Friday, 6 November 2009

The burning stupid

This really hurts my brain. To suggest that being secular is what has caused the reduction in the number of births and overall family size is stupid. To quote a parliamentary report I found:
"The number of births in the UK has declined throughout the
century [1901 to 2001], interrupted only by the two post-war ‘baby booms’ and
a secondary peak in the 1960s. " [1]
Unfortunately I can't find any information about relative percentages of secularism to any form of religion other than in 2001 when only 15.5% [2] identified themselves as having "no religion (inc Jedis)". Now this strikes me as not really a reasonable way of accounting for the massive drop in birth rates over the last century:
"Between 1901 and 1905 the general fertility rate in the UK was
about 110 live births per 1000 women aged 15-44. By 1971 this
had fallen to 91 and in 1997 to 597." [1]
Call me scientific but might it just be that the number of people surviving birth has increased: 140 infant deaths per 1,000 births in 1900 to 5.4 per 1,000 in 1997. With more people surviving birth you don't need as many children, life expectancy has also increased (75 for boys, 80 for girls in 1999 compared to 45 and 49 respectively in 1901). A longer life expectancy reduces the pressure to have children at a young age, or at all.

Anyway, moving on from the stupid argument my main interest is this: over the last year what happened? maybe I'm being more focused in my reading but the number of public figures (Tony Blair for example) basically slagging off those who take a humanist or secular world view has seemingly massively increased.

As a standard test: re-read what Lord Sacks said but substitute the word 'muslim', 'black' or 'gay' where he says "neo-Darwinists". Not sure a bastion of great "interfaith relations" is he now?

Gripe the second: WHAT THE HELL is a neo-darwinist with respect to religion? They have nothing to do with eachother unless you happen to be some knuckle-dragging idiot. If anyone out there seriously thinks that secularists or humanists work from any sort of Darwinian principle they are utterly mistaken. We just don't believe in God. Evolution is an utterly seperate argument and the continued muddling of the two is stupid.

Repeat after me: "Evolution, The Big-Bang, Cosmology, Chemistry, Geology have NOTHING to do with the fact that I don't believe in any deity". They may both come from the fact that I think about things and draw what I think to be rational conclusions but one does not cause the other. 


No comments: