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« Energy and the economy | Main | The Evolution of Sapience »

September 20, 2009


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Physics Rules

A fabulous summation of our current situation. I only wish that there was a fallacy in your logic/reasoning. Like you I am closer to the end of my life than the beginning but want to do whatever is within my power to allow my grandchildren to have the opportunity to live a long and fulfilling life.

I would strongly urge everyone to read "Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change" by William R. Catton, Jr. for further insight into this dilema.


I don't see how evolution can get a grip at hominids - a grip from the outside at least. How can natural selection see decades into the future?

E.g. 1) hominds living on lands slowly being degraded by global warming - what fitness could there be selected when no sustainable living is possible?
2) Even those hominids that manage to live sustainably somewhere - what chance will they have against the hordes of hungry stupid migrating from their ruined lands? There is no place to hide anymore.

With evolutionary pressure from outside I see more chance that hominids devolve into brainless migratory cannibals than into eusapients.

So, methinks it looks evolutionary pressure has to come from within hominids - the chances for that are of course not looking good.


A minor point in a excellent summary George; which source gives a current population of 7.8 billion? Nearly all the data bases I have looked at give the figure of 6.7 billion eg:

..or is it a case of damned lies and statistics!
(Apologies for the pedantary.)


Floro...your point 2 is extremely valid. The obvious answer is an fertile island, size determined by number of 'apprentice eusapients'!
You may find the so called 'lifeboat Britain' scanerio from 2006 interesting as an example of strategic realpolitic.

George Mobus

Argh! GaryA is right. I don't know what I was thinking except that earlier in the day we were talking about models of what to expect from further population growth and we were taking it in increments of .2 billion. For some reason I thought the 'today' intersect on the curve read out 7.8. Poor excuse though. Thanks GaryA. I will edit.


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