January 18, 2010

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation
c/o Kremlin

Dear Vladimir Putin:

My interest is in fertility.  As I remember, while president you took an interest in the fact that Russia has a low birth rate.  I am writing in the hope that you still have that interest.

Most people are surprised to learn that a couple will have the most children if they are cousins.  I have no data on first cousin or sibling marriages, but according to a study done in Iceland, the maximum number of children come to marriages between second cousins or closer.  However, they do not have the maximum number of grandchildren, which come to couples who are between second cousins and fourth cousins (sharing in effect great grandparents and great great great grandparents respectively).  Couples related less closely than sixth cousins do not have enough children or grand children to replace themselves.  Then the effect tends to level off so that tenth cousin marriages and extremely distant marriages differ little in their fertility.  This oversimplifies matters, but the message is clear.  If you want children marry a cousin.  If you want your children to have children, marry a cousin.  And this effect accumulates over generations. 

Evidence and references are on the enclosed DVD.  It takes only ten minutes to watch, although one might study it for some time. 

One thing I did not mention on the DVD is that people for whom religion is important have more children.  Many such people will have the religion of their parents and, importantly, worship in the very building where their parents worshiped.  They will also be part of social events of those churches and thus tend to meet and marry others of the same church.  After some generations, this means marrying cousins, and this is ideal for fertility.  I suspect, although there is no evidence in my hands, that this is a large part of the fact that the whole world, excepting only Western Europe, is having a religious revival.  Those for whom religion is a matter of indifference have largely died out.  Sure enough, the birth rate in Western Europe is low. 

If you are interested in seeing more, my web site is NoBabies.net where I post essays and letters such as this.  I have had about three thousand visitors to the site.  Interest appears to be increasing.  In the past month visitors looked at one of my letters or essays about 1,000 times.  This is an increase over prior months. 

If I can clarify anything or be helpful in any way, please let me know.


M. Linton Herbert MD
www.NoBabies.net and www.SilentNursery.com

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