# So Much for the Overpopulation Scares?.......

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by exchemist, Nov 9, 2018.

1. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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That's true, but I see the dropping birth rate as an indication of Natural pressures beginning to make adjustments to take care of the problem. People are beginning to die in great numbers from a variety of natural (some man-caused) disasters. Natural selection at work.......

Just read that in parts of China, the average life-span of the population is shortening, causing an off-set between birth rate and death rate, resulting in zero population growth.

Whereas, in developed countries with longer life-spans, there is voluntary lowering of birth rates, especially in the wealthier section of the population. Evolution at work.......

Last edited: Nov 15, 2018

3. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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From that chart I see a disaster in the making......

Does this agree with your chart?

WORLD POPULATION
7,663,945,551 Current World Population
122,938,651 Births this year

239,903 Births today
50,920,243 Deaths this year
99,366 Deaths today
72,018,408 Net population growth this year
140,537 Net population growth today

FOOD
831,906,775 Undernourished people in the world
1,667,819,242 Overweight people in the world
717,509,610 Obese people in the world
19,086 People who died of hunger today
$340,458,674 Money spent for obesity related diseases in the USA today$ 117,980,218 Money spent on weight loss
programs in the USA today

WATER
9,764,200,390 Water consumed this year (million L)
735,025 Deaths caused by water related
diseases this year
a safe drinking water source

http://www.worldometers.info

Observation by Bartlett; "lowering death rates increases the problem of overpopulation"

In fact everything we hold "dear" such a "motherhood", good health, long life, increases the population problem and everything we consider "bad" such as war, famine, drought, disease, helps solve the problem.

Dilemma!! Population growth needs to stop! And it better be sooner than later, it's 1 minute before 12 on a historical clock.

Last edited: Nov 15, 2018

5. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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7. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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72,018,408 Net population growth this year...

(
one more month to go).

4.5 more years for a world population increase equivalent to the US population today. It's going fast now; by 2100, 11.2 billion? Let's hope that the % increase continues to shrink.

Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
8. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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They are extremely artificial pressures. Birth control, family planning, education and empowerment for women . . . .
They are dying at a slower rate (as a percentage of population) than ever before.
=================
Chinese average life expectancy increases by 8.6 years in 35 years
Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-29 14:40:44|Editor: An

BEIJING, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- The average life expectancy of the Chinese rose to 76.5 years in 2016 from 67.9 years in 1981, said a white paper released by the State Council Information Office Friday.

"The development in the field of health services has brought concrete benefits to the Chinese people," said the document titled "Development of China's Public Health as an Essential Element of Human Rights."

Maternal mortality dropped from 88.9 per 100,000 persons in 1990 to 19.9 per 100,000 persons in 2016; and infant mortality declined from 34.7 per 1,000 in 1981 to 7.5 per 1,000 in 2016, figures from the document showed.

"The main health indicators of the Chinese are generally better than the average level of middle- and high-income countries, and China has achieved the UN's Millennium Goals in this regard ahead of schedule," it said.
==================
HEALTH NEWS
MAY 30, 2018 / 3:11 AM / 6 MONTHS AGO
China overtakes U.S. for healthy lifespan: WHO data

Tom Miles

GENEVA (Reuters) - China has overtaken the United States in healthy life expectancy at birth for the first time, according to World Health Organization data. Chinese newborns can look forward to 68.7 years of healthy life ahead of them, compared with 68.5 years for American babies, the data - which relates to 2016 - showed.
American newborns can still expect to live longer overall - 78.5 years compared to China’s 76.4 - but the last 10 years of American lives are not expected to be healthy.
==================

A desirable reduction in birthrate is the exact opposite of evolution.

9. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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I agree, as is an increase in death rate. But that's not the subject of discussion.

Let me put it really plainly; today the world population stands at 7.664 billion with a current growth rate of 1.2 %.
This means that at current low growth rates, in ~70/1.2 = ~58.333 years the population will be 15.328 billion.
58.333 years is less than a single average lifetime, when more people will be born than have lived in the entire history of mankind.

