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[The Creation of the Chicken]

An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
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Monday, July 07, 2008

Greatest Accomplishment: "No Biological Children."

An article about a UW researcher looking at declines in penguin populations. There were actually several news articles, but I was unable to access the published paper...but the news articles offered NO evidence to suggest a direct link between the penguins' population problems and human population/behavior. It is simply assumed...and however logical it may seem you cannot do that in science I'm afraid. We've had it so beaten into our brains so that anytime something bad happens in nature we immediately assume two things: global warming and humans as the cause.

But when I read this in the Seattle PI article, I knew the type of person who was doing this research:

Boersma hopes that her research will draw attention to the penguin problem before it's too late. She cites an ever-growing human population as the root of the threat to penguins. When asked recently about her greatest accomplishment, she said it was "having no biological children."

"Most people say their great accomplishment is having two children, or four or six, but it's at the expense of the rest of what we want to have in the world," she said. "If we don't get a handle on reducing human consumption and population, we're not going to have the other species I want to see in the world."

You've likely heard me joke about it, but folks I am telling you this attitude is representative of those who are DRIVING the discussion on the environment these days and you wait until they are brave enough to publicly tie the issues of abortion and euthanasia to climate change...you wait, because I guarantee you it will happen. I've met them and I've had them tell me to my face that if they could, they would have me heavily taxed for the burden I've placed on this planet via my four children.

Maximum number of offspring, mandatory abortions, mandatory euthanasia...all quite viable solutions in their minds when we are standing on the precipice of a "planetary emergency."

How very far we have come. Thomas Edison's light bulbs are only the beginning. If you think I'm being paranoid, then you've not been paying attention to what's being said - albeit quietly for now. There is disdain in the voice: YOU breeders...YOUR children are killing us all and wiping out penguins for good measure, too. You should be ashamed. Mourn, lament, weep...how will you atone for your reproductive sins?

Oh don't get me started...I'm in an ornery mood already. Yes, I'm gonna go home and just let my chainsaw and lawnmower idle for a few hours doing nothing, and then I'm going break all my CFL's and ship them to Al Gore asking him to please dispose of them for me properly.

...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 2:50 PM [+]


...I'm not sure I would put it that way, but I'm certainly proud of my children who are all Korean adoptees. My wife and I had infertility problems and rather than go the high tech route, we decided to adopt. Next to falling in love and marrying my wife, the blessings of these three children have been beyond my wildest dreams. I wish more people would look to adoption as a way to change the world. I wish more birth mothers, particularly in this country, would choose the harder, but better choice (in most cases), and entrust their children to adoptive parents instead of killing their child or trying to raise the child on their own, or with the help of grandparents. The county I live in has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state. Because both hospitals have a religious affliation, abortions are fairly rare. And because state laws have an unfortunate byproduct of encouraging teen moms to keep their kids, most of them do. You'd think adoption would be a great choice, but it typically isn't even considered. In fact, it is often easier and cheaper to adopt children from another country than to adopt a child born in this country.

I guess what just kills me, James, is that the earth-first folks find it easier to care about penguins then care about their neighbor next door, or the young girl down the block. Their solution to endemic poverty and despair isn't advocating the renewing of hearts and minds by an encounter with God coupled with some tangible, boots on the street activities to help alleviate suffering, but something Orwellian. Reminds me of what C.S. Lewis once said about needing protection from people who think they know best. Yikes.

Take care,

By Anonymous Mike, at 3:41 PM  


God bless you and your wife for adopting...how wonderful!

You also convict me to some degree in that while I complain a great deal about such craziness...I'm rather sure I don't do enough to show Christ's love to the world and particularly those in need.

By Blogger JamesoftheNorthwest, at 9:08 PM  


Why say that human beings are the problem? Why not also say that penguins are also a problem. When you reject God then you will eventually end up with a pessimistic worldview. Shopenhauer went all the way and said that existence itself was a mistake. The problem is not just that humans want to live and thrive and thus impose upon the earth and other creatures (the "will to life") but that animals also carry this same defect and inflict unspeakable suffering on the planet and other living creatures. The only solution to all the problems of the world (according to Schopenhauer) is for nothing to exist at all, damn penguins and the whole lot. If humans don't have a right to be born and thrive then why should penguins? If there is no God then why and how could the world be good?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:30 AM  


That's a very intriguing POV Imran...and well said. For those who see humans as little more than animals, then really, are we not simply doing what all animals would do.

The same "biologist" who authored this study on penguins also said this:

""The fate of all species is to go extinct, but there are some species that go extinct before their time"

By what authority or criteria can we same that it is time for a particular species to go extinct?????? And if it is indeed the fate of all species...well then...what the heck is the point or prolonging the inevitable. Sometimes I think these people don't REALLY listen to what they are saying.

I'm rather sure that if they could, a host of extinct species would claim victimization status and suggest their extinction was premature.

By Blogger JamesoftheNorthwest, at 7:58 AM  


I'm not sure the article is suggesting that people with children are to blame for the world's ills, but that we might in fact connect some of the world's issues with the rapid population growth it's experienced. Now, if that observation rubs people the wrong so be it, but we (people) do consume a great deal. So why not suggest other ways in which people can alleviate the population issues (like adoption)? The 'earth people' seem to have an extreme response, i think, because the crowd they're trying to reach is so obstinate in their thinking that they think the only way to change individual perception is to use scare tactics.

To be honest, though, how does this study truly weaken the argument that a crowded planet might in fact pollute the earth to such an extent that animal extinction is a byproduct? Sure, they might want us all to cease having children for decades, promulgating those that do as earth-killers, but does this weaken their argument, or simply suggest that their approach to 'save' the earth is flawed?

If someone yells at me to paint my house because my lawn is in need of some care, is their point about my lawn negated?



By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:50 PM  


Hi Edward...some thoughts and clarification, perhaps:

I'm not sure the article is suggesting that people with children are to blame for the world's ills

No the article didn't...the author of the study did. Think about what she considers her "Greatest achievement"...it is an astonishing thing to say and betrays a mindset and worldview that is both beyond extreme and is becoming quite common amongst those doing such research - certainly amongst those receiving the most FUNDING for such research.

we might in fact connect some of the world's issues with the rapid population growth it's experienced. Now, if that observation rubs people the wrong so be it, but we (people) do consume a great deal.

Absolutely we MIGHT connect human activities to things such as penguin decline...but not without proof. That, alas, is what real science is all about. Perhaps her paper does demonstrate good evidence for this connection, but none of the associated news articles do...it's simply assumed.

I'm the last one to suggest we do not over-consume. I, personally, over-consume a lot. However, I will debate the issue that we are over-populated.

The 'earth people' seem to have an extreme response, i think, because the crowd they're trying to reach is so obstinate in their thinking that they think the only way to change individual perception is to use scare tactics.

Well, I think you give them far too little credit for their beliefs. I've met these folks - daily - and they are TRUE BELIEVERS. These are NOT scare tactics. "We are in the midst of a global crisis and drastic measures are in order."

If someone yells at me to paint my house because my lawn is in need of some care, is their point about my lawn negated?

Of course not. But they do have an obligation to prove that something is wrong, no? It's too easy to blame even environmental ill on people and we just nod along with them because it is so assumed. But all of history has demonstrated climate change, extinctions etc long before the evil that is man came to be (so we are told.) All they need do is show the evidence and I'll happily agree.

Meanwhile, you'll get no argument for reducing consumption...but we could go A VERY VERY long way with that before we need to start feeling GUILTY about being "fruitful and multiplying" and, God willing, we will never make holy abortion or euthanasia for the sake of penguins.

For all we know, abortion may have been apart of this scientist's "greatest achievement." No doubt, it would not have changed her perception of said accomplishment.

By Blogger JamesoftheNorthwest, at 8:10 AM  


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