that keep their
|Adapted for the Internet from:
Why God Doesn't Exist
Arithmetic and exponential demographic growth
|This graph more or less depicts
the 2000-year demographic
history of Man. We grew more
orless arithmetically until we
reached the 1-billion mark
around 1820. Afterwards Man
entered an exponential regime.
Consensus is that during most
of the agricultural phase (i.e., the
|last 10,000 years) women had a high fertility rate. In spite of this, the population did not
increase exponentially. The demographers believe that our high birth rates were offset
by high mortality.
|At time T1 population P1 was
characterized by a regime in
which deaths balance out births.
Population increases very slowly.
The period of exponential growth
T2, in contrast, is distinguished
by a dramatic drop in deaths.
|Exponential growth occurs when children that would have otherwise
died before reaching puberty now reach maturity and produce children
of their own. Compounding this growth is a non-trivial arithmetic
component: an increase in the average life span of a human. Both
factors are health-related (i.e., improved living conditions and
eradication of contagious diseases.)