View Full Version : How many people have walked the earth?

8th Apr 2004, 21:21
i'm a little curious - how many people have lived on the earth up to this point in time?

Assume the following:

- Humans began 6000 years ago with adam and eve
- assume current population is 6 billion (thats US billion :))
- assume a new generation every 75(?) years

i guess one could make a linear progression chart and add up the numbers that occure every 75 years... but i can't find my graphing calculator :) ** edit, or maybe not ... doing a linear progression would indicate some 76million people after only one generation :) i guess a quadratic equation would be better, but you'd need more input... **

not interested in a precise number, just a good estimate - any takers?

tony draper
8th Apr 2004, 21:34
I do recall reading that in good Queen Bess's day there were perhaps three million peeps in the UK, in the thirties it was up to thirty Million, now its around sixty million which is about twice as many people as is good for us.


PS. I think the earliest human remains ever found in the uk were about 20,000 years old,thats bit before those folks from that fairy tale.

I did have something on world population somewhere but it must be on my other hard disk
I think world population hit one Billion for the first time in the 1800's, the time it takes to double has been reducing steadily
Will see if I can find it, it is a very very sobering read..

Ah! good old proon search.

World Population 1804, 1 billion
Population 1927 2 billion----- 123 years
Population 1960 3 billion-------33 years
Population 1974 4 billion-------14 years
population 1987 5 billion-------13 years
Population 1999 6 billion-------12 years


Facinating theory called the Bottle Neck, which speculates that the entire human population of the Earth may have been as low as under a thousand eighty thousand years ago for a variety of reasons, this explains why we are so geneticly close to each other, ,we should not be as close as we are, given the distances separating populations in the past.
It has to do with the rate of genetic mutation in geographicly separate populations, it has been discussed on proon in the past

8th Apr 2004, 21:57
No matter how many have walked the earth, only a privileged few have soared above it.

8th Apr 2004, 22:02
I'm going to add "before now" to that, Ptt, and the reason it is no longer a chosen few is the reason this website was set up, lol.

Spuds McKenzie
8th Apr 2004, 22:12
- Humans began 6000 years ago with adam and eve

Is this what they teach you at school in the US?


tony draper
8th Apr 2004, 22:24
There a school in my town that teaches the same nonsense, so creationalist loonacy is not restricted to the USA.

8th Apr 2004, 22:26
I heard a statistic (I know, I know...) that claimed that there are more people alive now than have ever died. I wonder if that's true...

tony draper
8th Apr 2004, 22:39
Seems to be a fair bet, assuming modern Humans appeared about two hundred thousands years ago, people more or less just like us, of course they would not have had our technology, their mobiles prolly had only one ring tone instead of seven hundred downloaded and exceedingly irritating tunes and sounds


8th Apr 2004, 22:45
there are more people alive now than have ever died
Heard that too, based on estimates, Probably no-one can tell when that will have happened to be true, but there surely is a time when it (has) turns(ed) out true, given the present growth rate.

only a privileged few have soared above it.
If its strictly soaring, then it must be really a few : glider pilots ? ;)

Spuds McKenzie
8th Apr 2004, 22:46
And always remember:

The earlier you die, the longer you're dead.


8th Apr 2004, 22:48
lets not get into religion here please - always turns ugly - all i've done was set a parameter - a What IF scenario if you'd like to look at it that way.

So assuming "there are more people alive now than have ever died" is true, a good estimate would be around 10 to 12 billion?

8th Apr 2004, 23:07
Don't get caught on Archbishop Ussher's mathematics. Adam and Eve weren't around in 4004BC. The aetiological tale wasn't designed for that sort of analysis.

You need a better mathematician than me, but I think it's a reverse exponential function. Use Dr Draper's numbers, and plot them backwards, using known data and then asymptotic to zero, with zero (say) 70 million years ago when our ancestors got off the Golgafrinchan Ark.

8th Apr 2004, 23:17
Stats will always be meaningless, because over so many years and so many people, the tiniest error will make the final answer wrong by a factor of thousands or millions.

So as an arts graduate, may I answer the question.....

Many many millions, and with a few exceptions the ones living today are the luckiest people ever born.

8th Apr 2004, 23:19
As a theology graduate, I'd agree ... with one teeny "except" - a very few who lived around 4AD to 60AD.

9th Apr 2004, 07:27
Agree with mattpilot. I've read stats somewhere - and fairly recently - which proclaim that there are as many people here now as have ever been, so about 12 billion in total would sound about right.

Now then - does the current population include reincarnates, or are we all new souls? If we're all newbies, then genetics and history shouldn't count for very much....if half of us have been here one or more times before, shouldn't those with greater experience be afforded some kind of seniority?:E

9th Apr 2004, 07:37
Keef - that's a nice point, especially on Good Friday.

Happy Easter.

Bo Nalls
9th Apr 2004, 11:43
Total number of births since the dawn of creation = 106,456,367,669.

A very precise figure taken from this site (http://www.prb.org/Content/ContentGroups/PTarticle/0ct-Dec02/How_Many_People_Have_Ever_Lived_on_Earth_.htm)

tony draper
9th Apr 2004, 11:53
Always thought the increase in population shot down the
re-encarnation argument, if you are re-encarnated fifty years from hense your work load will be enormouse,each soul will have at least twenty bodies to run,

9th Apr 2004, 11:59
Seems population growth is a very complex subject (http://www.arcytech.org/java/population/facts_math.html). It depends on somehting called the Malthusian factor which, as it varies between 3.5 and 3.7 (ish) makes the curve very complex.

