Ideal number of humans

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Syzygys, Oct 12, 2006.

1. SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member

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12,671
You can call realism pessimism, it won't change the meaning.

Supposed that you actually KNOW history and remember that since the atomic age humankind had like 5-6 close calls with a full blown nuclear war, consider ourselves fucking LUCKY....
And half of those 5-6 were just accidents!!!

What's the point really?? So we can waste another planets? I would agree if we were living in HARMONY with nature but we don't. Unless we learn that, there is no point trying to infest the universe....

Alternate history, I like it! I mean my argument:

Imagine that China actually had made into the New World, that means the Native Americans would have died 200 years EARLIER...Specially if the Chinese hadn't forgot how to make firearms...

See, there is always an other side to it.

Again, a Chinese conquer of the world would have benefited humankind in what way???

I agree. At this point it means solving our energy problems before the already underway ENERGYWARS destroy the planet... Also let's do something with waste. There is huge wasteislands floating in the oceans...

3. PronatalistRegistered Senior Member

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750
Food isn't merely for selfish consumption, but for the natural conversion into additional human bodies also.

Well for one thing, we are finding food to feed all those babies. So don't you suppose it would be selfish not to be having the babies we can have?

More and more people would be glad to live, most every baby is glad to come alive and be born, the more people there are the more people there are wanting babies.

There are significant, compelling reasons for steady population expansion of the human race, that ought not to be conveniently overlooked.

To convert relatively cheap organic matter or food into additional human bodies, of immense unmeasurable value, is a great "investement," at least philosophically.

Another reason to have more babies, is that babies just keep on coming out. Humans were not designed to use any means of "birth control," and I don't expect people to have to bother with shoddy, experimental, anti-life, anti-family contraceptives. Whatever happened to babies happening when they happen? I do not believe that every aspect of nature should be "controlled" by man, expecially our own natural increase. I don't believe in such "earth control." That's trying to "play God" and "tamper" with God's creation or with nature, and being human is hard enough already.

I see humans pushing out babies, much the same as for people to keep on enjoying having a heartbeat. Both are natural processes, detrimental to somehow try to eliminate or subdue. Respect nature in welcoming the natural flow of human life, unhindered.

5. PronatalistRegistered Senior Member

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750
Just because humans are reproducing way faster than they can be lifted out of Earth's gravity well, doesn't at all mean we can't still enjoy having "large" families.

I did not change my "original hypothesis." I am not arguing for "just one more" doubling of the human race. I only mentioned something of the current demographic projections. What if the human race doubles its numbers once more, and keeps on growing just as remarkably as ever? Adding more people to the planet, isn't hardly what one would propose, if "regulating" birthrates is the only consideration. With all the more fertile human birth canals, there's more opportunies for contraceptive "failures," probably all the more people who for one reason or another don't practice any means of "family planning" other than the elegant and natural "no method" method, and presumably, there's even less room left for all the additional babies that may be expected.

I want to enjoy having all the children that I was meant to have, I expect that the huge population of the world would expect the same, but what when all these children grow up, and want still more children? Double again, and again, let human populations grow naturally, unhindered. But just because people argue to defend right-to-life and all that, doesn't necessarily mean that's the direction of the demographic trends. Maybe huge portions of the population are gullible, selfish, and will continue to be duped by the anti-family "family planning" pushers. Maybe people are just too busy working and watching TV, to do "what comes naturally" much anymore?

After the human race has double yet again, if that ever happens, it causes changes, that invite the next doubling as well. History is already showing that human population expansion already seems to contain the seeds of its own accomodation. The more populated we get, the better we get at accomodating large populations, at least if that's the pronatalist goal, and we actually try to use the technologies available to benefit people.

I am not even convinced of the "hard" limits. They're only hard to explain, now, with our lack of knowledge or understanding. A future, more-heavily-populated society, might far better explain how to elude such "hard" limits. Most all the talk of human population "limits" sounds very much self-imposed and anti-family. A lot of previous talk of "limits" has largely been discredited, perhaps to the claimed "dismay" of those population phobics who fear a future "crowded" planet.

Some people may think it remarkable. I didn't "update" my hypothesis, but I do try to explain it better when people ask useful questions. I try to explain, that the world can hold, or be made to hold, quite likely far more people than there ever will be, especially within the forseeable future. When I did some informal survey of people I work with, as to whether God's commandment to people to Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, still applies, I think all my respondants said that it did. My sister said that God has not rescinded his commandment. Some guy at work said that the human population is "huge," and yet it still applies. So perhaps to call for more and more people to be welcomed to come alive and be born, is still rather "remarkable," but in accordance with what most people naturally want, that they don't want to be told just how many children they are to be allowed to have. But why can't a hypothesis be "remarkable?" Not everything has to be "easy" to understand, because people need challenges anyway. I despise the rather "lazy" sloppy thinking methods of tax-and-spend liberals. "You don't have to think to be a liberal," claims Rush Limbaugh.

Somewhere I read some anti-population talk on some website, something or other that we need a new "paradigm." Okay, here's mine then. As the world comes to become more densely populated with people, of course people may continue to, and should be encouraged to, go on enjoying having their "traditionally very large" families. But the city should be seen as a good place to do that as well, as the year 2008, is supposely about the official year at which the world "tips" towards having more people living in cities than the countryside. Maybe we are getting so populous, that maybe not quite everybody can live in the countryside anymore, lest there not really be much rural countryside anymore? Cities are technically mild population "archologies," and as people around the planet, find that they have to live a bit closer to their many neighbors, on the global scale at least, because there's so many of us, families can still be naturally as large as ever. Urbanize the planet to whatever extent needed.

