in an article about Mr. Filppu in The Korea Herald. Also, there's nothing wrong with the way 70-plus-year-old Kevin King's elementary-school-age son, Pierre, looks. In fact, the little boy is adorable, and every parent would brag about him.
The YouTube video below shows a 56-year-old man playing catch with his elementary-school-age son, and the little boy has nothing wrong with him in his physical features. In fact, he is a handsome kid.
Robert, An Older Father, Plays Catch With His Elementary-School-Age Son
Melissa Chapman published a recent article giving encouragement to men who have fathered children beyond the age of 45. She is someone whom I would trust much more regarding this topic than Dr. Macleod.
D. Growing Concerns among Growing Numbers of Older Fathers and Their Families
Older fathers have become the norm of this day and age. Therefore, one can only become suspicious on what profitable interests many of these obscure scientists may have in concocting all these so-called research studies concerning the medical dangers of older fatherhood, so to speak. Older men make better fathers than younger men, and they give longevity to their offspring according to an article by Richard G. Bribiescas of *Princeton University Press. (*Note – this is an ivy-league university here in the United States of America that published Mr. Bribiescas’s article rather than some fly-by-night organization.) Older parents are encountering more and more discrimination throughout the English-speaking parts of the world than in the past, and pseudo-intellectuals like Dr. Macleod are only compounding such discrimination whenever they write deceptive articles like that of Dr. Macleod. The YouTube video below describes the kind of disparate treatment to which older parents fall victim.
Older Parents Deserve More Respect From Society
A 15-year-old girl named Bea on the Disney Dads website expressed her content that she had an older father. At the same time, in her statement, she appeared to voice her discontent regarding all of these know-it-alls everywhere condemning older fatherhood as an impending medical catastrophe. Unfortunately, that same post is no longer available on the Internet. On the mumsnet website, a group of women participated in an online discussion regarding their feelings on whether or not older dads were a good idea. Most of these women didn't appear to have any reservations about it, and most of them even rejected the junk science that Dr. McLeod has been promoting regarding older fathers.
Other than drumming up business for companies that freeze sperms in exchange for whatever monetary rewards they get in return, I really do not understand how scientists with questionable standards intend to benefit anyone in pushing these adverse research studies regarding older fathers down the throats of the public at large. Do they expect every man over 45 years of age to go out and get a vasectomy? If they do, I somehow don’t envision it happening. I bring up these points with anger in my tone, because I have identified facts and evidence to refute the false claims that get made in these so-called research studies. Not only do I feel the urge to provide whatever information I can to contradict these misleading claims from these so-called research studies, but also this whole topic has become like something that I just need to get out of my system once and for all.
When I was working as a customer service representative at a call center in my local community so many years ago, I got a telephone call from a man who sounded as though he may have been at least 90 years old. I have a great amount of respect for the elderly. However, this man’s whiny voice continued to get on my nerves as he went off on a tangent about this topic of older fathers, and this incident occurred back before this same junk science was being aggressively shoved down the public’s throats. Much to my discomfort, this elderly man continued to ask me personal questions, and I became more and more guarded in my responses to him. He then started flapping his jaws about how men shouldn’t wait until their forties to father children. The conversation had nothing to do with any of the services he was supposed to be inquiring about; and even though I wasn’t at an age where I needed to be concerned about anything he was saying concerning “genetic mutations” passed down from older fathers to their offspring, so to speak, I found him to be annoying and to sound like a broken record player. After I got off that phone call with this elderly man, I refused to take any more of his telephone calls whenever he phoned into the call center from that point on. I thought that if he wanted to ramble on about all of this nonsense, then he could do so to some other customer service representative who would probably tell him to mind his own business and to keep the conversation focused on service-related issues.
Now, I know that some of you may be thinking that I was out of line to steer clear of this elderly man after speaking with him on the telephone only once, because, after all, it was my job to provide customer service to the customers who phoned in to the call center. However, no customer with whom I had ever spoken annoyed me as much as this man did. I had dealt with irate customers who had used some of the most vulgar and obscene language against me. However, so long as I was able to resolve their customer issue over the telephone, they almost always ended the phone call on a happy note. However, the above-described elderly man appeared to be obsessed with my personal life to the extent that he wanted to create problems for me that did not even exist. If any of you reading my article here have ever worked in a call center, then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about and perhaps you have had the same experience as I did.