Anyone got any idea what the Malthusuian factor actually is? :confused:

9th Apr 2004, 12:08
What about folks in wheelchairs? Do they count? If not you need to take that into account and deduct a couple of precent.:E


9th Apr 2004, 12:09
Thank you for the link Bo Nalls. It must be getting pretty crowded up in heaven, down in hell or both by now. Does the Devil take paper money? Would He accept $1 per soul for all those who died BC? Now that would be something for the Pope and Sir William Gates to mull over. Maybe the Waltons could chip in too. I don't suppose Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud would be very interested though. Just in case anyone noticed, my use of capitals merely illustrates my preference to err on the side of caution in all matters. :D

Tony D., this is the 21st Century. Modern souls are multi-threading and multi-tasking...:)

9th Apr 2004, 13:36
Using 75 years / generation is going to lead to a large error. I'm pretty sure that those who count such things use approx 20 years / generation ie nearly 4 times the number of generations in the same period.

9th Apr 2004, 15:00
Which reminds of that little essay on "Is Hell endothermic or exothermic?", which I'm sure everyone has seen.

Anyway, lots to do. Happy Easter, everyone.

tony draper
9th Apr 2004, 15:18
Happy easter to you Mr Keef as well,
Something always puzzled me about the re-encarnation bit, how come the only folks who seem to be able to remember previous lives were all Egyptian Princesses,or Roman Generals, Red Indian Chiefs, why can't the folks who were just ordinary, say Aggie Clack who worked all her short life in Haggies rope works, had 17 sprogs and died of consumption at thirty ever remember their previous lives.?


9th Apr 2004, 16:22
Reincarnation? I know it's coming back, but it's not a part of Christian theology. There bain't no reincarnation in my neck of the woods.

tony draper
9th Apr 2004, 17:18
Re-encarnation would make some evolutionary sense, if one could remember all the clangers one dropped in ones previous visit,being born just as stupid stupid every time is a crock though.
Always thought it was a vaste cosmic joke,just when you have been around long enough to make sense of it it all, one ups and dies.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
9th Apr 2004, 18:00
Re-encarnation would make some evolutionary sense, if one could remember all the clangers one dropped in ones previous visit,being born just as stupid stupid every time is a crock though.
Always thought it was a vaste cosmic joke,just when you have been around long enough to make sense of it it all, one ups and dies.

There are those who'd say the re-incarnated are born with some wisdom aquired in a previous life. It's a theory I'd say is less crackpot than plenty of other more readlily accepted beliefs.


tony draper
9th Apr 2004, 18:20
Well old Adolf believed in re-encarnation as did that arch military loon Patten,they displayed little evidence of wisdom gained in previous lives.


Shaggy Sheep Driver
9th Apr 2004, 18:35
Two points there, Drapes:

1) Just 'cause they believe in it doesn't mean they themselves were re-incarnates.

2) Even if they were, presumeably if no wisdom is aquired in a lifetime, none will be carried into a subsequent lifetime. If all this IS true, there are plenty of scrotes about who would begin each life as short on 'wisdom' as the ankle socks on a very small beetle, in a hole, in a well, at the bottom of a coal mine, in a valley, in the low countries.:O


10th Apr 2004, 23:13
Those in the average Amercian town would have walked from their car to the nearest burger joint.

Progress !!!

11th Apr 2004, 03:35
they are making even more progress - they do drive "thru" 's <- their fat ass doesn't even have to leave the car :E

kinda sad when you think about it:sad: :E

11th Apr 2004, 04:13
Monseigneur Keef,

Thank you for your wishes, a Happy Easter to you too. Although I'm not too sure about the terminology used. I've found that as one gets older, birthdays and such become a good reason for reflection, for lack of words, rather than celebration.

Is there a fundamental difference between resurrection and reincarnation?

This Easter Monday 2004 will be the last to be an actual official public holiday here in France. The government (after consultations with the Church) has decided that the French should work on this day in future, in order to demonstrate their solidarity with the old folk.

I noticed that in another thread which is now closed, you expressed worries about certain abhorrent Islamic teachings. You and I both, would like these to be "positively rejected". But I worry about "he who casts the first stone" and everything, so what parts of the Bible should we rescind? :sad:

11th Apr 2004, 11:56
In our distant past legs & feet were for locomotion. I reckon we've evolved beyond that. They're now best adapted to operating the pedals in vehicles.

11th Apr 2004, 14:01
What should one do with the left foot if driving an automatic then?

(Well, I suppose I could try sticking it in my mouth if you insist...BTW, I experienced a strange, quite euphoric feeling a while ago when banned....) :confused:

Ahh, so that is what freedom feels like... :O

11th Apr 2004, 14:15
Tony D., this is the 21st Century. Modern souls are multi-threading and multi-tasking..

The 1.5% of people who are "perfect" (Adonis physiques, perfect teeth, hyper-intelligent and damn good in the sack) are running OS X.....everyone else's stuck with XP (hairy, overweight, emotionally fragile, Americ.....)

(Also, how long until the population goes hyper-malthusian? Better get terraforming Mars quickly......)

(Also also, had a biology teacher once who reckoned that human evolution had ground to a halt as we now have the ability to change the environment rather than change ourselves to adapt to it. All that crap about future humans having massive brains and tiny bodies is a bit rubbish....)

Onan the Clumsy
11th Apr 2004, 14:16
How many people walked the Earth.

Well the curve changed once cars were invented. Not because people could ride them, but because they (the cars) became old and needed reselling and Used Car Salesmen were invented. This group slither across the Earth :ok: