Overpopulation (was: Re: A good short honest FAQ but very bad PR)

Damien Broderick (damien@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au)
Mon, 06 Jul 1998 17:46:57 +0100

At 09:11 PM 7/5/98 -0700, JKC wrote:

> >4. Won't extended lifespans cause overpopulation problems?
>Probably not.

Why not? I'm struggling to deal with this topic in my book abt prolonged longevity, and I don't know what to think. If you assume that women run out of eggs at menopause (having been shedding follicles at a humongous rate since around conception), it mightn't make any difference if they lived forever thereafter using what amounts to HRT + nanobots - well, aside from the sheer increasing mass of un-dead remaining on the surface instead of declining gracefully under it. But if you can fiddle with cells, you can presumably kick-start your tired stem cells if you get the urge for another kid (and they're *just so sweet*). And even this leaves out the possibilities of uploading by preference to bio-living, cloning in vitro for 9 months (no pain, just gain), all that. But if rejuvenated people felt the urge for a new family every 50 or 100 years (as mid-life crisis men seem prone to now), this would surely have a terrific demographic impact. Alas, I'm no good at doing this kind of thing on my fingers and toes. Any numerate speculators out there?

Damien Broderick