In the face of extinction... an alternative

"Gentlemen, as you know women worldwide have simultaneously developed a global and practically absolute aversion to childbearing. As all right-thinking men will agree, even when oblivion is facing us we may not abrogate a woman’s natural right to do as she will with her body, and we therefore have until the last generation of baby girls reaches menopause to find a solution which will permit our race to continue, should there be one.

"I said practically absolute, as I am pleased to report that after lengthy negotiations we have been able to arrive at a possibly workable stopgap pending the development of a successful artificial uterus, which top biologists confidently expect within twenty years. (This is a laudable achievement and only the truly mean-minded would remark that the same has been said about controlled fusion since the 1950s).

"The stopgap is twofold:

"Firstly, one woman in ten thousand is willing to carry a pregnancy as far as the twenty-fifth week, after which labour is to be induced and every effort made to ensure the survival of the premature baby. Conception and delivery will be carried out by trusted female technicians, and we are advised that any attempt to renege on the deal will meet with extreme retribution. The price will be one thousand million dollars US for each such baby, payable on delivery, no refunds.

"Secondly, for each such woman I am delighted to add that as many as one hundred are prepared to volunteer their services as egg donors. To compensate them for this highly intrusive process - though less intrusive than bearing an unwanted foetus - the fee payable will be one million dollars US per ovum, caveat emptor. Again, this work will be carried out by trusted female technicians.

"It will be necessary to find surrogate hosts for such ova following in vitro fertilisation, of course. These will need to be male volunteers. I am advised that it has been established that the chances of survival for both host and infant are as high as 90% provided that the volunteer is young enough and in good health. After the host’s twentieth birthday, I am afraid the chances do drop off rather sharply. No, I am sorry, speculation concerning animal hosts must be viewed as fanciful at the present time. Gentlemen, I urge you to remember our forefathers at Guadalcanal, at Omaha Beach, and many other places and times besides - this is not such a high price to pay, surely?

"Finally, I must emphasise that the deal as offered must be accepted in toto or not at all, and it is implicit that the unit of value is the dollar at its present buying power, and that we shall guarantee that it retains such.

“Are there any observations, or shall we move to a vote?”

“Good senator, I have a few questions. Firstly, how were you planning to incentivize the men to become donors? You mention volunteers, but my census data indicates that there are actually only three men who stated they were willing to volunteer for this procedure, and they were all extremely drunk at the time of the census. Were you intending to offer them large compensation similar to that you are offering the ladies, or was ‘volunteers’ merely a gentle way of saying ‘victims’?”

“And on the subject of compensation, how did you intend to pay for this? It seems unlikely that we will be able to avoid inflation if we simply pull this money from the national debt. Not to mention there are already far too many jokes as it is about us stealing from grandchildren that we won’t ever have.”

So sex is now solely for recreation with no chance of procreation? And we don’t have to expend any money on childcare, toys for kids, clothes for kids, healthcare for kids, education for kids, etc.?

Fuck that reproduction shit. Get those scientists on figuring how to splice the immortality gene from turtles into people and let’s make our generation immortal.



Fuck the human race. If we fail to survive, it’s just more proof that Darwin was right.

No tax dollars for this scheme.



Ah, thanks for clearing up my ignorance. Still not true immortality, or even eternal youth, though.

Not from the shot of telomerase alone, but some turtles are pretty much immortal. From the same article.

So there’s about a hundred years worth of potential from the telomerase dose, but whatever else these turtles have going for them, we should see if we can get going for us.


Mtgman, you have made this thread a lot more awesome than I expected it to be.

Fair enough. Mind you, if the price of a second century of life is dry, wrinkled skin and the inability to move faster than a crawl, I’ll not be hammering at the doors for it. :smiley:

On the upside, housing will cease to be a problem.

[Wizened old hag]You’re gonna live forever, why you in such a hurry?[/WOH]

Sorry for derailing your thread, I’ll stop now. The idea of how big a price to put on the continuation of the species, the only one we know of which is sentient, is actually an interesting one and I look forward to coming back to this thread next week. Have a good weekend.


It was an enjoyable hijack, and who’d be such a killjoy as to object? Back atcha. :slight_smile:

If the hijack is over, what about my first post? These are serious gaps in the proposal - not the least of which is how are we supposed to guarantee that inflation won’t occur?

"We are of course unable to guarantee that there will be no inflation, but we are required to factor index-linking into the payments. I may reveal in addition that during negotiations it was tentatively agreed that payment terms might be acceptable - and you will surely agree that a million dollars becomes a less intimidating figure when it may be paid over twenty-five, perhaps thirty years. It is clearly understood that the terms may appear onerous at first sight, but I should remind you that this is not a buyer’s market.

"Naturally we may find ourselves unable to sustain a birthrate sufficient to maintain our present population levels, but the solution is presented only as a stopgap until, perhaps, technology has advanced sufficiently to admit of a better. We are obliged to maintain some population of breeding age against that day, as will be obvious - and also to ensure that the labour force does not grey out.

“You spoke also of volunteers. I believe that circumstances alter cases. No sane man would volunteer to stand in a muddy trench in northern Europe during the depths of winter in order to be shelled, machine-gunned or gassed, and yet history records that volunteers have been found in answer to urgent need - which I do not believe was a factor in your otherwise admirable census findings.”

Why not just let the human race become extinct? Why are the men so anxious to keep it going? Who cares what happens after we’re gone if there are no children?

See the other thread and digest the arguments. :rolleyes: One consequence of no children is billions of old people dying in food riots, pandemics, mass starvation, flood, fire… need I continue?

Feel free to, you know, join in with the discussion and not just fight the hypothetical.

There was some British officer in the early 1900s who had a pet turtle that was 400 years old or something…I can’t remember the name of the guy or the turtle but surely someone here does.

$1 000000000 per baby is way too much. Ditto $1000000 per egg. I’d suggest we develop a way of inducing egg formation from stem cells rather than ovary tissue, similar to the recent stem cells->sperm announcement. Then we could tell the women to get bent.

I’d suggest that all the vocal anti-abortion fundies be used as hosts - after all, life is sacred, yes?

Indeed - and they would likely comply.

The OP’s premise that every woman everywhere will suddenly and simultaneously exhibit a violent aversion to childbearing is about as likely as that they would all suddenly sprout hands growing from their ears. Ditto with the premise that men everywhere would meekly respect this.