Thursday, December 02, 2004


The Mises Institute has an interesting article on Thomas Malthus, on whom I did a report for a mathematics class back in high school.

My essential objection to Mr. Malthus is that I am not certain why food resources would be predicted to grow arithmetically while population grows geometrically; the latter I unerstand, the former, there seems no resaon in my opinion to have a particular mathematical expression or equation describe its growth.

In any case, on one point Malthus was correct, insofar as geometric population increase cannot be sustained indefinitely; even with the entire universe to expand into, eventually geometric increase becomes too big to handle.

However, humans appear to have been able to avoid this problem by two means: first, technology has increased Earth's carrying capacity; and second, we naturally begin to decrease our rate of reproduction when we achieve a certain level of affluence. So it seems that the population will stabilize sometime in this century. Which is, in my opinion, unobjectionable.

That is all.

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