Human Population

Table of Contents

Read here about issues human population as they relate to research into matters of scale.


US War Deaths, 1850—2004, including civil war, world war I, world war II, Korean war, Vietnam war, gulf war and Iraq II.
As weapons have become more intelligent, there has been a dramatic trend toward more precise missions with fewer casualties. It may not seem that way when viewed alongside the tendency toward more detailed, realistic television ews coverage. The great battles of World Wars I and II and the Korean War, in which tens of thousands of lives were lost over the course of a few days, were visually recorded only by occasional grainy newsreels. Today, we have a front-row seat for almost every engagement. Each war has its complexities, but the overall movement toward precision intelligent warfare is clear by examining the number of casualties. This trend is similar to what we are beginning to see in medicine, where smart weapons against disease are able to perform specific missions with far fewer side effects. The trend is similar for collateral casualties, although it may not seem that way from contemporary media coverage (recall that about fifty million civilians died in World War II).

Neil Johnson has applied the progress curve to war casualties. See also progress curve.