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posted by LaminatorX on Friday February 21 2014, @03:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the totally-getting-snipped-for-my-birthday-this-year dept.

robingHood writes:

"New Scientist Magazine reports on findings that suggest that delaying fatherhood may increase the risk of fathering children with disorders such as Apert syndrome, Autism and Schizophrenia. The article reports that 'although there is a big increase in risk for many disorders, it's a big increase in a very small risk. A 40-year-old is about 50 per cent more likely to father an autistic child than a 20-year-old is, for instance, but the overall risk is only about 1 per cent to start with.' In other words: time to start mating before those tadpoles turn into toads."

 
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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by jonh on Friday February 21 2014, @03:43AM

    by jonh (733) on Friday February 21 2014, @03:43AM (#4049) Homepage

    As I understand it, the general trend in the West is towards people marrying and having children at older ages than previous generations. I wonder how many generations it will take before we would start to see any reduction in disorders correlated with the age of the parents?
    I'm assuming that reproduction is still currently skewed in favour of young parents, as historically speaking, people lived shorter lives, so would've had less chance to become old parents, and there would be less opportunity for genetic traits related to longevity to be expressed.

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  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @04:26AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @04:26AM (#4073)

    When you consider that Western women are more interested in money than having children, Western men don't have money if they can't find work, and Western hiring practices favor giving jobs to women instead of men, the general trend in the West is toward extinction.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Friday February 21 2014, @05:09AM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Friday February 21 2014, @05:09AM (#4091) Journal

      I see there is a lot of bitterness in your comment, which I'm just going to ignore. You should know that there are also men who don't want kids. I am intentionally childfree (as distinguished from "childless" -- a term that suggests lack). I always knew I didn't want to have kids and so I didn't. I got cured of my ability to cause infantile infestations in females 10 years ago, and it was probably one of the very best decisions I ever made.

      As for extinction, we're growing our population exponentially -- if there is an extinction event for humans, I would bet it is much more likely to be caused by overbreeding rather than the few like me who choose to avoid the whole parenthood bit.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by iNaya on Friday February 21 2014, @07:16AM

        by iNaya (176) on Friday February 21 2014, @07:16AM (#4142)

        >> we're growing our population exponentially
        That is no longer true. Population growth rates globally, and especially in Western countries have been dropping for years. In some countries, such as Japan, Russia, and Germany, it is negative.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by FatPhil on Friday February 21 2014, @11:06AM

          by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Friday February 21 2014, @11:06AM (#4219) Homepage

          -1 misleading.

          For every child that's not been born in Japan, Russia, and Germany, a dozen have been born in India, Indonesia, Nigeria, or even China[*]

          Population growth rates globally have been dropping, indeed, but whilst that rate remains above zero, even by the tiniest fraction, we've *still got exponential growth*.

          The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. (google that)

          [* That dozen figure is completely pulled from arse, it's probably enormously higher, probably three figures, I'm just playing it safe.]

          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
          • (Score: 1) by iNaya on Friday February 21 2014, @11:13AM

            by iNaya (176) on Friday February 21 2014, @11:13AM (#4227)

            Imagine this equation:
            y = 2x

            As x (time), increases, y (population) increases. In this function the growth rate of y is ALWAYS above zero and constantly decreasing. This is a linear function, not an exponential one.

            • (Score: 1) by FatPhil on Friday February 21 2014, @11:19AM

              by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Friday February 21 2014, @11:19AM (#4231) Homepage

              Nope, that growth rate tends to 0.

              --
              Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
              • (Score: 1) by FatPhil on Friday February 21 2014, @11:21AM

                by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Friday February 21 2014, @11:21AM (#4233) Homepage

                Oh, and did I mention that the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.

                --
                Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
                • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday February 21 2014, @08:10PM

                  by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday February 21 2014, @08:10PM (#4517) Homepage Journal

                  Oh, and did I mention that the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.

                  Do you know of any other species that is better at it? Any other species that can do math at all?

                  --
                  Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
                  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:20PM

                    by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:20PM (#4793) Homepage

                    Out of the species that have developed birth control - all of them apart from the humans.

                    --
                    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by iNaya on Friday February 21 2014, @11:24AM

                by iNaya (176) on Friday February 21 2014, @11:24AM (#4237)

                You are correct. The growth rate tends towards zero.

                It also always stays above zero. And it is also not exponential.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by FatPhil on Friday February 21 2014, @10:46AM

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Friday February 21 2014, @10:46AM (#4213) Homepage

        +1 for childfree. Or "childfree by choice" when talking to people unfamiliar with the concept that some of us have no interest in making little clones of ourselves. Fortunately the term seems to be gaining some traction, so it doesn't need the full description so often.

        We have more money left at the end of the month, and *way* more time all the time, than our peers who have sprogged. Then again, we're now living in a nett-NPG country, and most of our peers are not breeding either. (The last country I lived in was breederific in comparison.)

