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John Taves

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The human population is at the limit. We are killing children by making babies too fast.

The definition of "at the limit" is the situation where the population cannot grow as fast as the birth rate demands. This results in premature death, specifically childhood death.

To understand this, imagine a static environment where a stable quantity of sustenance arrives daily. In that environment if the population is at the limit of how many people that sustenance can keep alive, and the adults average 3 babies, then 1/3 of the children must die. If the adults average 4, then 1/2 of the children must die. Notice that the birth rate dictates the child mortality rate.

This concept does not change if we alter the environment or our techniques for extracting sustenance such that we are expanding the amount of sustenance. In other words we can be in the situation where we are expanding our capacity, but not as fast as the births are demanding, and thus some portion of the child mortality is caused by breeding too fast. This means we cannot use the total child mortality rate as an indicator of whether we are suffering this problem or not.

To prevent this a TwoFourEightPlus system is required. This means no more than 2 children, 4 grandchildren for you parents, 8 great grands for your grandparents, plus some are allowed to have more to make up for others that do not meet TwoFourEight (Note: do not count dead children in this calculation). This system has never existed, thus humans have never controlled their fertility.

Given that humans have existed for a long time, never controlled their fertility, and anything above an average of 2 children attempts to grow our numbers exponentially, we must assume that we are at the limit. Scientists do not assume this. They assume the opposite.

Note, before you supply some comment about how humans limit their fertility, make sure you comprehend the difference between something that lowers fertility and something that will ensure it is low enough such that births are not killing.

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    Nov 20 2013: This was an interesting conversation. I gave it some thought and did some research. What I learned.
    A reproduction rate of 2.1 children is needed to sustain the current world population. I didn't go deep on the number, is sounds about right. What was enlightening is that there are only a few small countries that are maintaining the rate.
    Best guess from some is that world population will peak in this century and do a sharp drop. Worse, the population will be older, require more goods and services and subsequently less productive, but technology (robotics?) may save the day.

    It seems that progressive nations where people are "living better", women are having children later and in fewer numbers. Theoretically, in a few thousand years, the last human on earth will die of old age.

    Population control (disregarding war, pestilence or plague.... a stray meteor) has not gone well. China ruled a number of years ago that only one child was allowed. People opted for sons.... who knew? As a result there are... a million? or some large number of young men and no girls to marry.... This will not end well.
    On the upside.... less people... less impact on the environment.
    • Nov 21 2013: I would rather keep this conversation on the topic of whether births are indeed killing.

      My argument is that we have always averaged more than 2 and that means that humans have always been attempting to drive their numbers to infinity at an exponential rate. Something has to stop that and the obvious thing is premature death of children so that they do not grow to breeding age. I argue that there is no mechanism in nature like TwoFourEight that could have prevented our numbers from hitting the limit shortly after arriving in each environment around this planet.

      An interesting example is North America 500-150 years ago. Europeans arrived and introduced diseases that decimated the native population. One can conclude that shortly after that the natives were not at the limit. The Europeans then arrived and brought more efficient crops and methods of government that would have the effect of raising the limit. Notice that when Malthus published his famous essays, he used NA as an example of unrestrained population growth. It was doubling every 25 years.

      The use of fossil fuels as also dramatically increased the limits. But do we have any reason to believe that we increased them faster than our numbers were attempting to grow? We see clusters of malnutrition and starvation, with high child mortality rates, throughout the world. Generally the world now has one large economy. So it seems to me that the evidence of being at the limit world wide is clear. The proof is stated above, the evidence is the starvation. The burden of proof is the other way around. One must prove there is a mechanism that limits fertility such that our numbers did not hit the limit.

      In your research did you find anything that mentions this concept? Did you find any definitions for this? Did you find any hint that anyone has thought about this?

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