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View Diary: America, the artifact (211 comments)

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  •  Common misperception! (13+ / 0-)

    Life expectancy is an average.  Populations that have a high infant and maternal mortality have a lower life expectancy than a population with a lower rate of infant/maternal life expectancy.

    This does not mean that no one lives beyond 50.  If you leave in the East, go to graveyards in Boston, Concord, other old towns.

    You will see graves for men and women who lived into their late 70's, 80's and even 90's.

    Yes, there will be plenty of graves for children and women in their 20's, but the people who made it through that bottle neck can  live for a long time.

    Plus, current archeological study puts the time of the migration of Native Americans into American as early as 30,000 years ago, not 11,000.

    With abundant, productive land and fauna, a population in the 10s of millions is quite possible.

    HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

    by HylasBrook on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 07:50:45 AM PST

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    •  Very true. Our own "greater life expectency" has (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anak, HylasBrook, MichaelNY

      as much to do with declining infant mortality than actually living longer, although both are true.

      Once or twice a year a local wildlife refuge opens access to a couple of abandoned cemeteries from the late 1800's - early 1900's. Several of the plots have small "infant" headstones but one was particularly notable for having one large patron stone, two "wife of" stones and seven "infant" daughter or son of stones. What was really heart wrenching was reading the date separations of the infant stones, several were less than 12 mos.

      •  Yes - I was once looking at gravestones (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        geez53, MichaelNY

        in the town of Shirley, MA.

        I was admiring an unusual 4 part headstone until it sunk in that this family had lost 4 daughters in the space of 3 weeks to diptheria.  I cannot imagine the grief those parents felt.

        HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

        by HylasBrook on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 09:42:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Declining infant mortality allows us to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        geez53, MichaelNY

        stabilize our population.  Frankly people had infinite numbers of kids in the past partly because so many died so young.

        Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

        by neroden on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 09:16:36 PM PST

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