Lies, Damn Lies, & Historical Population Statistics

"There are three kinds of lies:
lies, damned lies, and statistics. "

- a phrase attributed to Benjamin Disraeli and popularized by Mark Twain

There are times I've wished I would have kept my big mouth shut. But hell, if we all thought alike, no one would be even the least entertaining, right ? Here's a story about probably one of the dumbest ideas that I have posted on the Internet: debating the remote possibility that modern world population counts may be severely overcounted, meaning the world population could be much less than 6 billion today. I don't regret my retarded posts because the free association in March led to a much more interesting (and plausible) conclusion in September by me that better challenges conventional wisdom concerning population counts: that while modern population counts are probably reliable, the population estimates from past centuries are severely understated. This latter conclusion I soon found was also shared by others who provided more evidence, including Gary Kasparov (the Russian chess grandmaster) in his essay "Mathematics of the Past" . This logic of severe estimated population undercounts compliments Fomenko's research that reasons that the "Dark Ages" never occurred. Kasparov makes the point that mainstream population estimates of past centuries are only consistent with a worldwide catastrophe of a type that we have no evidence or records for having occurred in the past or present. Furthermore, I would add that according to Encyclopedia Brittanica , anything even remotely resembling the modern population census began only in the 17th century and not before.

Like I said in my first post, I like to challenge my beliefs and conventional wisdom.
I daydream scenarios that directly challenge positions I usually do not hold at the time, in odd moments I continue daydreaming to myself possible reasons to support that position over a period ranging from a week to a few months, and I then occasionally spit out a post in the BFN forum. If the new position is stronger than the old one, I change my beliefs. If there's doubt about the winning position, than I try to bookmark in my mind the pros and cons of each position in case the topic comes up again. I'm much more comfortable dealing with this kind of mental uncertainty now than a few years ago (or even just last year).

In March, after first reading about the concept of Fomenko and New Chronology, I made these two two retarded posts . The motivation that led to the free association that led to those retarded posts was spending way too much time on the road driving between small cities during winter in the American Midwest and South, instead of in larger cities during summer rush hours. I mostly gave up on the idea after about a week after making the post (except for using the idea in a fictional short story that I haven't finished) . Later driving through Houston and Dallas this past summer, along with thinking about the relatively robust nature of modern computerized (or even the older punch card) record keeping systems made the idea seem even more ludicrous.

However, I mentally revisited that week of misguided daydreaming and retarded posting about a half year later after reading Fomenko's first two chronology books. If the Dark Ages were a myth, could world population totals in centuries past be a myth as well? Mainstream history states that exponential human population growth has only occurred since the Coal Age began. Mainstream history can be summarized by the chart I posted at the beginning of this article (found by Jerry Fletcher and posted in BFN), which is similar to a lot of images posted in high school textbooks. Considering there have been hindrances to population growth as well in the modern age (like birth control and world wars), is there a possibility that exponential growth occurred in the so-called "Dark Ages" as well, or at least much higher growth rates than what mainstream history states ? Could mainstream scholars emphasize the existence of the Dark Ages because higher growth rates in past centuries would dramatically shorten the chronology of expected human history?

Turns out, two of the points of research I posted in my first retarded post are useful for establishing doubts about census figures from past centuries:
1) Historically The Masses Hate the Census
2) Examples of Census Fraud or Unresolved Body Counts

    (source: excerpts from "census" from Encyclopedia Britannica )

