If all individuals devoted themselves to caring for existing children to such an extent that they never brought any new ones into the world, the population would quickly become invaded by mutant individuals who specialized in bearing.
-- Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (1976; 2nd edn. 1989), p. 109
That observation was brought to mind by an unsettling article from the pen of Larissa MacFarquhar in the current New Yorker,
The aberration is not isolated. Compare the following quotations (cited in our essay Singing Nuns):
Q: You just took office as the first woman to head the Episcopal Church…
Episcopalians aren’t interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?
A: No. It’s probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion.
I don’t know which Mafia I dislike the most. I’m leaning toward liking the Italian Mafia because they are just immoral and still believe in mother and child. But the Art Mafia is immoral and, from what I can tell, they’ve stopped procreating.
-- Spalding Gray, Swimming to Cambodia (1985)