contraception first or prosperity first?
- View SourceI have heard that argument made by leaders in the field, but cannot point to any scientific studies. I start my counterpoint with the scientific maxim "correlation does not prove causality" and suggest reverse causality. That reduced fertility caused industrialization and therefore not visa versa. Thus it is NOT a coincidence that Thomas Malthus lived at the beginning of the industrial revolution, for example, or that the plague preceded the renaissance. However there are a couple of reasons why generalized technology would reduce fertility, which basically is that technological forms of evening entertainment start competing with sex. These include electric lights, radio and television, and erotic photography and publication. So even if we partly accept the concept of prosperity driven demographic transition, we can get far more specific than "prosperity".Also, worldwide prosperity is far too expensive, polluting and resource intensive to be a solution, as making 7 billion people prosperous would inherently run us out of petroleum and push global warming past the point of no return. Thus that solution is impossible regardless of whether prosperity inherently reduces fertility or not. The resources necessary to do it that way simply no longer exist.-AlanOn Wed, 4 Jan 2012 16:33:35If I am not mistaken you are pointing out the general concept of beliefs being affected by evolution, sociobiology, but not specifically about the beliefs regarding how many children one should have. Do you have examples of that specific concept?
The rough outline would be that an LFG (Large Family is Good) belief system will evolve into existence by the fact that those without that belief will generally use birth control and thus reduce in numbers. I'm looking for something that in essence makes it clear that the demographic transition should not be used to predict longer term birth rates. Or to put it another way, the interpretation that the lower birth rates we see in developed countries being caused by women's empowerment, education, and wealth as if there was a mechanism forcing this to happen, is bogus.
It would be nice to find a paper or sociobiologist that will make it clear that a better interpretation of that data is that until the advent of cheap birth control there was no difference in the birth rate between those that believed LFG vs those that had no particular beliefs. Now that cheap birth control does exist, there is a difference, and thus we see the vast majority of people that have access to birth control using it and decreasing in numbers relative to those that don't have birth control or believe some form of LFG.On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 8:51 AM, <> wrote:I had a sociobiology text but loaned it out, never got it back, and forgot the exact title and author; though I think the title was simply "Sociobiology" Let's see what wikipedia has to say about it.Yeah, the wikipedia article is pretty good except it requires some extrapolation to see the implications for overpopulation activists as it's not really spelled out for you.-Alan
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