    Strictly speaking, the modern population census began to evolve only in the 17th century. Before that time, inventories of people, taxpayers, or valuables were certainly made, but the methods and purposes of such inventories were different from modern ones. The most important difference was that early inventories were made to control particular individuals—e.g., to identify who should be taxed, inducted into military service, or forced to work. Because it was usually not to an individual's interest to be counted or to give correct information for these purposes, the premodern enumerations tended to be inaccurate. A second difference was that early inventories did not seek to count all the people or even a representative sample of them but only those in particular categories, such as family heads or males of military age. Such surveys are known to have been made in ancient Babylonia, Palestine, Persia, China, and Egypt. Every five years, the Romans enumerated citizens and their property to determine their liabilities. This practice was extended to include the entire Roman Empire in 5 BC. After the collapse of Rome the practice was discontinued in the West until the modern period. The main exception was Domesday Book (q.v.), the inquest of England in 1086 that was made to acquaint William the Conqueror with the landholders and holdings of his new domain. Under the threat of siege, the German city of Nürnberg made an almost complete count of its people in 1449.
    Although several British North American colonies—such as Virginia in 1624–25 and subsequently—had made full enumerations, the United States made history when it took its first census in 1790, not only because of the size of the area enumerated and the effort to obtain data on characteristics of the population but also because of the political purpose for which it was undertaken—namely, representation in Congress on the basis of population. England took its first census in 1801, and, although France tried to do so in 1800 and 1806, the administrative machinery was poor and the results untrustworthy until 30 years later.
    Canada's first dominion-wide census was taken in 1871, India's in 1871–72, and Egypt's in 1897.
    In addition to the national censuses, others were taken in colonial territories, parts of countries, cities, and so on. It is estimated that in the decade after World War II at least 150 countries or areas took censuses collecting individual data on more than two billion persons. The large number of countries having censuses in the second half of the 20th century was partly due to efforts of the United Nations. Not only does the United Nations encourage countries to take censuses, but it sponsors regional statistical committees that suggest minimum standards and offer technical assistance in the planning and conduct of enumerations. When China reported a census in 1953, the last large part of the world was removed from demographic darkness.
    • 19th & 20th Century: INDIA, CHINA, & EGYPT
      • Counts from British Empire, questions about the size of famines according to
        Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World (2002) that differed by millions
      • Quote: The 1857 federal census of Minnesota Territory included seven counties (Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, and Rock) that had no population, but Democrats fabricated census schedules complete with names, ages, occupations, etc. to cover their ballot fraud. Having stuffed ballot boxes with made-up names of voters, the census schedules were fraudulently created to cover the ballot fraud. For the history of this census fraud, see Robert J. Forrest, ??Mythical Cities of Southwestern Minnesota, ? Minnesota History, 14 (1933), pp243-52.
    • 1937: Russian Census http://www.databank.neu.edu/census.htm also see "The 1937 Census and the Limits of Stalinist Rule" by C. Merridale, The Historical Journal, Vol. 39, No. 1 (Mar., 1996), pp. 225-240
      • Stalin (our ally) kills all census staticians because the numbers are too low(probably because of the famine). Has another census in 1939 that *surprise* has more agreeable numbers.
    • 1959 - 1975: Indochina War
      • Nobody knows Vietnamese war deaths within an order of magnitude
    • 1960 - TODAY : Nigeria & other Third World Countries http://www.prb.org/Articles/2006/IntheNewsTheNigerianCensus.aspx Mainstream press as well as Nigerians have questioned census figures since so-called independence from the British.
      • Quote: Small wonder, then, that the country hasn't conducted a census since 1991—which some analysts think undercounted Nigeria's population (officially put at 89 million) by perhaps 20 million people. (Estimates put the current total population at between 120 million and 150 million people.)3

        But Nigeria isn't alone: 15 countries worldwide have not taken a census since 1990—most because of ongoing conflict, but some because of a simple lack of resources.4 Perhaps more remarkable, many of the poorest developing countries (such as the Central African Republic, Niger, and Yemen) have been able to hold censuses since 2000

In September, after having read Chronology 1 and beginning to read Chronology 2, I posted my own population reasoning and population math to estimate how many years of steady exponential growth (2%) - a rate slower than that of the technologically-limited Amish in America during the 20th century - is needed to breed 6 billion humans. I also run the numbers for 1% or 3% annual growth. [By "year in human history" I'm referring to possible known years of human civilization; I have no idea when the human species actually began on Earth.]

Here's a slightly-edited version of that September post:

Estimated Time to Reach 6 Billion Humans
(using assumption of 2% annual growth rate)

Morpheus: I can't tell you exactly what year it is because we honestly don't know.

So what year in human history is it, really ?
My intrigue with historic world population numbers continues.
But I'm going to present a scenario that's a full 180-degree turn from the one I presented in March questioning the 20th century numbers.

This time, I'm going to assume that the publicized 20th century numbers are correct, but the past numbers were wrong. Fomenko reasons that historical chronology needs to be shortened, so the "world population estimates" going back to 1 A.D. must be made up as well.

Here are my assumptions/evidence/reasoning:

1. ASSUMPTION: Human Population Grows EXPONENTIALLY, at a modest rate, say 2%. As far as recorded, verifiable human history, I think exponential growth is the rule, not the exception.

