BLASPHEMY: brain sizes: Einstein's and women's

Bob LeChevalier lojbab at lojban.org
Thu Nov 14 14:32:11 EST 2002


"John Knight" <jwknight at polbox.com> wrote:
>> Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year 2002.  Those are the
>> statistics for natural population increase (births-deaths) for the
>> last year reported (2001 for Botswana, 2000 for the other two).
>>
>> >According to the US Census Bureau in the last half a century
>> >http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/wp96file.html and
>> >http://christianparty.net/population.htm Botswana grew from 400 million
>to
>> >1.5 billion,
>>
>> Look at those numbers again, please.  Botswana is a near desert
>> country.  It has less than 1.6 million people.
>
>That was supposed to be 430,000 to 1.5 million (or 1,478,000 to be precise).
>
>This is the US Census Bureau figure. This is a 343.7% increase, which works
>out to an annual growth rate of 6.87% (which is quite a bit higher than your
>claim that it was less than 1%).

Actually no - for a 50 year growth rate, 343.7% amounts to an annual
growth rate of 2.5%.

A 6.87% increase per year would lead to population increasing 27 times
in 50 years (the wonders of compound interest - even a 1% growth rate
amounts to 64% over 50 years)

However, the fact that the 50 year growth rate averaged 2.5% while the
recent growth was .4% shows just how much variance there can be in
population rates with time, as well as what the effects of disease and
famine can be on population, thereby supporting my argument and not
yours.

In this case, I can look at last year's Britannica and see that the
growth rate was .4%, and I can look back a few years for an older rate
and I find that from 1985-90, the annual growth rate was 3.56% (and
the population of Botswana in 1989 was 1.25 million).  Population
growth rates can change that much, that quickly.  In this case, I
suspect that it is a combination of education and AIDS.

In 1985-90 the Botswana birth rate was 47.3 per thousand, which is
extremely high, while its death rate was 11.7 per thousand, which is
only a little above that of developed nations.  In 2001, it had
dropped to 28.8 per thousand, still quite high compared to the US,
which has a birthrate of 14.3 per thousand.  Meanwhile (probably
because of AIDS), Botswana's death rate rose to 24.8 per thousand for
a net growth rate of 4 per thousand or .4%,  AIDS is killing people
off twice as fast as normal, and it is killing people who otherwise
would have had more kids, so the birthrate has dropped.

If you had made your statement 10 years ago, I could not have found
any 3rd world country with a population growth rate under 1% - only
Europe and a few other developed nations (especially islands like
Japan) had lower growth rates.  Only Hungary and West Germany had a
negative natural population growth in 1989.  Last year, the list of
negative natural population growth countries was a lot larger:
Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Hungary,
Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco Romania, Russia,
Slovenia, Sweden, and Ukraine.

200 years ago, it wasn't AIDS that killed people off before they could
reproduce, it was malaria and cholera and typhoid and smallpox (and a
raft of others).  Plague came around once in a while to greatly shrink
population, but the other diseases were endemic

>> >If you have a better source than the Census Bureau, why didn't you cite
>it?
>>
>> I did have a better source and I have.
>>
>> lojbab
>
>Are you suggesting that the US Census Bureau is wrong and jewcyclopedia
>Britannica is right?  On what basis?

I am not suggesting that the Census Bureau is wrong, though there are
probably more Jews working for the census than for the Britannica.
Neither source gathers population counts for other countries - they
collect data that the other countries publish, or those gathered by
international agencies.

>Why don't you QUOTE the exact figures and the page numbers so your reference
>can be confirmed?

I did quote the exact figures.  If you care, about the cite, it is
Britannica Book of the Year 2002, page 802 to 807.

>Even if you were right (which you evidently aren't), the growth rate in the
>REST of Africa was so phenomenal that this minor, putative reduction in a
>"near desert country" was totally and completely drowned out.

Yes, that is correct.  But population growth is dropping elsewhere.
Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, dropped from 3.42% growth
to 2.65% growth from 1989 to 2002, in that case entirely due to a drop
in the birthrate because the death rate has also dropped in spite of
AIDS.    See all the above nations that slipped into negative growth,
and the US has dropped from .7% to .5% per year natural growth as
well.

lojbab



More information about the Neur-sci mailing list