X-Message-Number: 2574
Subject: CRYONICS Re: Overpopulation 
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 94 10:59:08 -0500

> Could space travel at zero cost change the population situation? No.
> Ultimately (that is, if exponential growth continued) we would have 
> a spherical expansion of the human race into the Galaxy at the speed 
> of light. But that would mean a problem: That spherical expansion 
> provides at most a growth on the order of T**2 per year, while 
> exponential growth would proceed at exp(T)

I have seen this argument several times before, and I believe it was
Isaac Asimov who dealt with it best (I admit I am not positive which
SF writer it was).  The conclusion reached above is correct.  But ...
the spherical expansion at light speed needs a little elaboration.
Of course, humans can't travel at c.  So this adds more weight to the
argument that exponential population growth always overtakes geographic
expansion.  On the other hand, as you approach the speed of light your
time frame slows down.  This affects the rate of population growth.
However, after you boil all the numbers down, you still end up with
the grim result that (reproduction>relocation).
Basically, this result is because the *resources* available for use
in making human bodies (the matter in space) cannot increase in density
in an exponential fashion.  Therefore the time dilation effect fails to
bail you out and eventually somebody is going to starve to death.

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