At last some contrary evidence:
It is possible to maintain a conviction so intense that one rejects conflicting evidence.  One of the most blood curdling examples is a book called The Witches’ Hammer by a couple of inquisitors Sprenger and Kramer.  The book was immediately rejected by the Catholic Church, but since there were a lot of witch trials and no other book to tell you how to do it, the wretched thing survived.  They say that the judge at the Salem witch trials had a copy on his desk.

What Sprenger and Kramer did when faced with what they thought was contrary evidence was to explain it away as a devilish plot to discredit them.  There is no arguing against something like that.  Once one is sensitive to the process one tends to see it a lot, and of course it is always important to test ones own ideas for such a failure. 

Over the years I have found a lot of supporting evidence.  I do not deliberately suppress what seems to be in conflict with me, but I find so little of it that I rarely am put to the test.  That has now happened.  (The Fraying Knot ECONOMIST vol. 406 no. 8818 January 12, 2013 page 27)  Marriage is in decline in the United States.  It has not dropped so far as in some places in Europe, but fewer people marry and fewer children live with both biological parents than in times past.  I suppose there is universal agreement that children do better growing up with both biological parents. 

In order for me to have a problem with that, I must satirize my own position that marriages between unrelated people produce fewer children and that this accumulates over generations.  Let me phrase it, “Outbreeding is the root of all evil.”  That’s not what I think, but it’s close enough for present purposes.  Let’s try it out.

Marriages are in decline.  Right.  Marriage is expected to involve love.  Nature has mandated that all animals that are going to mate are attracted one way or another to appropriate mates, meaning among other things mates that are reasonably consanguineous.  We don’t court cousins any longer, so we don’t fall in love.  No problem.

The divorce rate is high and rising.  Right.  That comes of marrying the wrong person.  No problem. 

There aren’t enough babies for us to survive.  Right.  That comes of marrying the wrong person.  No problem.

But look a little closer and a crack appears.  As it turns out, divorce and out of wedlock children happen more among the poor than among the rich.  But babies are fewer among the rich than among the poor.


It might be possible to do some hand waving and reconcile the facts.  But without some hard data, such hand waving would remain unconvincing.  The fact is that there is a conflict here.  I am overlooking an issue.  I wish I knew what it was. 

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Well I sort of can get to some statistics again.  Godaddy says there have been 310 “hosts served” since January 10, 2013.  I suspect that this means what I used to call “visitors,” but technical support had no idea what “hosts served” might mean.  And there have been 801 successful requests for pages, which I suspect means articles called up.  Again Godaddy was no help in explaining what they were talking about.  So I expect to go on saying how many “visitors” have accumulated starting this year. 


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