Humans are social being not mere biological subjects. Humans consist of a complex structure of nested fauceirs. Each of them is controlled by its master fauceir that mainly reduces the innate proliferation rate.
The first fauceir that we going to consider are unicellular organisms, which exhibit the highest proliferation rate: one cell division every 10 minutes in some bacteria (Prokaryotes). Unicellular Eukaryotes still show an extraordinarily height proliferation rate of 7 cell divisions per day (Paramecium).
In multicellular organisms cell division is more or less tightly controlled by the master fauceir that contains and governs these cells. Control mechanisms include cytokines, hormones, and various mechanisms of DNA silencing that occur during development. Developmental processes ensure cell specialization into tissues and organs, and only specialized reproductive organs are allowed to participate in reproduction. Hormones control these reproductive organs. While male germ cells (sperms) still are abundantly produced there is only a limited number of female reproductive cells (ovum) that mature during lifetime, and maturation is tightly controlled by hormone cycles. By all these mechanisms, the control at the level of the muticellular organisms significantly reduces reproduction rate. On average, a woman prepares 250 eggs for insemination during a lifetime. Mammals are vastly outnumbered in this respect by fish. Still, a female salmon can produce 35,000 eggs and a male salmon the huge number of 100 billion sperms per year, which is minute compared to the reproduction rate of unicellular organisms. If a unicellular organism exhibits only one cell division per day it would have produced this incredible number of progeny.
N(2^365,digits=10) = 7.515336265e109
Reproduction is further controlled by behavior constraints. Behavioral mechanism that control reproduction include: (1) the aversion of having sex observed in males and females during lactation and early child care, (2) females carefully selecting their mating partners, and (3) infanticide. The data given for Gorillas allow to calculate an average of 8 children per female during lifetime.
N(((30+50)/2-(13+11)/2)/3.5,digits=10) = 8.000000000
But we know that even in the most reproductive societies such an average number is not achieved. The average fertility rate in Niger is 7.1. Although I personally know families that had up to 14 children, these are rare exceptions. The average fertility rate is further down regulated by social control mechanisms. By the way, even in these few families with more than 10 children the women had been sterilized by law. (Don’t ask me which law it was.) These figures, however, demonstrate that even in societies as fecund as the Amish there are still constraints that limit the number of children per women. These constraints are doubtlessly more effective in atheist settings. Given parsimony, these constraints most likely effect behavior the closest sub-fauceir. Social fauceirs did so for centuries. Contraceptives that affect the maturation of female germ cells are rather a recent innovation in controlling human reproduction.
Which are the behavior patterns used by societies to control human reproduction will be investigated in a next blog entry. In this respect, the study of religious communities provides insight how innate behavioral patterns are exploited.
This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.