Seven Surprising Truths about the World

A lot of the bad news you think you know is wrong.

Did you know that the incidence of cancer in the United States has been declining for nearly 20 years? That the spread of pornography correlates with a decline in rape? That average IQs are going up substantially all around the world? These are just some of the truths that are well-known to the scholars who study those subjects but generally come as a surprise to even the best-educated among us.

As reason reflects on how the world has changed since the magazine’s founding in May 1968, here are seven surprising pieces of unalloyed good news.

Cancer Rates Are Going Down

A 2007 American Cancer Society poll found that seven out of 10 Americans believed that the risk of dying from cancer is going up. In fact, not only have cancer death rates been declining steeply, age-adjusted cancer incidence rates have been falling for nearly two decades. That is, in nearly any age group, fewer Americans are actually coming down with cancer.

Advances in modern medicine have increased the five-year survival rates of cancer patients from 50 percent in the 1970s to 68 percent today. That much you might expect. More surprising is that the incidence of cancer has been falling about 0.6 percent per year since 1994. That may not sound like much, but as John Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society, explains, “in recent years, about 100,000 people each year who would have died had cancer rates not declined are living to celebrate another birthday.”

Why is cancer becoming more rare? Largely because fewer Americans are smoking, more are having colonoscopies in which polyps that might become cancerous are removed, and many women stopped hormone replacement therapy in the early 2000s, all behaviors that prevent the onset of cancer. Advances in genetic screening for cancer risks will further reduce cancer incidence as empowered patients take preventive actions like actress Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy, which reduced her lifetime risk of heritable breast cancer from around 90 percent to 5 percent.

 The news is not all good. Rising levels of obesity have been associated with increases in cancers of the kidneys, esophagus, pancreas, and elsewhere. But falling mortality and incidence rates do indicate real progress in the War on Cancer.

More Porn, Less Rape 

Over the past two decades, as pornography has become much more easily accessible over the Internet, the rate of rape and sexual assault has declined by about 60 percent, according to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). 

The BJS conducts an annual National Crime Victimization survey of more than 100,000 households, asking if anyone has been the victim of various crimes in the past year. In 1995, the rape/sexual assault rate was reported as 5 per 1,000 American women over age 12. In 2011, the rate had fallen to 1.8 rapes/sexual assaults per 1,000. 

Meanwhile access to pornography has dramatically increased. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a person in possession of a fast Internet connection must be in want of some porn,” the journalist Sebastian Anthony joked last year on the website Extremetech. Dozens of porn platforms are among the top 500 sites in terms of traffic, according to Google’s Doubleclick Ad Planner. The largest, Xvideos, draws 4.4 billion page views per month—three times more than CNN or ESPN, and twice as many as Reddit.

A comprehensive 2009 review in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior by the Texas A&M International University psychologist Christopher Ferguson and the University of Texas at San Antonio criminologist Richard Hartley concluded that easy access to porn does not cause rape. “Considered together, the available data about pornography consumption and rape rates in the United States seem to rule out a causal relationship,” Ferguson and Hartley wrote in their summary of the academic literature. “One could even argue that the available research and self-reported and official statistics might provide evidence for the reverse effect; the increasing availability of pornography appears to be associated with a decline in rape.”

The Clemson economist Todd Kendall, in a 2006 study supported by the National Bureau of Economic Research, concluded that “Internet access appears to be a substitute for rape; in particular, the results suggest that a 10 percentage point increase in internet access is associated with a decline in reported rape victimization of around 7.3 percent.” Kendall found that “there is no statistically significant relationship between internet access and any individual FBI index crime (other than rape), including murder, robbery, aggravated assault, robbery, larceny, and auto theft.” Crime rates are plummeting all over, but it’s only rape that appears to be pegged to online connectivity.

Longer Life Expectancy Stops Population Growth

An exciting convergence between demography and evolutionary theory is shedding considerable light on why people the world over are having fewer children. It turns out that the longer people can expect to live, the fewer children they have. In fact, if current fertility trends continue, world population could well top out in the middle of this century at between 8 and 9 billion, then begin to decline.

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  • some guy||

    Yeah, the world is pretty much getting better in every possible way over time. But that doesn't sell newspapers (what does anymore?) and it certainly doesn't make for prime television. Maybe it's a good thing, though. If most people think the world is getting worse, they might try harder to make it better.

