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“I've recently come to realize that we aren't going to win by information, but by procreation.”
“If we can't beat 'em, we'll out breed 'em!”
“People are always saying that quality trumps quantity. But I think quantity is very underrated.”
“Spread me spread me spread me!”
“Christians cannot recruit, so they reproduce.”
The fecundism strategy is the newest sword in the heavily depleted arsenal of the intelligent design movement. Engineered by the Discovery Institute, the strategy is set out in the Fecundism Document, a manifesto that was, in the style of blundering idiocy that has become typical of the ID movement, leaked into the public arena.
The strategy seeks to 'defeat the stifling materialist dogma that permeates contemporary American society' and 'rid society of the psychological disease that is evolution', culminating in 'winning the War on Science once and for all'.
To achieve this objective, methods of rapid population increase among conservative Christian families is advocated. Where the wedge strategy sought to drive a wedge through the foundations of science and naturalism, the fecundism strategy seeks to increase the population of Christian conservatives to such a point that the non-religious are a tiny minority, who can then be "publicly mocked as freaks, heathens and heretics" and "possibly executed, to prevent the spread of atheism".
While the wedge strategy sought to sway public opinion via the Discovery Institute's propaganda machine, the fecundism strategy (FS) takes a different approach - changing the makeup of the public though differential reproductive success. The theory behind the strategy is that people will seldom change their minds on matters of religion, and tend to believe in whatever they have been brought up with.
Therefore, by increasing the number of Christian families, conservative Christians can begin to once again outnumber their enemies, taking back control of American culture. The document instructs families raise as many children as possible, teaching them religion from a young age and sheltering them from other views. Homeschooling is suggested as an alternative to public education, where non-Christian ideas such as evolution may be encountered.
The document outlines a shared parenting role, where the husband provides income and nourishment to the children, while the mother acts as a baby-making machine, producing and rearing as many children as possible. While families are encouraged to recruit others to Christianity, the main focus is on the family unit. Adoptions are also seen as acceptable (provided the child is not of atheist blood), as there are limits to the number of children one woman can produce.
The strategy is divided into three phases:
- Phase I: Scientific Research, Writing & Publicity,
- Phase II: Publicity & Baby-making, and
- Phase III: Carry capacity overshoot & die off.
The strategy was devised by 'biochemist' Michael Behe, who thought of it while driving home one night. "I had been working on bacterial cultures that day, and trying to think of a way to reverse the trend away from Christianity. Then I realized the answer had been staring me in the face the whole time: exponential population growth!" Behe stayed up the whole night drafting the plan, and took it to the Discovery Institute the next day.
The document was then formally written up with the help of (literate) Phillip E. Johnson, and public campaigns organized such as an anti-abortion march through Washington and the burning of a giant condom in New York. As well as attacking evolution in the classroom, sex education has become a co-target, with some parents demanding all mention of birth control be removed from textbooks. The Discovery Institute has been a significant player in many of these cases, providing a range of support from material assistance to federal, state and regional elected representatives in the drafting of bills to supporting and advising individual parents during pregnancy.
Behe has run several mathematical models and predicts the number of intelligent design followers will double in twenty years, leaving non-adherents as a tiny minority by 2060. "It will take time, and it's hard work, but I think we can win this one. I have nine children myself."
Phillip E. Johnson sums up the purpose of the strategy on the last page of the Fecundism Document:
"There shall be no extra-marital offspring. The goal is the spread the meme complex that is Christianity, not the genes of its followers."
He then proceeded to forget that he had written this, and forget that he'd forgotten it.
Although marked "Top Secret", "Not For Distribution" and "DO NOT LEAK ONTO INTERNET", the document found its way onto the web within days. Though the institute acknowledged authorship of the document (Behe in fact admitted he was the one that leaked it, thinking it was part of his biochemistry lecture notes), they downplayed this incident, claiming "Csonpricay [sic] theorists in the media continue to recycle the urban legend of the 'Wedge' document".
Stephen Meyer also claimed that the document was stolen from his office, though backed down on these claims after being reminded that Behe had already admitted leaking it. Academics throughout the country have spoken out against the strategy. It has been called 'irresponsible' and 'a dirty tactic'. Population geographers have pointed out the the United States population is already over 300 million and headed for 400 within 50 years, despite impending exhaustion of fossil fuels and water and mineral resources.
The intelligent design movement has hailed the strategy as an 'intellectual victory'. Percival Davis, coauthor of the mediocre Of Pandas and People, explains this: "It's not that having more kids than other people is smart, but the whole idea of the strategy itself is intellectually brilliant. And we came up with it. Checkmate!" Richard Dawkins has described the strategy as appalling, suggesting the entire intelligent design movement has about as much collective intelligence as a colony of bacteria. He summed up his feelings with the statement "I was a skeptic of dysgenics until I heard about this".
The institute has defended the ethics of the policy, however. Johnson has argued that the bible says "be fruitful and multiply", and "God even rewards his subjects in Genesis by promising them as many offspring as grains of the sand in the desert". Johnson, a law professor, has also defended the strategy on legal grounds: "It may be against the First Amendment to teach religion in schools, but everyone has the right to procreate."
edit Looking forward
Rapid progress is being made with the strategy. Studies show that conservative Christian families are having twice as many children as others. The Discovery movement has attracted much media attention with it's campaign for 'quantity not quality'. Local fairs are now regularly held around America, with 'Fittest family' competitions being common. These are not unlike those seen early in 20th century during the height of the eugenics movement, though the results are quite the opposite. Here the word 'fittest' is defined strictly in the biological sense: awards go to families with the greatest number of children.
Where the Wedge Document was defended with the retort 'so what?', criticism of the Fecundism Document has similarly met with the reply 'what are you gonna do about it?'. Short of population control, there seems little that can be done.
- ↑ Depleted even of depleted uranium, which was all used up in experiments attempting to make children more susceptible to intelligent design (they didn't work).
- ↑ Fecundism Document, p. 21.
- ↑ "The man, hereafter referred to as the 'feeder', will provide sustenance, while the woman, hereafter referred to as the 'breeder'..." Fecundism Document p. 3.
- ↑ "Engage with others if they seem liable to conversion. But beware atheists. And scientists." Fecundism Document p. 31.
- ↑ Intelligent design bone-head suffers third degree burns from flaming condom. The New York Times.
- ↑ AGAIN, MICHAEL!
- ↑ All true, all true...
- ↑ Note that this is a slight decrease compared to previous levels