Monday, December 12, 2016

"The Churches’ Bans on Consanguineous Marriages, Kin-Networks and Democracy"

Steve Sailer quotes a research paper of that title, identifying "countries with strong extended families as characterized by a high level of cousin marriages exhibit a weak rule of law and are more likely autocratic," and "[u]sing the variation in the duration and extent of the Eastern and Western Churches’ bans on consanguineous marriages as instrumental variables, reveals highly significant point estimates of the percentage of cousin marriage on an index of democracy" — The Fall of Cousin Marriage and the Rise of the West.

Writes Mr. Sailer:
    On the other hand, Protestantism wasn’t always against cousin marriage: e.g., Charles Darwin married his Wedgwood first cousin. But I don’t know how common this was. I believe that it was American eugenicists who launched the modern aversion toward cousin marriage in Protestant countries.
This could be a new chapter in a revised edition of Thomas E. Woods' tome How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.

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