  • KPres||

    Pretty much. The last decade was the greatest in human history, and it isn't even close. Per capita GDP grew by something like 10% per year. Thanks largely the fall of communism and neoliberal reforms/globalization, I might add.

  • mtrueman||

    "Yeah, the world is pretty much getting better in every possible way over time."

    If you read more than newspapers, you might not be so quick to jump to conclusions. According to the FAO in all human history, there have never been so many people suffering from malnutrition as there are today. There most recent estimates (2007) are 923 million people, an increase of 80 million over their 1992 estimate. Never saw these figures trumpeted in the press, maybe we should be speaking of 8 surprising truths.

  • Agammamon||

    1. There have never been as many human beings alive at one time as there are today. As such, we can have a lower percentage of humanity with malnutrition and still have more people with malnutrition than any arbitrary point in the past.

    2. I bet that stat is bullshit, completely dependent on some really inclusive criteria for 'malutrition'.

  • mtrueman||

    "As such, we can have a lower percentage of humanity with malnutrition"

    We could indeed. I don't have the numbers on hand, so I'm not sure if that is the case. Even so, I was surprised to learn that the number of people suffering malnutrition in the world today is greater than any other time in human history.

    You mention that there have never been more people throughout world history. You could also mention that food production has never been higher. This makes my figure even more surprising. Both food production and malnutrition have never been higher.

    Sorry Agammon, I don't bet with people who don't use their real name. Credibility issues.

  • Ted S.||

    If everybody's getting smarter, why is our politics getting stupider?

  • AlmightyJB||

    I blame the media

  • Jakesta7||

    Ding ding ding! Correct!

  • Jakesta7||

    Ding ding ding! Correct!

  • JW||

    Some of the most intelligent people I have known have been imbeciles when it comes to politics.

    Intelligent!=Smart, but we're always reminded by the chattering classes that it is.

  • Doctor Whom||

    This. Some of the most intelligent people I have known, and some of the most otherwise rational people I have known, have had blind spots for some pet issue, often political or religious. I've heard blitheringly stupid arguments from people who, but for that blind spot, ought to have known better (and no, I'm not going to claim that I've never done the same thing). I've read some speculation that there used to be an evolutionary advantage in unquestioningly following the Top Men.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    My buddy is smart. Earns high income in sales. Over $180 000. Yet, he's "not complaining" about the high marginal tax rates. He babbles on about using all the left-wing buzz words like "consumerism" and shit like that and that 'deregulation' has ruined capitalism and so on.

    The consumerism angle lost a bit of its edge after he bought himself an $8000 Rolex.

    So yeah, it doesn't correlate.

  • AlexInCT||

    Intelligence and common sense are two different beast. I know some very intelligent people that lack any and all common sense when it comes to politics and things associated with politics.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The other question would be why does higher IQ not seem to translate to more common sense?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    High IQ = Less Religion.

    The more secular countries (US, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia) are more prosperous.

  • ||

    Hahahahahahahahaha.

  • Floridian||

    I hate when atheists are anti-religous. That is a big part of why I am not openly atheist. I don't want to be associated with the clowns who are intolerant of religion.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Then you hate it when the topic is discussed by one side - see Sam Harris.

    It must be discussed to understand how the world works.

    Dawkins and Harris are doing the world a great service.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    You can be a-religious without being anti-religious.

  • Greg F||

    A narrow definition of 'religion' is what fools like buttface use to justify their own beliefs.

    Buttface's religion is worship of the state. He/she is as blind to the contradictions of his faith in the state as any religion is in their beliefs.

  • SKR||

    Harris is a jackass that makes all us atheists look bad. It figures you would like that douchebag.

  • MOFO.||

    An important point of atheism is feeling intellectually superior to those of religious beliefs, which is why people like Palin's butthole feel the need to chime in with High IQ = Less Religion.

  • sarcasmic||

    Not all atheists are anti-religion.

  • Floridian||

    Exactly. I am atheist. My wife is catholic. I am more than willing to escort her to church on Sundays. She is more than willing to not push her beliefs on me. I love her and respect her for the things we share and our differences. She gives me the same love and respect.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I hate when atheists are anti-religous.

