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#1
Old 10-04-2002, 07:46 PM
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if nobody ever died, ever

I was having a little religious debate with one of my christian friends and the subject of first sin came up and that it was the reason humans had to die. I don't buy that. I'm thinking that if we never died, the earth wouldn't have been able to sustain every living human being who walked this fragile planet. I don't mean to make this a religious debate, just wondering if anyone has an educated guess as to how many of us would be here now.
#2
Old 10-04-2002, 07:53 PM
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I'm pretty vague here, but I read somewhere (a long time ago) that the earth would overpopulate very quickly. A few years or so.
About the religion part? I don't know.
Peace,
mangeorge
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#3
Old 10-04-2002, 07:56 PM
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We need to set some parameters.

Just for fun let's assume that the human race is only 6 thousand years old and that it began with Adam and Eve.

How many children shall we assume everybody could have?
There's no pain in childbirth (that came after the fall) and nobody dies in childbirth either (they are immortal, right?); people could go on having children all the time - Adam and Eve would be looking forward to the delivery of maybe their seven thousandth child.

Each of their female children would be able to bear children almost constantly and so on.

Anybody fancy tackling the maths?; I'm guessing that (disregarding the lack of resources) humans would outweigh the planet. Perhaps I'm wrong.
#4
Old 10-04-2002, 08:21 PM
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If nobody died, ever, what would be the point of reproduction?
#5
Old 10-04-2002, 08:33 PM
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Yeah, sex is boring.
#6
Old 10-04-2002, 08:41 PM
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Find out hw many people die worldwide every year (I tried) and add that to the birth rate. Plus add in the number of births to those younger people who don't die, but would have.

Darwin's Finch ask's;
Quote:
If nobody died, ever, what would be the point of reproduction?
For the same reasons as now, I suspect. Nobody (much) has kids to preserve the population.
Peace,
mangeorge
#7
Old 10-04-2002, 09:35 PM
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Maybe this doesn't really address the question, but I am reminded that Isaac Asimov wrote an amusing story in which a time traveller visits the Garden of Eden, has a heart-to-heart with the serpent, and talks him out of tempting Adam and Eve. It's easy when the serpent understands what the consequences will be for him and descendants.

Then the time traveller gets second thoughts: if death does not come into the world, won't the earth be incredibly crowded in a relatively short time? He rockets ahead a few centuries and finds that the world's population is still limited to two: Adam and Eve, a couple of ageless innocents, have never tired of playing tag around the Tree of Life, and haven't started a family. In fairness, it is easy to read the story of their fall as really being about their learning about "you know..."; "and who told you that thou wert naked?"

The time traveler sets to trying to straighten things out, but to learn what happens, you'll need to search out the story yourself.
#8
Old 10-04-2002, 09:38 PM
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Hey, if the lion had lay down with the lamb, what the hell were they doing if not the nasty?
#9
Old 10-04-2002, 09:54 PM
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The point of my question was simply this: truly immortal beings do not need to reproduce, so populations levels would likely remain constant.

If, however, hypothetically speaking, a population were allowed to grow unchecked (assuming current biology and sufficient resources to allow survival of all offspring), then one could start with the Unlimited Growth equation from here.
#10
Old 10-04-2002, 11:25 PM
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Well, as long as people are freely reproducing and no one's dying, the rate of increase in the population is proportional to the number of people reproducing. The result is pretty much exponential growth. Since people take time to mature and bear children, you get a more or less fibonacci sequence growth pattern.

However, in the presence of insufficient resources, I would think that social pressure and deprivation would push down the reproduction. If we allow people to die from malnutrition etc. this would certainly happen, otherwise it probably wouldn't really take off until the world was getting pretty full physically. In this case you get logistic growth, under which the growth rate of the population is proportional to the difference between the theoretical maximum population (the number of people that fit on the face of the planet) and the current population.

