Re: accept no limits (was Re: sex, yet again ~%6 (was Re: ;

Eugene Leitl (
Thu, 7 Nov 1996 18:48:31 +0100 (MET)

On Wed, 6 Nov 1996 wrote:

> On Nov. 6 'gene writes:
> >But that's what physics and extrapolation says. You can't lick Malthus,
> >nor exponential growth in a limited universe, not on the really long
> >run.
> paul writes:
> 'gene, what the hell are you talking about? Since when is Malthus one

He's no prophet (I humbly hope), only a warner. (Interesting: "malthus"
gives 3274 hits by AltaVista...


looks relatively readable).

> of the prophets of the future? Didn't the massive failures of the
> predictions of Paul Ehrlick *the Population Bomb* from the Sixties
> based on the extrapolations of Malthus teach us anything about the
> creative power of the human mind to overcome such simple entropic
> pessimism?

Um, last time I looked population growth was still hyperbolic. It may
not have topped some extrapolation, yet it certainly has dwarfed the
majority of them. Of course, if you have some recent, less gloomy data I
am always ready to be convinced...

Anyway, there is no such thing as unlimited growth in a limited universe
(ok, it might not be limited, but we cannot tell yet). You might expand
into space almost at the speed of light, but trailing just after the life
shock wave a saturation zone exists. The maximum concentration of beings on
a given petri dish, medium being atoms and energy.

At least that's what current mainstream physics says.