[extropy-chat] Islamic morons win yet again

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Sun Oct 1 12:51:45 UTC 2006

> At 12:01 AM 10/1/2006 -0400, Keith H. wrote:
> I should have thought it's obvious: so they could do things with
> their lives in addition to producing and looking after one child
> after another after another...

K-selection.  Fewer offspring, more resources invested in those.

I suspect as things like vaccinations, emergency room care, etc. increased
the probability of children surviving women may have chosen to invest more
resources in individual children.  As fewer children were needed for
harvesting, feeding the chickens, milking the cows, etc. the need for slave
labor diminished.  College is an expensive proposition, better to save so a
few can go rather than none at all.

It is important to keep in mind that the decline in children per family is
not a Irish, Spanish, or even European or U.S. phenomena.  It has taken
place in Russia and Japan such an extent that the governments are providing
large subsidies to have children.  In both of those cases the
economic/K-selection arguments appear to be playing a very large role.  In
Russia one cannot afford to raise more than one or two children.  In Japan I
believe there is a high priority placed on the mother functioning as a
teacher/tutor over a much longer period (something that would be restricted
by time requirements of caring for younger children).  It would be
interesting to speculate whether those principles would hold and as
lifespans are extended one might see parents having more children but spaced
over ten or fifteen year intervals rather than two or three.

On 10/1/06, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:

What's more interesting, in the context of this thread, is how
> Catholics raised in these two famously pious nations (Ireland and
> Spain) managed to find workarounds to the clamoring condemnation of
> birth control from their supposedly virginal prelates, not to mention
> the urgings of their baby-mad genes.

Indeed.  I suspect there would be interesting lessons here as to when local
cultural practicality (perhaps even rational thought?!?) trumps
indoctrinated meme sets (aka belief systems).  Understanding this might give
one hope that irrational belief systems are not unstoppable.

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