March 15, 2009

The coming Amish tidal wave?

Congenial Times has a blog post and a long comment on Amish demographics. There are now somewhere approaching a quarter of a million Amish in the U.S., up from less than 10,000 a century ago. At the current growth rate of doubling every twenty years, there would be approaching eight million Amish by 2110. (Warning: Projections 100 years into the future not likely to turn out right.)

My impression is that the Amish are not a major drain on the taxpayers the way the polygamous Fundamentalist Mormons are, who put their junior wives on welfare and run a lot of scams to get federal and state funds for the their town on the Utah-Arizona border. Of course, an all-Amish country wouldn't work due to the pacifism of the Amish.

Somebody might wish to create a model of the optimal sect for increase in share of the population. The components would consist of:

1. Fertility rates
2. Retention rates
3. Conversion rates
4. Death rates (which usually are pretty much the same these days, as long as the sect doesn't oppose vaccination, or whatever).

The Amish, for example, have quite high fertility rates, high but not 100% retention rates, and very low conversion rates. There are probably trade-offs between the different components.

It seems plausible that the human race in 3000 A.D. will largely be descended from cultures that achieved optimal combinations of these trade-offs for population growth.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

60 comments:

Bill said...


It seems plausible that the human race in 3000 A.D. will largely be descended from cultures that achieved optimal combinations of these trade-offs for population growth.


Nah, the thing is the pacifist Amish will simply be plundered for their women.

Always happens.

Anonymous said...

Wondering to what extent the Amish benefit from Ag subsidies?

Anyway - the Mormon Church has 1 and 4 down. 2 is a bit tough - last I heard it was around 30%. 3 also isn't necessarily a foregone conclusion, in spite of high efforts at proselyting. English-speaking Americans just don't join the Church in large numbers anymore. LDS missionaries in First World countries frequently get no more than 1 or 2 baptisms during their entire 2 year missions. Only the Third World missionaries do well, though the retention rates are much lower.

That is one reason the Church has, more or less surreptitiously, taken an open borders/pro-amnesty stance - without immigration the Church in the US stops growing. I suspect it's also a sort of convert arbitrage: get converts from the Third World into the US, where they a) are more likely to remain members; b) will be getting paid (and thus tithing upon) much higher earnings; and c) increase the Church's political clout.

The Mormon's doctrinal beliefs are just too silly for many educated people to believe anymore, if they or their families haven't been believing them for a very long time. All the archeological, linguistic and genetic data pouring in just don't point to their claims that American Indians are descended from 6th C. BC Israelites. Informed people won't believe that, while uninformed people don't have the self-control to give up their coffee, alcohol, cigarettes and, now, easily acquired internet porn.

Lucius Vorenus said...

A little off-topic, but does anyone know anything about Amish IQs?

Do Amish boys study mathematics through at least Calculus?

Do Amish boys take the AP Calculus exams?

Do Amish boys go to college and get BSs/MSs/PhDs in math/physics/philosophy/etc?

Rebelyell said...

Steve,

I don't think the Amish put ANY drain on the economy. They pay taxes, but I don't think they take welfare. They teach their own children.

However, my understanding is that if you live near any Amish they will bang your door down night and day wanting to use the telephone. They are allowed to use the phone, just not have one.

Likewise, some business people will hire a car and driver to get around, and will have a cell phone. They look at the cell phone caller ID and if they recognize the number as a business number they will answer. Otherwise they will get someone else to answer or call back.

They are really on the spread right now in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. They are selling their farms in Pennsylvania for big bucks -- $10,000 per acre -- and moving to places where land costs are under $2,000 per acre.

Anonymous said...

Off the topic, but check this one out: AIDS Rate Soars in Nation's Capitol.

"Our rates are higher than West Africa," Hader said. "They're on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya."

Hmm. Wonder what the two have in common? Can't be race, because American blacks are no differentt from American whites.

Look in the mirror every morning and repeat 3 times: "Stephen J Gould was full of shit."

rec1man said...

