Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, June 08, 2015

The Ten-Year Post

Today is our ten-year blogoversary. On June 8, 2005, Darwin decided it was time to stop holding forth at such length in Amy Welborn's combox at Open Book (he went under the name Scotus, and I couldn't figure out why he wanted to be known as the Supreme Court Of The United States), and launched DarwinCatholic. Back in those early days he was doing valiant battle with Catholic Creationists, hence the name of the blog. 

We'd been thinking of running a series of "Greatest Hits" posts, one from each year, but then we considered the prospect of combing through ten years of archives and quailed a bit. But if anyone has any favorites, or just faint memories of a post that tickles the edges of your brain, mention it in the comments, and we'll dig it up for you.

We have built more friendships through blogging than through almost any other activity, and we are so grateful for all the wonderful readers and commenters who've kept our combox interesting, fruitful, civil, and sane. That is no small thing on the internet.

For memory's sake, here is Darwin's first post on the blog. Ah, to be 26 again!



I've been threatening friends and family for some months with starting a blog, and since my personal and work commitments have reached the point where I really don't have time to add a single thing, this of course seemed like the ideal time.

Why "DarwinCatholic"?

For one thing, it's unexpected. If you're currently wondering what DarwinCatholic means, that's how I'm trying to help you remember it.

First, a little about me. (I've always been charmed by how Gregory of Tours began hisHistory of the Franks with the creed, feeling that his readers should know what he believed before they heard what he had to say.)

I am first and foremost a Catholic.

Politically and culturally, I am a conservative.

My brief career as a published writer consisted of a couple SF/F stories and two book reviews in New Oxford Review in which I criticized creationism/intelligent design and defended the compatibility of Catholicism and evolution. Which I have the feeling is why I stopped being invited to write book reviews for NOR...

Professionally, I am a data analyst, web designer and all around entrepreneurial type.

I'm married to the beautiful MrsDarwin, and we have two little girls (monkeys?) aged 3yrs and one-and-a-half.

And I'm still under thirty.

Which brings me back to this blog's name: DarwinCatholic.

One of the things that really struck me was the cultural/demographic differences between my wife and me (and our friends from college) and most of the other people our age that we met through work.

My wife and I married a month and a half after graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville. (We had been going out for three and a half years.) Many of our friends also married within a year of graduation. Most of us also had our first child within a year of getting married, and our second within two years after the first. We got office jobs and middle class incomes. Some of our friends had degrees in majors, such as Computer Science, designed to win jobs. Others, like me (I majored in Classics), learned on the job and caught up fast. We bought houses before we were thirty. Several of us started businesses, with varying degrees of success. We became, in the buzzwords of David Brooks, exurban natalists.

Meanwhile, my co-workers (mostly several years older than I) dated, partied, and assumed that I must be over thirty. The idea of "settling down" in your early twenties was totally inconceivable to them, and when I mentioned that my wife and I hoped to have 5-7 children, everyone thought I was joking.

After several years, we moved to Texas, where we had a number of friends. Texas, even in the liberal Austin area, is certainly more family friendly than Southern California. However even here, hearing that someone has more than three children is almost a dead give away that they are religious and at least moderately conservative in their practice thereof.

Certain (admittedly tiny) subgroups present event more extreme examples. In the homeschooling circles that I knew during high school, families of 8-12 were not unusual.

Looking at all this, I can't help wondering: at what point does all this start to become statistically significant? My wife and I both know a lot of other alumni of the Catholic, large family, homeschooling environment, and most of them, like us, as still strong Catholics and look forward to having at least moderate size families. If this holds true for a couple generations, how will the Catholic and indeed the general American demographic landscape shift over the next 60-80 years? If liberals average 1.6 children (and based on European demographics that's pretty likely) and conservatives average 2.6 children, how long will it take the country as a whole to lurch to the right? Or will it?

I continue to have vague ambitions of going to trying to find funding to do a serious demographic survey looking for correlations between religion, politics and reproduction. But more on that later...


Bob the Ape said...

Happy blogoversary!

Jenny said...


TS said...

Congrats! I remember when you were just a young whippersnapper of a blog. I found what look like the two earliest mentions on my blog (Spanning the Globe):

"Some of my more Evangelical friends find this very odd about the Catholic idea of liturgy. Why have so many pages and intricate systems just to pray? Why not just open your bible or lift your heart up to God in your own words? Why should the mass be so 'scripted'? The answer is that as Catholics we do not just pray individually, as persons or as congregations, when it comes to liturgical prayer. We pray as the one Body of Christ. And all those thousands of pages serve to keep Catholics throughout the world on the same page, as it were. Never has this been so immediately illustrated to me as today, when I had the chance to watch via the USCCB's web streaming as Pope Benedict XVI prayed Vespers with out nation's bishops at the National Shrine. I pulled my copy of Christian Prayer out of my briefcase and began following along. There I was, a thousand miles away, holding and praying the same text as the Holy Father and all our bishops. And rippling backwards and forward through the time zones of the world, priests, religious and laity across the globe were doing the same, praying the same psalms and antiphons and readings. The Body of Christ praying as one. - Darwin Catholic"

"Blackadder reminds us that it's tax day (I'll confess, I'd forgotten, having filed back in February) with a quote from the first book of Samuel warning the Israelites that if they choose to have a king they can expect him to confiscate a whole tenth of their income in taxes. As of this year's tax bill, ancient Isrealite tax rates are sounding pretty good to me! - Darwin Catholic"

Enbrethiliel said...


Happy Blog Anniversary! =D