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Population and Reincarnation : Something to wonder about

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Population and Reincarnation : Something to wonder about

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 17 May 2012, 02:22

In the seventies I heard an estimate that only 36 billion humans had ever lived, which would mean one out of every six human beings who had ever lived would be alive now. I checked Wikipedia to find current estimates, and read the following....

“An accurate estimate of the number of humans who have ever lived is difficult to produce for numerous reasons. Firstly, the set of specific characteristics that define a "human" is a matter of definition, and it is open to debate which members of early Homo sapiens and earlier or related species of Homo to include in the estimate (see also Sorites paradox). Even if the scientific community reached a broad consensus regarding which characteristics distinguished human beings, it would be nearly impossible to pinpoint the time of their first appearance to even the nearest millennium, due to the scarcity of fossil evidence.
“An estimate of the total number of people who have ever lived was prepared by Carl Haub of the nonprofit Population Reference Bureau in 1995, and subsequently updated in 2002; the updated figure totalled approximately 106 billion. Haub characterized this figure as an estimate that required "selecting population sizes for different points from antiquity to the present and applying assumed birth rates to each period". Given an estimated global population of 6.2 billion in 2002, it could be inferred that about 6% of all people who had ever existed were alive in 2002. Various estimates published in the first decade of the 21st century give figures ranging from approximately 100 billion to 115 billion. In the 1970s, claims emerged alleging that 75% of all the people who had ever lived were alive at that time. This view was eventually debunked as unscientific.”

Given the caveats in the first para the following is spec in the dark. The second shows it is good to keep track of what data we have, as my previous estimate had been less than half that number. While the situation may not be as dire as I thought, it is still “something to think about.”

If, in round figures, 100 billion humans have lived, and 10 billion live now, then, according to the theory of reincarnation, the maximum number of human incarnations each of us could have had is ten, which roughly doubles the number I had used before I wikied.

By my previous estimate, we ahad already reached the point where every soul is currently incarnated. Now, my estimate is we may have twice as many souls available as currently lived, and population dynamics may be sufficient to keep the population ensouled.

But the question remains, is there a maximum number of souls available? If so, what happens if we run out?

Given these premises, I see three possibilities

1) Karma is about to engineer a die-off, after which incarnation will be a priviledge worth fighting for, instead of, as it is now, a levee en mass.
2) Humans will be incarnated without souls. I will leave that one at that, as consequences could well be the same as in ...
3) As biomass shifts from megafauna in general to humans, the “atmans” of billions of buffalo, elephants, dodoes, as well as lions, tigers, and bears, become available for upgrades. Perhaps this accounts for the stupidity of many humans, who were still chewing cud in their last lives and have not developed their thought processes beyond ruminating as they chew predigested thoughts. Perhaps it also accounts for serial killers and war-mongers, who were previously predators (serial killers would be, I suspect, the reincarnations of man eaters.)
It makes for interesting speculation about what we were in our past lives.

At which point my mind reels. What kind of karma creates a kleptocrat? Was George Bush really a warthog that ate its young? Does that account for Dubya's Oedipal resentment, or was he repeatedly slaughtered for the table? And how does an oyster like Obama rate being in such a position of power?
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Re: Population and Reincarnation : Something to wonder about

Postby Arouet » 17 May 2012, 03:07

Twain Shakespeare wrote:If, in round figures, 100 billion humans have lived, and 10 billion live now, then, according to the theory of reincarnation, the maximum number of human incarnations each of us could have had is ten, which roughly doubles the number I had used before I wikied.


No, that would simply be the average number of reincarnations (accepting your numbers at face value)

But the question remains, is there a maximum number of souls available? If so, what happens if we run out?


You're also assuming that only humans reincarnate into humans - there are lots of more living beings out there...

Given these premises, I see three possibilities

1) Karma is about to engineer a die-off, after which incarnation will be a priviledge worth fighting for, instead of, as it is now, a levee en mass.
2) Humans will be incarnated without souls. I will leave that one at that, as consequences could well be the same as in ...
3) As biomass shifts from megafauna in general to humans, the “atmans” of billions of buffalo, elephants, dodoes, as well as lions, tigers, and bears, become available for upgrades. Perhaps this accounts for the stupidity of many humans, who were still chewing cud in their last lives and have not developed their thought processes beyond ruminating as they chew predigested thoughts. Perhaps it also accounts for serial killers and war-mongers, who were previously predators (serial killers would be, I suspect, the reincarnations of man eaters.)
It makes for interesting speculation about what we were in our past lives.


There are many options. Even if we accept reincarnation as true, its hard to state with any degree of certainty how the system operates.
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Re: Population and Reincarnation : Something to wonder about

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 17 May 2012, 05:13

Sorry, still having trouble with quotes, and ewven editing. Attributions are made clearer in repost below.


Arouet wrote:
Twain Shakespeare wrote:If, in round figures, 100 billion humans have lived, and 10 billion live now, then, according to the theory of reincarnation, the maximum number of human incarnations each of us could have had is ten, which roughly doubles the number I had used before I wikied.


No, that would simply be the average number of reincarnations (accepting your numbers at face value)

Round figures, specifically wasn't doing a statiscal analysis since the dat is too inaccurate

But the question remains, is there a maximum number of souls available? If so, what happens if we run out?


You're also assuming that only humans reincarnate into humans - there are lots of more living beings out there...