    If only.

    Most athiests replace sky-daddy religious beliefs with even stupider ones, like various flavors of socialism, or new age mysticism.

  • sarcasmic||

    Most atheists are quiet about it because the vocal anti-religious assholes give a bad name to those of us who simply lack faith.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    What category do atheists who take people to court for "my feelings were hurt by public display of 'x'" fall?

  • Tonio||

    Citation needed, VG.

  • Tonio||

    Oh, and mysticism is a form of religion.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I understand your point, but I'm tired of having to pretend I don't find religion ridiculous. I don't inject it into conversation, but if it's brought up I'll state my mind. Why should I give religion special consideration that I don't give liberals or conservatives?

  • Floridian||

    I have the same level of disgust for evangelicals that won't take a polite no thank you. I find is distasteful to discount a person just because they have a system of faith. I don't feel the need to spread my lack of faith but if I did I would like to think I would do it in a respectful manner of others beliefs.

  • ||

    I wish someone would notice and mention the difference between "not believe" and "believe not."

  • some guy||

    How do you figure? IQ measurements are all about cognitive ability. Science tends to replace faith, but you can easily have faith with high cognitive ability. The drop in religion does correlate with kids getting more schooling in some countries. Is that what you are talking about?

  • AlexInCT||

    You could have fooled me about those supposedly secular countries being prosperous because of some magic lack of religious fervor. I see daily proof of the fanatical religious fervor of the political and intellectual classes in these secular countries. These clows are the biggest religious fanatics of all with their adherence to the teachings of the cult of AGW...

  • Finrod||

    They still have religious fervor, but it's not oriented towards (traditional) religion any more. Instead it's oriented towards crap like AGW or environmentalism or PETA or etc.

  • fish||

    High IQ = Less Religion Buttplug.

    Hi shreeky.

    PS: CHRISTFAGBUSHPIGSOROSRECTUM

  • Zeb||

    I think it is because even the most intelligent people rest their reasoning and beliefs on a lot of unproven assumptions. When you are dealing with such a complex thing as human interactions, it is impossible to base everything on obvious facts. And then people make mental leaps in making judgements about things, fail to see all of the consequences of something and just go with what feels right emotionally. I think that everyone probably does all of this a lot more than they would like to think.

  • AlmightyJB||

    There's also the sourc I of information they base their opinions on. Garbage in, garbage out as they say.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, definitely that too.

  • triclops||

    Or is also important to note that understanding reality is often hard, and reality is indifferent to our attempts at understanding it. That and the fact that even the most rational among us is using mental shortcuts all the time in order to function in life, and the stupidity of or world makes some sense. Most of our supposed rationality is emotional decision making post hoc justified by rationalizations. I come to this site, not because it doesn't happen here, but because it happens less here than other places.

  • ||

    Intellect and emotion aren't supposed to be an either/or thing. You need a balance of both. Emotions are actually part of the sensory system - fear is there to tell you "there is danger here." I've heard it said, "Fear is the Divine Protection our Creator gave us." But then the intellect is there to find out exactly what it is that's scaring me, rather than just knee-jerk reacting.

    The cure for fear isn't to simply deny and dismiss it - the cure for fear is to make the unknown, known.

  • UnCivilServant||

    The smartest guy I knew also had some of the most shockingly stupid moments of anyone I'd met up to that point.

    Also, in the same circle of friends was a guy who on average would fall below the level of the rest, but whenever he had a good idea, it would be a stroke of pure genius.

    Intelligence is not a constant or universal attribute of a person.

  • Brett L||

    Well, IQ mostly identifies the ability to extract patterns quickly from increasingly complex visual information. It measures abstraction and pattern recognition very well. This is pretty important if you want to know how fast a person can be taught a new skill and how many examples it will take for them to move from rote application to understanding of the underlying principle in a skill. Persons with IQ below 100 will have extreme difficulty mastering the abstractions needed to really understand calculus and the sciences that depend upon calculus. Beyond that, it gets very hazy about what one means by Intelligence in the IQ.

  • JWatts||

    Well, IQ mostly identifies the ability to extract patterns quickly from increasingly complex visual information.

    Not completely.

