All those times we’ve all talked about the slippery slope of gay marriage leading to a lifting on the ban on polygamy and incest, the elites all harumphed and accused us of hyperbolic-itis.
But here it is. In today’s Scientific American, an editorial pushing for a lifting on the ban on incestuous marriage.
Here’s my new rule: All truly ridiculous and evil changes in the future will all first be raised by scientists.
But right now us non-scientist types should all be doing our “We told you so” dance around our living rooms. And then when we’re good and tired we should be very very sad that such things will likely come to pass in the very near future.
Inbreeding is the source of jokes about British royalty and is associated with increased birth defects among offspring. The practice is so reviled that 31 U.S. states ban marriage between first cousins or allow it only if the couple has undergone genetic counseling or at least one partner is sterile or no longer fertile because of age.
But those laws “seem ill-advised” and “should be repealed,” a geneticist and medical historian write in today’s PLoS Biology. “Neither the scientific nor social assumptions that informed them are any longer defensible.”
The US “cousin marriage” prohibition stretches back to the 1858, when Kansas barred such marriages; Texas was the most recent state to pass a ban, in 2005, write Diane Paul, a political scientist emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Hamish Spencer, head of zoology at the University of Otago in New Zealand. (European countries didn’t ban the practice because there, “the rich and noble were marrying” their cousins, Spencer tells us. “In America it was immigrants and the rural poor — a much easier target of legislation than your monarch.”)
First cousins share about an eighth, or 12.5 percent, of their genes, according to a 2002 study in the Journal of Genetic Counseling. Because of that overlap, there’s a 1.7 percent to 2.8 higher risk of intellectual disability and genetic disorders, including seizures and metabolic errors among children whose parents are first cousins than among the general population, says Robin Bennett, a certified genetic counselor and lead author of that research.
That elevated risk is “comparable to a 40-year-old woman having children and we consider that perfectly acceptable,” Spencer tells ScientificAmerican.com. “I can’t imagine a law saying they’re not allowed to have children.”
The father of evolution, Charles Darwin, married his first cousin, Emma Wedgwood, as did Albert Einstein when he walked down the aisle with cousin Elsa. But while marriage between first cousins occurs often in some parts of the world, and was not uncommon among immigrants and the rural poor during early American history, the practice is rare in the West, Spencer says.
“It’s not an issue because most people aren’t interested in their first cousin,” Spencer admits. “But it does affect some individuals and it doesn’t seem particularly fair.”
Kinda’s weird that scientific journals have all adopted the rhetoric of liberal social scientists. “Science” has become so corrupted that it has become cover for the liberal agenda. Just as environmentalists begat a “scientific consensus” on global warming, science will now serve as an unimpeachable cover for every other wild eyed agenda of secularists and liberals. And if you question them they’ll just accuse you of believing in God or something awful like that.