Of course this has implications for China and basic human rights. Many people in China still yearn for "traditionally very large" families, or so I read somewhere. Let them enjoy having their children, in China, and in the many cities, even big cities, as well. More people live in the countryside than in the cities, in China, but people don't at all lose their God-given right/duty to procreate when they become living closer to their many neighbors in cities. Let villages become engulfed by nearby growing cities naturally coelescing into one another. A few such minor "growing pains" are but a small price to pay, for being free to have our children.

Maybe, maybe not. My point is that in either case, I argue for continued natural human population growth. As there gets to be more women of childbearing age throughout many parts of the world, I do not at all ask that people curtail their natural childbearing. There's way too much emphasis on "limiting" numbers, and not near enough exploration or open-mindedness towards beautiful, more natural and elegant population accomodation. For a country to be naturally "swollen" with people, should be no more shameful or less to be expected, than to properly welcome a woman to be visibly "great with child" in public. Mothers deserve special honor, for making the great investment into welcoming additional human beings to live. Why not more deliberately use the technologies available, to better mitigate naturally "swollen" populations, so that they may more comfortably and safely, go right on growing. Consider that modern affordable highrises to replace old overcrowded shantytowns, can hold lots more people, without necessarily always having to enlarge settled land areas right away, and that's but just one example.

What if the "demographic transition" fails to materialize, throughout many areas of the world? Is it then excuse to impose "limits" on childbearing? Not at all, but rather a natural argument to explore how to populate the entire planet more densely and efficiently, for the greater good of the many.

I welcome the sort of natural "globalism" that would seem to come with a world naturally populating itself into itself. Seeming of moving perhaps towards a world with seemingly so many people most everywhere, and national boundaries fast fading away. But that isn't the flavor of "globalism" in fashion among the power-mad globalists. They have stupid delusions of global utopia, that is highly exclusionary, seeking to reduce human population, pretty much to the level of only the minimal numbers of people, to not get in the way, and to provide worker slaves so that a few rich elites don't actually have to do any productive work. It's very cruel and selfish. If at all anybody wants to entertain silly notions of humans building some global utopia, it had better be incredibly populous, so that the populous masses don't soon find overwhelming reasons to oppose it.

I do believe that human "laws" should be more universal, standardized the same across the entire planet. I would prefer it be the "same time" everywhere, and do away will confusing time zones. Who says that "midnight" is the time to sleep? I say sleep when it's dark outside, no matter what the clock says. Problem is, I see no mechanism for man to bring that about. People are too selfish and corrupt. Power must be divided up, or people will abuse it. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely," or so the saying claims. There must be accountability. So the nations must still be divided. Not hostile, but divided in political power. It's part of the necessary "checks and balances." If some country abuses its people, videos and evidence can be smuggled out, and then they made to look foolish, in "outside" medias of other countries. People seeking political assylum in other countries, can be a huge embarassment and incentive towards considering human rights again. If the whole world was but one "globalist" country, as some of the New Age or atheist or globalists want to rush like mad towards, where would the refugees go, when it's inevitably found to be corrupt?

But some noted population pessimist laments something about turning the planet into a gigantic "feedlot" to feed people. Well if that's where it's supposedly going, so what? People's precious darling babies, is a very potent driver of agriculture or whatever. Selfish people invent a "science" rationalizing away their selfishness and stupidity. According to the "lifeboat ethic," the world is like a "lifeboat," in that supposedly just so many people can fit. When we help other countries, by giving (or selling) them food and medicine, we (supposedly) increase longevity, decrease infant mortality, and encourage more childbearing, which only serve to worsen their (presumed) "overpopulation." But I already advocate a more heavily-populated planet, for people's precious darling babies and all their compelling reasons why they have as many children as they do, for the greater good of the many, so of course I want to encourage better longevity, reduced infant mortality, and encourage more childbearing. I would like for lots more people to feel more relaxed and positive about life, and feel free to just let their babies push out naturally, without having to bother or worry about "family planning," which is so much against nature. So the cities and towns naturally and often gradually grow. So what else is new? I hope it's more from the natural increase of all those people within them, and not so much from people depopulating the countryside to move to crowded cities, as has too much been the case. Natural increase would seem enough to be filling the cities with people. I don't want for the economy to have such problems that people feel they can't live in rural areas. Let human populations rise naturally in the rural areas as well, and spontaneously form even new towns and villages as their numbers also rise.

A lot of the talk about population, has focused way too much upon "limits." Talking more of an "unbounded" future, is far more productive. So far, most all supposed "limits" have been more of illusion and shallow-thinking. Forever elusive limits might not really be limits at all. Why can't some cities contain 100s of millions or billions of human individuals, if they design cities to hold more people, and explore a gradual and proper conversion to cleaner technologies?

I advocate that people be welcome to naturally "outgrow" the planet, and spread to more worlds, although I don't see that as a very viable option other than in science fiction, for now. I want to see humans spreading to more worlds, in sci-fi, to encourage people to think more "outside the box." To imagine this "gravity well" of a planet to becoming "too crowded" with people is rather unproductive. To imagine humans someday emigrating to more worlds, allievates some of this imagined supposed "overcrowding," making the planet seem much less "confining." To a woman becoming visibly "great with child," talk of the relief of an impending "birth" is rather encouraging. A lot of supposed "scientists" needlessly worrying people about a planet seemingly becoming "pregnant" with people, have neglected the very practical consideration, that we simply don't know what a planet "pregnant" with people, would naturally look like. Just how big must the "swelling" get, before "birth" can be expected? We don't seem to know so well yet, because has it even happened before? I take "birth" here, in a broad metaphoric sense. "Birth" is a "gateway" into some realm far better. Presumably, for Christians, it can be all the more people to populate heaven. For sci-fi buffs, it may the natural prelude towards colonizing more worlds. But in either case, I say it's necessary. Life brings some "growing pains," and in the broad perspective, such "growing pains" are often quite minor, and quite necessary.

That's not enough. If "scientists" are to be responsible, they must also consider the social implications of what they say. I am pro-life, and believe abortion to be murder. And it also corresponds to a decay in social mores making other crimes to seem more okay or permissable. The "huge" population of the world, is no excuse for abortions. People must still be welcome to have their precious darling babies. That there's so many of us alive these days, is all the more reason to at least try to be civilized, and to be pronatalist and understanding, and to have compassion towards people. The Anti-Christ, in the fictional "Left Behind" fictional series of books (and CDs and DVDs) of how biblical endtimes might play out, scolded the developing countries for letting their populations "balloon" in size. Sounds like an "antichrist" sort of thing to do. Conversely, what's the humane or compassionate thing to do? Just that. Let the various nations "balloon" their human populations. I understand why world population grows and grows, and I agree with almost every reason that may be given. By the many nations populating themselves more and more densely, they do their part and duty to help the planet hold more and more people. It should be no shame, but a great honor, for nations to welcome their populations to naturally grow huge and densify, since that's what it would seem to take, towards the global goal and natural desire to enlarge the entire human race, that our powerful reproductive urges and so many compelling reasons to have as many children as we do, all adds up to.

Who says that "scientists" can't understand or make allowances for natural human reproduction?

I am not at all worried about the "waste heat" problem, because it's not even a factor, within the forseeable future, and might not ever be. To worry about such things, is to put way too much confidence in the accuracy of our calculations, and to leave little room for imagination as to future unknown adaptations that may naturally come along. Even if it was to be a problem, we are still severely "underpopulated" in many respects, right now. To suggest as I do, that human populations should be or become "nearly as large as possible," towards some "ideal" or "optimum" sized population, probably implies that our numbers should be or become all the "closer" to whatever "hard" limit there might be postulated to be. Come on, auditoriums baking in human body heat, aren't so bad. Open the windows, we have air conditioning, there's plenty of ways to mitigate or convenienlty overlook such minor annoyances.

Not really. Technologically, it's easy enough to propose massive projects. Look at the huge army of workers that might like to have good jobs building something grand. The real problem, is the corrupt, non-visionary goverments, and their seeming inability to balance hardly any budget. In the movie "Total Recall," the technological matter of making a planet more habitable to humans, seems "easy" compared to the damage that can be caused, by a governmental regime that has other "priorites" other than accomodating and serving the people. That what scares me about such ventures. I imagine it far safer to live on a "crowded" earth, than to go to some new world, where we are dependent upon the technology, and the morons that run everything. Bad combination.

Then a very pronatalist culture, would help quite a lot in that.

I like all the ideas, some more than others. Underground cities, cities in orbit, vertical population arcologies, floating cities on the oceans, etc. Yeah, it's probably easier to simply stack people upwards into the sky, than to dig very deep into the earth. Although the higher up you go, maybe there's a natural balance of digging a little deeper as well. But then there's the issue of flooding and water table. As with the levies in New Orleans, just a little crack, and there's a huge flood. Above the water line, structures are more safe. Most problems with skyscrapers, don't doom the entire structure, especially if built wisely, allowing time for repairs.

Of course, one limit on how high up people can be stacked, is the thin atmosphere too far up. Human environments could be pressurized, but then, that's more opportunities for technology failures. But come on, we're nowhere near "standing room only" on the ground floor, so of what relevance as to how high people could be stacked, have to the present reality?

I bought that movie, because I wondered what in the world were people talking about? And as I expected, it was a stupid sensationalist farce. Preying upon people's fears, with very little science or practicality about it. It was set too close into the future, by which time, such population numbers would have been quite unlikely, and the food source was far too bizarre and nonscientific. People eat many times their body weight, so eating other dead people, wouldn't really help much. I would propose even before that, that by cremating dead people, and not having gravesites, there can be all the more reason for the living. Actually, why not eliminate some of those rich yuppie space-wasting golf courses first? Sometime, I think I may post a poll of all the things we could get rid of, before denying people their God-given right/duty to bear children, as a way to point out what a foolish idea setting "limits" on childbearing is. We could get rid of cars, golf courses, fitness gyms because people can walk around the block, who knows what all? The presumption is, that if we want to keep those things, we must keep the childbearing as well.

My Dad had problems with Star Trek, claiming it's too far-fetched. So I told him, what I think is really so far-fetched about it, is this silly notion that people get along so well with one another, without "religion." The technological "inventions" I find so much easier to accept. But sometimes they carry the "magic" too far, or not far enough to be logically consistant.

Consider that such "inventions" may not work quite as portrayed. In some movie, somebody "beamed" from one (phone?) booth, to another. "Thank you for using AT&T," it says. (How much did AT&T pay for that "commercial?") What? No "site-to-site" transport? Well do we get printouts from our computer, with no printer? There must be some machine to reassemble the "beamed" people, right? Oh, but site-to-site, is just the same as people beaming down to the planet, only instead of using a transporter pad, both ends are remote. Sort of a double-beam? But would it be possible to get sufficient resolution at such distances? Even with site-to-site, usually, a spaceship with transporters, must be reasonly nearby. If not, Star Trek Voyager could have simply "beamed" home and taken the 70 years off their journey. According to the storyline, it was "possible" to travel much, much faster, but their basic warp engine technology just couldn't quite do it.

So we may still have the gigantic crowded spaceships, they just may be quite a lot more numerous, and faster, than some people may have thought. And more spacious than previously thought. Just like how our cars are replaced by flying cars, in The Jetsons cartoon future, cities could be replaced by flying spaceship cities, in the future? I would much rather be born on another planet, or on a spaceship hurtline towards hopefully finding new worlds, than not at all, because there simply wasn't enough room anymore on the Earth. If there are more people than beds, I will share. It's just not that big a deal, and I can easily get along with reasonable people, even if they seemingly seem to be "too many." I would enjoy sex with other people around, were it really necessary. But these days, most people can find a place of privacy to sleep, at least family-privacy, if they live in one room.

All the better then, as finally everybody in the world will finally have air conditioning.

I welcome even "artificial" means in support of natural human reproduction. Why must we help the anti-family contraceptive pushers in their anti-human-life crusade? I believe the human reproductive system, a very vital function of the body, should be just as welcome to operate naturally, as people breathing or their hearts beating. What's less cruel than denying people their children? Let them fill the gaps between people with still more people. Welcome their babies to keep on coming out. Malthus supposedly said that somebody must die to make room for each birth. What utter nonsense! There is a far better alternative, to asking people to "wait" until "hell freezes over," for the population to finally dip a tad, so that they can have their precious darling babies, if they still can as such an old age? Natural population accumulation. Let births long exceed deaths, and ADAPT.

"Cabin fever" is such a problem? Nonsense. You can have a little nature in "spaceships." Don't you suppose that's partly what the "holodeck" is for? For temporary virtual environments? There could still be a few decorative house plants. There can be "common areas" to "get outside" into. It's not at all like the little box that astronauts must live in, for the duration of the flight or mission.

But why are we trying to redesign God's earth anyway? What's wrong with the current model? These ridiculous extrapolations, posit that God is dead, irrelevant, or never existed. If God be real, might that be a factor as well? Either God wouldn't allow us to multiply to such levels, or God would expand more worlds to be available to us. Why must you know all the answers, right now? For right now, just go on doing what we know so well, and are used to. Keep building more homes and surburbs, in the ration ample land available most everywhere. Encourage people to go on having children. There's even a natural progression, in which by going forward, we can more clearly see the next steps, after we get closer to wherever we are going. Sure, I admit that human bodies, must grow closer together on the global scale, since as they say, the planet isn't getting any bigger. But I don't imagine it to be such a "problem" as the faith-bashing Malthusians make it out to be.

I don't understand this "quota" of which you speak. And certainly the topic of "ideal number of humans" can't be so neatly pigeonholed or cubbyholed into just "one extraordinary hypothesis per post." The numbers of people alive throughout the world, is already sort of "astonishing," when you try to comprehend it all, and apparently, whether people want to believe it or not, it's possible. You forget that the natural exponential growth of human numbers, changes far more than just the numbers. It has profound effects on the growth of technology, the number of intelligent thinking minds. If ever anything could allow humans to invent "Star Trek" like technologies, the natural "explosion" of our numbers could very well be a key factor. What if you only get but one really brilliant scientist, per million people? No, make it a billion. Then we had better have a really "huge" population, to really invent all that much.

No it isn't, especially on such a religious or philosiphical subject as "ideal number of humans." That's not such a tiny idea that you can just fit neatly into a laboratory test tube. Even "science" has to admit that there's a lot of things we simply don't know, and raise the question whether it's even knowable, and can humans even understand it? Our pet dogs could decide to be scientists, but they probably wouldn't get very far, because there minds just can't understand very much to a sufficient level of abstraction. That's why they are so impaired in the area of language even. Well how do we know we don't have that problem as well, just not quite to such an impaired extent? Aren't there many scientific theories of physics and such, that only but a tiny percentage of people know of or understand? Most people of the world don't really know what light and gravity is, and are we so sure, that even we do?

What are you saying? That we are "addicted" to growth? So what if we are? Without population growth, even economies could be in trouble. Without population growth, many homes could get old and fall into disrepair. Why repair homes, in a world of declining population? Why not just move into housing of still better condition, long since abandoned by the declining numbers of people to house? We would lose natural incentive to explore and invent and find better ways of doing things. How sad that all would be.

And why not extend things for a few more generations?

I am not at all convinced, by the "sudden" contraceptive, fake-medicated sex, way of thinking. That's not our history. That's not natural. That's not for progress. It's a very destructive, anti-family paradigm invented by rather "small" minds, who depise anything of "faith" or that they can't quite seem to understand.

Didn't I hear somewhere, that even Malthus said supposedly that overpopulation is necessary, to prevent laziness?

