The past century has witnessed the confluence of several major streams of civilization. From the European tradition comes the spirit of individualism and altruism. From the North Asian and Jewish bloodlines come intelligence and industry. Wedding the two, we have created a strain of super-humans. Our upper strata include the most productive people ever.
However, in abandoning tradition for individualism the Orientals and Jews have rejected the former sense of obligation which would have compelled them to bear children and raise them in their own traditions. Universalizing European altruism, we impute to the children of others the virtues which our own children might have had. Had we had them.
Our highly evolved intelligence appears to have pushed us into an evolutionary cul-de-sac, rather like the Irish Elk, done in by their magnificent but unwieldy, oversized antlers. We are too smart to be bothered raising children, and we have used our superior intelligence to convince ourselves that it doesn’t matter.
In the sweep of evolutionary history it doesn’t matter. Peoples and civilizations go extinct all the time. In the saga of our own history, however, it matters a lot. It appears that we are writing our own last chapter.