Actually the future belongs to islam
They have a high fertility and they export their surplus population to infidel countries and have the proclivity to use violence

Per the latest demographic data, in the 0-4 age group in UK, muslims are already 9% of the population

Anonymous said...

It's quite possible that current demographic trends will eventually lead us to a new Dark Ages. During the post-Roman Dark Ages cities mostly disappeared from Europe. They used to be fed by taxes which only a strong centralized state could collect. Once the late-Roman anarchy consumed the state, the cities were gone. McEvedy and Jones estimate the the population of Europe fell from 36 million during its Roman peak to 26 million during its Dark Age trough. Italy's population fell in half (from 7 million to 3.5) I kind of have the feeling that it was mostly city dwellers - the consumers of the proverbial government-supplied bread and circuses - who went missing. These people wouldn't have had the skills to adapt to the new 99% agrarian economy.

The Amish have those skills. They live off the freaking land. You can't get any more self-sufficient. If the global economy really gets medieval again, they won't miss the steady supply of gasoline and replacement parts for their farm vehicles. They never even got used to that. They know how to keep warm in winters without the help of modern technology. My personal ideas about how I'd survive a winter without central heating are extremely fuzzy and probably unworkable.

And in the event of a total societal breakdown most of the violence will be concentrated in the cities, not in the countryside. Post-Roman marauders knew how to cover large distances on foot or on horseback in an organized fashion. The future ones will not.

It's funny to think about the Amish as the wave of the future, but their genes may end up outliving all of ours.

Mark Wethman said...

Lucius,

Amish children score around 102-103 on the non-language sections of IQ tests, and below average on the language sections, which one would expect given that Amish children don't learn English until they go to school.

I have a post about Amish test scores here:

http://congenialtimes.blogspot.com/2008/12/amish-intelligence.html

Anonymous said...

It seems plausible that the human race in 3000 A.D. will largely be descended from cultures that achieved optimal combinations of these trade-offs for population growth.

I think we're in an unsustainable bubble, and any trends we see will end when the bubble ends.

In any case, I doubt we can extrapolate 1000 years ahead based on studying the Amish, whose success is a consequence of the "Long Peace" of the hitherto European-dominated interior of North America.

m4w said...

Nah, the thing is the pacifist Amish will simply be plundered for their women.

I grew up in a Mennonite community (in Canada). There was a joke going around in junior high: What's the difference between a Mennonite girl and a sack of potatoes?

You tie a sack of potatoes at the top.

Meaning that they're otherwise equally lumpy, and dressed about the same.

I would question the orientation ("potatophile"?) and eyesight of anyone who would even consider plundering those girls, or their even-homelier theological cousins, the Amish.

It ain't Sex Farm, that's for sure.

Do Amish boys go to college and get BSs/MSs/PhDs in math/physics/philosophy/etc?

"The Amish do not educate their children past the eighth grade, believing that the basic knowledge offered up to that point is sufficient to prepare one for the Amish lifestyle. Almost no Amish go to high school, much less to college."

Tony Danton said...

The Amish have a fairly high outconversion rate, as religions go. They allow (and encourage) young males to take a tour of the non-Amish world and make a decision: in or out.

But the biggest problem they have is genetic: they have had essentially no new blood in and have had a lot of both the best and worst leave. In the long run that will be what gets them. You can have no new blood as long as you keep the best.

Anonymous No. 3 said...

This points us to a future where the US may lose its economic, military, and technological lead, but we will be the global hegemon in finely crafted furniture and decadent baked goods.

@ Lucius,

It has been awhile since I have been around them much, but my understanding is that the Amish do not take schooling beyond the 8th grade. States generally provide exemptions to them from compulsory attendance laws on religious grounds. That said, the Amish value education, although they see it in a practical sense, and I believe all Amish children are bilingual (English and their dialect of German). And building on what Rebelyell said, I'd say the Amish are a net boost to the economy in that they take little but pay their taxes, are economically productive, and when present in large numbers, seem to attract hordes of tourists (NE Ohio and central PA).