I think they fudge it by, maintaining an incredibly elaborate spaceship computer database of knowledge/electronic library, and because all these spaceships are interconnected via communications with each other and the planets. So the "critical mass" need not be all on the same spaceship then. Sure, maybe the Star Trek spaceships are too small, so as to not go so futuristic and far-fetched as to lose their rather government-school dumbed-down TV audience. But their mission is more one of exploration, not of "escape" from "exploding" human populations. Sure, the human race is spreading from planet to planet, a bit like "cancer," but it's so gradual and natural, that there isn't much worry about that. Maybe in the future, there just aren't any Malthusians left, because the Malthusians didn't have enough children. The few casual population references I picked up on, is that the Earth population is then much larger than today, but not overwhelmingly so. Not all that many people are trying to "flee" Earth, but they are fine with it. After all, they have "food replicators," so very few people actually bother to grow food anymore. All that farm land would be available for natural conversion to growing cities filled with people. Isn't that really the purpose of "food replicators," besides getting rid of the ridiculous space-wasting huge gardens on already-heavy spaceships?

Rather "big" military submarines, are a lot more cramped that many people realize. Their mission isn't of comfort, but of military defense or offense. Much of the rather costly machine, is all about the mission. Don't they often have things like hot-bunking? Meaning that a bunk is not owned by just one soldier, but owned for only his sleeping shift? When he gets up and does his duties, somebody else may sleep there. Even if they do have their own bunk, it's close to other people's bunks, stacked on top of others. But I agree with the direction of sci-fi, of "enlarging" living quarters. Sci-fi wouldn't be very interesting, if it was of miserable living conditions. We also see the direction, of minimizing space for equipment, and maximizing comfortable human cabins. Look how big SUVs and vans are, and yet how tiny the engine compartment in comparison. Why couldn't spaceships take almost the same direction? Most of the ship would be living quarters and common areas, and only a tiny portion for engines and such. Technology tends to increase power, and minimize the size of machines, and design around the needs of people.

Some noted population pessimist, claims that "population explosions" on spaceships would be disasterous, so only the least fertile people could be sent, leaving the most fertile people on Earth to breed. What utter nonsense! Spaceships could be specifically designed to accomodate and encourage natural human population "explosions." Common crew quarters could be designed for large families. It's conceivable that a spaceship could arrive with 4 times the number of people that they left with, and multiple people/families in each room. Many 1000s of women could be pregnant at any time, and babies being born every day. Such a compact and modern population, with probably not too much work duties, could likely easily pair up, and the next generation start reproducing as well. There's also the sci-fi idea of putting people into "stasis" of some sort, until they get to their destination, but that's often rejected as sort of bizarre and unhuman, to do for too long usually. In the Star Trek universe, babies indeed are born on spaceships as well.

But you are making quite a lot of assumptions. Sci-fi doesn't usally assume all spaceship trips to take 60 years, nor that it's impossible for people to have their own personal spaceships, something almost like how most everybody has cars today. Even in Star Trek, the galaxy is still quite huge. Humans have only explored but a tiny fraction of it. Even warp drive hasn't made the galaxy seem all that small, merely the nearest stars so much closer.

Yeah, humans are multiplying much too fast to be lifted out of Earth's gravity well, anywhere close to the rate that they are reproducing. So that's a practical reason why I don't advocate sending people to Mars or wherever anytime soon. It's just too expensive and too risky. But that's at the present technology level. It could be so different in the future. And right now, the technology simply isn't going must in the direction of colonizing more worlds. It's going very much in the direction of populating this world more and more densely. So that's the natural direction we should very much be going, well into the forseeable future.

Last edited: Mar 16, 2008

7. nirakar( i ^ i )Registered Senior Member

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3,383
I think one billion people on Earth would be the most pleasant number. Plenty of culture but still easy to get some space around you when you don't feel like being around people. Land prices would not cause much hardship with one billion people on Earth.

If we just wanted to fill the Earth with as many people as the Earth can support, the Earth can probably support more than 600 Billion people. We might have to farm the ocean and drive other species extinct. Maybe the Earth could support six trillion if we bio-engineered more efficient food sources. I have a lot of faith in technology.

Getting people to cooperate and not destroy everything with wars, pollution, and other types of anti-social behavior is trickier. With a huge population managing plagues would become more difficult. The Bacterias and Viruses would keep evolving as fast as our science could devise methods of controlling them.