        Don't get the impression that I'm a baby-murderer who opens his car door to take out prams on the pavement as he drives down the road. I'd be willing to bet that the 2nd largest recipient of my charitable donations for the last few years have been a chain of childrens homes.

        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
        • (Score: 1) by Sir William on Friday February 21 2014, @08:04PM

          by Sir William (173) on Friday February 21 2014, @08:04PM (#4510)

          If you don't want people who choose to have children to be disparaging to you for your child free choice, then you probably should choose a different term than breeder. Most find it offensive.

          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:02PM

            by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:02PM (#4792) Homepage

            Infinitive: breed;
            Agent noun: breeder

            Are you saying that breeding is offensive to them?

            --
            Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 1) by Daniel Dvorkin on Friday February 21 2014, @06:42AM

      by Daniel Dvorkin (1099) on Friday February 21 2014, @06:42AM (#4133) Journal

      Well, that escalated quickly.

      --
      Pipedot [pipedot.org]:Soylent [soylentnews.org]::BSD:Linux
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by iNaya on Friday February 21 2014, @07:00AM

      by iNaya (176) on Friday February 21 2014, @07:00AM (#4137)

      If anything, a culture that discouraged reproduction, means that those that do reproduce would have a higher genetic disposition towards doing so. So even if there was a problem, it would eventually fix itself.

      The real truth is that more educated and well-off populations tend to reproduce less.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by FatPhil on Friday February 21 2014, @11:09AM

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Friday February 21 2014, @11:09AM (#4223) Homepage

        The strongest and most telling correlation is with the level of education of the females. And that doesn't just hold between populations, but within them.

        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Friday February 21 2014, @02:44PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Friday February 21 2014, @02:44PM (#4326)

      Wow, stereotype much?

      Western hiring practices favor giving jobs to women instead of men

      If we're talking about the US, those practices must not be working, because (according to the BLS [bls.gov], there are ~75 million adult American men working, and only ~66 million adult American women working. In addition, a big reason for the disparity is women delaying their careers to raise children - the US system strongly encourages one parent to go back to work as soon as possible after having a child, and because men on average earn more than women that parent is usually the child's father.

      There's also a big difference between gradual population decline seen in some countries in Europe, and extinction. If a country was really worried about that, they could simply loosen up legal immigration and after a few years have a whole bunch of new citizens who are overjoyed to be there.

      --
      Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mcgrew on Friday February 21 2014, @08:40PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday February 21 2014, @08:40PM (#4529) Homepage Journal

        The women's movement was a boon to the rich. The labor market almost doubled with women's influx, and supply and demand drove down wages. The shame is, when women were first liberated, men should have been, too. In the early days, it was a woman's choice whether or not to work, but a man was expected to hold a job, and even today if you're a stay at home dad you're looked at in askanse, and it's gotten so that everyone, man or woman, is expected to toil away creating wealth for the rich.

        A child, especially a young child, needs a parent at home. I would have loved to stay home and watch the kids; my kids and I were always close and I enjoyed being "dad" more than any other role I've ever had in life.

        We need to go back to one breadwinner per family, and IMO it doesn't matter whether Mom or Dad stays home and who works. I'm old enough to remember when most women raised kids, and have seen that child care is harming our society. The only people who should need child care are single parents. The Unites Staes needs a labor shortage!!

        Guys, let the old lady work, stay home and raise the kids. You don't need a McMansion and an F-150. I mean, is your self-worth so little that you need money to feel important?

        Alas, the greedsters have killed any chance of you young folks ever having a better life.

        --
        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @05:07AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @05:07AM (#4090)

    That would only work if we used disorders as selectors. For example, if people with these disorders were disqualified from breeding. If there is no selector, there is no evolution ;)

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by similar_name on Friday February 21 2014, @06:23AM

      by similar_name (71) on Friday February 21 2014, @06:23AM (#4126)

      Some selector is almost always at play. Even if just in sexual selection. While I'm sure age plays a part in the increase in disorders I also wonder how much the parent carrying the disorder is related to having kids at a latter age. People with social disorders, even if mild, may reproduce less likely or when they do, may reproduce later in life. There may be more than one thing at play here.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by SomeRandomGeek on Friday February 21 2014, @07:18AM

        by SomeRandomGeek (856) on Friday February 21 2014, @07:18AM (#4143)

        Natural selection is not just complex, but often counterintuitive. Consider the gene for sickle cell anemia and malaria immunity. If you inherit the gene from one parent, it confers immunity to malaria. If you inherit the gene from both parents, it confers sickle cell anemia. In malaria prone environments, it was common that everyone who survived to adulthood had one copy of the gene. Children of two such parents had a 25% chance of not getting the gene, and likely dying in childhood of malaria, a 25% chance of getting two copies of the gene, and likely dying in childhood of anemia, and a 50% chance of getting one copy of the gene, and maybe living to adulthood. The gene is a mixed blessing at best, but it is strongly selected for in malarial environments, and strongly selected against anywhere else.
        It is quite possible that any particular undesirable genetic trait is being held in the gene pool by some desirable trait, to which it happens to be linked.