So, I’d just finished reading the “How many humans would it take to keep our species alive? One scientist’s surprising answer” article and I was amazed that his answer is just only 98 healthy people. Afterward, I scratched my head in doubt. Obviously, these 98 people would band together to produce more offspring so the population could grow larger. Also, we could imagine that these 98 healthy people are the sole survivors of the planet earth since an apocalyptic event had wiped everyone else off the planet earth. So, is it true that it would take only 98 healthy people to start the new seed of a lost civilization for generations to come?
I don’t think it is possible for 98 healthy people to redevelop a lost population/civilization! In my opinion, if an event could wipe out 99.999 percent of the earth’s healthy population, how could we be so sure that the other 98 healthy people would last? Furthermore, a much smaller group of people is going to be more susceptible to extinction since any number of unfortunate circumstances could reduce this small group into an even smaller group. Of course, you can argue that these 98 healthy people are special since they survived the apocalypse and got a very good protective shelter such as they’re escaping the planet in a very capable spaceship. Then again, the universe is so huge it harbors all sorts of danger — how could one know that these people would survive through one generation?
Of course, you could argue that space is very safe for a generation of people who travel in a very capable spaceship to begin a repopulation program that could last for generations to come. Here I begin to doubt even more! How could anyone know how long a spaceship would last? Unless you have a crystal ball, I don’t think you could really know how long a spaceship would last. I imagine a spaceship got some moving parts and all sorts of things that could go wrong at any moment. I also imagine that space is a very lonely place, and so these 98 healthy people could suffer all sorts of depression. It takes only one crazy depressive person to dwindle this group into a smaller group. Thus, extinction is very near and dear!
I don’t like how one would think it takes only 98 healthy people to repopulate the earth or sustain the human species because this would encourage the crazies to believe that the other 99.999 percent of the earth’s population is dispensable. My argument is very real for the reasons I stated above. Basically, I don’t think 98 healthy people could sustain a human species for there are too many variables that could dwindle this small group. From human emotions to outside variables, any one of these variables that turn negative could greatly reduce this small group. My answer is that I don’t believe 98 healthy people could actually sustain a human species!