A Conversation for World Population

World Population.

Post 1


Does anyone know how true this is. (I heard it somewhere a while ago).

There are more Humans alive today (right now, this instant) than everyone who ever has been alive all added up.

Sounds nonsensical, and yet, almost plausible in equal measure to me.

World Population.

Post 2

Researcher 246710

Very implausible.

According to Michael Shermer (a skeptical writer for Scientific American and The Skeptical Enquirer), between 50,000 BC and 2002 AD there were about 106 billion humans born (which he got from Carl Haub of the Population Reference Bureau.) The current population, according to the same October 2003 Scientific American article, is about 6.3 billion.

Still, about 6.3 billion having been born in the past 100 or so years versus 100 billion in the 51.9 THOUSAND years before 1900 AD reveals quite a substantial weight on the present population over the past. 6.3 / 106 = .059433.... And 100/51900=.001926.... Which means that in a span that accounts for about 00.19% of human history, a little more than 5.94% of the total number of humans who have ever lived is living right now.

I think that with population growth like this, disaster is inevitable.

Also, if any of my math is wrong, somebody please correct me.

World Population.

Post 3


I think there are no such things as chaotic systems. I think everything evolves to a what you can call - tranquil state (using tranquil as antonym to chaos)

If you're wondering what this has to do with previous, that line 'disaster is inevitable' ... man: go party

World Population.

Post 4


Chaotic systems are a proven fact. A chaotic system is simply a system that reacts in an unpredictable way to a defined input. The existence of these systems has been acknowledged for hundreds of years. The ocean is a chaotic system, as is the weather system, as is the outflow of water from a tap, as is the stock market. Birds in flight show elements of chaos in their behaviour, as do crowds at a football match. Computers can model chaos by repeatly calculating very simple functions creating very complex results indeed. With these systems there is no such thing as "steady state", unless the input dies off to nothing.

The researcher does make a correct statement. Even with 5% of all the people who ever lived alive on this planet today, we are putting a huge stress on the world. Growth cannot continue indefinitely, and the best we can hope for is a levelling off of the growth curve some time in the future. There are indications that this is beginning to happen because of artificial contraception, smaller families and greater levels of infertility. However it seems to be more a developed world phenomenon than a global phenomenon.

World Population.

Post 5


Sorry Woodpigeon, but 'proven fact' is, I believe, a contradiction in terms.

Witness 'Theory' of relativity - depite it being proved to be correct - under certain circumstances. Sorry to get seemingly pedantic over language, but that's what the scientists teach us. And funny enough, I trusts 'em.

Who was it said 'Anything is possible in a quantum universe' - ?

World Population.

Post 6


How does this invalidate my assertion that chaotic behavior is a known, observed, mathematically correct phenomenon?

World Population.

Post 7


"There are more Humans alive today (right now, this instant) than everyone who ever has been alive all added up."

Has nobody thought to point out that the people alive today are a subset of all the people who have ever lived? smiley - weird

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