Could humans cause the end of the world? I started wondering this after I began learning more about declining fertility rates. Most people are familiar that world population has been increasing for quite some time now. The fallacy is that it will just continue to grow. The fact of the matter is, as one researcher put it, people are not breeding like rabbits, they just stopped dying like flies. The main factor in growing human population is that old people are living much longer than ever before.
But I found something very scary. Replacement fertility rate is 2.1 children per woman. Almost all Western countries are now below this replacement level and rely on immigration to keep populations up. Some country are particularly concerned with low fertility rates and have enacted national policies to deal with the crisis. The thing I found scary is the precipitous drop in worldwide fertility rate. If this rate sinks below 2.1, the population of the world will soon peak and then start to decline unless something drastic happen. And that's why I brought up my original question of whether humans could cause our own demise.
Here is the data (found on Wikipedia):
According to this chart, fertility has declined sharply since the 1950s. From 1995 to 2010, fertility rates dropped by .43. That's just 15 years. If that trend continues from 2010 to 2025, the fertility rate worldwide will be just 1.93. If this is not reversed, the human world would be on a collision course to self-annihilation! Look how far we've come since the 50s! Our current fertility rate is less than HALF of what it was just a couple of generations ago.
Very scary stuff! Our only hope is to listen to the first thing God commands of the human race: "God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it." (Gen. 1: 28)