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12,671
I would like to poll the posters and offer $100 for anyone who actually READ Pronatalist's post. That is easily the longest post ever. (I don't read anything longer than 10 sentences...) I like your 1 billion idea but where the hell do you pull these 600 billion carrying capacity? Of course without describing the LEVEL of society it is meaningless to throw out numbers like this, but I doubt that even on the level of Amish 100 billion could be supported...Imagine how much land they need... 9. nirakar( i ^ i )Registered Senior Member Messages: 3,383 Put them on ships anchored at sea. Make them wear sweaters and rely on the sea for heating and cooling. Build a mega city on the coast of South West Africa were there is no agriculture because there is no rain but the temperature never gets hot or cold. Get the cities and suburbs off of the good farm lands. Build high rises. Maybe build cities in mines that are no longer productive. What do we need, a few acres of intensively used farm land to keep a man alive using todays technology? 10. Repo ManValued Senior Member Messages: 4,955 Isaac Asimov covered this in one of his essays. Suppose we ask, then, how many years it will take for mankind to increase in numbers to the point where the mass of humanity is equal to the present mass of all animal life? Remember, that when that happens there will be no other life left -no elephants or lions, no cattle or horses, no cats or dogs, no rats or mice, no trout or crabs, no flies of fleas. Furthermore, to feed that mass of humanity, all the present mass of plant life must be in a form edible to man; which means no shade trees, no grass, no roses. We couldn't afford fruits or nuts because the rest of the tree would be inedible. Even grain would be uneconomic, for what would we do with the stalks? We would most likely be forced to feed on the only plants that are totally nutritious and that require only sunlight and inorganic matter for rapid growth- the one celled plants called algae. Well then, if the total mass of animal life is two million million tons, log y equals 12.30 and x works out to 466. This means by AD 2436 the last animal (other than man) will have died, and the last plant (other than algae) will also have died. By AD 2436 the number of human beings on Earth will be forty trillion or over eight thousand times the present number.The total surface of the Earth is equal to about 200,000,000 square miles, which means by AD 2436 the average density of the human population will be 200,000 per square mile. Compare this with the present density of Manhattan at noon - which is 100,000 per square mile. By AD 2436, even if mankind is spread out evenly over every part of the Earth - Greenland, the Himalayas, the Sahara, the Antarctic -the density of the population will be twice as high everywhere as it is in Manhattan now. We might imagine a huge, world girdling complex of highrise apartments (over both land and sea) for housing, for offices, for industry. The roof of this complex will be given over entirely to algae tanks containing an ocean of water, literally, and twenty million million tons of algae. At periodic intervals there will be conduits down which the water and algae would pour, to be separated, with the algae dried, treated, and prepared for food, while the water is returned to the tanks above. Other conduits, leading upward, will bring up the raw minerals needed for algae growth, consisting of (what else?) human wastes and finely chopped up human corpses. Even this is quite modest compared to the earlier suggestions of allowing the human race to multiply till its mass equaled that of the Universe or merely that of the Earth, is quite unbearable. Where would we find any optimist so dead to reality as to actually believe that in a space of four and a half centuries, we can build a planetary city twice as densely populated as Manhattan. - Isaac Asimov This was supposed to be a cautionary tale. No one was supposed to think that a world completely given over to supporting the maximum number of humans possible was a desirable goal. Only someone hopelessly insane could envision such a goal as being worthy of achieving. 11. John99BannedBanned Messages: 22,046 Ideal number of humans: =2. 12. temurman of no wordsRegistered Senior Member Messages: 1,330 Ideal number of humans: any positive integer greater than a million 13. SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member Messages: 12,671 People who post these kind of "cutsie" answers should get the opportunity, then we could ask, so how was it talking to one (or a few) people all the time?... Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! 14. John99BannedBanned Messages: 22,046 Well thats just the best answer. 15. Fraggle RockerStaff Member Messages: 24,690 I am placing this part of your post out of sequence because you make a valid point. People complain about me being wordy! I had to read this because he was responding to my own posts so it would have been rude not to. But in the future I will not be able to offer this courtesy. Please donate my$100 to Planned Parenthood.

You can start right off by being more of a scientist. Too much of what you write is opinion and proselytism. This is not an official science journal so some of that is allowed in the interest of us being able to establish a sense of personal camaraderie. But too much is too much, and the measure of "too much" is when people start complaining. Please be more focused in the future.
No. Prosperity has been found to be the best contraceptive. Since the dawn of civilization, raising children has not been the only rewarding pursuit in life. With the advance of civilization, a larger number of people have the resources to avail themselves of those other pursuits. Furthermore, in the Stone Age the driving reason to have large families was the horrible infant mortality. If everybody didn't reproduce to their maximum potential, the tribe or even the whole species could have died out. That motivation is far behind us. Then in the early years of civilization, people needed large families to make sure that when they reached old age, the burden of supporting them would be spread over enough people that it would not be a hardship. That motivation is also gone, now that an industrial and post-industrial economy creates so much surplus wealth ("capital") that everyone can easily salt away enough of it to provide for their own retirement. Well unless they work for the wrong corporation.

This lesson is slow to take root because traditions die hard, nonetheless in countries where people used to have twelve kids they now have eight, and where they had eight they now have six.

If you call a life in which a person can travel, produce art, engage in his country's political system, master a sport, or *gasp* have a little fun, instead of devoting every non-productive moment to wiping baby butts, "SELFISH," then so be it. Personally I reserve that word for the people who claim their religion demands that they keep increasing the population, so my view of the mountains is blocked by the condomiums that their damn children are going to live in when they grow up.
A 2500 year old written transcription of the oral legends of a Stone Age tribe doesn't carry any weight around here. Especially when it postulates the existence of a supernatural universe. As I said last time, using such a postulate to support a hypothesis on this website is trolling. If the only evidence you have to support your claim is the bible, then your claim has failed to pass peer review and you have to stop promoting it until you can do better. Or else take it to our Religion subforum where the rules are relaxed.
The word is "extraordinary," and one of the cornerstones of the scientific method is the rule that extraordinary claims must be supported by extraordinary evidence. You have not provided this evidence so no one is obligated to treat your claim with respect.
Then there won't be too many "rural" areas anymore, will there? You come to a conflict of rights. Your alleged right to cram several billion more little religious fundamentalists onto this planet in order to satisfy the allegedly literal word of your deity conflicts with my right to enjoy the peaceful, quiet surroundings of my rural home in the redwood forest that I spent my life planning for.
I follow my wife's wise counsel on this subject. I don't pay attention to any man's ravings about abortion until, as she puts it, "One of you assholes gets pregnant." If she were a Moderator, all posts containing the word "abortion" by members with penises would be deleted.
These calculations are not genius-level and their accuracy is not in dispute. As for your "future adaptation," this requires falsifying some of the basic laws of the natural universe. As I noted before, if you're going to hypothesize something that extraordinary in order to promote your argument, it must be accompanied by extraordinary evidence to support your hypothesis. This is the second time you've done this and I still see no evidence on the table. If you do it one more time, as a Moderator I will do my duty and initiate the process for dealing with violations of the rule against trolling.
Civilization has been a 12,000-year exercise in overcoming our primitive nature. Homo sapiens's uniquely massive forebrain allows us to do what no other animal can do to any important extent, which is to replace instinctive behavior with reasoned and learned behavior. Remember that in the Mesolithic Era it was "natural" for each tribe to guard its precious low-tech low-yield hunting and gathering range from incursion by other tribes in order to secure the tribe's very survival. This was both instinctive and rational. Yet it led to a world in which 60% of adults died by murder. We have overcome that pack-social instinct to a remarkable degree and are well on our way to becoming herd-social, respecting the right to survival, comfort and decency of our anonymous herd-mates. This is what makes civilization work and it is also what makes civilization possible.

