Rejuvenation would cause overpopulation

The first concern of pretty much anyone who’s first introduced to the idea of rejuvenating people is that we’d end up overpopulating the planet in the blink of an eye, and thus they conclude rejuvenation is a bad idea, regardless of all the arguments in its favour you can come up with.

This objection is particularly insidious, because a lot of people don’t really know how populations grow and are more than convinced we’re already critically overpopulated. Showing concern for overpopulation is somewhat fashionable: It shows you care for the environment and the future. It’s very easy to say ‘we’re too many’ and get a bunch of approving nods, and even more easy to intuitively conclude that rejuvenation would exacerbate the problem and is therefore a bad idea. Much more difficult is to delve into all the turns and twists of the argument to show that things aren’t quite like that. This is the reason why this article is so long—long enough that I decided it was best to split it into three sections.

Moral implications aims to rebut the overpopulation objection on ethical grounds.

Space, environment, resources, jobs discusses the logistics of population increase—if rejuvenation did cause a spike in population growth, would we be able to manage, and how?

Population dynamics deals with the technical details of population growth: How fast do populations grow? Can age-related death prevent overpopulation? Will rejuvenation cause massive overpopulation?

To ease your navigation, at the bottom of each article you’ll find a table like the one below. I wish you a safe journey into the overpopulation objection.

The overpopulation objection
Moral implications Space, environment, resources, jobs Population dynamics
leafOverpopulation answered on LEAF (See also Lack of resources on LEAF)
Back to
Objections to rejuvenation
Go to
Objections to living ‘forever’
Go to
All answers in short

3 thoughts on “Rejuvenation would cause overpopulation

  1. And of course there is always a “sex-solution” (as always casual non-reproducing sex offers a great solution): Make it trendy for everyone to have sex with as many other people (in my view strictly heterosexual) and tell them if you have offspring you risk you know what, tiss quite unnatural !?
    Besides offsprings are ungratefull pack of burden.
    Get re-educated and you can do all the things a new person would be able to do 99.999% of the time, save for the instances of producing a genius, but no one knows how that works out anyway.

  2. The error of assuming aging without health is the Timotheus Error.

    I think we need a new pithy dismissive nickname for this error. How about the “Soylent Green Error” referencing the camp dystopian sci-fi film where people in an overpopulated future are secretly killed off and recycled into the food Soylent Green?

    Maybe the “rejuvenation only for the rich” error could be called the “Eylsium Error”?

    • It’s actually the ‘Tithonus’ error, from the Greek myth about the homonymous character. I think the reason for the name of this error is simply its similitude with the myth; it’s not intended to be dismissive. Coming up with dismissive monikers just to play down the objection (and, indirectly, the people who raise it perhaps in good faith) would only make us come across as arrogant. That’s not what we want.

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