2. Farming families used to be LARGE , and even today, technologically underdeveloped nations grow at MUCH HIGHER rates than highly industrialized cultures. so in the past, people generally married and had children at earlier ages.


4. Assumption that past rates of infant mortality were not ridiculously high. The mainstream reasoning of "linear" growth in the past was high infant mortality rates.
But how come the nations with the "high infant mortality" rates today have MUCH higher population growth rates? PSYOP! Also, read this snippet about The Farm's midwifery record (The Farm in Tennessee was featured in an audio by Fintan Dunne on BFN):
The Farm midwives stress that women's bodies do, in fact, work. Most cesareans are not necessary. Farm midwives delivered 183 babies before their first cesarean. With almost 2,000 births under their belt now, their cesarean rate is only 1.7%. This compares to a national rate of over 24%. Farm midwives are also on the cutting edge of midwifery research. One technique they learned from Mayan midwives in Guatemala, for instance, has been written up in medical journals and is now incorporated into family physician training. The technique, for delivering breech presentations or babies with shoulders stuck behind the pelvic bone simply involves rolling and twisting the mother. The baby then "pops right out."

Mainstream doctors, on the other hand, opt for a cesarean in such cases. In a study of 59 such cases, two babies died and four had permanent neurological damage, three women had their pubic bones cut and two had emergency hysterectomies, and five babies ended up with arms that will never work. The Farm midwives, by contrast, delivered 40 babies using the Mayan technique without a single complication. The Maya claim they learned the procedure from God.

5. Example of a culture with limited technology's growth rate in North America: THE AMISH. The Amish population in 100 years grew to be 30 times the initial population in 1900.
Extinct in their European homeland, the Amish have flourished in North America in the 20th century. From a meager band of 5,000 at the beginning of the century, they exceed 150,000 adults and children today. The Lancaster settlement with less than 500 persons in 1900 has already passed the 19,000 mark. In many areas of life, the Amish cling to traditional ways -- shunning electricity, cars, and higher education.
.....The Amish do not actively evangelize or proselytize.
A high birth rate feeds Amish growth. Women typically give birth to seven children. Following the toll of death and disease, the number of children averages 6.6 per family. The rejection of birth control and the use of modern medicines have boosted Amish birth rates. Large families are typical in rural societies where children are welcomed for their labor. Family size typically shrinks as families leave the farm. It remains to be seen if the Amish birth rate will slump as they leave their plows to work in small cottage industries.

6. ASSUMPTION: Deaths from War, Famine, & Disease are similar to 20th century.

7. I think I read somewhere that Organic Food Production could yield as much food as Big Agribusiness, but agribusiness hides this fact. Regardless,
I'm assuming the Amish seem to have not had a problem growing enough food to reproduce exponentially (in fact, at faster rates than average in America or in the rest of the westernized world) even without using the technologies that Big Agribusiness must rely on to increase crop yields.


Formula from http://www.arachnoid.com/lutusp/populati.html

These equations can be used to calculate population growth rates.

The variables used are:
pp (present population) = The population at the beginning of the calculation.
fp (future population) = The population after a certain number of years (yrs).
pct (percentage) = The percentage increase in population per period, usually per year. (In population studies, this is usually taken to mean births minus deaths.)
yrs (years) = The number of years required to effect a certain growth in population.

yrs = [ ln (fp /pp) ] / [ ln (1 + pct) ]

YEARS= [ln (future population/present population) ] / [ ln (1 + percentage growth rate) ]

= [ln (6,000,000,000)] / ln (1 +.02)
= 22.5 / .0198

Using 1.0 % as the growth rate, YEARS = 2261 Years From "Adam"
Using 1.5 % as the growth rate, YEARS = 1607 Years From "Adam"
Using 3.0 % as the growth rate, YEARS = 762 Years From "Adam"


After questioned about leaving out possibilities of the Bubonic Plague (which I actually have doubts about mainstream history's version) or the Spanish Flu, I wrote this post, which I include (slightly edited) below:

My post was an attempt to estimate time when knowing the long-run results (6 Billion population), without micromanaging specifics that are impossibile to know. Just ballpark estimation, to get a "feel" for the numbers.

