Monday, February 08, 2010

Population, Fundamentalism and Irrationality

Depressing photo on the centre spread of the Guardian today.
They got it from the National Geographic, link here.

National Geographic copy:
At 88, Joe Jessop is an elder of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the controversial sect that split from the Mormon Church after it banned plural marriage. In Hildale, Utah, he has tried to fulfill his duty to build up his "celestial family"—5 wives, 46 children, and 239 grandchildren. "I've had a blessed life," he says. "I wouldn't trade places with anyone."

One man has 285 descendants in 2 generations.
Six people (Jessop and 5 wives) have multiplied their number by a factor of 47.

And he is pleased with himself. His God has blessed him. He cares nothing about reason, mathematics or ecological reality. God will provide.

God has provided us with the ability to reason, but s/he has also provided us with the ability to give reason a manual override when it does not suit our prejudices.

Ah well. 'Twas ever thus. La lutte continua. If we cannot limit our numbers, Gaia will do it for us. All we can do is try.


Simon said...

Probably thinks if we overpopulate the world it will bring us closer to the Rapture.

DocRichard said...

A-amen brother. Except John didn't mention overpopulation. Or did he? Genesis set the tone for it - Go forth and multiply. That's one commandment that humanity has kept.

Muslim (over)population policy is based on the fact that the Prophet (phuh) congratulated a follower who had just got married and wished him lots of children...