For decades, school students and the general public have been taught that world human population size has exploded into exponential growth over the last few centuries (see left), with ‘demographic models’ being used to predict that this trend will be ongoing for at least the next 50 years.
Yet many unrecognised academics and independent intellectuals have quietly harboured a suspicion that this reconstruction — based on dubious data at best — was nothing more than a front for socialists and deep greens, who wished to foist on society the increasingly discredited hypothesis that human population size somehow cannot continue to grow indefinitely. Yet to date they have remained largely hidden from public view, fearful that by ‘coming out’ they risk ridicule and loss of lucrative grants.
That is all about to change, according to the new study’s authors, Prof Sherman Quackentire and Dr Rolf McDipstick, of the University of Pangaea. “It’s just this graph, you know…” say Prof Quackentire. Dr McDipstick elaborates: “Xerxes managed to muster an army of a million men at Plataea — on one tiny field of battle! Now I ask you, how is that possible if world population size at the time was mere 50 million? It just didn’t make any sense to us.”
The paper, entitled “World population size revisited: a fluctuating doodle“, is rich with such historical counter-evidence, which builds a powerful scientific and historical case to refute the population hockey stick. Other examples include pictorial evidence from scenes of naked Egyptian dancing girls on ancient tomb walls, counts of barley and malt husks from a cracked Mesopotamian grindstone, and an isotopic analysis on a small pile of coprolites thought to be derived from a Roman canine which lived along Hadrian’s Wall. After painstakingly piecing together these and many other indirect population proxies, Quackentire and McDipstick came up with the figure illustrated below.
In their controversial reconstruction, the 20th century upswing in human population density (circled in red) is revealed to be nothing more than a random blip in a noisy time series. It looks even less impressive when plotted on a logarithmic scale (right panel).
The senior author explains: “Human population size changes all the time. I mean, it’s just arrogant of us to imagine that we have anything to do with this. Natural events like wars, famine, volcanic eruptions, alien invasions — they’ve all played their part in influencing population size in the past, and they’ll continue to do so long after we’re all gone. The ‘growthists’ who now run our political agenda just refuse to acknowledge this, yet every historian I’ve ever talked to realises this simple fact. Do they imagine we are stupid or something?“.
The new analysis reveals that human population size was similar in the year 1 AD to today. “We devised a new statistical method called ‘cranial regression’ to draw together the different strands of evidence. This method was able to smooth out obvious anomalies and arrive at just the shape we desired. The bottom line is clear and indisputable: human population size has never risen above about 150 million people“, says Quackentire.
Other population growth sceptics, such as Mr Vague Idnot of the Center for the Study of Demographic Variability and Family Expansion, backs the findings of Quackentire and McDipstick, but add a caveat.
“The new reconstruction is a spectacular effort and should be applauded. Indeed our own private research has always come to exactly the same conclusion about lack of growth. Where we differ slightly from the Q&M work is in the calibration of total density. Our figures suggest that although there has been no net change in world population size over at least the last 2000 years, the population in Roman times was at least 7 billion people and a peak of 8.23 billion was reached during the Medieval Spawn Period. But such disagreement is just minor mathematical detail“.
In their conclusion, Quackentire and McDipstick spend considerable verbiage on justifying their calibration point, but concede that the debate remains polarised. To cite: “Worldwide, about half of the growth sceptics consider the explanation to be that the world population was 6.5 billion at the time of Christ, and the other half, including us, believe there is an entrenched conspiracy within corrupt agencies such as the United Nations Population Bureau, who systematically doctor photographs, manipulate computer census records, and quintuble-count birth records.” Idnot agrees: “It’s a shameful exercise in anti-demographics and anti-history.“
Supporters of the mainstream population consensus have dismissed the new study. Prof Spike Dashley of the University of Old North Scotland put it succinctly: “We’ve got to keep our minds open on controversial matters, but not so open that our brains fall out“. Growth sceptics hit back that such ad homenims only serve to reinforce the insecurity of the vast majority of the academics, who are now blindly following the discredited religion of Malthusyism.
Whatever the truth, the real debate is likely to continue in earnest for many years to come. But until we have absolute proof of a growing world population, by (for instance) counting each individual on Earth every day, any talk of expensive and unproven population control measures like ‘family planning’ and ‘improved education’ for women of the developing world, must be rejected as unwarranted, draconian and morally bankrupt.