    Intelligence has multiple components and one of those is cognitive analysis (roughly what you said). Others include verbal and short term memory. This is an explanation of why the SAT is a pretty good measure of intelligence and correlates highly with IQ.

    (IQ is a specific measurement of intelligence and I don't want to go off into the weeds over the IQ vs intelligence.)

  • hotsy totsy||

    Think of all the intelligent guys who have been taken to the cleaners by bimbos. Or the intelligent women who get caught up with some bum who lives off them and cheats on them.

    Many very intelligent people want to feel good about themselves and thus embrace beliefs that identify them to others as caring, selfless, visionary, etc.

  • ||

    Sure - just look at Sheldon Cooper. ;-)

  • VG Zaytsev||

    If everybody's getting smarter, why is our politics getting stupider?

    IQ measure academic aptitude and academics are almost entirely dumbfucks.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The key word is "aptitude". IQ only measures your potential, not how much of that potential is actuall being put to use.

    If intelligence were wine, IQ just tells you how big your wine glass is. It could still be a really big empty wine glass.

  • KPres||

    "If everybody's getting smarter, why is our politics getting stupider?"

    Because we live in democracies where stupidity is the smarter/more effective strategy. That's why political extremism and ideological rigidity correlate positively with IQ.

  • Doctor Whom||

    More Porn, Less Rape

    La la la, radfems can't hear you! How dare you proffer mere facts that contradict the Goddess-inspired dogma.

  • Ted S.||

    +40,000 sex workers at international sporting event

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Porn is rape, you're just changing the circumstances.

  • Finrod||

    If you're getting paid for rape like porn stars are, it's not rape any more, it's prostitution.

  • ||

    Prostitution is also rape. All sex is rape. Especially consensual sex. That's the worst kind of rape because the rapee doesn't even realize she's allowing herself to be raped.

  • albo||

    These are exciting times we live in, folks. Since I've been alive, we've gone from putting man on the Moon to hitching a ride on Russian deathtraps to go to low Earth orbit. Wait, what?

  • Floridian||

    That is funny. But I am excited that private companies are taking over the space program. Also the race to colonize mars is supposed to be financed through advertisements and donations. I count that as an improvement.

  • ||

    So, what are they going to do when they get there?

    Don't get me wrong, I think privatization of space is awesome. Launching satellites and the like.

    I just don't see a profit to be made by exploration, and lacking that, I don't see it happening.

  • AlexInCT||

    Lasso some decent sized asteroid out there, put it on a collision course with earth, add some sharks with lasers on their heads to make the shit really scary, and then demand 1 million.. erm what?.. ah OK 1 trillion dollars in tribute, or else!

    Profit! And without underpants even.

  • Floridian||

    Immediately space tourism. People who want to say they have been to space and get the view of the earth from low earth orbit. Astronaughts have had profound effects from viewing the earth I hear. The Mars colonization project the profit is in broadcasting the challenge. The participants get to be pioneers and the first Martians. Maybe later harvesting helium from the moon for fusion reactors or mineral harvest from asteroids.

  • Tonio||

    People are always looking for a place where they can go to be left alone to pursue their own destinies. Space is the only place we have left, and it's a damn big place.

  • ||

    Agreed. But the must be able to afford it.

    We are SEVERAL breakthroughs away from that.

  • ||

    they

  • Tonio||

    Moon colonization is within reach technologically, although would be expensive.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Space is not the only place. The oceans and Antarctica are closer and more profitable.

  • CE||

    SeaLab 2020?

  • ||

    Loved that show.

  • Agammamon||

    Sealab 2021.

  • CE||

    Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact, it's cold as all get out.

  • Stormy Dragon||

  • ||

    How many guyz are willing to shell out $50B to go to Mars for a vacation?

    A few, certainly, but I question that business model.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Columbus's first voyage to America cost $8million in 2012 dollars, so clearly European tourism to America is a questionable business model.

  • ||

    So, in 400 years, you're sayin?

    Maybe 100.

  • Agammamon||

    'So, what are they going to do when they get there?'

    Well what was the government going to do when it got there? Hell, what did the government do when it got to the moon? Pick up a few rocks? Could've had a drone do that.

    Its not about the destination, but what you learn on the journey - and I'm fine with that as long as I'm not picking up the tab.

