seeking info on plague theory

John Perrin jperrin at umich.edu
Tue Jun 6 07:53:26 EST 1995


Christopher Haley (t.page at ix.netcom.com) wrote:
:  Hello all,
:     I am currently writing a paper for school on some of the killer
: viruses. I have heard about something called "GAYA OR GIA OR MABE GAEA"
: theorism. I'm obviously not sure of the spelling, however the gist of
: it is that when the world becomes over populated or over taxed it will
: essentilly fight back. Through viruses or what ever other means
: necessary. If any of this rings a bell with anyone, please post the
: correct spelling of it and maybe a source of info.

: Thank you, T.Page at ix.netcom.com

The world is not fighting back, it's being taxed to support the number of 
people living on the planet.  Most all populations follow an up and down 
growth pattern.  First the populations grow slowly until enough organisms 
are present in order to reach the next level of growth, the log phase.  
In this phase organisms are multiplying at an astronomical rate.  In most 
populations, those with predators, this much available food allows 
predators an easier access to food and can slow the growth.  The other 
way to slow the growth is from disease.  Diseases can wipe most of a 
population allowing the stronger more resistant organisms to survive and 
bring about the slow growth once again.  However, in populations where 
there are no predators, disease is the only method by which a population 
can be controlled.  Even with the deaths resulting from the AIDS virus 
and the world's number one killer, tuberculosis, the population is still 
growing at a rapid rate.  Much like an earthquake fault, every year this 
trend continues the more unstable the world's population gets.  I 
couldn't tell you if the world has a "critical mass" or not but maybe a 
population ecologist could give you some more information.  Maybe you 
should try posting the same question to an ecology newsgroup.  Your 
question seems to have to do more with population ecology than mircobiology.

                                                Have a nice day.
Any opposing comments or corrections in grammar or factual content would 
be greatly appreciated.  Send e-mail to jperrin at umich.edu
19~




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