Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Homo Lardarseus and limits to girth

A recent speaker at Melbourne University gave an interesting perspective on the warning by Thomas Malthus, over 200 years ago, that population tends to increase exponentially until checked by famine, plague and war.

Professor Matthew Connelly of Columbia University notes that in Malthus’s time ...

... the average Englishman was 5 foot 6 and averaged about 135 pounds. And these Englishmen were among the largest and best fed people in Europe.

People today on the other hand, have an average body mass fully a third larger than when Malthus was writing.

So it might be observed, the recent appearance on the evolutionary scene of Homo Lardarseus has introduced a further dynamic in the vexed relationship between humanity and its planetary home.

Put simply, the better fed and nourished we humans become, the more food and nourishment we tend to require.

And as we become healthier and plumper, the carrying capacity of our fair blue planet in terms of our sheer numbers tends to actually diminish.

Now, what was all that some have been saying about an ‘intelligent designer’?

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home