Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Learning what cavemen knew all along.

You can tell an enlightened society, because it considers itself a mere dwarf standing on the shoulders of giants. Our society, that enjoys patting itself on the back for our advanced intellect and unsurpassed cultural sophistication (though looking at the produce of our own cultural institutions I'm at pains to figure out why), tends to imagine ourselves as giants looking down with sneering contempt on the dwarfs who came before. The result, of course, is where such arrogance always leads, and that's a well placed bullet in one's foot. So after decades of being told that humanity has to be thinned, we overlooked a valuable lesson that your average Neanderthal was able to figure out - that if you don't have babies, your civilization won't last.

As Europe implodes under the weight of, among other things, catastrophically low birth rates, and only through immigration is America kept afloat, some are questioning whether population growth will even happen, or if it's all been overstated. Others are begrudgingly admitting that low birth rates may not be that great after all. Something that most of the world throughout most of time happened to agree with the Catholic Church about. In fact, the viewpoint that having babies is good is hardly a Catholic teaching, though many label it as such. Up until our super-sophisticated generation of smart people, that was merely common sense.

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