  • OneOut||

    During the "Age of Discovery" {from around 1400 to 1800 ) much of the world ( from the Western point of view) was discovered by private ventures. In many cases whalers were in virgin seas before state sponsored expeditions and even the private ventures that came after the state expanded knowledge while looking for profit.

  • Rasilio||

    Um, those Russian "Deathtraps" may not be as fancy and shiny as our retired shuttles were but their record of reliability is truely remarkable.

    Russians may not be so good with the beautiful elegant solutions to problems but they are goddamned masters of the rugged, reliable, brute force solutions

  • Robert||

    Yeah, people joked about Mir with all the problems it developed and how it looked like it was getting along on duct tape & bailing wire, but when you consider its length of service you can't complain.

  • Rasilio||

    When it comes to engineering it works like this...

    You want a beautiful handcrafted work of art that will function perfectly damn near forever but costs an arm and a leg and takes forever to manufacture go to Germany

    You want a beautiful handcrafted work of art that may or may not function at all go to England

    You want an over engineered technological marvel with reasonably good reliability but costs an astronomical amount go to America

    You want something cheap, ugly, ineligant, and can be maintained by a simple farmer with little more than bailing wire and a screwdriver but gets the job done pretty damn near every time you go to Russia

  • Cytotoxic||

    You want something cheap, ugly, ineligant, and can be maintained by a simple farmer with little more than bailing wire and a screwdriver but gets the job done pretty damn near every time you go to Russia

    And hope the result doesn't blow up on the launch pad or burn up in re-entry.

  • Agammamon||

    To be fair, we haven't been all that good on the re-entry part lately either.

    Or the blow up on the pad part.

  • CE||

    NASA spent eleventy million dollars developing a ball point pen that could write in space with zero gravity, with ink that would flow at extremely low temperatures, and even work upside down.

    The Russians used pencils.

  • Gladstone||

    NASA spent eleventy million dollars developing a ball point pen that could write in space with zero gravity, with ink that would flow at extremely low temperatures, and even work upside down.

    The Russians used pencils.

    That story is a myth.

    http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

  • ||

    The Free Market Wins Again!

  • hotsy totsy||

    "You want a beautiful handcrafted work of art that will function perfectly damn near forever but costs an arm and a leg and takes forever to manufacture go to Germany

    You want a beautiful handcrafted work of art that may or may not function at all go to England"

    If you want a REALLY beautiful work of art that will function well enough and costs an arm and a leg go to Italy. They do almost everything with beauty in mind.

    And Japan is a cross between US and Germany.

  • Agammamon||

    If you want something beautiful, expensive, and requires more maintenance than you can possibly imagine - go to Italy.

  • Rasilio||

    You notice how much these countries engineering abilities coorelate to the attitudes of their women?

  • Curtisls87||

    Oh, I don't know, I remember this saucy little number in Munich one time...

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Unfortunately our little jaunt to the moon, and subsequent boondoggles like the space shuttle, crowded out private space development. That's changing, and like Floridian said is an improvement.

  • Zeb||

    Russian deathtraps

    With many fewer deaths than the space shuttle.

  • some guy||

    The space shuttle was just too complicated. Classic case of trying to do too much with a single piece of equipment.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Classic case of a bureaucracy desperate to find a new project to maintain its bloated self, and making contradictory promises to every potential saviour under the sun.

  • some guy||

    Well, yeah. That's why it was too complicated. Who else would try to combine a cargo truck with a high end research lab and a repair shop?

  • AlexInCT||

    It was freaking 1970s tech for christ's sake. That's part of the big problem there.

  • Floridian||

    So was voyager but it is still going strong. Not to discount your point but those engineers were simply amazing doing what they did with what they had.

  • AlexInCT||

    Tripple redundancy!

  • fish||

    Needs one more "p".

    Trippple.

  • Tonio||

    The shuttle was effectively designed by congress. The shuttle as originally pitched was far more capable than what was finally built.

  • anon||

    With many fewer deaths than the space shuttle.

    Safety should *never* be the primary focus of any exploration endeavor.

  • Zeb||

    I was just responding to the "deathtraps" comment.

  • Libertymike||

    Free markets and free trade do make for a more prosperous and civilized society.

