I did something for the first time today. Something I have been tempted to do many times but never actually gotten the guts to do.
I walked out of a class.
Granted, it was during a break in the middle of class, not while the professor was talking, but there was no way I could stand to sit in that class and listen for another hour.
Today's class was on "population ecology" which apparently translates to "population growth." The professor showed graph after graph of population statistics, all of them semi-apocalyptic and predicting the end of the world if people have the nerve to keep reproducing. This was annoying, to say the least. The professor insisted that, at a birthrate of 1 child per couple (let alone the replacement rate of 2.0), the population will continue to grow out of control because, "the old people aren't dying." Now, is it just me, or does the very phrase "replacement rate" imply that the population is merely being replaced? Not increased? Oh, and how about the fact that EVERYONE dies?
As my professor says, "Reality doesn't have to apply exactly directly." Come on. What do you think this is? Science?
That wasn't what made me walk out, though. After learning about explosive, uncontrollable, exponential population growth, he turned to population control. After showing vital stats for a few different countries, he started talking about the necessity of the birth rate falling to match the death rate or the death rate rising to meet the birth rate. Our choice (as explained by Mr. Science) is either that reproduction be stringently controlled or more people die (but he didn't let us in on the secret of HOW this is to be accomplished.) He then proceeded to tell us that it is much better that more humans never be born because otherwise they will have to suffer. When asked to clarify his position--if he was really saying babies should never be born--he sort of smiled, mumbled a little and said, "Yes, that's right."
After we were given a break (and grabbed our backpacks and ran away) I was able to watch my seminarian/philosopher friends go off on the idiocy we had just been subjected to.
Coincidentally, Laura Ingrahm on FoxNews talked about this very issue this evening. She had a proponent of "population stabilization" on to discuss it. He was also unable to explain exactly how this should be brought about. The main problem in, in his mind, seemed to be the growth in the American population. He used it as an example of overpopulation everywhere, which made some sense until he pointed to immigration as the driving factor behind US growth. Now hang on, but can growth via immigration really be factored into global population growth? Did those immigrants not exist before they crossed the border?