E. Junk Science-Related Traps to Avoid
If you surf around the Internet extensively, you will realize that there are numerous hoaxes and psyops out there that set out to mislead the public. All of the junk science that is being fed to the public regarding older fathers (mainly fathers over 45 years of age), including the contents of Dr. Macleod’s article, show all of the telltale signs of a psyop. There is no shame in being a savvy skeptic like me who refuses to buy into hoaxes and psyops. Life is way too short for anyone to be lying awake at night, thinking about one of these hoaxes or psyops.
Do not believe everything that you read and hear, even if it is on a national news program or in a newspaper. Psyops can extend to even the news media and the press depending on their level of popularity, but it does not make them any less psyops than they are. There is an anchorwoman on one of my local television channels whom I simply will not watch on the news, because she did the dirty deed of reporting this same junk science on her news program. Even the most educated of people are not as honest as they used to be 10 to 20 years ago. A good example of what to avoid on the Internet in this same regard can be found in the YouTube video below regarding an “alien from another planet” being interviewed, so to speak.
To Believe This Video Is To Believe Anything
You will also be shocked to know that there are actually still people who believe that the Earth is flat. Watch the YouTube video below. It will give you a good laugh.
The Flat Earth Movement Has All The Features Of A Hoax
Some hoaxes and psyops may not be readily apparent on what they really are, but it doesn’t make them any less bogus and mendacious; and you need to be on your guard against them at all times. Unfortunately, greedy and nefarious individuals in the field of medical science do exist, and they do not have the public’s best interests at heart despite that they may misrepresent themselves as such.
F. My Conclusion About This Topic
Perhaps some of you out there have come across research studies that present questionable findings. Do not take a blind faith in what scientists or scientific professionals say about genetics and reproduction. Research those individuals’ backgrounds; and even if you find nothing shady about them, do not be afraid to continue to question their practices in the event that something about what they’re telling the public just doesn’t seem right. Ethical responsibility and professional integrity are both the key elements of an honest and scrupulous scientist or professional in the field of medical science. If there are scoundrels in the legal profession, there can just as easily be charlatans and quacks in the field of medical science; and there are. Dr. Macleod’s article shows that she is just another pseudo-intellectual on an ego trip rather than a candid scientist who wants to better the world that we live in. She certainly did not state anything in her article out of the kindness of her heart.
A Poll for Savvy Skeptics
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Jason B Truth
Jason B Truth (author) from United States of America on February 18, 2021:
Some of you are likely reading the above article of mine for the very first time; and when you read what I said about Barron Trump, you're thinking that my article appears to have been written before the summer of 2017. Well, that is because I initially wrote it and published it in January of 2017. It's currently showing a date of February 18, 2021, because I made a few corrections in the text of it today. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed my article.
Jason B Truth (author) from United States of America on March 06, 2020:
Okay, ladies and gentlemen. It looks as though I have some good news and some bad news regarding Dr. Mairi Macleod's article titled "Young Dads have Better-Looking Kids than Old Dads (on average)." The bad news is that after Dr. Macleod apparently removed the article from the Internet, she did not republish it anywhere else. Therefore, anyone reading my Hub above for the first time will not get to read her article. I found out about it when I saw that the link had been broken from my Hub above.
The good news is that Dr. Macleod did something that she should have done a long time ago. That is, unpublish her article from the Internet altogether, because, in that manner, many people will be spared from her propaganda and misinformation. In my school of thought, she is not a medical professional but rather a charlatan who is seeking to promote an agenda at the cost and detriment of others.
Jason B Truth (author) from United States of America on December 17, 2017:
Okay. Some of you are likely reading the above Hub of mine for the very first time; and when you read what I said about Barron Trump, you're thinking that my Hub appears to have been written before the summer of 2017. Well, that is because I initially wrote it and published it in January of 2017. It's showing a date of December 17, 2017, because I made a few corrections in the text of it today. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed my Hub.
Jason B Truth (author) from United States of America on January 30, 2017:
When will these fly-by-night pseudo-intellectuals in the medical science profession ever learn? Now they're attacking the offspring of older fathers on their looks. How tacky! The details are in my article above. Let me know what your thoughts are about it here in the comments section.