Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Amusing ‘miscellaneous’ item in German newspapers this week: a brother and sister having four kids. With incest being illegal in Germany, we now have a widespread debate about whether or not such a law actually makes sense. As well as people trying to challenge it at the constitutional court.

Apart from its sheer trashiness, the question is actually interesting. Sure, incest probably isn’t the best for the resulting kids (apparently 25-50% of incest children have some illness or deficit thanks to recessive phenotypes) and neither is it for the gene pool. But in other areas the state doesn’t care for the kids’ health either. It’s not illegal for parents to smoke or drink during pregnancy, say. (And we’ll just skip arguments on the the state being interested in the gene pool’s quality – the last time it had an interest in similar concepts around here, things went downwards rather quickly.)

So I do wonder how such a law should be justified.

It’s also interesting to read wikipedia listings on the topic. While the English edition focuses on the U.S., the German edition focuses on German laws and mentions that incest isn’t illegal everywhere these days.

February 23, 2007, 19:28

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