To put it flippantly, the Amish are essentially antique Germans.

Mark Wethman said...

Tony,

I think the Amish founding populations (there was more than one, really) were big enough that they can continue indefinitely, albeit with higher rates of certain disorders.

A lot of Amish churches are not and never have been in fellowship with each other. So generally speaking, and there are exceptions, the Swiss Amish in southern Indiana don't marry with the Amish in northern Indiana, and neither of them marry with the Lancaster Amish in PA, etc...

So if inbreeding ever became too much of a problem in one Amish population, they could deal with it by opening up fellowships with another Amish population as opposed to recruiting members from outside their faith, which is probably a harder sell than most.

Black Sea said...

"The Amish do not educate their children past the eighth grade, believing that the basic knowledge offered up to that point is sufficient to prepare one for the Amish lifestyle."

The same logic applies to about half of the American population. Basic literacy, math skills up to the level of geometry (useful for making and building stuff), that's about all you really need to get by in the US, and lots of people get by on less than that.

I'd change the quotation above to say that the Amish do not "formally" educate their children past the eighth grade. I suspect they go on to learn quite a bit about basic veterinary science, agronomy, and so forth from their parents and elders outside of the classroom.

Beastmaster said...

There is a documentary from 2002 called Devil's Playground. Mostly about Rumspringa(when 16 yr olds are allowed to not be Amish.) From this movie and Flickr I'd say that they are less attractive than their ethnic roots would suggest. Not Game material. Maybe other Swiss-Germans are more attractive mostly because they've better access to beauty products. Wikipedia says, "almost all Amish descend from about 200 18th century founders."

simon said...

On current developments, the kind of government the US is likely to have in 100 years will not tolerate the existence of the Amish, just as current European governments would not. The existence of the Amish depends on the existence of a free society around them.

simon said...

Anon:
"And in the event of a total societal breakdown most of the violence will be concentrated in the cities, not in the countryside. Post-Roman marauders knew how to cover large distances on foot or on horseback in an organized fashion. The future ones will not.

It's funny to think about the Amish as the wave of the future, but their genes may end up outliving all of ours."

In the event of a total societal breakdown, the Amish are not viable, for the obvious reason that they will not fight to defend themselves.

However the US is not Somalia and a total societal breakdown does not seem likely in the next century or so. What we are getting is anarcho-tyranny, weakening states unable to carry out the basic functions of statehood becoming increasingly brutal and oppressive - not against genuine enemies, but against loyal citizenry who protest, and remaining traditionalist elements. For the Amish, this means things like compulsory public (state) school education for their children and "anti discrimination" laws used to outlaw their lifestyle.

Beastmaster said...

With respect to the viability of the Amish way of life under a modern tyranny, it might be relevant to point out that even Canoeing and Kayaking clubs were outlawed under the Third Reich. Can't have people doing that! Ernst Juenger's WWII diaries are probably a good education for staying sane under the forthcoming "National Participation in Love and Charity."

Anonymous said...

Simon - the kind of government the US is likely to have in 100 years will not tolerate the existence of the Amish, just as current European governments would not. The existence of the Amish depends on the existence of a free society around them.

Well contrary to that, I have to point out here in Britain we tolerate the existence of gypsies & travellers (used to be known as Irish tinkers, Irish people are more than happy to disown them, they are no more popular in Ireland than the UK).

They are the anti-Amish.

They avoid taxes, which the state generally turns a blind eye to, they absorb all sorts of welfare services, education etc. They produce nothing, they don't farm, they commit crime.

Our government (and SWPLers) just love them. It should be noted that, like the Amish, they are a largely rural population and the urban dwelling SWPLers don't have to suffer the reality inducing proximity with them that more rural folks do.

So we'll trade you, your Amish for our travellers.

Scott said...

@Lucius, The Amish typically stop attending school after 8th grade, so the highest level of math in Ohio that they would take would probably be Geometry, or Pre-Calc if they're advanced.

Anonymous said...

