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One inventor of the pill ‘confesses’

Carl Djerassi confessed regret in the Austrian newspaper Der Standard. The 85-year-old chemist, one of three whose formulation of synthetic progestogen Norethisterone was a key step towards the first oral contraceptive, bemoaned the decline in average family size. According to the British newspaper Guardian:

Djerassi outlined the “horror scenario” that occurred because of the population imbalance, for which his invention was partly to blame. He said that in most of Europe there was now “no connection at all between sexuality and reproduction”. He said: “This divide in Catholic Austria, a country which has on average 1.4 children per family, is now complete.”

He described families who had decided against reproduction as “wanting to enjoy their schnitzels while leaving the rest of the world to get on with it”.

The fall in the birth rate, he said, was an “epidemic” far worse – but given less attention – than obesity. Young Austrians, he said, were committing national suicide if they failed to procreate. And if it were not possible to reverse the population decline they would have to understand the necessity of an “intelligent immigration policy”.

Roman Catholic leaders called the statement a “confession” and manufactured from it a bit of what gynaecologist and member of the New York Academy of Science, professor Gian Benedetto Melis, called science fiction.

Roman Catholic doctors alleged the pill had brought “devastating ecological effects” by releasing into the environment “tons of hormones” that somehow impaired male fertility.

Sex, lies and schnitzel the blog Get Religion called the Vatican’s approach.

Yes, at best.

Using pseudoscience in an attempt to justify the ways of religion to man tends to drive the rational from the sanctuary.

January 12, 2009 Posted by | Religion, Science | , , , , | Comments Off on One inventor of the pill ‘confesses’