The Human Race is Dying Out – Or Is It?

 

There are conservative podcasts and web sites I follow that have been sounding the alarm over the declining birth rate worldwide. For most of my life I’ve been hearing those sounding the alarm on overpopulation, and only recently have the alarmists turned the other direction.

The conservative sites that are sounding this alarm have a religious bent to them, often Catholic, like National Review and Daily Wire (their prominent podcasters include 2 Catholics, one Orthodox Jew, and one Christian who leans Catholic without being one).

One hundred years ago, the population of the world was roughly 1/3 of today’s population, or, to put it another way, the population increased by 300 percent. At that time, my grandparents were transitioning from teens to young adulthood.

Compare that with the previous 100 years, where the population increased by roughly 70 percent. I didn’t find numbers for the 100 year period before that, but I’ll bet that the rate of increase was even lower.

Here is a chart I grabbed from Wikipedia:

So it used to be the brakes on human population increases were famine, pestilence, and disease. In modern times, humans have mostly overcome these hinderances.

There are many reasons why humans are choosing to have fewer children, or to even go childless. But they essentially come down to two: Less religion and more prosperity. And prosperity probably affects religious adherence, unless you count secular ideologies, such as Marxism, a form of religion. But then, Marxist countries are also depopulating.

But is the human race really going to die out? I say no. What will probably happen is that those without religion will continue to have fewer children, while those more orthodox religious denominations will continue to have large families as a part of their membership. Eventually that core religious grouping will be a majority of the reduced population and you’ll likely see (I probably won’t, I’ll have passed on by then) a birth rate that will increase again. You’ll also see a religious resurgence as a result. It’s the stricter religious denominations that will see an increase in adherents, whether you talk about the Mormons, the Amish, or those Catholics that attend Latin Mass. Other examples abound, including Orthodox Jews.

I’m not a Malthusian. But maybe there are too many of us — in the sense that we bump into each other too much — and nature has found another way to reduce the number of humans now that the older tools, such as famine and disease, aren’t correctives anymore.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Al Sparks: But maybe there are too many of us in the sense that we bump into each other too much and nature has found another way to reduce the number of humans now that the older tools such as famine isn’t a solution anymore.

    Hold on, I’ve got something for this. . .

    https://ricochet.com/830574/the-new-guy/

    • #1
  2. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    Muslims. They’re having kids.

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Muslims. They’re having kids.

    So are Christians of the more fundamental sorts and in places like Africa. And young women in the UK are converting to Islam because it gives them structure that modern Western Civilization does not.

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Maybe this is the seed for a wholly different post, but most people do not want endless possibilities. Some do, but most do not. People do well in structured societies where they know the rules. That is what we evolved in. Taking away the rules is like taking away the light. Take away the rules and make people feel their way blindly along, and most of them will be uncomfortable. And many will seek structure.

    This not only applies to modern women who can be anything (including a man), but also to men. We’ve come a long way from following in one’s father’s footsteps. “Dad’s a cobbler? I guess I’ll be a cobbler.” Of course, for most of the last ten thousand years, almost everyone was a farmer. No decisions to make. There was structure. One knew the religion one was born into. One knew what one was going to do with one’s life. One knew who one was to marry. And only dangerous weirdos wanted something more.

    Now, we’re in a complex society with choices many and complex. What will I do when I grow up? How and where will I find a spouse? Will I have children? Where will I live? Will I worship? If so, what religion or denomination? We can be anyone, but we can’t, and we did not evolve for quite so many choices. Thus, when people have choices, they often choose a path that will limit the number of future choices they need to make.

    Not everyone, of course. There are always weirdos around. Every generation has their Elon Musks. But the exceptions prove the rules.

    • #4
  5. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    This is a great discussion.  I think it’s as unlikely for us to envision our society in 100 years as it would have been for our predecessors in 1924.  The shift from a still large agrarian economy to urban industrial to this bizarre underemployed information society would have been (I think) unpredictable. 

    • #5
  6. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Do check out the Google Public Data Explorer.  This link should take you to the fertility rate over the years. 

    And you can click on specific nations, continents, or the entire world, and compare.  I find it completely fascinating.  Check it out!

     

     

    • #6
  7. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    I’m living in Korea, where the demographic collapse is so serious newspapers are publishing editorials about the need for immigrants.

