7 billion and (still) counting

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We’re populating like fruit flies and the world is our jar

By John Pawlak

Looking back at my own education, I was far from a perfect student.
So many lessons went unheeded, dusty stacks of knowledge pushed aside so that I could watch cartoons on Saturday morning.  I seem to recall thinking that the Barbary Wars had something to do with fighting over hair styles.
One lesson that I do remember however was a “Fruit Fly Experiment” we performed in biology class.
This experiment was rather popular during those radical hippie days of the “Save the Earth” movement. I do in fact think that fruit flies merit saving, but I’m no longer really sure about the Earth.
The experiment was a bit simplistic for the global issue it addressed, but we had fun doing it.  
We placed a small number of fruit flies in a large jar. The jar contained ample water and food and a porous lid that allowed ample oxygen.
The fruit flies essentially lived in a utopia.
With an unlimited supply of food and water, they had little else to do but breed, which fruit flies do very nicely without any encouragement.
The one thing that was limited however was space. The jar defined their world, their planet if you will, and as they bred with unbridled passion, their world became more and more crowded and subsequently more and more polluted.  

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