"From this movie and Flickr I'd say that they are less attractive than their ethnic roots would suggest. Not Game material. Maybe other Swiss-Germans are more attractive mostly because they've better access to beauty products. "

That's not an insignifigant factor. Many people, especially women, play around with things like hair style, makeup (for women), facial hair (for men), acne control, etc for years before finding the right look.

Anonymous said...

"Actually the future belongs to islam. They have a high fertility and they export their surplus population to infidel countries and have the proclivity to use violence."

To rec1man: of the top ten countries with the highest fertility rates in the world, nine are in Sub-Saharan Africa. The "friendlier" populations (Hindus, Africans, Latinos) can make greater inroads; Muslims tend to be very insular and alienating. Neo-cons have an enormous blindspot when it comes to non-white immigration, not that they ever cared about the non-Muslim variety.

BGC said...

Factor three 'conversion rates' favours evangelical Christians, also Mormons and Jehova's Witnesses.

According to something authoritative I read recently (?) Christian conversions remain about threefold greater than Islamic.

By contrast Islam grows mainly by greater fertility, especially greater fertility of the 'Islamist' Moslems:

http://sneps.net/RD/uploads/1-Islamismfertilitypaper.pdf

I'm not sure what will dominate in the medium term, but in the long term fertility will dominate over both retention and conversions due to the high heritability of human psychology - i.e. the nature of human psychology (population norms) will change so that people will become more predisposed to religion.

Anonymous said...

For the Amish, this means things like compulsory public (state) school education for their children and "anti discrimination" laws used to outlaw their lifestyle.

Yeah - why won't those racist Amish let any blacks in?

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that Amish growth also depends on cheap land and, possibly, continued direct or indirect subisidies for agriculture.

Anonymous said...

What would happen if the US system of law and order stopped functioning (ex, if tax revenue for police, courts, etc dried up)? You'll have society go back to the basics: 1. producers, 2. lawmen to protect the producers.

Where would lawmen come from? Same place they always do. From the remnants of a failed military, failed police forces, and from organized criminal organizations. However has resources, organizational ability, and adapts to the new environment.

Drug gangs could and might become the "new law" if they are able to push rivals out of a territory (northern Mexico and parts of the US right next to it for instance). Once organized thugs push out all the rival thugs and monopolize power, they become the new lawmen.

So any Amish hanging around will have to either take up arms and become thugs, or (more likely) submit to the protection of some group of organized thugs. Like Hells Angels, whoever.

Of course for that to happen, the benefits must outweigh the costs *to the thugs* of settling down to become local lawmen as opposed to say, roaming opportunistically marauding drug traffickers. The task of the Amish or any other less armed community is to cultivate a steady relationship with a group of thugs. Basically, what Bill said above.

If the new Hell's Amish are fertile enough and tough enough, they might even expand out and subjugate other groups and make a Hell's Amish empire radiating out of Lancaster PA. Only slightly kidding here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsfVw9xxoNY

Victoria said...

. . . polygamous Fundamentalist Mormons are, who put their junior wives on welfare

And how minimal a drain on the state this must be! How many "polygamous Fundamentalist Mormons" can you count? A couple of dozen? That much?

Actually the future belongs to islam They have a high fertility and they export their surplus population to infidel countries and have the proclivity to use violence

Yep, good point. There's no stopping them now.

It's funny to think about the Amish as the wave of the future, but their genes may end up outliving all of ours.

I'm more inclined to agree with the previous poster who said that the Amish, due to their particular background, would simply be plundered by the stronger and more violent. In such case, their women would be dragged off to bear the genes of other men. And there go the Amish!

I would question the orientation ("potatophile"?) and eyesight of anyone who would even consider plundering those girls,

Since when do the looks of women have anything to do with men overpowering one another and subduing the enemy's women and children? Do you think that the enemy stopped to look at those thousands of women of Bangladesh who were raped back in the 1970s? It is only men, sitting comfortably in their recliners, with gin and tonic in hand, judging the babes on the TV screen, who would consider such a notion. Conquering armies generally don't.