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    I’m living in Korea, where the demographic collapse is so serious newspapers are publishing editorials about the need for immigrants.

    They can have ours.

    • #8
  9. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    It’s about quality not quantity. I only want semi-attractive people with an I.Q. of 105 and above to breed.

    • #9
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    It’s about quality not quantity. I only want semi-attractive people with an I.Q. of 105 and above to breed.

    If that happened, then they would have to adjust the scale higher, and fewer people would have that IQ of 105.

    • #10
  11. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    It’s about quality not quantity. I only want semi-attractive people with an I.Q. of 105 and above to breed.

    If that happened, then they would have to adjust the scale higher, and fewer people would have that IQ of 105.

    Sounds like the Dimocrats who say they want to close the schools that are below average…  which then creates a new average which half the schools will be below…

    • #11
  12. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Sounds like the Dimocrats who say they want to close the schools that are below average…  which then creates a new average which half the schools will be below…

    Yes, and pretty soon, there will be few schools and few breeders.

    • #12
  13. Al Sparks Coolidge
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    It’s about quality not quantity. I only want semi-attractive people with an I.Q. of 105 and above to breed.

    If that happened, then they would have to adjust the scale higher, and fewer people would have that IQ of 105.

    Meaning, IQ scores are relative.  A score of 100 is of average intelligence relative to everyone else being tested.

    Anyway, that’s self defeating.  The more intelligent people are, the less likely they are to have children.  Unless they are super rich.  Elon Musk has 11 children from three different women.  He wasn’t married to two of them, and he’s divorced from the third woman.

    Hopefully those kids don’t turn out to be too screwed up.

    • #13
  14. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    It’s about quality not quantity. I only want semi-attractive people with an I.Q. of 105 and above to breed.

    If that happened, then they would have to adjust the scale higher, and fewer people would have that IQ of 105.

    Meaning, IQ scores are relative. A score of 100 is of average intelligence relative to everyone else being tested.

    Anyway, that’s self defeating. The more intelligent people are, the less likely they are to have children. Unless they are super rich. Elon Musk has 11 children from three different women. He wasn’t married to two of them, and he’s divorced from the third woman.

    Hopefully those kids don’t turn out to be too screwed up.

    We want the intelligent people to breed. It’s fine if it we have to rehash I.Q. Every decade or so.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    It’s about quality not quantity. I only want semi-attractive people with an I.Q. of 105 and above to breed.

    If that happened, then they would have to adjust the scale higher, and fewer people would have that IQ of 105.

    Meaning, IQ scores are relative. A score of 100 is of average intelligence relative to everyone else being tested.

    Anyway, that’s self defeating. The more intelligent people are, the less likely they are to have children. Unless they are super rich. Elon Musk has 11 children from three different women. He wasn’t married to two of them, and he’s divorced from the third woman.

    Hopefully those kids don’t turn out to be too screwed up.

    Aside from anything else they might face, naming two of them “X Æ A-Ⅻ” and “Exa Dark Sideræl” could lead to some problems.

    • #15
  16. Al Sparks Coolidge
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    We want the intelligent people to breed. It’s fine if it we have to rehash I.Q. Every decade or so.

    Are the Amish high IQ societies?  I wouldn’t be surprised if they were or weren’t.  The education they receive to thrive in their own society is practical once you get beyond their Bible studies.

    To put it another way, it’s on the job training.

    Certainly someone who is lower IQ but works hard has a better chance to do well there than in modern socieities.

    Whether low or high IQ, demographically, they are starting to dominate the Pennsylvania counties they live in, as the non-Amish either move to the city, or simply die out with the lack of children.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Arahant (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Sounds like the Dimocrats who say they want to close the schools that are below average… which then creates a new average which half the schools will be below…

    Yes, and pretty soon, there will be few schools and few breeders.

    But once the non-breeders eliminate themselves, the breeders quickly increase the population.

    • #17
  18. kidCoder Member
    kidCoder
    @kidCoder

    Humanity might not be dying out, but we enjoy a certain level of comfort that is only possible because we have thrown innumerable years of human effort at everything from the computers we are using to discuss this to the food we ate today.

    Reduce the ongoing hours possible, we will see the stagnation and then reversal of that comfort.

