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August 07, 2016


Sorry, I still don't see how "panic that they might do what you did" is insulting.

Are you saying that such people do not exist?

Or that there are none among us, that in later years appalled at the stuff we did while younger, and amazed at how we managed to survive? Seems like a perfectly natural reaction upon gaining experience, so hard to see as "insulting". Unless you consider "getting old" to be insulting, in which case may your age continue to insult you for a VERY LONG TIME.

There's certainly a modern tendency toward over-protection, and a recent reaction in "free range kids". I wouldn't be so sure that dynamic hasn't been playing out as long as there has been humanity.

wj, this is one thing that I tend to react to on some days. I don't think parents panic and decide what t based on some unreasonable fear that their child is going to do what they did.

I think people decide how they think is the best way to raise their child(ren), and it often changes as the child changes. I think it is insulting to write their conclusions off to panic.

I don't see it as "writing their conclusions off to panic." I think that they have entirely legitimate concerns about their children.

But I think that, especially when it comes to sex, their approach to those concerns looks like what I would, in any other context, call panic. Certainly their words on the subject (talking to other adults, not their children) sound like someone in a panic.

your confidence in parent's ability to decide what is "the best way to raise their child(ren)" is touching. Most parents that I've spoken with seem to be convinced that they're "just winging it", and hope that they're not doing much harm.

Okay, I guess after the 8th or 9th kid, you're an expert, but most people never get to that point these days. And kids (like cats, dammit) seem to have an infinite ability to surprise, so 'expertise' is of limited utility.

The disconnect between the reaction to parents bossing around "almost an adult" kids and governments bossing around "mostly competent citizens" is amusing, however.

More subhuman, anti-life, lying, cold-blooded murderous eminently killable vermin sign on with trump to murder Americans.

But Hillary has a thing for Negroponte.

It's a tossup.

Buy guns and plenty of ammo for the violence that's coming.

Oh, you want a link?


Looking at Dr. Science's careful research and reporting - which essentially isn't being engaged with at all - reminds me that from time to time, I think there should be a very strong burden of proof on any man discussing women's health issues. He should explain precisely why any woman, and society at large, should play the slightest attention to his position. Men do not in general know much about how women's bodies work, and when given the opportunity to learn more, they almost always (so far as I can tell) refuse to take it.

So we get the Nth sterile loop through stale, stagnant talking points rather than many (if any) guys taking the opportunity to get clues offered in the excellent way Dr. Science presents them.

Only someone who followed one of her links would know that a research project reports "Microarray analysis reveals abnormal chromosomal complements in over 70% of 14 normally developing human embryos.". That's staggering. Taken in combination with other things she reports on - some new to me, some not - it really does knock the props out from under any assertion that we can expect a random fertilized egg to develop into a healthy baby unless some sinister human agent interferes. I already knew that it was not the case in many sorts of situations, but the more research goes on, the more that individual lives seem to me as fragile as complex life in general in the face of a chaotic macro environment.

I appreciate the work you put into this, Dr. Science, and regret the lack of engagement with it.

I would like to note that I managed to successfully suppress several urges to engage in invidious personal attacks while writing the above, and am off to claim a cookie.

The underlying principle is a simple one: strong feeling isn't qualification. It may lead one to become informed enough to be qualified to hold an opinion on a subject, but by itself, strong feeling is just strong feeling.

Most guys recognize this most of the time. They take their medical problems to a doctor or nurse practitioner or someone else with a bunch of clues, not to the first person who feels very strongly about their health. They take their cars to trained mechanics, now that it's so hard to get the tools it takes to be really qualified to tinker with one's own modern car. When they buy a house, they get a trained and experienced inspector to supplement their own appraisal. If their children get arrested, they seek out qualified legal help and hope for judges with the experience and clues to judge well. And on and on.

The principle doesn't stop working when it comes to abortion. There's genuinely no point in going on about natural development if we don't know what that is, any more than it would make sense to mandate that doctors have to deal with cancer via the four humors model. It's not a dodge to say "any attempt to say when human life becomes distinct is fundamentally arbitrary" when "human life" itself turns out to be so complicated a thing. And so on.

Strong feeling isn't qualification.

Bruce B, yeah this whole "life" thing is so messy and inefficent. Why, it's as it "just grew" and "changed in random ways because of random contingencies", rather then having been intelligently designed.

And the warrantee plan, to put it mildly, sucks.

I fail to see how any self-respecting deity, at least one who is not on boat for BIG-ENTROPY (ahem), would be willing to take credit for it.

Snake: Yeah. Dealing with gall bladder and thyroid trouble for a while is enough to make one think the Gnostics were onto something with the idea that the Creator is insane, evil, or both.

Snarki, I mean! Darned autocorrect. Sorry.

I think that we can probably all agree, whatever our various political and theological views, that autocorrect is the Devil's tool. Certainly its propensity to generate chaos is suggestive.

auto-correct and caps lock, both.


I think McKinney gave away the game upthread where he said the undeniable human being is the woman (or rather that he was undeniably a human being). Since there seems to be some question about the fetus, it seems we should err on the undeniably human side. It also seems odd that the fetus should be given state enforced access to the woman's body, even if the rights were in equipose.

On the other issue, nothing beats the insert key in terms of evil. YMMV

Marty and Snarki

the ratio of people having sex at an early age is high, and has been for about a generation and half now. The Pill has been available since 1960's, and abortion has been legal in the Western world for decades. It is nonsense to talk about kids nowadays "getting away with things".

My mother had the pill and abortion readily available, and actually, that's why I was born born as her first child, more than a year after she married. (As far as I know, she never needed to have an abortion, because contraceptives were used responsibly.) She could "get away" with things quite as well as I could, or my daughters will be able to. In fact, better, because she lived her youth in an age with extremely effective antibiotics and no AIDS. My daughters will need to be much more careful than she, because multi-resistent STDs will be rather commonplace at the time they are starting to have sex. I care a lot more for the health than the morals of my children. They can repent their errors, but a multi-resistant syphilis is much more difficult to cure. Sulpha seems to be the only cure, and it is by no means a sure-fire thing.

Yet, having contraception readily available does not mean that most people would have a huge number of sexual relationships. The median Finn has about four sexual relationships during their life. That is not so much, spread over several decades. The reason why we believe that polyamorous people are commonplace is that there is a very long tail of people with a huge number of sexual partners. If you have three or four sexual partners during your life, the odds are that one of them is a person with such lifestyle. So, while most people don't have a huge number of sexual partners, many have slept with such a person.

Hi Lurker, interesting perspective; but I do have one disagreement:

"the ratio of people having sex at an early age is high, and has been for about a generation and half now. most of human history, the past couple hundred years excepted"

From a biological/anthropological perspective, people have sex as soon as the hormones kick in. Because of natural selection, going back roughly since sex was invented. (no, not 1968, more like 800M BC). That's what those hormones are for: making sure the species keeps on cranking along.

Deferring sex to get a bit more maturity is a really good idea in modern society, but is completely unnatural in a very fundamental way.


One of the most reliable measures of national development is apparently an earlier age for the onset of menarche. So from that standpoint, Lurker's got a point, but when you plug in Snarki's observation that From a biological/anthropological perspective, people have sex as soon as the hormones kick in.

I hope you can see the societal problem involved...

Why don't the teens take an example in the Greenland shark?: no sex before reaching an age of 150 years. ;-)

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