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Let’s see … 3 plus 2 plus 1 plus zero is, er, 6; and 6 divided by 4 is … 2, right? Well, to one significant digit.

Sorry about that. A little too much Christmas spirit. I really should stay away from applied. The correct TFR for our Four Horsemen of Godlessness is 1.5, and Sam Harris will have to engender three offspring to get the atheist quartet up above replacement.

Although, as a thoughtful reader points out, this is the wrong way to calculate atheist fertility.

Derb—The number of children per MAN is a highly misleading statistic. What you want is the number of children per WOMAN.

For instance, if the women in Christopher Hitchens’ life did not make any children with other men [and I can find no evidence that they did], then their totals are:
Eleni Meleagrou: 2 children
Carol Blue: 1 child
I.e. the greater Hitchens TFR is
(3 children) ¡Â (2 women) = 1.5 children per woman
which, of course, is substantially below the replacement level.

People were making this same mistake in a recent Steve Sailer thread, concerning “fertility” of Fortune 500 CEO’s.

You can compute these sorts of numbers for almost any famous personality; e.g.:

Ronald Reagan
Jane Wyman: 1 natural child [Maureen], 1 adopted child [Michael]
Nancy Davis: 2 children
(3 natural children) ¡Â (2 women) = 1.5 TFR

Rudy Giuliani
Regina Peruggi: 0 children
Donna Hanover: 2 children
Judith Nathan: 1 child adopted in her second marriage
(2 natural children) ¡Â (3 women) = 0.667 TFR

Bob Dole
Phyllis Holden: 1 child
Elizabeth Hanford: 0 children
(1 child) ¡Â (2 women) = 0.5 TFR
[So much for Viagra! — JD]

PS: To the best of my knowledge, unless Ron Reagan divorces his wife [or has an affair], then Ronald Reagan’s bloodline will soon disappear from the earth: Maureen died without natural children, and Patti Davis is now too old to make children [as is Ron Reagan's wife, Doria Palmieri, who is actually 7 years older than he].

PPS: I can’t find any evidence that Bob Dole’s daughter, Robin Dole, ever made any children herself, so, as far as I can tell, the Dole bloodline is about to end, as well.

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