April 12, 2010

Barry McLerran. Rick Stout and Steven E. Smoot 


Dear Barry McLerran:
I watched “Demographic Winter” with a kind of relief.  I have for several years been telling people about this and explaining the cause.  I get almost no response, and lacking a response I do not know why the message is not getting through. 

What your film demonstrates is that our cultural abandonment of the belief in the importance of family has led to a decline in the birth rate which will have serious consequences.  Forgive me, but that is like saying Toby Dammit had suffered what might be termed a serious injury in “Never Bet the Devil Your Head.”  If the fall in birth rate is ever to stabilize, the cause must be understood.

The issue, as you point out so clearly, is family.  In addition to the other points you make I would like to add this: human fertility depends on marrying within the family.  Perhaps you already know of the study done in Iceland that demonstrates beyond all doubt that kinship and number of children and grandchildren are strongly related with more kin being better.  (Excluding extreme inbreeding.)  In fact from a statistical standpoint it is hard to see anything else affecting birth rate: the effect of two world wars on the German birth rate is an exception.  But that is the kind of magnitude something must have to appear in the statistics.  The kinship issue is overwhelming. 

If we had a state religion of course this would be heresy.  Everyone I run into seems convinced to the core that the bigger and more diverse and better mixed a gene pool the healthier it will be and the more fertile it will be.

But when I corner professional geneticists and show them my data I never get, “Look.  Here’s where you are going wrong.”  I talked to a couple of dozen of them at a convention in Albuquerque last month. 

The data I have been able to put together predicts a decline in fertility all the way down to zero.  It is impossible of course to predict what will happen when numbers get seriously small, like in the dozens.  I know you are thinking that with numbers like that I am talking inbreeding.  I am actually talking the result of just the opposite. 

While it is quite imaginable that the human species will not go absolutely extinct, the possibility of retaining a literate culture seems remote. 

I have put all the evidence I have been able to find along with results of my own computer simulation and the letters I write on my website nobabies.net.  If you look at what I put up on March 25, 2010 it is probably the easiest way into the subject.  I also have a ten minute DVD of the subject, but it lacks the most recent paper I have found. 

Since you are already aware that a falling birth rate if sufficiently severe is a bad thing, my work is half done.  All you need is the mechanism and that is what I can just about provide.  A lot more science needs to be done, but that will not happen until people demand it, and that will not happen until they know.

Thank you for a very helpful film, “Demographic Winter.”  Please look at what I have to offer for an explanation.  I will be only too happy to clarify further.  This is very important and you as a group are ideally positioned to do something good.  Do get back to me. 


M. Linton Herbert MD 

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