Other primitive instincts must also be overcome along the way. One is faith in imaginary creatures from a supernatural universe to solve our problems, and another is unfettered reproduction.
Not exactly. Perhaps only a small number of people have studied them, but the beauty of science is that once it is discovered it is not too difficult for the next person in line to understand it. This is why the peer review process works, which is another of the cornerstones of the scientific method. You don't have to be as brilliant as the person who discovered a theory to be able to review his work and make sure there are no errors. I was able to understand the theory of relativity in high school. Any reasonably bright person can understand most scientific theories if they're interested enough to gather the background knowledge. This is what keeps science and scientists honest.
As I've said before, science is woefully lacking in a rhetorical vocabulary to facilitate communication with laymen. I borrow the legal term, "true beyond a reasonable doubt," to apply to our canonical theories such as the four elementary forces of the universe. (You named two of them; the other two are the strong and weak nuclear force.) Any particular canonical theory has a finite probability of being falsified one day, and we've seen it happen. Our job is to test those theories thoroughly enough that that finite probability is acceptably small. That way if one or two canonical theories are disproved in a century (or more likely revised, e.g. for extreme conditions, like Newton's laws of motion being superseded by relativity at velocities that could not be measured in Newton's time) the canon itself is robust enough to not collapse on itself.
As I implied above, it is the nature of man to transcend nature. We've been doing it since long before the 12,000 year era that marks our endeavor to civilize ourselves. Creating sparks to start a fire, sharpening pieces of bone and lashing them to the end of a stick to make a more powerful hunting weapon, cooking food to enable our digestion to extract more nutrients from it, sewing hides together and wrapping ourselves in them so we could hunt the beasts of the tundra... none of these activities are "natural" in your sense of the word, yet they are "natural" for man because we have the brainpower to conceive of things that do not occur in nature. The same is true of domesticated dogs, hybridized plants, furniture, drawings, written language, refined metal and most of what you see in your home. None of it is natural. It's our destiny to use our own nature to transcend the nature of the world. Contraception is simply part of that: part of our nature.
That's why it's called science fiction. Some of it merely predicts things that we will probably figure out how to do in the future. But the stories about routine interstellar travel are all based on an ability to violate relativity.
I have posted several references to the article that was mentioned earlier in this thread. Postulating only advances in technology that are scientifically realistic, without speaking to the social issues, this planet could support many quadrillions of people. At that point the limiting factor becomes the radiation of the biosphere's waste heat. The temperature of the living quarters will rise to the point that people die before they can have more than an average of one child per person.
This was dealt with in the essay to which I refer. (And since it was forty years ago it's not on the web and since I had no idea someday there would be a place like SciForums where I'd be expected to post a URL I can't even find my Xerox copy of it. But be patient, I will find it eventually.) Anyway we won't be growing crops on land. It will be hydroponics or something even more efficient.
I love Asimov because he always came up with a different way of looking at a problem. In his solution the limiting factor is the total mass of organic material on earth. Since as I noted we haven't found the key to abiogenesis yet nor have we unlocked the secret to photosynthesis, presumably all of our food must be made from existing organic matter. However he overlooks fossilized organic matter: petroleum and natural gas. (Not coal, that's pure carbon and no longer organic.) I don't know the mass of our reserves of those substances, but we're already using them in the manufacture of food. Perhaps it will make a huge difference in his calculations, enough to add three more zeroes to his figure and bring it in line with mine. If not, then his deadline for solving mankind's overbreeding problem (which may not be as likely as it was when he wrote that) is coming up twice as fast as mine.
Asimov was famous for his witty curmudgeonliness and he was writing for the popular press. So he could get away with calling someone an "optimist dead to reality." But we Moderators have higher standards on SciForums so we discourage our members from calling each other "hopelessly insane."

Please try to keep the discourse civil. I have warned Pro to curtail his excessive religious trolling on the science boards, so you can respond respectfully and try to dial back the insults. That way neither of you will be guilty of a rule violation.

16. Repo ManValued Senior Member

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4,955
To think such a goal was worthy, one would have to believe that human supremacy is such that anything in the biosphere that would require a halt to "progress" in order to be preserved should be sacrificed, no questions asked. This is little more than the antithesis of popular extremism such as Anarcho-primitivism. If I am stepping out of bounds to say that I feel both positions are insane, then I won't. But both positions require feelings for humans I cannot muster. One requires a blind love, the other an extreme distaste.

