Miscellaneous Musings of Luke Shors

“Where the telescope ends the microscope begins, and who can say which has the wider vision?” - Victor Hugo


Is Tom Brady a Goat?

Updated: May 17, 2019

After the Super Bowl LIII there was much speculation about whether Tom Brady of the New England Patriots was a goat. Some even phrased it as ‘The Goat” – as in the Platonic Ideal of Goatness where Tom Brady was more goat-like than a goat.

Why a goat? He’s not that spry in pocket. Certainly, the NFL has better leapers. But Brady possesses that grizzled unshaven look that does resemble a goat left out to pasture too long. The fact that everyone in sports media was discussing whether he was a goat says less about the accuracy of the comparison and more about the echo chamber of the modern media.

From one point of view we can say definitely that Tom Brady is not a goat any more than a building is a tunnel. Yet as we examine the issue more deeply, we see a more complex story. From a behavioral perspective goats love ramming their heads into other goats or objects, much like NFL players do.

Beyond behavior, there are genetic connections not easily dismissed. According to the Bovine Genome Sequencing Consortium “The cattle genome contains a minimum of 22,000 genes, with a core set of 14,345 orthologs shared among seven mammalian species” one of which is humans (Elsik, C; Tellam, R; Worley, K; 2009). Of course, cattle aren’t goats but again evidence such as this indicates the broad pattern of genetic conservation across mammalian species.

Thus, both behaviorally and genetically speaking we can indeed say Tom Brady is part goat. But then again, we could just as easily say goats are part Tom Brady.


About Me

"Not all those who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkinn

I think of myself (as well as aspire to be) a curious person. Curious in a book store, but also curious exploring a new city or meeting a new person. Curious in planned and unplanned moments. In an era where knowledge about the world is both vast and deep, curiosity occasionally strikes me as anathema to expertise. Or, more accurately, if you are curious, best to be curious about some very specific topic. But so far at least, that does not seem to be my path. My professional work is orientated towards start ups as well as international development.

In 2019 I decided to make a more concerted effort to write - hence this site. My blog focuses on science and technology, health research and education. My fiction is of the speculative variety - Science fiction that uses scientific ideas to explore human experiences. Thanks for reading!

People Walking


University of Iowa, BA Philosophy (2000)

Johns Hopkins, MPH (2005)

Johns Hopkins, MBA (2005)

Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ed.D. (2017)


©2018 by Dr. Luke Shors