On current developments, the kind of government the US is likely to have in 100 years will not tolerate the existence of the Amish,

Yes, I've always thought of these kinds of groups as temporary, living only at the sufferance of the surrounding society. If and when that society no longer wishes to tolerate their differences, the Amish will be persecuted in various ways.

Anonymous said...

The haredi Jews are similar to the Amish on 1 and 4, probably fairly comparable on 2 and 3, but with an urban, government welfare-dependent lifestyle.

If they were the top finishers in the demographic sweepstakes, it would be interesting to see what happened next. But the system collapses before that happens.

Reader said...

Somewhat off-topic, but here is a fascinating article on the Amish and their attitudes toward technology.

Dutch Boy said...

The Amish oppose vaccination; nevertheless (or because of that), their children are quite healthy.

Bill said...

I would question the orientation ("potatophile"?) and eyesight of anyone who would even consider plundering those girls, or their even-homelier theological cousins, the Amish.

The plundering part was kind of tongue-in-cheek. But I do think pacifism is not a good long-term strategy in empires. One of these days something will happen here.

Aren't the Mennonites pacifists now because of the disastrous 'New Jerusalem' Munster Rebellion? Their ill-conceived plan to conquer the world didn't turn out all that well, apparently.

Anonymous said...

One study from a few years back seemed to suggest that one reason Neanderthals lost out to Homo sapiens was because Neanderthals lacked a sex-based division of labor. Looking at modern breeding patterns seems to back that up. Clearly cultures which, in one way or another, discourage career-oriented females will be the ones that succeed.

Anonymous said...

The Amish vaccinate their children:

http://autism.about.com/b/2008/04/23/do-the-amish-vaccinate-indeed-they-do-and-their-autism-rates-may-be-lower.htm

http://combatingautismfromwithin.blogspot.com/2008/01/guess-what-amish-vaccinate.html

As an article linked to earlier by another poster pointed out, the Amish are not simple Luddites or technophobes.

Truth said...

"Clearly cultures which, in one way or another, discourage career-oriented females will be the ones that succeed."

Oh sure, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Somalia, Egypt....

Bill said...

Anonymous said...

One study from a few years back seemed to suggest that one reason Neanderthals lost out to Homo sapiens was because Neanderthals lacked a sex-based division of labor. Looking at modern breeding patterns seems to back that up. Clearly cultures which, in one way or another, discourage career-oriented females will be the ones that succeed.


I think the Neanderthals lost out due to a disparity in fertility. You know, the gestation of archaic homo fetuses in Europe probably took considerably longer than it does for modern populations. Neanderthal babies also required greater caloric input and thus births were most likely separated by longer periods of nursing.

Modern humans were simply more efficient, and higher birth rates combined with larger populations allowed homo sapiens to adapt and evolve more quickly as well.

That's my take on it, anyway, but I do suspect modern Europeans are partially mixed with Central Asian "progressive" neanderthals (but not Western European "classic" neanderthals).

simon said...

anon:
"Well contrary to that, I have to point out here in Britain we tolerate the existence of gypsies & travellers (used to be known as Irish tinkers, Irish people are more than happy to disown them, they are no more popular in Ireland than the UK).

They are the anti-Amish."

I'm British, and this supports my point. Predatory groups like the Irish Travellers are classified as a Victim Group requiring compulsory Tolerance. The Amish are not predatory on mainstream society, so they will be classed as Oppressors, most likely of their own children.

Dave R said...

I for one welcome our new Amish overlords.

Seriously, they support themselves, pay taxes at least indirectly and don't take welfare. They should be our dream minority. They specifically reject agricultural subsidies and social security. (2 minutes with google would have answered anonymous "wondering to what extent they benefit from ag subsidies." Better to remain silent than to speak up and remove all doubt...)

Reader, above, links an article about Amish hackers that's worth the time. Within their self-imposed limits they qualify as engineers and mechanics, running shops and househould appliances off pneumatic power, for instance. Apparently pulling their kids out of school after the 8th grade isn't such a liability.

