Saturday, June 25, 2016

Is underpopulation the real problem?


This is, of course, from a pro-life Catholic organization. I get the idea that most of our forbears, had they been asked what, if anything, is wrong with homosexuality, would raise fears of underpopulation. Even ancient societies with relatively pro-gay attitudes, such as the ancient Greeks, would not consider gay marriage because gay relationships could never replace the population maintenance role played by heterosexual marriages.

Mosher: Like other baby boomers, I lived through the unprecedented doubling of the global population in the second half of the 20th century. Never before in human history had our numbers increased so far, so fast: from three billion in 1960 to six billion in 2000. But the population alarmists, I came to see, glossed over the underlying reason: Our numbers didn’t double because we suddenly started breeding like rabbits. They doubled because we stopped dying like flies. Fertility was falling throughout this period, from an average of six children per woman in 1960 to only 2.6 by 2005.

Still, there seems to be little concern about population maintenance. 


Angra Mainyu said...


The author talks about going back to the current levels by 2082, and then a population drop in the 22 century, with a much older population.
I don't think the extrapolations are justified, but even if they are, it doesn't remotely follow that that's a crisis. He talks about a reduction of the human capital, but seems to ignore the predictable huge increase in the computers/robot capital by 2082, and even more so by the 22 century.
He also seems to ignore that a chronologically older population isn't always a sicker one, especially given anti-aging tech that may well be developed. But even if that's not so, the robots will be there, and people won't have to be doing most of the jobs that now do require people. I don't see how an older population would realistically result in a crisis by then (a "crazy" AI could be a crisis, but of a very different sort).

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