[ExI] Human extinction

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Tue Aug 19 14:54:06 UTC 2008

On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 3:36 AM, Emlyn <emlynoregan at gmail.com> wrote:

>  I'm definitely an Atheist, yes. But we all live on an amount of faith,
>  so of course I have experience of it from the inside like all people.
>  Even if that faith is something along the lines of "the universe
>  behaves in a generally self similar way from moment to moment", it's
>  still faith in a sense. I'd argue there's a qualitative difference
>  between that and "there's a big guy running the show who loves us all
>  and wants to punish us for our sins".

Here's another angle on the subject of this thread and religious faith.

Don't you think that it would be weird if humans evolved to where we are
today if every baby's birth was excruciatingly painful? An assumption of
excruciatingly painful births is what the US culture (and perhaps other
cultures) hammers into the head of every pregnant woman, so no wonder
when it comes to the time of her birthing, she is terrified out of her
mind.  But many other cultures (especially the less developed ones)
treat birthing as natural; women are working out in the fields, they
take a time out for a couple of hours and give birth to their babies and
then they go back to the fields (!). Women's bodies were made for
birthing, if one understands how the different muscles of uterus work
together to bring the baby out. The circular muscles around the cervix
that tightly hold the pregnancy must relax during birthing to allow the
longitudinal muscles at the top of the uterus to gently push the baby
down. All the woman need to do is deeply relax like in a trance and
'breathe' her baby out. To allow her body to do what it already knows
how to do.

But women in this (U.S.) culture are not taught that. I'm coming to a
position that it is a long western myth that giving birth _must_ be
painful. The myth is certainly helped along by Catholic traditions that
call birthing 'Eve's curse' and treat it like her punishment for her
'sin'. Birthing is mostly painful because women are terrified about it.
They are terrified because they are told it must be. And so their terror
prevents their body from performing well the physical functions that it
was evolved to do. And so the circle continues.

I think that the biggest 'pain' I'll have in my own birthing of my baby
girl will be asserting my position in a medical community that is
structured for only interventionist birthing methods (in Boulder County,
only about 20% of the women birth their babies without epidurals, for
example). I want my own birthing should be a celebration of life, not a
traumatic ordeal.



Amara Graps, PhD      www.amara.com
Research Scientist, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado

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