17. draqonBannedBanned

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if I was alone for the whole world and nothing but me, wouldn't that be ideal?

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19. Pinocchio's HoofPay the Devil, or else.......£Registered Senior Member

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A few quotes from a passage....
"the first big jump in world population came with the neolithic revolution and agriculture. J.Huxley estimates that the pop' began to increase at a rate that doubled every 1,700 years or so. By the opening of the bronze age, the world population may have been about 25mil; by the begining of the iron age, 70mil; the start of the christian era, 170mil, with 1/3 roman empire, 1/3 chinese empire, the rest scattered.
By 1600 the earth's pop' totaled perhaps 500mil, a lot less than the current pop. of India.
At that point the smooth rate of growth stopped, and the pop.explosion began. explorers opened up 18mil Sq miles of new land to colonization by Europeans.
The 18th century Ind'revolution accelerated production of food and people.
The doubling of the world's pop' now took place not in a period of 2 millennia but in less than 2 centuries.it went from-
500mil in 1600-
900mil in 1800- then it started to grow at an even faster rate-
1.6bil in 1900-
1900-1970 it has climbed to 3.6bil despite 2 world wars (this was written in the 70's).
In 1970 the world pop. increased at a rate of 220,000 per day or 70mil a year. this was an increase of 2.0% each year (estimated increase in 1650 was only 0.3%). At this rate the earths pop. would double in about 35 years, some regions a shorter time.
Despite the Malthusian view (pop. will grow faster than the food supply) the world's pop. has apace without any serious setbacks......"

and..
"Then what? If the rate of increase of the human pop. continues unchecked at it's present rate,all our science and technical invention will still leave us struggling uphill like Sisyphus.
If you cannot accept this appraisal, consider the powers of Geometric Progression. It has been estimated that the total quantity of living matter on earth is equal to 2 x 10\19(to the power of 19)grams. If so, the total mass of THE TOTAL MASS OF HUMANITY IN 1970 WAS ABOUT 1/100,000 OF THE MASS OF ALL LIFE. If the earths pop. continues to double every 35 years (as it was) BY 2750 IT WOULD HAVE INCREASED 100,000 FOLD, THE MASS OF HUMANITY WOULD COMPRISE OF ALL LIFE.
Even if we could imagine artificial foodstuffs out of the inorganic world via yeast culture,hydroponics no advance could match the inexorable number increase involved in doubling every 35 yrs.
at 2600 A.D. it would reach 630,000 bil- STANDING ROOM ONLY.2 1/2 sq ft per person on the entire land surface.
Increase at the same rate by 3550 A.D. THE TOTAL MASS OF HUMAN TISSUE WOULD BE EQUAL TO THE MASS OF THE EARTH.
If we could colonize other planets assume this-
IF WE HAD 1,000 BILLION OTHER PLANETS WHICH HUMANITY COLONIZED, AT THE CONTINUED POP. INCREASE BY THE YEAR 5000 A.D. THEY WOULD HAVE STANDING ROOM ONLY.
AND BY 7000 A.D. THE MASS OF HUMANITY WOULD EQUATE THE MASS OF THE KNOWN UNIVERSE."

obviously, the human race cannot increase at this rate for long........

Remember this was written in the 70's.

I think 4-5billion is enough (the trouble is we breed fast and are living longer)

20. SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member

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Anyone know what the marching Chinese means? Marching Morons is the title of a sci-fi book written in 1951 and it deals with overpopulation:

"The title, "Marching Morons" is derived from a population theory referred to as "The Marching Chinamen". According to this theory, if all the people in China were forced to march in ranks through a gate, the column would never end. The story has been told in various ways, sometimes with people marching in single file, two by two, or in ranks up to 10 at a time, and changes as the Chinese population grows. Obviously this makes a difference to how long it would take for all the people in China to march through one gate. The rationalization for the claim, that the marching would never end, comes from the fact that babies are being born while their grandparents are marching through the gate, those children would get in line with their parents, and grow up while waiting in that long line for a chance to march through the gate. Eventually the next generation will also marry and bear children before they reach the gate. Thus, it's theorized that the population is increasing too quickly for that entire population to perform the prescribed task. The best known illustration of the concept was the "Marching Chinese" cartoon published in the Ripley's Believe or Not Comic strip, which claimed four abreast and specified the calculation was based on US Army marching regulations."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marching_Morons

21. temurman of no wordsRegistered Senior Member

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It depends on how fast you are marching.

22. nirakar( i ^ i )Registered Senior Member

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I wonder what the science magazine writer thought we would do for food. I was imagining reliance on photosynthesis as the limiting factor. If we make huge stacks of CO2 enriched glass walled algae tanks, then how much sunlight needs to reach a tank in order to grow the algae?

Can we feed our shit to mold and then get nutrients from eating the mold?

What is their definition of "Postulating only advances in technology that are scientifically realistic"? I suppose anything is realistic if given enough time.

I am having a hard time finding a carrying capacity of a quadrillion people on Earth believable using only realistic advances in technology.

23. SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member

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Of course, that was addressed in the parapgraph. But let's do the math:

Currently the world gains 220K people a DAY. Every 4th person is Chinese, so that is app. 50K Chinese. There are 86400 secs in a day, so currently it would be about 3/4 Chinese per second. But wait! First we have to march all those Chinese who are living (about 1.5 billions) through the gate.

At this point I will let you do the rest how many years is 1.5 billion secs and how many Chinese can go in a line, although the article ALREADY said 4....