You Have About A Week To Make The Card

That’s right, it’s February, which means I start getting a lot of hits for some version of “science valentine” or “biology valentine” or some such. So I’m going to post some of them, before the storm hits (2 feet of snow predicted here). If you do end up using one, I’d love to see a pic of the card you eventually come up with.

First, my favorite, which I actually had the chance to recite to someone yesterday–someone who has no idea I have a secret identity as a cephalopod. She had an evolutionary psychology textbook on her shelf, so the recitation was just part of the flow of conversation. I kinda forgot that in the real world (as opposed to my own little corner of the blogosphere), people don’t usually just break into extended recitations of love poems. But hey, I can tell you, it’s worth the trouble of memorizing this one. And it’s fun.


In sociobiology,
Why I love you and you love me—
Which anyone can plainly see—
Is mostly in our genes.
No, not the ones you buy in stores,
But what a scientist explores–
I like the way you look in yours,
And you know what that means.

What subtly-coded stimulus
Takes you and me, and makes us “us
And makes us feel ‘twas ever thus?
The list of suspects narrows.
No longer are we all a-shiver
From some Cupid with a quiver
Out of which he might deliver
Fusillades of Eros.

Nor Dopamine, nor Serotonin
Tell us why our hearts are moanin’
Though they serve to help us hone in
On–not why, but how;
The parasympathetic blush,
Adrenaline to bring a rush,
Are how, not why, I’ve got a crush
On you, my darling, now.

But if old Charles Darwin’s right,
The reason that the merest sight
Of you will always give delight
Is…reproductive fitness.
Throughout our species’ family tree,
Producing proper progeny
Is what determined you and me
And Darwin was the witness.

Is thinking that you’re oh so sweet
And how you’ll make my life complete
Some trick to make our gametes meet?
It seems it may be so.
I feel the way I feel today
Because some bit of DNA
Sees your genetics on display
And wants to say “hello.”

But think of this, for what it’s worth:
Millennia before my birth
That DNA had roamed the earth,
In residents thereof;
The neat thing is, it’s really true,
The feeling that I have for you
Although, of course, it feels brand-new
Is truly ageless love.


  1. Crudely Wrott says

    Aahh, young love; older than dirt.

    I can still recall feeling that timeless aspect of love. Procreation soon followed, divorce hard on its heels.
    Evidence for genetic predisposition being more powerful than emotion? Perhaps . . . indeed, perhaps.

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