As Carlin observed; "pack your shit, folks. We're goin' away.

10. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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30,994
Depends on how it's accomplished. Many species have evolved ways of restricting their birth rates to avoid overshoot in a given environment - birds often adjust clutch size, for example.

11. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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Right. But that is to ensure that more of their offspring survive in a difficult environment, which is the goal of evolution. In an environment with a high likelihood of survival of offspring, reduction in birthrate runs counter to evolution. Evolution's mandate is maximum proliferation of a genome.

12. ### JeevesValued Senior Member

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Evolution, applied to humans, is a nonsense. There has been very little natural selection in this species for the last 5000 years, and almost nothing natural in the environment in which we survive.

13. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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Intraspecies breeding competition is natural selection. So is disease. With something in the range of 90% of the genetic subpool of the Americas wiped out by disease and violence in a few generations about 500 years ago (and dissipating since), a fifth of the species's largest breeding subpool plausibly carrying genetic markers of one single man from less than 50 generations ago (Genghis Khan), and the current genetic pressure from HIV on two or three breeding populations (the percentage of Africans naturally resistant is significant and growing), among many other examples, we have reasonably plausible evidence of natural selection in operation - with unknown results, of course.
The actual cues are not necessarily immediate difficulty of environment. They are often regulatory or homeostatic - advance preparation - like many other biological mechanisms. Crowding, for example - even with plenty of food and no impinging danger at the time of decision, many bird species will adjust clutch size in response to perceived population density (using various proxies).

All environments are difficult, sooner or later, simply by population growth if nothing else changes. That has been an evolutionary pressure for a billion years. Many species welcome boom and bust - but not all.

14. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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IMO, this gives a succinct answer to increasing death rates due to overpopulation;
https://www.indexmundi.com/china/death_rate.html

15. ### JeevesValued Senior Member

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Insofar as it's allowed to operate. Since the beginning of agriculture, that competition has been severely regulated by the ruling classes of every tribe and nation. In very few agrarian and civilized societies have females been permitted to choose mates and the male-male competition was (mostly still is) limited to economic success within the allowable religion, ethnicity and caste.
Only, pathogens mutate and adapt about 100,000 times as fast as humans do. Disease can wipe out large populations, but the survivors are not selected for resistance; they're just lucky, this time - the next flu can still get them. All we can do to protect ourselves is make clever drugs. But if everyone isn't vaccinated, even long-defeated diseases, like polio and tuberculosis can return.
I don't see how genocide is a natural selector. My whole point was that human evolution is human-controlled.

16. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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You just said that Pathogens can cause genocide. Any survivors are just lucky. That is all part of natural selection. What humans do may be called inhumane, but it is always natural.
Some 90+% of all species that ever lived are now extinct. We didn't kill them all.

The evolutionary process insures that in the long run not only the best adapted survive, but also some rare lucky individuals who managed to escape natural (out-)selection and lived to breed. Else the variety would not be nearly as diverse as we see today.

Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
17. ### JeevesValued Senior Member

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No, I didn't. I said disease can kill a lot of random people. Genocide is a deliberate campaign by one group of humans against a specific other group.
No, because it doesn't cause or encourage a genetic modification that changes the species to fit more successfully into the environment. If the offspring of survivors are resistant to the last epidemic, that's useless against the next epidemic. So, the human genome isn't altered to live in a changing environment, while the bacteria are. The human population turnover is too slow to become naturally resistant to disease; they have to invent artificial coping strategies - often by destroying other species and thus altering the environment. That's not evolution, that's technology.

Sure. It's natural predation, natural aggression, natural lunacy, natural self-destruction - it just isn't natural genetic selection.

