Who knows if humanity will adjust?
Regarding the June 27 Health & Science article “In rat research, a warning for human society”:
John B. Calhoun’s experimental rodent colonies were provisioned; the inhabitants could feed ad libitum. In natural environments, a species that breeds uncontrollably will exhaust habitat resources and perish. Instead, what we see are mechanisms of population self-regulation, including territoriality, restriction of breeding rights through dominance hierarchies, sterility of lactating females, use of delimited areas for courtship and nesting, etc. Some of these mechanisms also select for fitness, which may be how they evolved, but their role in population self-regulation is evident.
It remains to be seen whether humanity adjusts its numbers to Earth’s resources. Given today’s levels of starvation, war, pollution, etc., Calhoun’s optimism may be unwarranted.
Richard M. Titus, Alexandria