It’s biblical; the “population bomb” that Paul Ehrlich warned about is, and was always, nonsense; now, there is a real concern that falling birth rates will have all sorts of dire consequences. Al Mohler comments here:

Overpopulation? Not!

Another discouraging facet of this whole question is the fact that, as we are seeing in Europe, the Muslims aren’t bashful about having kids. We will live to see, I fear, a heavily-Muslim Europe; the birth rate in Spain, for instance, is 1.3 (this in Catholic Spain? Unreal.); the ‘replacement rate’ (meaning zero growth/zero shrinkage) is 2.1 (have you had your .1 child?).

Seriously, I propose that one of the most important things we can encourage our Christian kids to do is to get married and have lots of kids. And to train them to love the Lord!

2 responses »

  1. Graham says:

    Back in November, you posted a link to an article by Herb Meyer, and he noted:

    “The world’s most effective birth control device is money. As society creates a middle class and women move into the workforce, birth rates drop. Having large families is incompatible with middle class living. The quickest way to drop the birth rate is through rapid economic development.”

    Across the world, it is poorer societies (look at Africa) which have the highest birth rates.

    Meyer also noted that in the USA, the “Anglo birth rate” was 1.6, which he said was the same as France’s.

  2. Graham says:

    I ought to mention this whenever there is the idea mentioned that Europe will be a Muslim majority (or even a Muslim dominated) place- and that is to look behind the shock horror headlines.

    Last year there was a study which produced some headlines about how Muslims would overtake Christians in Britain by 2050.

    However, the first problem was that it compared Christians within Great Britain with Muslims across the whole of the United Kingdom- thereby not including Christians from the most Christian (in terms of percentage of the population) area. So, it was not comparing like with like geographically to start with.

    Secondly, it defined Christian and Muslim differently. For “Christian” it used Sunday attendance at a small sample of churches (too small to be statistically significant), extrapolated geographically across Great Britain and then chose to extrapolate across the 21st century.

    For “Muslim” it used the number of people who defined themselves as Muslim in the 2001 census (the only one to date which has actually asked about religion) and (for some reason) divided that by two.

    Now, to extrapolate you need to have at least two data points. If there could only be one data point from a census, then the other(s) must have come from a different source- using a different method of determining the number of Muslims.

    Also, Muslim is defined differently. If those drawing up a “Muslims will be dominant religion by 2050” report want to be consistent, they could start by taking the number of people who said in the census that they were Christians and divide by two. But that wouldn’t give the headlines they wanted!

    One could, after all, have a 2000 data point based on the number of people in church and a 2001 data point based on the number of people who describe themselves as Christians in the census, and this would show a phenomenal increase in the number of Christians!

    It is also very dubious statistically to take two data points separated by a few years and draw a nice straight line between them extending for decades. Headline-grabbing, but dubious.

    Now, when the 2011 census is out, you could take consistent data from this and the 2001 one (i.e. use the number of people who say they are from religion X) and extrapolate from that.

    No-one can know with certainity what people movements there will be over the next decades. Our major immigration in the 1950s were from the West Indies, predominantly Christians. In the 1960s Sikhs. Using a similar argument, someone in the 1970s would have probably been able to produce a “Britain to be a Sikh majority country by…” headline.

    In the early 21st century- Christian immigration from Africa? Muslims from the Middle East? I wouldn’t want to make a firm prediction.

    Moreover, who knows what God will do next year, or in 2050?

    My point is to just be a little bit careful when there are headlines about a Muslim-dominated Europe (or anywhere about to be dominated by a non-Christian religion). Look at the assumptions behind it, how “Muslim” and “Christian” numbers are determined, whether lengthy extrapolations are reasonable…

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