Just the majority. And very, very fast. Nothing can adapt to the anthropocene - except bacteria. Maybe cockroaches.
https://www.biologicaldiversity.org...y/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/

Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
18. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Well, you may be interested in this classic "The Hellstrom Chronicle", which proposes that there are only two species on the increase (aside from bacteria and smaller).
Man, because he can alter his environment, and the insect which can adapt to every man-made change and is ultimately better adapted to survive where mankind fails..

19. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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They most certainly are.
Yep. With selection consequences - some fairly dramatic, like the aftermaths of war, as the example of Genghis Khan's genetic markers illustrates.
Dandelions. Rats.

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Insects.

21. ### JeevesValued Senior Member

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Some insects. Ants, probably; cockroaches and bedbugs, maybe; spiders are mutating. Most butterflies are gone or going; bees and wasps are endangered; mosquitoes are under attack almost everywhere; crickets and grasshoppers are declining; even houseflies are severely depleted in some areas. https://www.theguardian.com/environ...eddon-after-dramatic-plunge-in-insect-numbers
If their descendants inherited resistance, you'd think it would show. Influenza has been around long enough for the resistant gene to spread all over the globe. How come people everywhere still get influenza?
See, that's not natural selection. A kill-off is not the same as a die-off. The rapist who gets to the victim first may win a competition, but is not preferred by the mother of his child for some desirable trait. That's man-made, or artificial selection. And, in any case, that particular example is not significant: the GK genes didn't give their bearers more resistance to cold, or a better rapport with horses; they didn't alter the species to be better adapted to any particular environment; they're just incidental, not evolutionary.

If you decide that everything humans do is natural, that word no longer has a meaning.

Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
22. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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If human activities are not natural then what are they? Artificial? But what does that mean?
What is a meteor? Or the moon? Still, I think, as a matter of philosophy that anything which is "naturally" permissible is a "natural artifact"........

And it seems certainly true that considering the relatively small number of humans as compared to insects, human do have an extraordinary and disproportional impact on the environment.

But, ignoring numbers;
Consider a bacteria which wreaks much greater havoc on "natural" processes than humans.
The "Herod Bug" to use a biblical term for the Wolbachia

Wolbachia bacteria invading their host (Credit: Merjin Salverda / SPL)
How would you define the activities of these bacteria? Natural or artificial?

Cyanobacteria can change the ocean (Credit: Visuals Unlimited / NPL)

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150211-whats-the-most-dominant-life-form

Lest we forget that insects have been with us for 2.5 billion years and have survived every possible calamity the earth has endured during that time, ants and beetles make up the largest biomass apart from fauna.
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150211-whats-the-most-dominant-life-form

It seems that almost all species have an impact on their immediate environment. Some detrimental, some beneficial, but it's all "natural", no?

p.s. Is a beaver dam, which created a new lake with thousands of fish, an artifact?...

Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
23. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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30,994
1) It does show. People are far more resistant to influenza than they used to be, and the populations with the most historical exposure are the most resistant.
2) Influenza is famous for getting around resistance, because that is an unusual feature. The successful evolution of resistance, the normal situation (and one we are seeing with HIV, possibly, for example) is not famous, because nobody gets sick from those diseases any more.
3) Influenza is not one organism. It is a term for a class or category of organisms, many of which cannot infect humans at all - in some cases because humans have evolved resistance.
In any other organism, that is classic natural selection. Why would you refuse to label it such when it involves humans?
But if you insist - "artificial" selection works as well. Just be careful to differentiate it from breeding for traits - its mechanism is quite different.
Which one - the mother or the rapist - are you calling "artificial"?
There are many organisms that reproduce by male rape. They evolved that way. There are many that reproduce by female choice. They likewise evolved to be as they are. And there are many organisms that have flexibility, like humans - the adopted tactic depends on circumstance.
"Desirable" has nothing - absolutely nothing - to do with it. Natural selection is winner take all.
Evolutionary pressures don't care whether you call them natural or not.
On the topic of whether humans are evolving: by the large preponderance of evidence, they are.

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