Did They Believe in Birth Control?

It is, Zubrin explains, this very anti-humanism that has motivated racist eugenics campaigns in the U.S. and genocidal population-control programs around the world. In quieter ways, this suspicion about humanity also provides the foundation for modern tirades against nuclear power, pesticides, biotech foods, and industrial development.

Ironically, anti-humanistic hype is so far off the mark that it is actually plummeting fertility rates that pose some of the largest social and policy challenges in our day. Jonathan Last delves into the details with his book (and lecture) What to Expect When No One's Expecting.

Census numbers merely outline the results of a million personal decisions—they hardly prescribe or proscribe reproduction. And the rather bizarre and tragic update on Octomom's story suggests that huge families shouldn't be an end in and of themselves.

But every time someone quizzes me on my grandparent's bedroom decisions, I just smile a little and tell them about my grandpa's favorite saying: "There's always room for one more." I happen to think he's right.

5/17/2013 4:00:00 AM
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