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Douglas Carpenter

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Corry (Erie County), Pennsylvania 16407
Home country: USA
Current location: Saipan, U.S. Commonweath of the Northern Mariana Islands
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2005, 08:56 PM
Number of posts: 20,226

Journal Archives

Is it true that there are more people alive today than have died in all of human history?

I had heard this stated any number of times as a scientific fact - I recall some years ago it being scientifically refuted. I was just curious what the accepted scientific opinion about this matter was

Fact or Fiction?: Living People Outnumber the Dead

Booming population growth among the living, according to one rumor, outpaces the dead


The human population has swelled so much that people alive today outnumber all those who have ever lived, says a factoid whose roots stretch back to the 1970s. Some versions of this widely circulating rumor claim that 75 percent of all people ever born are currently alive. Yet, despite a quadrupling of the population in the past century, the number of people alive today is still dwarfed by the number of people who have ever lived.

In 2002 Carl Haub, a demographer at the Population Reference Bureau, a nongovernmental organization in Washington, D.C., updated his earlier estimate of the number of people that have ever existed. To calculate this, he studied the available population data to determine the human population growth rates during different historical periods, and used them to determine the number of people who have ever been born.

To calculate how many people have ever lived, Haub followed a minimalist approach, beginning with two people in 50000 B.C.—his Adam and Eve. Then, using his historical growth rates and population benchmarks, he estimated that slightly over 106 billion people had ever been born. Of those, people alive today comprise only 6 percent, nowhere near 75 percent. " almost surely true people alive today are some small fraction of people," says Joel Cohen, a professor of populations at the Rockefeller and Columbia Universities in New York City.

For this myth ever to be valid there would have to be more than 100 billion people living on Earth. "How cozy," Cohen says. "It just doesn't seem plausible," he adds.

Today there are more than 6.5 billion people walking on Earth, according to United Nations estimates.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-living-outnumber-dead/
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Jun 27, 2014, 04:40 PM (8 replies)

Is it true that there are more people alive today than have died in all of human history?

I had heard this stated any number of times - I recall some years ago it being scientifically refuted. I was just curious what the accepted scientific opinion about this matter was.

Fact or Fiction?: Living People Outnumber the Dead

Booming population growth among the living, according to one rumor, outpaces the dead

The human population has swelled so much that people alive today outnumber all those who have ever lived, says a factoid whose roots stretch back to the 1970s. Some versions of this widely circulating rumor claim that 75 percent of all people ever born are currently alive. Yet, despite a quadrupling of the population in the past century, the number of people alive today is still dwarfed by the number of people who have ever lived.

In 2002 Carl Haub, a demographer at the Population Reference Bureau, a nongovernmental organization in Washington, D.C., updated his earlier estimate of the number of people that have ever existed. To calculate this, he studied the available population data to determine the human population growth rates during different historical periods, and used them to determine the number of people who have ever been born.

To calculate how many people have ever lived, Haub followed a minimalist approach, beginning with two people in 50000 B.C.—his Adam and Eve. Then, using his historical growth rates and population benchmarks, he estimated that slightly over 106 billion people had ever been born. Of those, people alive today comprise only 6 percent, nowhere near 75 percent. "[It is] almost surely true people alive today are some small fraction of [all] people," says Joel Cohen, a professor of populations at the Rockefeller and Columbia Universities in New York City.

For this myth ever to be valid there would have to be more than 100 billion people living on Earth. "How cozy," Cohen says. "It just doesn't seem plausible," he adds.

Today there are more than 6.5 billion people walking on Earth, according to United Nations estimates.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-living-outnumber-dead/
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jun 26, 2014, 08:38 AM (13 replies)

Al Gore: Snowden Performed an ‘Important Service’ by Revealing Spying That Threatens Democracy


National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden (AP Photo/The Guardian)

Former Vice President Al Gore did not exactly break new ground when he said Tuesday that Edward Snowden had “provided an important service” by revealing to the extent to which the American government spies on people in the United States and abroad.

So Gore was, in many senses, simply restating a relatively mainstream view when, during a session at Tennessee’s Southland Technology + Southern Culture Conference, he was asked what PandoDaily refers to as the “Is he a traitor or a hero?” question. Gore responded:


I’m like most people, I don’t put (Snowden) in either one of those categories. But I will be candid—if you set up a spectrum, I would push it more away from the traitor side. He clearly violated the law; you can’t say OK what he did is alright. It is not.

But what he revealed in the course of violating important laws included violations of the Constitution that were way more serious than the crimes he committed. In the course of violating important laws he also provided an important service because we did need to know how far this has gone.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/180183/al-gore-snowden-performed-important-service-revealing-spying-threatens-democracy

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jun 12, 2014, 08:36 AM (4 replies)

Are you a Socialist?

Since some people asked - I am leaving the term "Socialist" open to the broadest possible definition ranging from Marxist or even Communist to those European style social-democrats who would call themselves socialist - Not all social-democrats would call themselves socialist - but many would. IN other words, do you consider yourselves a socialist?
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Jun 3, 2014, 06:12 AM (56 replies)
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