X-Message-Number: 22775
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 08:07:09 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #22772 - #22774

Once more about the myth of overpopulation (this time for James Swayze)

I note the comment about religions forbidding birth control as a reason
for increase in population. Small problem with this is that Western
Catholic countries, which have attained prosperity, such as Italy and
Spain, suffer no problems of overpopulation at all. For some mysterious
reason the number of children they produce isn't as high as it ought to
be if no birth control is used. 

Are all those people cheating? Well, even the Catholic church recognizes
some forms of birth control, so if the absence of children is noticed
possible parents have a fine excuse. I'd also point out that even a 
rough, approximate form of birth control can have significant & even
dominating roles in population growth. 

Basically as our lifespans increase I expect (except in the case of
colonization of other bodies in the Universe) that even the least
educated among those with increasing lifespans will find that it's
simply not to their advantage to produce more children who will
ultimately compete with them for jobs, food, housing, etc. Colonization
of course is a special case: if available resources are great enough
why should we restrain our production of children? But once a solar
system is filled, the colonists too will restrain their birth rates
just like those who live in other "full" places. 

Some population growth can happen not because resources are fixed
but because we learn how to produce new resources. Agriculture itself
gives the best historical case, but no doubt similar growth will
happen with other, newer technologies at different times. 

And if you want to choose Africa as an example, then do so. Here we
have an example of various tinpot dictators, for the sake of their
own glory, actually DECREASING the resources of their country. And
just as expected, the people will then revolt, starve, or sometimes
both revolt and starve. 

             Best wishes and long long life for all,

                  Thomas Donaldson

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