    Replace the word “comfort” with the concept “all the things you don’t need to think about so you can do something meaningful with your life.”

    • #18
  19. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    And then there are the robots.  

    • #19
  20. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Is a society with a stable or shrinking population less likely to engage in combat? 

    • #20
  21. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Is a society with a stable or shrinking population less likely to engage in combat?

    Ask Russia.

    • #21
  22. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Al Sparks: I’m not a Malthusian. But maybe there are too many of us in the sense that we bump into each other too much

    There are not too many of us.   Show me on the world population chart where there was world-wide peace.   Never happened.   

    The current population projections just prove that all the climate doomsayers based their predictions of doom on stupidly high levels of population.   Bad models and bad headlines is what has driven the entire hoax.

    • #22
  23. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Al Sparks: There are many reasons why humans are choosing to have fewer children, and to even go childless. But they come down to two. Less religion and more prosperity. And probably prosperity affects religious adherence, unless you count secular ideologies, such as Marxism, a form of religion. But then Marxist countries are also depopulating.

    Also the child limit in China.

    And the anti-population movement here.  Stanford’s answer to Malthusianism is in the form of Paul Ehrlich and his 1968 book, The Population Bomb where he describes famine and fighting over limited resources.  (“Population control or race to oblivion?”)

    Paul Ehrlich also founded the Zero Population Growth organization, which promotes his anti-population agenda.

    Business professor Julian Simon disagreed, and famously made a wager with him in 1980, where Ehrich could choose a number of raw materials, and they would compare the inflation-adjusted prices after ten years.  Ehrlich lost.

    • #23
  24. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Al Sparks: For most of my life I’ve been listening to those sounding the alarm on overpopulation, and only recently have the alarmists turned the other direction.

    Some of us have been sounding this alarm for around 20 years.

    2007 at the latest, I think, it was that I first heard this one.

    • #24
  25. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    I’m living in Korea, where the demographic collapse is so serious newspapers are publishing editorials about the need for immigrants.

    They can have ours.

    Can we give them our Biden voters?

    • #25
  26. Al Sparks Coolidge
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):
    There are not too many of us.   Show me on the world population chart where there was world-wide peace.   Never happened.   

    I actually wasn’t thinking in terms of war.  The big cities, especially the Chinese ones, with their big high rise apartment buildings but small apartments, aren’t conducive to raising children.

    Japan, already advanced in their demographic collapse, also has crowded cities with small living spaces.  Even those Japanese that want to have a child, limit themselves to that child.

    • #26
  27. Al Sparks Coolidge
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Is a society with a stable or shrinking population less likely to engage in combat?

    Ask Russia.

    Putin is very aware of Russia’s demographic collapse, and is trying to get Russians to reproduce, with little success.

    Some observers think that the timing of the Ukraine war was a now or never for Putin, given that collapse.  Of course Ukraine is also experiencing a low birth rate, and was before the war.

    Also keep in mind that World War I was fought when the world’s population was 1/3 of today’s.  Yet, because the population was on the increase back then, the average age was much younger which is also something to consider.

    • #27
  28. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):
    There are not too many of us. Show me on the world population chart where there was world-wide peace. Never happened.

    I actually wasn’t thinking in terms of war. The big cities, especially the Chinese ones, with their big high rise apartment buildings but small apartments, aren’t conducive to raising children.

    Mark Steyn mentioned that back in 2006 talking about his book “America Alone.”

    • #28
  29. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    Conservatives typically point to declining population to support their call to (get married and) have kids. It occurs to me that there is another, perhaps more important, reason: Kids give you a stake in the future, which creates all kinds of good incentives, both for the individual and for society. Kids make us want to be better people.

    • #29
  30. TBA, sometimes known as 'Teebs'. Coolidge
    TBA, sometimes known as 'Teebs'.
    @RobtGilsdorf

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):
    There are not too many of us. Show me on the world population chart where there was world-wide peace. Never happened.

    I actually wasn’t thinking in terms of war. The big cities, especially the Chinese ones, with their big high rise apartment buildings but small apartments, aren’t conducive to raising children.

    Mark Steyn mentioned that back in 2006 talking about his book “America Alone.”

    “The future belongs to those who show up.” 

    • #30
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