The dead hand of Malthus...

Patrick Foley patfoley at
Wed Apr 24 08:59:41 EDT 2002


You and my mother are both right about Malthus. She also pointed out to me
that humans don't need to worry about overpopulation and starvation. We can
always have war and disease instead!

Patrick Foley
patfoley at

Kenelm Philip wrote:

> > And I doubt Malthus was wrong in anything but details. Populations grow
> > until resources are exhausted and everyone is fairly unhappy about it.
> A) For humans, that is not always true. Witness France and Italy, with
> negative population growth--and the general trend for population growth
> rates to fall (eventually) in industrialized countries.
> B) For wildlife, how does the above statement explain the remarkably large
> fluctuations in population levels in many species of arctic/subarctic
> animals. Either you must postulate dramatic (and uncorrelated) swings
> in the abundance of resources--or there must be some other forces acting
> besides Malthusian priciples.
>                                                         Ken Philip
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
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