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[log in to unmask] wrote:
>
> Still, a reduction in population could be accomplished through a
> reduced birthrate as easily as an increased mortality rate.

Over several generations.  But that would require a long, gradual,
adoption of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.  Even if the birth rate were
reduced to, say, only every other woman having only one child each
[i.e., each generation has only 25% the population of the previous],
you'd still need several generations to get the population down enough.
And during that time, how are you going to take care of the extremely
elderly population?

Assuming Earth could support 5 million hunter-gatherers, you'd need to
reduce the population down to less than one-tenth of one percent, which
would take over a century at .5 children per woman.

Or, perhaps you could have a "lottery", wherein only .1 percent of
fertile women are permitted to have children, in which case you'd soon
be left with 6,000,000 young people taking care of 6,000,000,000 of the
previous generation!  When they become elderly, how's the new generation
going to take care of a population 1000 times their numbers?  Perhaps
kill everyone ever 40, once the new generation reaches adulthood?

--
"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men
believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of
the city of God!" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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