Yesterday Ajahn Brahm gave a talk on the topic of Reincarnation. In his talk he referred the question people usually make on how could rebirth/reincarnation be possible as the world’s population is now as big as it has ever been.
I remember that back some few years ago Ajahn Brahmali (@brahmali) and Ajahn Sujato (@sujato) got asked or talked about that question (my memory is not that good) in one of the workshops on Karma and Rebirth held in Dhammaloka.
And I remember that we all checked the numbers and came up across a well done study to debunk the factoid that arose back in the 70s “that 75 percent of the people who had ever been born were alive at that moment”.
Here is the video featuring the expert who double-checked the maths and arithmetics of this interesting question:
In a nutshell, the most recent calculations point to very interesting conclusion: since the begining of humankind (as a separate specie) something around ~108 billion people have ever lived on Earth!
At ~7.5 billion people today, the current world population corresponds to a mere ~7% of the whole figure!
Most interestingly, as per the table shown in the link above, some ~47 billion of the total 108 billion were born and died between 8000 B.C. and 1 A.D.!!! This corresponds to 43% of the total figure!
Bottom line is:
- there is absolutely nothing wrong with the arithmetic/maths of reincarnation/rebirth!
- And most of the dead humans “in stock” were born in ancient times!
PS: @brahmali could you please kindly help me delivering this study and its figures to Ajahn Brahm in person? I think he would like to refer to that as well whenever talking about this topic again!