Even at estimated 1%-2% annual growth, it doesn't take 10,000 years to get to 6 billion. Given reasonable assumptions, it is theoretically possible to get to modern population numbers using steady growth rates MUCH LOWER than those of a technologically-deficient society, the Amish (30x over 100 years, is about 3.4% annual) in about 1000 to 2000 years. Human (recorded ?)history does not need to be longer than this to be consistent with Fomenko's hypothesis. EVEN IF A HYPOTHETICAL NEAR-EXTINCTION EVENT HAD OCCURRED AROUND "1000 A.D.," it is theoretically possible (with what we know about human population growth) that the species could have re-built itself to current numbers in just 1000 years.

The oil & coal ages have had their benefits, but the 20th centuries had its own share of mass deaths http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_deaths_and_atrocities_of_the_twentieth_century , adding up to WAY more than 100 million + unnecessary deaths factoring in world wars, genocide, pestilence, & famine.

There was worldwide exponential growth in the 19th century even at the height of British imperialism, famine, & slavery.

Davis dives into the data and journalism of the period with a vengeance, showing that the seemingly unprecedented droughts across northern Africa, India and China in the 1870s and 1890s are consistent with what we now know to be El Ni¤o's effects, and that it was political and market forces (which are never impersonal, Davis insists), and not a lack of potential stores and transportation, that kept grain from the more than 50 million people who starved to death.

To the best of my knowledge, going back more than a few hundred years, the population records and record-keeping are pathetic or nonexistent. Even in the U.S., something that is widespread today- federal income tax returns- were required and completed by an incredibly small fraction of the populace (less than 5% I think ) before the creation of federal withholding around World War-II. My post back in March explained that throughout human history, the census was not a desirable thing for the populace, because its very creation usually had something to do with increased selective taxation.



Garry Kasparov's essay "Mathematics of the Past" uses inferences used by other historians to estimate the population of the "ancient" Roman empire using data (the size of Rome's army) from Edward Gibbon's monumental 18th-century work The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The population of "ancient" Rome was likely somewhere between 20 and 50 million.

Kasparov writes,
"According to J.C. Russell, in the 4th century, the population of Western Roman Empire was 22 million (including 750 000 people in England and five million in France), while the population of the Eastern Roman Empire was 34 million.

It is not hard to determine that there is a serious problem with these numbers. In England, a population of four million in the 15th century grew to 62 million in the 20th century. Similarly, in France, a population of about 20 million in the 17th century (during the reign of Louis XIV), grew to 60 million in the 20th century ... and this growth occurred despite losses due to several atrocious wars. We know from historical records that during the Napoleonic wars alone, about three million people perished, most of them young men. But there was also the French Revolution, the wars of the 18th century in which France suffered heavy losses, and the slaughter of World War I. By assuming a constant population growth rate, it is easy to estimate that the population of England doubled every 120 years, while the population of France doubled every 190 years. Graphs showing the hypothetical growth of these two functions are provided in Figure 1. According to this model, in the 4th and 5th centuries, at the breakdown of the Roman Empire, the (hypothetical) population of England would have been 10 000 to 15 000, while the population of France would have been 170 000 to 250 000. However, according to estimates based on historical documents, these numbers should be in the millions.

It seems that starting with the 5th century, there were periods during which the population of Europe stagnated or decreased. Attempts at logical explanations, such as poor hygiene, epidemics, and short lifespan, can hardly withstand criticism. In fact, from the 5th century until the 18th century, there was no significant improvement in sanitary conditions in Western Europe, there were many epidemics, and hygiene was poor. Also, the introduction of .rearms in the 15th century resulted in more war casualties. According to UNESCO demographic resources, an increase of 0.2 per cent per annum is required to assure the sustainable growth of a human population, while an increase of 0.02 per cent per annum is described as a demographical disaster. There is no evidence that such a disaster has ever happened to the human race. Therefore, there is no reason to assume that the growth rate in ancient times differed significantly from the growth rate in later epochs."

  • Kasparov also doubts the ancientness of "ancient" Rome because of the difficulty of mathematical calculations using Roman numerals:"The Roman numeral system discouraged serious calculations. How could the ancient Romans build elaborate structures such as temples, bridges, and aqueducts without precise and elaborate calculations? The most important deficiency of Roman numerals is that they are completely unsuitable even for performing a simple operation like addition, not to mention multiplication, which presents substantial difficulties."

This post was last edited 12/11/2007 at 1:56 P.M.