On self-sufficiency they have it made. Their allowed tools and equipment just happen to let them feed themselves, raise cash crops and manufacture genuine handmade furniture without needing gas deliveries or bank loans for new farming equipment.

Self-defense in a Mad Max world is potentially problematic, but not insurmountable. They already hire vans and drivers to do what they cannot, it's not such a stretch to hiring security/local police.

One thing I didn't know at all that the Amish Hackers article mentioned was the surplus male problem. They don't have enough farms to go around. So a lot of Amish men do get jobs at factories, then hire the afore-mentioned vans and drivers to take them to and from the job site. Apparently its working fine, but at current growth rates I do wonder if that might be where the breakdown comes eventually. Either increased out-conversions or some new, softer level of rapproachment with the broader culture.

ernunnos said...

You're talkin' about my people.

The number of Amish is constrained by the availability of land. Even if you marry your daughters off, you can only give the farm to one of the sons. And the price of a farm is prohibitively expensive these days. So many Amish leave to join more liberal Mennonite or Brethren churches, which make it easier to hold mainstream, non-agricultural careers.

Anabaptists come from Swiss-German stock who were selected for literacy and sheer cantankerousness. They were able to read the Bible and decided that neither the Catholics or Lutherans had it right. Often they can't even agree with each other, which accounts for the proliferation of different sub-sects. The ones who came to America were also relatively well to do and self-starters. As a result, Amish tend to be clever and enterprising, if not well-educated.

Most of my relatives own their own businesses. My horse & buggy driving grandfather owned a machine shop powered by a system of compressed air he built himself. Neither of my parents finished high school, but after leaving the church, both got their GEDs. My mom became a nurse, and my dad became a pilot and a mechanical engineer. Their kids did ok too, if I do say so myself. It's only one generation from shitting in an outhouse to a degree from Smith.

There is an Amish tidal wave, but most of America will just see it as a bunch of bright, slightly socially awkward people from the midwest with German last names. Oddly enough, we sometimes get mistaken for Jews.

anony-mouse said...

www.city-data.com/zips/10950.html for an interesting age distribution-mode is four years old, median is 25.

Bad news for some here, but there you are.

You can easily plug in any other zip code you want-don't know of any Amish-ful ones offhand.

Blode0322 said...

I worry about the Amish sometimes - they seem so vulnerable. In general, I agree with what people said about them being net contributors - they don't avoid taxes but they do avoid welfare. On the other hand, they, like most pacifists, are free riders on the state monopoly on force. Pray though they might, Occam's Razor implies that it is the county sheriff that is protecting them from evil.

It's not such a bad thing, but it does mean that they are not 100% self-sufficient.

Mark Wethman said...

"Keep in mind that Amish growth also depends on cheap land and, possibly, continued direct or indirect subisidies for agriculture."

Actually, many Amish have left farming behind and now operate cottage industries or work in factories, though farming is still an esteemed occupation. This has brought their fertility down somewhat, but not that much. Also, I think the U.S. has enough affordable land in flyover country to accommodate 8 million or so Amish. And there's always Latin America, which Mennonites have been settling with some success for a century or so now.

As for the government tolerating the Amish... it didn't use to, but the Amish proved themselves more stubborn than the government. Amish parents sat in jail - some for years - rather than send their kids to school. Eventually, the government backed down. I think the Amish would win in a replay of the above situation, just out of sheer tenacity.

Anonymous said...

The Mormons are having HUGE problems getting new converts due to the rise of the internet. Missionaries talk to potential converts about Mormonism, but the potential converts then look up Mormonism on the internet.

Half an hour of Wikipedia, etc., pretty much immunizes the potential convert against Mormonism.

Also, as people have dropped out of Mormonism and recruits have become fewer and farther between, the financial burden and "time commitment" expected from each member-in-good-standing goes up. The Mormons used to be able to provide tremendous amounts of help to people who lost their jobs, or had a handicapped child, etc., and now they are less able to do so.

