Be fruitful and multiply. What horrible advice. We have a serious problem here on earth. We have an estimated 7 billion people and very limited resources. The world population is continuing to grow, but eventually, we will slow down. What is more disturbing is that humans have been caught up in separating each other by dividing themselves between imaginary territorial lines and fighting to either conquer or preserve the resources within those lines to guarantee survival. If one steps back and gains perspective, it is easy to see that the human pattern for growth is no more sophisticated than bacteria. Like bacteria, humans are going through the 4 main phases of growth; Lag, Log, Stationary and Death.
The lag phase of bacteria growth is the phase in which growth is first slow and the bacteria is acclimating to their new habitat. In looking at history, the human lag stage most likely began when we mastered agriculture tens of thousands of years ago. It is estimated that in 10000 BC, the world human population was 1 million people. It took 9 thousand years before the population reached 50 million people. Over the next 2800 years, it took humans roughly 1/3 of the time to grow their numbers from 50 million to 1 billion by 1810.
The log phase is the phase in which bacteria have mastered reproduction due to efficient use of resources and begin to multiply in tremendous numbers in a short period of time. This means that it takes a lot less time to reach the numbers in which it took in the lag phase. Remember, it took 13000 years for humans to multiply to reach 1 billion. It took only 120 years, from 1810 to 1930, for humans to reach the second billion. The third billion was reached in even less time, 38 years. In 19 years, the fourth billion was reached and in 1990, in just 11 years, humans had managed to increase the world population another billion and reach a total population of 5 billion people. It is safe to say that at these rates, we are currently in a log phase of human growth.
A stationary phase occurs when there becomes more and more bacteria competing for decreasing food and nutrients and this boom in growth begins to stop and stabilize. Since 1810, humans have been multiplying at extremely high rates to the point that at current time, we are multiplying about 1 billion people every decade. Current estimates show that in the next 40 years, humans may begin to stabilize. Estimates show that in the next 4 decades, human growth will average about 875 million a decade. Could this stabilization be the start of the beginning of the 4th phase, death of all humans?
Yes it could be. We are in a battle for resources and as I mentioned earlier, humans have divided themselves with imaginary lines and between those lines they label themselves “countries”. These countries all have different systems in place to manage and control their resources. Some countries work with others to improve and find better ways to manage the resources, others try to accommodate everyone equally, and others just lack any organization whatsoever.
Only 12% of earth is habitable to humans. If we go too far up or spend more than 3-4 minutes underwater, we will die. This brings me to religion and the advice “Be fruitful and multiply”. You know, if I was to be an all powerful creator, I would create a place that was more than 12% habitable for the thing I created. Secondly, I think I would have put a proper system in place for managing resources to prevent fighting over those resources. What did we get? Don’t eat the apple.
It is quite evident that humans are no more special than bacteria. We are no different than bacteria either. We have been going through the same phases as bacteria in a struggle to multiply and survive, but eventually, we will either make our world too toxic for our own survival or completely deplete our resources. No powerful being would have created a world this inefficient and then left living beings such as humans to fight and kill each other over the best way to make it efficient. No, I am sad to say, it did not happen like that. The earth was here before humans and the earth will be here after humans. Like bacteria, all humans will cease to exist. We will stabilize and eventually die as a species, like bacteria. So enjoy the ride and enjoy each other. We are all we got.