Of course these models are only as reasonable as the assumptions that go into them. Under the conditions of the OP, I am envisioning people filling the sea, since they can't drown, and no one needs to eat or find shelter, etc. I think I'll take original sin and death, quite honestly.
#11
Old 10-05-2002, 02:31 AM
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iF ALL THAT HAVE DIED WERE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE AND PLACED AMONG US THE POPULATION WOULD NOT QUITE BE DOUBLE WHAT IT IS NOW.

damn caps lock!
#12
Old 10-05-2002, 03:42 AM
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old ppl would rule the world.
#13
Old 10-05-2002, 02:35 PM
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We already do just that, Logical Phallacy.
mangeorge
#14
Old 10-05-2002, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
iF ALL THAT HAVE DIED WERE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE AND PLACED AMONG US THE POPULATION WOULD NOT QUITE BE DOUBLE WHAT IT IS NOW.
Not true. According to Cecil, there are at least ten times as many dead folks as living.

But the situation is even more extreme than that. If all those billions of folks never died, they would presumably have just kept on having kids (I presume that menopause and decreased male potency are also symptoms of the Fall).
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#15
Old 10-05-2002, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Virtuosity
iF ALL THAT HAVE DIED WERE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE AND PLACED AMONG US THE POPULATION WOULD NOT QUITE BE DOUBLE WHAT IT IS NOW.

damn caps lock!
Yeah, but if all the people had never died, they could have carried on reproducing all the time and the population would have been a great deal more than double.
#16
Old 10-05-2002, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mangetout
Yeah, but if all the people had never died, they could have carried on reproducing all the time and the population would have been a great deal more than double.
Yeah, but wouldn't women still have menopause? Guys' sperm count goes down eventually, doesn't it? That would be some complicated stats/math, trying to figure out who died before they completely lost the ability to have children.
#17
Old 10-05-2002, 05:46 PM
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Sorry mange, somehow missed yer parameters.
#18
Old 10-05-2002, 05:48 PM
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Depends... the way the OP is couched is that the fall of man as described in the Bible had simply never happened; so:
-There should be no pain involved in childbirth
-There should be no weeding to do in the garden
-People wouldn't die
But a lot of people who take the Genesis account literally also say that this is when disease and degeneration entered the scene, so arguably there would be no menopause, no such thing as senility etc.
#19
Old 10-05-2002, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by chriszarate
Yeah, but wouldn't women still have menopause? Guys' sperm count goes down eventually, doesn't it? That would be some complicated stats/math, trying to figure out who died before they completely lost the ability to have children.
Cecil just recently pointed out that common belief is that menopause only goes into affect at a point where the organism is near enough to death that they wouldn't be able to raise their offspring. No death, no need for menopause.
#20
Old 10-05-2002, 06:44 PM
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Of course we'd have to assume that pre-fall there would be some mechanism to make sure that new eggs were being produced all the time in the ovaries, but that's a tiny detail really.
#21
Old 10-06-2002, 03:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Slugworth
Cecil just recently pointed out that common belief is that menopause only goes into affect at a point where the organism is near enough to death that they wouldn't be able to raise their offspring. No death, no need for menopause.
The women will still run out of eggs at some point, though.
#22
Old 10-06-2002, 03:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mangeorge
For the same reasons as now, I suspect. Nobody (much) has kids to preserve the population.
Not to preserve the population but to preserve their family names. This was the way of the Chinese and probably other Asians.
#23
Old 10-06-2002, 03:24 AM
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However, in the presence of insufficient resources, I would think that social pressure and deprivation would push down the reproduction.

If this is true, then how do you explain Sally Struthers?

"These children have no food, they have no clean water. Won't you please help the children??"
#24
Old 10-06-2002, 11:42 AM
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It looks to me that we die because its a natural process of being human, not because of someone snacking on a forbidden fruit. I guess it is a religious debate after all.
#25
Old 10-06-2002, 02:41 PM
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From a religious perspective:

It's possible that, had the fall never happened, after a certain amount of time on earth, God would've still taken people to heaven. Just not via death. (ala Elijah) Sort of a journey off the planet.

And it could be that the Fall just opened up the way for spiritual death (hell), in addition to a physical "death" (or journey off the planet).

WAG.

But scientifically, it doesn't seem possible that the planet could support -- at the same time-- every person who was ever born.

Happy, neither a theologian nor a scientist
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