Population Bomb-Destructive or Dud

Increases in wheat yields in the 1960s reversed a famine in India and Pakistan, thanks to plant breeding that is still advancing today. Photo via wikimediacommons

Increases in wheat yields in the 1960s reversed a famine in India and Pakistan, thanks to plant breeding that is still advancing today. Photo via wikimediacommons

When I created a poll based on my novel to find out what kind of immortal people would choose to be, the poll measured people’s attitudes toward biological immortality. It also ventured to predict what position they would advocate for making everyone on earth immortal.

The winning philosophy was the one that advocated human health, but not sharing the gene that made humans immortal. I heard from a few people who selected it because of their concern that if no one died of disease or natural causes, the earth would become overpopulated and the environment degraded and food sources reduced. It’s not a new claim. Thomas Malthus in the late 1798 and Paul Erlich in 1968 both predicted resources would be exhausted and human populations wiped out. But we’ve seen metals and food decrease in price and increase in abundance, comfortably supporting an increase in population so far.

Those who advocate increase in longevity and therefore increase in population point improvements in agriculture and technology as the cause and if it continues, the way to solve any future population problems. Some sight the increase to ideas. More people translate into more ideas. Microsoft founder Bill gates has been reported to have said “Malthus was wrong because his math didn’t adequately take into account the influence of power of the human mind.”

Is Bill Gates right, that the human mind can overcome any problems increasing human population will cause? Will technology and advances in agriculture continue?

I’ll explore that in a post next week.

Source:

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything From Careers and  Relationships to Family and Faith  by Sonia Arrison

 

 

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