Logistic Growth In Human Populations Historical demography and archaeology indicate that whenever humans develop a new energy source, eliminate a major disease, or colonize unoccupied environments, we observe rapid population growth (up to 3% AGR = doubling each generation) for a period of time, followed by slowdown and approach towards equilibrium Precise demonstration of logistic growth in humans is elusive, because long-term demographic records not available except in situations where too many other variables intervene (e.g., emigration, rapid technological change, etc.) But some archaeological records give reasonably strong support for basic model For example, Hawaiian Islands colonized approx. 1500 years ago, probably by small founding population of <1,000 people who came from Marquesas in several voyages • First 700 yrs characterized by slow, steady growth (doubling ca. every 200 yrs), to population of ca. 15,000 • Then a reorganization of settlement pattern, production system, & social organization
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