Potential converts walking into a Mormon service filled with middle-aged and older people often never return.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you might want to do a piece on the poorest town in America. Where nearly 70% live below the poverty line; 90% don't speak English at home; 50% speak little or no English; roughly 40% receive food stamps; and the birth rate is phenomenally high.

On the other hand, the rates of crime and illegitimacy are practically nil. The average IQ is probably well over 100 and literacy is essentially universal.

I'm talking about Kiryas Joel, New York.

Frank said...

The Amish will have to win converts if they want to keep their gene pool fresh. They have several genetic disorders:

http://www.genomenewsnetwork.org/articles/2004/07/23/sids.php

http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2007/06/21/genetic-genealogy-and-the-amish/

Also, I recall several Amish kids in my high school, so perhaps a few go on past the 8th grade.

Anonymous said...

"...it might be relevant to point out that even Canoeing and Kayaking clubs were outlawed under the Third Reich."

Ridiculous. Go back to Cartoon Network.

Anonymous said...

Potential converts walking into a Mormon service filled with middle-aged and older people often never return.

You lost me at "potential." I attended numerous Mormon congregations growing up as a Mormon, and attend occasionally even now for family events. Two dozen or more congregations, and only one was "filled with middle-aged and older people." Mormons have some of the youngest congregations out there. Some occasionally lack single adults because there are single adult congregations ("wards") for them to attend.

Your steretype fits that of mainline Protestant congregations, like Episcoplians and UCCers, with mostly old folks and eunuchs.

The internet is a big factor, though. It used to be you had to go to an actual library and (hope to) find an actual book (and then read it) that might or might not tell you the controversial aspects of Mormon history. Now you can get the gist of all of that by going to any one of probably hundreds of legitimate sites.

With their "golden converts" drying up the Mormon Church is at a bit of a crossroads. There are lots of intelligent, devout Mormons, but most of them remain Mormons in large part because of strong familial ties to the faith. Smart people whose intelligent but ignorant ancestors joined before the dubious claims of Smith had been thoroughly debunked.

The current proselyting endeavors of Mormon misisonaries are dysgenic in the extreme. Mormons can either throttle down the proselyting and become a bit like Judaism and keep their fairly intelligent membership, or they can keep recruiting converts of below average IQ. Their theological beliefs will probably compel them to do the latter, and by 2100 they will seem as odd and as culturally irrelevant as the JWs.

Anonymous said...

Also, as people have dropped out of Mormonism and recruits have become fewer and farther between, the financial burden and "time commitment" expected from each member-in-good-standing goes up.

More info revealing how little you know. The financial commitment is the same as it pretty much has always been - a 10% tithe. It has actually gone down as the central office in Salt Lake City stopped letting individual wards raise funds for their own budgets. The checks all now come from Salt Lake, taken from tithing.

Hockey Puck said...

Most of the Mennonite girls I've seen are quite shapely and attractive, in a Denise Richards/Brooke Shields sort of way.

Anonymous said...

---Truth said...
"Clearly cultures which, in one way or another, discourage career-oriented females will be the ones that succeed."

Oh sure, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Somalia, Egypt....---

They are actually very successful, but you're just not seeing it.

tommy said...

I don't think the Amish put ANY drain on the economy. They pay taxes, but I don't think they take welfare. They teach their own children.

I know that many don't pay social security taxes precisely because they refuse to receive social security.

Keep in mind that Amish growth also depends on cheap land and, possibly, continued direct or indirect subisidies for agriculture.

If their growth continues, then the Amish are likely to move to other countries--especially those in Latin America.

I'm curious about the Hutterites. How are their fertility rates these days?

corvinus said...

---Truth said...
"Clearly cultures which, in one way or another, discourage career-oriented females will be the ones that succeed."

Oh sure, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Somalia, Egypt....---

They are actually very successful, but you're just not seeing it.


I think he's defining "success" in a strictly Darwinian, "outbreed and overrun the competition with your illegal immigrants" way. In this case, he's definitely correct.

corvinus said...

