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The conventional wisdom of demographers is fundamentally flawed.

In the conversation "Why do so many think that population growth is an important issue for the environment? Don't they know the facts of demographics?" Hans Rosling uses the "facts" of demography to argue we don't have to worry about population growth. Demographers have fundamental flaws in their thinking. In short, they are dead wrong.

Consider a belief that has these 2 characteristics: 1) believers average more than 2 children, and 2) they successfully pass along that belief to the next generation to at an average of at least 2 of those children. This belief will overpopulate the planet. Imagine that 99% of the population are non-believers, and 1% are believers. It would take many generations for the believers to rise to sufficient numbers so that demographers would notice them, but in the end, the birth rate will be determined by the believers.

This logic shows us flaws in the data collection and interpretation techniques that demographers use. Demographers must prove that these belief characteristics cannot exist if there is any hope that the downward trend of birth rates will continue and stay at or below an average of 2 children.

Their sampling techniques filter out beliefs that are passed to the next generation. This error means that if demographers tried to find groups that have beliefs that are not behaving according to the demographic transition predictions, they won't find them in their data.

Demographers use extrapolation techniques to predict future birth rates, but the logic dictates that they must find groups that are averaging the most children, and monitor their growth.


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  • Apr 24 2012: I would not be surprised if rather a lot of demographers do consider these sorts of things. It was probably a demographer who raised this issue in the first place. I didn't know demographers had 'conventional wisdom'; I thought they had statistics and hypotheses. We don't need demographers here anyway; the message is simple: all should have this freedom that I personally enjoy. I found this very interesting but I was waiting to see how you tied demography in with the actual topic, the argument presented. How is it you are saying the demography is at fault here? How is demography even pertinent, except if we want to quibble about a zero here or there? All we have to know - and we can see without graphs and tables - is that the many are for whatever reason wrongly denied what we take positively for granted. End of debate, demographers sorry for your time, refunds at the door.
    • Apr 25 2012: Demographers are at fault because they are the scientists that make the forecasts on birth rates. I have been unable to find any scientists that comprehend what I wrote and have found no evidence that they are doing anything but a pathetic extrapolation of birth rates. They sample and average birth rates, which is fundamentally flawed as shown above.

      A belief with these characteristics would be dreadful. We must not let this happen, and there have been zero demographers speaking out about ways to ensure this cannot happen.

      I do not understand your other comments. What freedom are you talking about? What does "all we have to know...." mean?

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