X-Message-Number: 2574 Subject: CRYONICS Re: Overpopulation Date: Wed, 26 Jan 94 10:59:08 -0500 From: > 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. Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=2574