Re: ESSAY: 'Debunking 'Hippy dippy moral philosophy'

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon Jun 21 2004 - 06:46:50 MDT

At 09:08 AM 21/06/04 +0800, you wrote:
> > environment. As EO Wilson puts it, we are just incredibly lucky that over
> > some threshold of wealth women drastically reduce the number of children
> > they have. Otherwise wars would have killed upwards of two billion more
> > the last century than they did.
>Wouldn't perceived wealth relate to the abundance of resources still
>available in the environment? As a population approaches the resource limit,
>people should start getting poorer and poorer, since there isn't enough
>stuff to go around; so why wouldn't women produce less children below some
>certain threshold rather than above?

There certainly is a lower level cut off where the women don't have enough
food to produce or nurse babies.

>Also, from a woman's perspective, abundance of wealth means that kids need
>to be less genetically endowed to make it, therefore there should be a
>tendency toward making more children but faster (less body weight at birth).

The level of wealth where women with access to birth control methods reduce
the number of children they have is outside of our evolutionary
experience. There is considerable discussion of the previous environmental
pressures in William Calvin's _Ascent of Mind_, which is on the web, but
worth having in paper.

Keith Henson

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