Science: Malthusians

Toward the end of the 18th Century, a country gentleman of Surrey, England, used to argue with his son concerning the perfectability of society. Quoting his optimistic French friend. Jean Jacques Rousseau, the father would say: "Liberty, equality, fraternity." The son. whose name was the Rev. Thomas Robert Malthus, would reply, amiably enough: "Pish-posh! Very pretty. But society will never be happy so long as it permits itself to multiply more rapidly than its means of sustinence." Impressed by his son's views, Malthus Sr. encouraged Malthus Jr. to pen An Essay on the...

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