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Old 12-25-2010, 12:45 PM
Mannish Boy Mannish Boy is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 73
Default Re: Science Saturday: Christmas Optimism Edition (John Horgan & George Johnson)

The culmative number of humans who have ever lived shocked me at first (I had guessed the same number as John for 1AD, actually), but it makes sense when you think about it. Early humans would have had virtually no birth control and would have birth rates far higher than modern first world humans, but they would have had a far, far higher death rate. So even though the populations of societies such as Ancient Egypt or the Roman Empire might seem low compared to modern times, there was a huge amount of turnover in the individuals who lived in those societies, adding up to a gigantic number of those who had lived culmatively.
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