How To Be A Christian Without Being A Jerk

Faith in real life

…fill the earth…

February 12th, 2009
Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008

In the phrase,”…fill the earth…” (Genesis 1:28), “fill” means, “to satisfy.”
I remember the scares of the “population explosion,” predicted by Paul Ehrlich in The Population Bomb (1968). There would be mass starvation in the 1970′s, where “hundreds of millions of people” would starve to death in global famine.

Not only did this famine not occur, but actually, the population rate of the world has been declining since 1970, and the prediction (UN reports) is sometime around 2070 the world will reach zero population growth.

Ironically, most countries in the MDC (more developed country) category are trying to implement a pronatal policy.

I’ll let you debate “carbon footprints” and the rest. It takes 2.1 children to sustain a level population rate, and we have 3 and so we did our part to “fill” the earth, and we find our children very “satisfying.”



  • E.Vasta says on: February 21, 2009 at 12:45 am


    Erlich and Malthus were not wrong, they were merely early.

    We’ve already exceeded global carrying capacity. We are now in “overshoot”. (Visualize a car sailing smoothly, but quite temporarily, through the air after having been driven off of a cliff.)

    Global population is nearing 7 billion. Different theorists using different methods seem to end up agreeing that global carrying capacity is probably about 2 billion. (This assumes some level of social justice and a moderate, low by US standards, standard of living. More is possible if you accept a cattle car / Matrix-esque “life”.)

    In any case, we will get to that much-lower-than-7-billion number the hard way (wars, famine, disease, and their accompanying losses of environmental quality, freedom, and social justice) OR the less hard way (immediately and drastically reducing our population voluntarily). Yes, all of us, yes, everywhere. There is no scenario anywhere in which population growth is a “good thing” long term.

    Yes a drop in population would cause problems, but none of those problems are as big as the problems, suffering, and environmental collapse that is certain to occur if we don’t.

    I disagree with any argument that there is some “right to reproduce”. If there is any “right to reproduce” it’s in the concept that one has the freedom to nurture a child or children and form some sort of family. Biological reproduction is not necessary to do that and there are many in need of this sort of nurturing.

    This is a global issue with local and nation-state consequences. For example, immigration is a consequence of overpopulation, not a cause of it. Likewise, global climate change and the collapse of ocean fisheries are not impressed by national boundaries.

    No technological / “alternative energy” options have the capacity or can be ramped up fast enough to avoid major global calamity. That isn’t to say we shouldn’t do them. Aggressively shifting to alternative energy is necessary, just not sufficient.

    For more comprehensive analysis of all this I suggest

    Bandura etc.

    Albert Bartlett on the exponential function as it relates to population and oil:

    Approaching the Limits

    Bruce Sundquist on environmental impact of overpopulation

    The Oil Drum Peak Oil Overview – June 2007 (

    …and of course the classic “Overshoot” by Catton

  • Nathaniel says on: March 17, 2009 at 12:45 am


    Bandura is part of a Population Media Center committee and I see that group as about as non-biased and unattached to ideology as I do the CATO Institute-not very.

    I’ve already said Bartlett’s commentary is flawed and if the equations aren’t accurately predicting reality (such as slowing population growth rates in some areas) either the numbers being put into the equations are wrong or the wrong equations are being used. I think the latter is true when discussing Bartlett’s talks on the exponential function.

    And the concern about “peak” oil pays scant attention to the fact that the real problem related to fossil fuel use isn’t that there may be shortages, it is that using them leads to promoting Global Warming.

    I’m a bit tired right now, but I think I may already have something to criticize about Catton’s examples and it isn’t coming to mind as it is past midnight here.

    All in all Malthus and Ehrlich have yet to be proven true so claims that they were simply early are still unfounded at this point.

    Also I feel like I’ve seen this post (almost word for word) someplace else, is this a copy and paste deal? Almost like an ad.

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How To Be A Christian Without Being A Jerk

Faith in real life