April 12, 2010

Linda Waite PhD
Department of Sociology
University of Chicago
1126 East 58th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Dear Dr. Waite:
I was much taken with your statement in the documentary “Demographic Winter” that married couples who are unhappy but stay together for a few years become happy after all.  That is excellent news, more excellent than you probably imagine.

The evidence as to why the world’s fertility is declining has actually been published in highly regarded professional journals.  What is lacking so far is for somebody to connect the dots and make their voice heard.  The evidence I have found so far is at nobabies.net with the easiest summary being the March 25, 2010 entry.  There are other lines of evidence from impeccable professional sources and a great deal of material from “peckable” or shall we say anecdotal sources.  I also post my letters there and some other material. 

Just let me mention one non-scientific line of evidence.  Everybody knows that salmon spend their lives cruising the open sea and then return by enormous effort to the very stream where they were spawned.  This is anecdote.  Where is the control?  But return they do.  And what is it they find there that they can find nowhere else on the planet?  They find cousins ready to mate.  That’s all.  Any other creek would be just fine in any other way. 

And it turns out that mating with cousins, not first and maybe not second cousins but certainly closer than 6th cousins, is the only way to assure adequate fertility.  The infertility of mating outside of the restricted population accumulates over generations, which is probably why we have been missing it.  But modern evidence is quite clear.

Since half the cousins of a person will be of the same sex and many will be of an unacceptable age, that leaves very few people one can rationally marry.  The choice is quite limited. 

So that is why the news you give is so good.  If we are to survive, we are going to have to go back to marrying within a tight circle, maybe in the low hundreds total.  That is not currently popular. 

The coming population crash might mean extinction.  It will almost certainly mean the loss of literate society unless dramatic action is taken quite soon. 

It would be a pity if we could save good books (and modern technology generally) only at the price of universal personal despair.  But you say otherwise.  Couples can learn to get along and be happy.  That is why your news is so wonderful.


M. Linton Herbert MD

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