Guest post: Chris Matyszczyk takes a look at ScientificMatch, a site that claims it will find you that special someone with the help of a test tube.
I have friends who tried match.com. They met people who frightened them. And only sometimes because they looked nothing like their picture.
My friends tried eharmony.com. And met people for whom dinner was an extended version of "60 Minutes."
"Do you think you could fall in love with me?" he said.
"We haven't finished our first drink yet," she replied.
"Yes, but research shows that you fall in love within the first fifteen minutes, so please answer the question," he insisted.
My friend insisted on leaving.
For these friends, and others of you out there who have still not found someone you can tolerate on a daily, or at least weekly basis, science has now come up with geek perfection.
Scientificmatch.com doesn't need to know whether you like the New York Giants, the San Francisco Giants or They Might be Giants.
All they need is a DNA sample, with which they will find you a date with "a natural odor you'll love, with whom you'll have healthier children, a more satisfying sex life and more.*"
I followed the asterisk. It told me: "This statement is based on peer-reviewed, independent studies published in distinguished scientific journals. Individual results may vary. Please read more here."
I read more here. Scientificmatch.com believes your ideal partner..oh, I can't do it justice. Allow me to quote the Web site, which looks as if it could have done with much better designer genes behind it:
"The theory is that nature wants us to breed with other people who have different immune systems because it creates babies with a wider variety of immune system genes, and therefore, more robust immune systems—in other words, healthier babies."
The site goes on to quote many seemingly serious resources for this verdict, and takes great efforts to make you feel as if you are already participating in the process:
"For example, you’ve probably noticed that you’re not sexually attracted to your brother, sister, mother, or father. That’s because they’re all part of your immediate gene pool, and you all probably have very similar immune systems."
That's the reason I'm not attracted to my brother? Wow. Not because he's kind of ugly, a little on the porky side and appears to share rather too many views with Pat Robertson and former South African President P.W. Botha?
The site quotes many interesting studies. Perhaps one of the most alluring comes from the University of New Mexico, which suggests that, well, women have more orgasms with partners who are fortunate to have different immune systems.
I find myself blushing. But Scientificmatch.com anticipated my reaction:
"This might seem surprising at first blush, but it’s very consistent with the overall theory that nature wants us to breed with those who have different immune systems from ourselves. That’s because the female orgasm is a mechanism that increases a woman’s chances of getting pregnant during intercourse. So, by increasing the rate of women’s orgasms with their genetically matched men, it could be another way that nature encourages healthy offspring."
Yes, it could be.
And it could be that Justin Timberlake is a transsexual from Queens.
But wait, there is more from Scientificmatch.com, via the University of New Mexico.
This is especially useful for our female readers who might be unclear why they have, on occasion, chosen to stray from their loved ones:
"(Research) shows that a woman’s chances of cheating are determined very strongly by the degree to which her immune system genes match those of her man. If all her immune system genes are the same as his, she’ll very likely cheat. If half her genes match his, she has about a 50% chance of cheating. And if none of her immune system genes match her partner’s, there’s very little chance she’ll be untrue."
Perhaps this is why I cheated on my brother, no?
I can sense by now that any number of readers, married, single or desperate for some other reason, have opened a separate window in their browser to find the true, scientific love of their dreams.
Well, please let me tell you that, unlike all the other most valuable things in life, love does not come cheap. To sniff out your ideal alien immune love system will cost you $1995 (while a Barry White CD will still only set you back around 13 bucks).
This includes a DNA matching (personal chemistry matching), with a promise to never look at your full DNA profile, only the small fraction that defines your immune system.
The service also includes background checks on prospective dates. You see, the site tries to filter out criminals. Well, actually, not quite. The categories mentioned are those convicted of a sexual crime, a violent crime, or, quite naturally, an Internet crime.
So the true love of your life might, indeed, be an embezzler. Or a prostitute. Or, indeed, the CEO of Enron. Who, some might say, was a bit of both. But please don't worry, this is, at least, an honest service:
"To further promote honesty, we also verify everyone’s age, seven-year bankruptcy history, and marital status. So, when you see how old someone is, you’ll know it’s the truth. If someone’s been in bankruptcy during the past seven years, you'll know that, too. And if someone's married, it will be clearly visible. Of course, if you’re not seeking a married person, we’ll keep you completely separated from them. You’re in control."
Why, thank you, scientificmatch.com.
There are people out there specifically looking for married people? What kind of weird people are you?
Please, dear readers, in this year of audacious hope, please, please try this service so that I can hear of your experiences. I know it's a lot of money, but I need to know if this science thing really works. I should add that our someone would have to live, for now at least, in the Boston or Providence area, as that is Scientificmatch.com's first, um, catchment area, and please read the fine print.
Come on, you good-for-nothing Harvard and MIT types. Think of this as your moment of truth. Ours, too. Do it for all of humanity.