On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 9:46 AM, Steve Randall <srandall52@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jul 2008 20:09:50 -0400
Thomas Weichmann <tomcw@adelphia.net> wrote:

> Hi Martin,
> This has actually been discussed a long time ago here on the list.  The former
> (several years ago) default was married.  I believe that I actually brought
> it to the attention of the developers that it is a huge assumption, in any
> century, to guess that anyone who has had children together is married.  As
> you suggested, it is not a good idea to make any assumptions without the
> data.

Defaults are not about making assumptions; they are about saving data
entry time. This default wastes time. Therefore it is wrong. It is as
simple as that.

I would tend to go with this position -- that it's about efficiency and usability of the software, *as long as* the value being defaulted to is obviously displayed.  I think that would be the case with "married" vs "unknown".  (Although a little more color-coding or other styling on the data entry dialog might be helpful.)