I think I'll put my two cents in on another group: traditionalist Catholics. You know, the type that bishop who got in trouble recently for denying the Holocaust belongs to. The folks who want their old-fashioned 1950s Masses in Latin.

It is interesting how the Vatican continues to be extremely interested in traditionalist Catholics, and is continually trying to coax them into union with the mainstream Church, by hook or by crook. One would think "trads" irrelevant... but not if you look at Sailer's four points.

The mainstream Catholic church is hemorrhaging membership like nobody's business. For example, Latin America as a whole is going on one-quarter Evangelical Protestant, and most Scientologists appear to be ex-Catholics. Fertility? Just look at Italy and Spain... and even formerly sky-high Mexico and Brazil are now about the same as the USA. The mainstream Catholic church of course supports illegal immigration to boost its flagging membership... although, of course, this has an enormously dysgenic effect.

Exact numbers of "trads" are hard to come by, but the best indicators seem to show a tripling every ten years, and now number somewhere between 300,000 and a million here in the USA right now. France seems to have about 200,000. Retention rates are unknown, but appear to be well over 50%... at least, MUCH better than the mainstream Catholic Church. Fertility rates are, I'd estimate based on personal observation, about four children per woman. Conversions are usually by marriage (and if the non-Catholic spouse doesn't convert, the children get raised as Catholic anyway), but we also get mainstream Catholics and Protestants disaffected with their own religion... oddly enough, a convert appears to be no more likely to come from the mainstream Catholic church than from Protestantism, leading to an actual demographic difference with mainstream Catholics. This is most obvious in Protestant countries such as England and Sweden, for example, where the trads are mainly ethnic English or Swedish but the mainstream Catholics are of Irish or immigrant stock.

It will be funny to see the Vatican straining to keep the "spirit of Vatican II" firmly entrenched despite this rising tide of traditionalism which wants to have nothing to do with it. Many trads don't even believe the Popes since 1958 are even valid. But that's neither here nor there...

Lucius Vorenus said...

Anonymous: I'm talking about Kiryas Joel, New York.

Ugh: The village has the youngest median age (15.0) of any population center of over 5,000 residents in the United States... According 2008 census figures, the village has the highest poverty rate in the nation, more than two-thirds of residents live below the federal poverty line and 40% receive food stamps.

Between these guys and the FLDS, it sounds like maybe Charles Darwin has decried that the welfare state offers the one true path to glory.

In all seriousness: Will there come a point at which the nihilists wake up and say, "No mas"?

Or are they so consumed with their own hedonism that it hasn't dawned on them just whose fertility they're subsidizing with all of the tax dollars the government confiscates from them?

Truth said...

"They are actually very successful, but you're just not seeing it."

Great! When are you moving?

"I think he's defining "success" in a strictly Darwinian, "outbreed and overrun the competition with your illegal immigrants" way. In this case, he's definitely correct."

Well, I guess that makes Africa the most successful place in the world

Hockey Puck said...

Corvinus, where are you getting that info on pre-Vatican II Catholics from? I'd love to believe it but I haven't heard anything like it before.

Dutch Boy said...

Anonymous says the Amish vaccinate their children. Read this:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/04/olmsted-on-au-3.html

Lucius Vorenus said...

Me: Charles Darwin has decried that the welfare state offers the one true path to glory

Meant to say "decreed", not "decried", but it's kinda funny how it ended up.

Anonymous said...

I'm more inclined to agree with the previous poster who said that the Amish, due to their particular background, would simply be plundered by the stronger and more violent.

Its remarkable how quickly a cohesive, capable group would jettison pacifism under those circumstances. You think the Amish' pacifism is invariant. It ain't.

Anonymous said...

No demographic group grows exponetially for ever. Doesn't happen.

Mark said...

No demographic group grows exponetially for ever. Doesn't happen.

Certainly not exponentially, but they do grow quickly enough to displace everyone else. Happened with H. sapiens vs. H. erectus.

In this case, however, I don't think the Amish are "the ones."