April 9, 2012
to be posted on SilentNursery.com and nobabies.net

Rev. Donald Wildmon
American Family Association
107 Park Gate Drive
Tupelo, MS 30001
Rev. Wildmon




&page=1&tbnh=126&tbnw=90&start=0&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0,i:71&tx=35&ty=102 [The address of this picture is a little long; you'd have to paste the pieces together to use it, but it would be easier to try Google Images, like I did.]]

Dear Rev. Wildmon:
You and I are involved in a single struggle although at such a distance from each other that neither knows anything about the other.  Covering the ground will not be easy, so I am hoping you will not give this the usual five second executive decision but lay it aside and look it over around your usual time for meditation.

The struggle, of course, is to preserve families.  I got your name while I was trying to run down a reference in the video “Muslim Demographics.”  From what I can tell you are a conservative.  My own position is not even on the current political spectrum, so please don’t take the attitude, “He isn’t one of Us so he must be one of Them.” 

The first issue is prejudice.  There are many prejudices, but the big one is prejudice against marrying cousins, say third, fourth or fifth.  Most of my friends are politically correct and would never tolerate a joke about anyone for their race, religion, sex, deformity, education and so forth.  But they have no hesitation to laugh at a joke like, “If two people get divorced in Kentucky, are they still legally cousins?”  It’s funny.  Even I think it’s funny.  But it’s a hate joke all the same.  And nobody feels bad about it. 

In the struggle, one of the major battle lines is evolution.  Both sides have committed enormous resources, and neither side will prevail in the foreseeable.  As a physician and a scientist I find I have to use evolution to understand certain things.  I never ask anybody to give up a cherished belief so long as actual harm is not being done.  But the struggle along that line remains trench warfare.  The line will not budge any time soon. 

On the matter of prejudice, conservatives are regularly accused of being prejudiced.  But the accusers are the most blind when it comes to their own prejudice against marrying kin.  It seems to me that this is unfair.  They are claiming the moral high ground, and it is not theirs.  Claim the even higher ground and attack that prejudice and it seems to me there might be an opportunity.

The other issue is related to the first and has more to do with families.  As it turns out, marrying kin is the way to have children.  It’s a fact.  Here is a graph from a scientific study done in Iceland.
Graph of kinship against fertility 

The man’s name is actually “Helgason.”  As you can tell, the closer kin you are, the more babies you are going to have.  Those error bars are two “standard deviations.”  That means about ninety percent of cases fall in that range.  There just isn’t enough room for anything else to be affecting the outcome.  The study goes on to show a similar effect in grandchildren. 

Well one study doesn’t mean much.  But another study done in Denmark, using a different way of estimating kinship, found the same curve.  A man named Sibly complied over one thousand studies of animals and found the same curve again.  I shall steer you toward the references in a bit.  Just now try to understand what I am saying.  Don’t believe me.  Believe the evidence once you see it. 

Now you have noticed two things.  One is just how poisonous that prejudice is.  The other is that science relevant to families is available but is being ignored.  Our “liberal” brothers are happy to say, “It doesn’t matter what ethnic group you marry into; everybody is the same.  We’ll get world peace once everybody has mixed their ethnic background up so much they don’t care.”  Literally that is true.  Were we to do that there would be no wars because there would be no people.  And indeed it doesn’t matter what ethnic group you marry; by the time you are that far out from near kin the curve has leveled off below replacement. 

So again, here is a chance to seize the higher ground.  The liberals are claiming science as their justification, but the science is not on their side at all.  Hit them with the truth. 

Turning two flanks this way should change the nature of the debate dramatically, but there is yet another summit that looks down on the entrenched. 

There is something called “speciation.”  Grit your teeth.  You might not like this.  If you separate two species long enough, when they get back together they cannot have fertile offspring.  Yes that has a lot to do with evolution.  If you don’t have speciation, you can’t have much evolution.  Make what mental reservations you must, but follow this with me.

Say there is a valley with a thousand rabbits.  Two rabbits are brothers, and one hops across the valley.  Immediately a glacier comes down the valley and stays there two thousand rabbit generations.  (Roughly.  We can talk numbers some other time, but that is my best guess.)  When the glacier melts the rabbits on one side cannot have fertile offspring with rabbits on the other.  Even the descendants of the two brothers cannot mate and have more than one generation follow them.  That is called speciation and it has happened to camels; the Bactrians domesticated the two humped camel.  It was taken to Africa where it was bred into the fast running, one humped dromedary.  The two can have fertile offspring, but after a few generations the line dies out. 

As you know, almost all the genes in animals are on chromosomes that come in pairs.  You get one copy from each parent.  What has happened to the rabbits is that the chromosomes have changed so much that they cannot do business with each other any longer.  Or maybe it’s parts of chromosomes; after all, chromosomes do get rearranged.

So now instead of having a glacier we just let all thousand rabbits in the valley mate at random.  Start with the same brothers.  Each chromosome has two thousand copies in the valley.  For the chromosome of one brother to reach the chromosome from the other brother will take, on average, 2,000 generations.  They won’t be able to do business just as if speciation had occurred.  All the rabbits will die out.

Well evolution, or whatever you choose to believe, will not stand for this.  So a fix has been made.  The fix is not genetic, it is “epigenetic.”  That means it has to do with the control of genes, not genes themselves.  It is this epigenetic mechanism (apparently, although this is not yet quite proven) that causes the infertility visible in the graph.

All of this is absurdly simple.  There was enough evidence 150 years ago to figure it out.  But science has ignored the logic.  For much of that time the “geneticists” were quarrelling with the “evolutionists” about which was right.  And this was an argument within science.  They couldn’t believe that both theories could be right. 

So once again there is the opportunity to take high ground.  Most biologists don’t even understand their own theories and what they would imply. 

I’m sorry.  I have good friends who are scientists.  Some even understand the problem.  But the great mass of them has no idea about this.

I have been trying to call attention to this for many years, with very little success.  But I thought you might be able to make use of it.

Here is a link to a poster that gives the references and runs over the logic: http://nobabies.net/Orlando%20meeting.html

Of course if you prefer I can print up a copy and mail it to you.

Do let me know how you feel about this.


M. Linton Herbert MD


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