Only 9 billion people by 2050?

They say the population explosion will slow down. Maybe, they argue, soon after the peak population of 10 or 11 billion we will see the decline of the number of people, like we see it in many European countries already.

Put aside any kind of global catastrophe or any kind of  Techno Singularity – is this a probable estimate?

I would like to argue that it isn’t. For one, there are 200.000 newborns every day, and this number is getting bigger daily. We are putting on some pressure to limit this expansion. The problem is, that doing so, this  becomes an evolutionary pressure. Which actually favors those who for whatever reason don’t comply, those who tends to have many children no matter what. Women who rejects contraception for medical reasons, for example.

Sooner or later, some of  them will (for whatever reason) pass on their super-fertility to  their offspring!  The toughest reproducers will become the mainstream reproducers. And they will not be stopped as easily as others have been.

This super reproducers will start a new exponential population growth. Among those who ceased to reproduce, those who are still able and willing to do so, will dominate.

Maybe we are already seeing this. Not only in Gaza, India and Egypt,  but small pockets of fast reproducers can be seen in places like Italy.

Eager reproducers will inherit the Earth, starting a new round of unforeseen  population explosion. So, I find these moderate number predictions quite improbable.

They are forgetting how evolution really works.

demographics, mathematics

My Big Family

From now, back to 1000 A.D. I have over 1000000 (over one million) grand^N parents, where N goes from 1 to about 50.

Over one million people lived over the last 1000 years and I am a direct  descendant of every one of them.

The majority lived between 1000 and 1400 A.D., only a handful between 1800 and now.

On average, for every day from then to now, at least 3 people are my direct ancestors. Their bones which still remain are scattered across, but represent a huge pile, tens of meters high.

There are cemeteries out there, that have had thousands of my ancestors buried in them, for centuries already.

Had one of those one million ancestors died as a child (as the majority of their siblings did), my genotype would of course not be here.

The same story goes for you, but you already knew that, or could have known it. It’s elementary.


Everything above is based on some rough calculations. To know more, we should run some computer simulations, Tippler-Bostrom-Kurzwelian style would be best.