Friday 2 September 2011

Eugenics and child mortality


My contrarian position is that I am against eugenics, and against anti-eugenics:

and that child mortality differentials were the main driving force in 'recent' human evolution (from 10000 years ago until c1800):


From this I infer that the 'reversal' of selection pressure from c1800 in developed countries, sometimes termed 'dysgenics'

is a result of differential fertility in societies with ignorably low child mortality rates.

Therefore, the 'dysgenic' trend will continue unless - or rather until - child mortality rates again revert to their historically high levels.


It is the fact that 'all' children who are born nowadays (from whomever and from wherever and without reference to economic productivity) will very likely survive and reproduce, which has generated the reversal in selection pressure, and which has already grossly overpopulated the planet with more to come. 

The humanitarian imperative, which we all feel, to prevent children suffering and dieing, will therefore - with near certainty, although uncertain timescale, but measurable at most in decades - destroy the high productivity society which enables this humanitarian impulse to be effective.

Inter alia, and by means of which, child suffering and mortality will hit quantitative levels unprecedented in the history of the world - probably measurable in billions.


Ironic - or something.



The Crow said...

The Law of Diminishing Returns.
Dish out the wealth, and there is ever less wealth to dish out. Leveling out to a point at which everybody is almost starving.
Locusts, consuming everything, so all may be doomed, uniformly. And equally...

S. Thompson said...

Modern humanitarian efforts remind me of Bastiat's 'Parable of the Broken Window'. The volunteers (mainly from the west) believe they are doing good by alleviating the suffering of 3rd world inhabitants thereby facilitating their exploding population growth. They themselves probably have few/no children. The net result? Suffering in the future on a scale in the future that will make previous famines seem like trivial incidents by comparison. This could also affect more developed countries.

Bruce Charlton said...

@ST - Indeed. The self-gratifying, fantasy-driven recklessness of Western 'humanitarian' influence on other countries has reached psychotic levels - almost anything seems possible now. No amount of reasoned argument or evidence concerning consequences has the slightest influence on the imperative of "I must do *something* *now* to make myself feel better about all this".