No, I wasn't. See point three below, which is what I had been specifically wondering about

Given these premises, I see three possibilities

1) Karma is about to engineer a die-off, after which incarnation will be a priviledge worth fighting for, instead of, as it is now, a levee en mass.
2) Humans will be incarnated without souls. I will leave that one at that, as consequences could well be the same as in ...
3) As biomass shifts from megafauna in general to humans, the “atmans” of billions of buffalo, elephants, dodoes, as well as lions, tigers, and bears, become available for upgrades. Perhaps this accounts for the stupidity of many humans, who were still chewing cud in their last lives and have not developed their thought processes beyond ruminating as they chew predigested thoughts. Perhaps it also accounts for serial killers and war-mongers, who were previously predators (serial killers would be, I suspect, the reincarnations of man eaters.)
It makes for interesting speculation about what we were in our past lives.


There are many options. Even if we accept reincarnation as true, its hard to state with any degree of certainty how the system operates.


Yes, but it was specifically those specs I was inquiring about. Do you perceive any evidence of massive incarnations of ruminants? Predators? Alternatively, are mammalian sould being incarnated in rats, or even roaches


Yes, but it was specifically those specs I was inquiring about. Do you perceive any evidence of massive incarnations of ruminants? Predators? Alternatively, are mammalian sould being incarnated in rats, or even roaches? Do you have any hypotheses about the subject, or do you not consider it worth the intellectual exercise? I admit, it has aspects of counting angels on a pinhead.

Other possibilities, and lots of things and beings in the universe, yes. I claim, when talking with LBGT friends, to be a transpeciesist, specifically a Pierson's Puppeteer (from Niven's Known Space) trapped in a bonobo's body. This conflicts with the five or six “memories” of “former lives” I have accessed in one form or another (Neolithic human sacrifice, child in classical Athens, medieval monk, Guido Volpone, child hung in England for stealing 9 shillings six pence, and Alexander Berkman)

My materialist reductionist default hypothesis, (or a materialistic a pic as I can reduce my experience to at this point) is that Jung was right, as was Leary, and there is a “collective unconsciousness” which can be accessed, and this accounts for all of what I have experienced.

But my theory, at this point, is that awareness is “noumenal”, and Platon and Descartes were right in saying contact with this fundamental reality of self is what validates the phenomena we experience.
However....
I am by no means convinced of the existence of concrete, indivisible atmans or souls.

But again, more talk would on more elaborate hypotheses is metaphysical masturbation, which I am reluctant to do unless its mutual.
Last edited by Twain Shakespeare on 17 May 2012, 05:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Population and Reincarnation : Something to wonder about

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 17 May 2012, 05:17

Twain Shakespeare wrote:
Arouet wrote:
Twain Shakespeare wrote:If, in round figures, 100 billion humans have lived, and 10 billion live now, then, according to the theory of reincarnation, the maximum number of human incarnations each of us could have had is ten, which roughly doubles the number I had used before I wikied.


Arouet wrote:No, that would simply be the average number of reincarnations (accepting your numbers at face value)

I reply, Round figures, specifically wasn't doing a statiscal analysis since the dat is too inaccurate

But the question remains, is there a maximum number of souls available? If so, what happens if we run out?


Arouet wrote:You're also assuming that only humans reincarnate into humans - there are lots of more living beings out there...

I Reply. No, I wasn't. See point three below, which is what I had been specifically wondering about

Given these premises, I see three possibilities

1) Karma is about to engineer a die-off, after which incarnation will be a priviledge worth fighting for, instead of, as it is now, a levee en mass.
2) Humans will be incarnated without souls. I will leave that one at that, as consequences could well be the same as in ...
3) As biomass shifts from megafauna in general to humans, the “atmans” of billions of buffalo, elephants, dodoes, as well as lions, tigers, and bears, become available for upgrades. Perhaps this accounts for the stupidity of many humans, who were still chewing cud in their last lives and have not developed their thought processes beyond ruminating as they chew predigested thoughts. Perhaps it also accounts for serial killers and war-mongers, who were previously predators (serial killers would be, I suspect, the reincarnations of man eaters.)
It makes for interesting speculation about what we were in our past lives.


Arouet wrote:There are many options. Even if we accept reincarnation as true, its hard to state with any degree of certainty how the system operates.


I Reply


Yes, but it was specifically those specs I was inquiring about. Do you perceive any evidence of massive incarnations of ruminants? Predators? Alternatively, are mammalian sould being incarnated in rats, or even roaches? Do you have any hypotheses about the subject, or do you not consider it worth the intellectual exercise? I admit, it has aspects of counting angels on a pinhead.

Other possibilities, and lots of things and beings in the universe, yes. I claim, when talking with LBGT friends, to be a transpeciesist, specifically a Pierson's Puppeteer (from Niven's Known Space) trapped in a bonobo's body. This conflicts with the five or six “memories” of “former lives” I have accessed in one form or another (Neolithic human sacrifice, child in classical Athens, medieval monk, Guido Volpone, child hung in England for stealing 9 shillings six pence, and Alexander Berkman)

My materialist reductionist default hypothesis, (or a materialistic a pic as I can reduce my experience to at this point) is that Jung was right, as was Leary, and there is a “collective unconsciousness” which can be accessed, and this accounts for all of what I have experienced.

But my theory, at this point, is that awareness is “noumenal”, and Platon and Descartes were right in saying contact with this fundamental reality of self is what validates the phenomena we experience.
However....
I am by no means convinced of the existence of concrete, indivisible atmans or souls.

But again, more talk would on more elaborate hypotheses is metaphysical masturbation, which I am reluctant to do unless its mutual.
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Re: Population and Reincarnation : Something to wonder about

Postby Craig Browning » 17 May 2012, 20:24

I don't have time to address this now, but I hope to get back to it soon. . . for now let's just say that there is an explanation for it and I believe I've already posted it here in the not so distant past. ;)
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Re: Population and Reincarnation : Something to wonder about

Postby Randi McSheldrake » 03 Sep 2012, 05:31

A very interesting paper on this subject, by Professor David Bishai of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, is to be found here:
http://www.scientificexploration.org/jo ... bishai.pdf
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