RE: 160 for Space Migration

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Tue Feb 19 2002 - 12:45:50 MST

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote,
> But the author does have a point: we can afford not to discriminate
> here on Earth, but there are good reasons to do so on a colony mission.

Actually, my comments were misinterpreted and caused this whole discussion
to mutate off topic. I wasn't arguing for gays on space missions, nor did
the original article mention gays. (Besides, gays don't tend to breed
anyway, yet they keep popping up every generation. I doubt there will be a
lack of gays in any breeding colony without technological intervention of
some sort.)

The original article claimed that we need to limit sexual partners to one
per person. The author did not even allow for divorce or later partners.
The author argued for the arbitrary requirement of one life-time partner
with no future partners ever allowed, to preserve the traditional monogamous
family unit. It was this arbitrary requirement that requires that we take a
minimum 160 people along on any long space voyage. If we allow multiple
simultaneous partners, multiple sequential partners, or artificial
insemination, we could easily get a smaller population to breed.

My main problem with the article is that the author acknowledged these
possibilities. They were dismissed as violating the traditional family
unit. No plural marriages are allowed. No divorce is allowed. No
sequential partners. No artificial insemination. No arranged marriages.
This sounded more like Catholic doctrine rather than a scientific paper.
There is no biological reason that it should take 160 people to breed a new

Harvey Newstrom, CISSP <>
Principal Security Consultant <>
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