    Whether the incidence of cancer is declining, as a matter of fact, is not established by looking to government statistics. Whether peeps are getting smarter, as a matter of fact, is not established by merely asserting that they are or by pointing to the results of "studies".

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    But but I had been assured by the Commentariat that everybody is stupid becuz KARDASHIANS and STUPID BOWL, amirite?

  • Sunken Idaho||

    If the planet is getting smarter then why is there so many Scientologists?

  • robc||

    With greater population the tails of the distribution are longer.

  • Loki||

  • Robert||

    LIGHT IN CAVE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR STEVE SMITH READ PORN.

  • Eeyore Rifkin||

    More like a bunch of correlations that "unexpectedly" confirm libertarian prejudices.

    Correlations aren't truths except in a trivial sense. A convincing explanation of why something happens demonstrates a grasp on truth. Short of that you have a lot of groping around, more or less productively. Polemic has its uses, but at the groping stage it's often counterproductive. Dialectic is the superior approach to knowledge.

  • Tonio||

    Hahahaha...

  • CE||

    But the mental gymnastics to deny the most likely cause of the correlations are really far more impressive.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Hmmmm, more people getting tattoos equals lower incidence of cancer!

  • anon||

    About half of Americans two generations ago would have been diagnosed as mentally retarded based on today’s IQ tests.

    I offer the current leaders of the "free world" as evidence to support this statement.

  • Greg F||

    As far as religion goes I think Michael Crichton nailed it.
    http://www.sullivan-county.com/immigration/e2.html

    I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can't be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people---the best people, the most enlightened people---do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.
  • Stormy Dragon||

    Religion, broadly speaking, is a psychologic mechanism for maintaining denial of the Absurdist dilemma. Seen from that point, most atheists are still religious. They've just switched to a more subtle form of the mechanism.

  • Dave Krueger||

    "You’re born; you die; and everything in-between is just filler"

    --Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show --

  • Zeb||

    I suspect that is true about people in general. I think he is wrong when he says this though "you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life".
    It is kind of a large assumption that life should have any meaning at all.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious."

    That's fucking stupid. Like, "those who believe in nothing will fall for anything" level stupid.

  • Dave Krueger||

    Yay! More porn!

  • CE||

    Six of these aren't surprising at all. "People everywhere are getting smarter" seems to be contradicted by all the available evidence, at least from where I stand.

  • ||

    "More Porn, Less Rape"

    Well, duh. This has been well-known for decades. Why go out for milk when you have a cow at home?

  • OneOut||

    Who knows it ?

    I always read that rape isn't about sex, it's about violence and control.

  • uppereast1||

    A very interesting read. However, as a science correspondent, Mr Bailey should know better than spreading wild canards. Such as "many women stopped hormone replacement therapy in the early 2000s, all behaviors that prevent the onset of cancer. " As far as I know there is no evidence that HRT causes the onset of cancer of any kind. If hormones caused cancer, then young men and women would be ridden with cancers as they have very high levels of the sex hormones. It's true that supplementing with Premarin in the 1970s was found to be poor for women because it was made from horse oestrogen. But since the 2000s there has been available human equivalent oestrogen that does not cause cancer. SO that stopping HRT would not prevent the onset of cancer.

  • ||

    I don't understand why population stabilization is "unalloyed good news". Unless you're a Malthusian population bomb hustler, who gives a good goddamn what the global population is? It should be neither good or bad news that the population is growing, stable or shrinking.

  • BLEEDINELL||

    The entire population of the planet (7 bil) could live in the state of Texas, and a family of four would have 1/10 of an acre to live on.

    I love numbers, they never lie.

  • Flatulent Monkey||

    I feel bad for whoever draws Lubbock.

  • OneOut||

    You guys all got to Alaska to prove that. You can probably have 1/2 an acre.

    Leave us alone down here.

  • OneOut||

    Do women who live longer have fewer children or do women who have fewer children live longer ?

  • umh||

    Everytime I read about people getting better scores on IQ test I shrug and then wonder where all these bright people are. The only thing I can think of that seems significant is that the educational establishment has learned to teach to the test.

  • LifeStrategies||

    @umh. Yes indeed!

    Government run schools teach people what to think not how to think. And since such tests can test knowledge (including how to pass IQ tests) rather than the ability to think for themselves, scores would appear to improve...

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