X-Message-Number: 13116
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: population growth and immortality
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 100 22:43:10 +1100 (EST)

Hi everyone!

There is a very simple reason why cryonics will not cause any significant
population problem. Basically the population problem comes from the 
exponential growth in the number of people. I personally believe that such
exponential growth is transitory, and will cite various countries as
examples of why I think so, BUT that is not the main reason I will give.

Suppose exponential growth continued and did not stop. We'd very clearly
have a problem, whether or not the new people died. If no one died, then
we would have the INTEGRAL of that exponential, which is--- one more
exponential. Yes, we might see catastrophe a bit sooner, but we'd see
catastrophe so long as growth remained exponential. (The population would
double faster but it would still double).

The problem of population growth is independent of whether or not we bring
about immortality. Yes, one way or another we'll have to solve it, but
that solution wont be helped if we just decide to die. I'd suggest that
it may even be helped by longer and longer life: nobody wants children
who will only eat them out of house and home rather than supporting
themselves. The more people PERSONALLY experience the problems of
population, the less ready will they be to mindlessly have children.

Incidentally, education of women normally does a lot to stop population
growth. (There remain plenty of societies in which women almost function
as appliances rather than people --- some Islamic societies, for intance).
But even in such societies, if the men realize the consequences to THEM 
PERSONALLY of having more children they will come round. And longevity is
one way in which such consequences can become very very plain.

I must also say that a subsidiary reason for population growth, not so
often mentioned, is that forms of birth control which formerly existed and
were used conflict with various peoples Christian morals: infanticide
was one common method used in Polynesia and the Pacific islands generally,
but now its "not allowed". But the population growth mainly occurred
because we can keep more children from dying, and at least short term,
in some less developed societies children are an asset (helping with the
crops and/or the herding). This is not a stable situation, even as seen
by someone of such societies.

			Best and long long life for all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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