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Nature, The Science Journal, Publishes Terribly Edited Article on Population

December 24, 2015 • Daily Email Recap

The science myths [sic] that will not die

False beliefs and wishful thinking about the human experience are common. They are hurting people – and holding back science.

Myth 5: The human population is growing exponentially (and we’re doomed)
Fears about overpopulation began with Reverend Thomas Malthus in 1798, who predicted that unchecked exponential population growth would lead to famine and poverty.
But the human population has not and is not growing exponentially and is unlikely to do so [sic], says Joel Cohen, a populations researcher at the Rockefeller University in New York City. The world’s population is now growing at just half the rate it was before 1965. Today there are an estimated 7.3 billion people, and that is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Yet beliefs that the rate of population growth will lead to some doomsday scenario have been continually perpetuated. Celebrated physicist Albert Bartlett, for example, gave more than 1,742 lectures on exponential human population growth and the dire consequences starting in 1969.

Current World Population


Net Growth During Your Visit