September 27, 2009

Dear Michael Moore,

Since political satire is your interest, I am sure you have no shortage of material.  However you might find it less common to take an interest where nobody else has made much impact.  If so, you might find this useful. 

As you know, we live in an approximation of a national society, in which anybody in the country is free to make social arrangements with anybody else and is not discouraged from marrying anybody else, certain age, sex and prior commitment considerations aside.  Exceptions abound.  Many people limit their social horizon to less than the entire country, and many extend their horizon beyond our borders.  But the bottom line is that we adore the big gene pool, and this is encouraged by the government with the cooperation of the entertainment industry, advertising and – shockingly – the medical and scientific communities.

At the same time we face a fertility problem shared by the rest of the developed world.  Received wisdom is that the solution is more sex and an even bigger gene pool.

But that is just not true.

Here are three references. 
1 On the Regulation of Populations of Mammals, Birds, Fish, and Insects.  Richard M. Sibly, Daniel Barker, Michael C. Denham, Jim Hone, Mark Pagel SCIENCE VOL 309 22 JULY 2005 page 609 

2 An Association between Kinship And Fertility of Human couples Agnar Helgason, Snaedbjoern Palsson, Daniel F. Guobjartsson, Pordur Kristjansson and Karl Stefanson, SCIENCE vol 319 8 February 2008 page 813

3 Comment on “An Association Between the Kinship and Fertility of Human Couples,” Rodrigo Labouriau and António Amorim, SCIENCE vol 322 12December  2008 page 1634b
All are from SCIENCE, America’s most prestigious scientific journal.  They are “refereed” papers, meaning that they have passed the most rigorous test for being valid.  None has been seriously challenged.  They are all in agreement that when two animals or humans mate, their fertility is highly dependent on the degree to which they are related.  Inbreeding is an issue, but its effect is dwarfed by the fact that mating with members of the same species that are not fairly near kin results in a disastrously reduced fertility.

There are some subtleties, but the bottom line is quite clear.  The big gene pool is suicide.  There is a great deal of supporting evidence, laid down above and beyond the call of sanity on my web site 

It would be natural to suppose that as the population size declines, the gene pool will be reduced and the population stabilize.  I only know of two human communities where this had the opportunity of happening, and both went extinct. 

The question of timing is difficult.  Most modern countries consider the children of immigrants to be citizens.  That is entirely just, but it does make it harder to follow what is going on with their demographics.  One country that is an exception is Germany.  Looking at a surrogate for their birth rate over recent decades it appears to me that the last German woman who will ever have children, assuming business as usual for the future, is about 10 years old.  In another five years, she will have fallen in love.  Thenceforth she can be expected to stay in love with the same male or seek out another much like him.  So everyone over say 15 and everyone under 10 in that country is demographically a write off.  And there are 5 years in which to change things.  The other developed countries seem to hide their numbers better, but are probably not much different.  The same time to the birth of the last child can be figured out from the timing of the Great Depression, but that is a lengthier argument.

We are in crisis mode.  The scientific facts are available but are ignored.  There is not even a debate.  And our political powers are pushing us steadily toward the brink.  Less developed societies appear to be up to a couple of generations behind. 

When I am feeling gloomy about it, I think that we have maybe 7 years in which to save civilization and probably to save any humans at all.  Given 7 billion people or so, the clock is running at a rate of a billion lost babies a year. 

So I try to figure out how many bulldozers it would take to push a billion babies into a trench in a year.  I suppose that it is no surprise that just about everybody I talk to about this cringes and changes the subject and that my phone calls, letters and emails go unanswered. 

I have a DVD with some of the evidence.  It takes about 10 minutes to play.  I would like to mail it to you if you have a snail mail address. 

If you are interested or if I can help in any way, please let me know.  I shall be posting this also as an open letter on the web site. 


M. Linton Herbert MD  
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