William John (
Sun, 26 Jul 1998 18:50:41 -0500

>From: "Nick Bostrom" <>
>This answer should probably be shortened and simplified a bit
>Won't extended life worsen overpopulation problems?

I don't know if it needs to be shortened. If you don't mind, I'd like to copy it in its entirety as a separate FAQ sub-page due to its length on my web site. **However**, I think that - other than religious queasiness of some - this may be the most often quoted objection I've heard to life-extension generally from scientifically-literate or at least inclined lay people. I think that actually the birth rate for longer-lived people will go down per unit time because the primarily biopsychological imperative behind reproduction is to replace your self genetically (and also transfer your value system or worldview to the next generation). This replacement drive will not disappear but I think will ***lower*** the birth rate per unit time. (obvious one kind per hundred years still results in 5 kids in 500 years whereas 3 per 70 finite years is lower but the rate is number divided by unit time.....more time to make the scientific advancements in food, space <e.g. terraforming other planets>, etc.) I haven't focused on this argument extensively because I haven't ever received input from others. What do you think of the above argument about lower overall birthrate per unit time for longer-living people?

-William John
Web Master
Futurist Think Tank