53 votes

My Medieval kingdom has birth control, why is the population so high?

A Lack of Birth Control Wasn't the Cause of Large Families As one commenter already pointed out, the reason people had large families in the Middle Ages wasn't because they couldn't avoid it; rather, ...
jdunlop's user avatar
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33 votes

What are some reasons for the population of a small, relatively unremarkable area to suddenly boom?

Villages tend to explode in population because... Discovery of a local natural resource. The town becomes a center of trade (multiple trade routes, change in resources elsewhere). The town becomes ...
JBH's user avatar
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26 votes
Accepted

Can selective breeding maximize human intelligence without major complications?

No the society would be doomed to corruption and scientific stagnation. This has been tried multiple times and the results are always the same, it becomes an autocracy of the test writers. Your system ...
John's user avatar
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21 votes

My Medieval kingdom has birth control, why is the population so high?

You've missed the other great factor in plunging birth rates, and that is the death rates. If birth rates were the only factor, why did overall population growth remain flat or very low throughout ...
Palarran's user avatar
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18 votes

Can selective breeding maximize human intelligence without major complications?

No... But for a different reason then what anyone else has suggested. This will lead to a lot of dead babies. And other serious problems... But not interestingly enough because of inbreeding or ...
Questor's user avatar
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16 votes

Can selective breeding maximize human intelligence without major complications?

Your system would make people who are maximally adapted to the system. Sophia is effectively implementing hill-climbing optimization. Eventually the system itself becomes the limiting factor that ...
Jani Miettinen's user avatar
14 votes

My Medieval kingdom has birth control, why is the population so high?

In a medieval setting, you would want to have the highest possible population because it was profitable. For peasants (i.e. the vast majority of the population) children were probably the best ...
ihaveideas's user avatar
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12 votes

Can selective breeding maximize human intelligence without major complications?

To address just the question in the title: "Can selective breeding maximize human intelligence without major complications?" - no, not with the setup you've suggested. Selection for any ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
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11 votes

What are some reasons for the population of a small, relatively unremarkable area to suddenly boom?

Silver Your geology investigations of the peninsula were highly incomplete, as it was the norm in "early to mid Ottoman" both time wise and technology wise. Since there are already some ...
Vesper's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Stranded mining colony using its own resources to build an interplanetary spacecraft: how long to completion can I credibly make it? (More = better)

They don't know how... Granted, it wasn't much of a test, but on a whim I tried to find the construction schematics and fabrication details for the Space Shuttle (any one of them) on the Internet. I ...
JBH's user avatar
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7 votes

My Medieval kingdom has birth control, why is the population so high?

Jdunlop has given a pretty good, well reasoned (but boring) answer - but there are some others that are more fun/interesting. People like to f....ornicate The first is very simple: People like to have ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
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6 votes

How does proximity to a large city affect the growth of nearby towns?

Expect a lot of taverns and inns Needless to say, the economy of the town will be greatly affected by the great volume of traders and travelers going between the cities. You'd probably get a small ...
nearsighted's user avatar
6 votes

How long would it take for Mesoamerica to recover, if at all, had colonization never happened?

Let's look at Europe after the Black Death Why is this a good analogue? Firstly - the Black Death was, as a singular event, more devastating that Small Pox. Secondly - Europe keeps pretty good records ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
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6 votes

What are some reasons for the population of a small, relatively unremarkable area to suddenly boom?

To Answering the Actual Question: Trade While other answers demonstrate reasons why a town or group of towns might suddenly grow, the OP has asked for the most likely reason based on his setup. The ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
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6 votes

What are some reasons for the population of a small, relatively unremarkable area to suddenly boom?

A newly discovered resource or industry seems the most likely reason, during the industrial era of the 1700-1800s many cities developed within a few decades from what were previously small villages or ...
Phil D's user avatar
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6 votes

My Medieval kingdom has birth control, why is the population so high?

They don't get educated The vast majority of medieval population was not educated. It was commonplace for nobles and even royalty to be illiterate; they had clerks to write and read for them. ...
Mary's user avatar
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6 votes

Can selective breeding maximize human intelligence without major complications?

I think the societal complications would be more dire than the biological ones. I get it- you just want to focus on the biological health complications. However, Major Complications is pretty open ...
common_goldfish's user avatar
5 votes

How long would it take for Mesoamerica to recover, if at all, had colonization never happened?

It is not possible to say with any certainty as there are too many variables. However there have been several instances of population collapses in Mesoamerica due to local climate changes brought on ...
Slarty's user avatar
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5 votes

Could all of human population fit in China, India, and Mongolia?

"Some like to assert that everybody on Earth could be fit into the State of Texas,..." My quotations are from this source. ... using logic as follows. The area of Texas is about 262,000 mi2....
JBH's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Could all of human population fit in China, India, and Mongolia?

Easy. The main limiting factors are food, water, energy and shelter. All easily solved by high enough technology like space hydroponic farms, water desalinization, fusion reactors, megaskysrapers/...
D'Monlord's user avatar
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5 votes

My Medieval kingdom has birth control, why is the population so high?

Middle ages population was not determined by birth rates The middle ages where a period when the Malthusian trap was in full swing. During the Middle ages, the primary source of wealth was food - ...
Yakk's user avatar
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5 votes

Can selective breeding maximize human intelligence without major complications?

Standardized testing is not effective at measuring intelligence The entire premise of this society is eugenics based on standardized testing. A quick read through that article should tell you why that ...
SPavel's user avatar
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5 votes

Can selective breeding maximize human intelligence without major complications?

I see no reason why it shouldn’t work. Sure, it could lead to uprising of the suppressed second class and other social problems. Sure, you are only selecting for performance at a test while 9 years ...
Michael's user avatar
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4 votes

Stranded mining colony using its own resources to build an interplanetary spacecraft: how long to completion can I credibly make it? (More = better)

There's some options here: 1: There's no Rocket construction, Test and Launch facilities on the surface of Mars So, you said that people regularly rotated in and out before something happened, but if ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
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4 votes

How does proximity to a large city affect the growth of nearby towns?

I live in such a place. Redbourn is just beyond St Albans from London. This high street (now bypassed) is part of Watling Street - a pre-Roman drover's way. This was a coaching stop. In the late 1940'...
Richard Kirk's user avatar
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4 votes

How many members of a species would be required to prevent inbreeding?

All human relations have some degree of inbreeding because we share a common ancestor. You may have two parents, four grandparents, and eight great-grandparents, but the pattern can't continue back ...
parasoup's user avatar
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4 votes

My Medieval kingdom has birth control, why is the population so high?

I'm not sure that this question can be answered in a socially acceptable manner. There are few topics that will get people shouting their one true answer at you as loudly as with birth control. The ...
Robert Rapplean's user avatar
3 votes

How many members of a species would be required to prevent inbreeding?

There are several studies / articles which indicate that you can get into the mid to low 2000 range without to much of a genetic bottleneck. Indeed, all Humans these days are genetically speaking ...
ErikHall's user avatar
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3 votes

What are some reasons for the population of a small, relatively unremarkable area to suddenly boom?

New Technology Other answers mentioned discovery of a new natural resource. Similarly, the emergence of some new technologies may make extracting natural resources suddenly much more possible or ...
thegreatemu's user avatar
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3 votes

How much would a population be able to recover after half of them being killed?

500,000 people remain alive, "of all ages". I will also assume "of both sexes". How many children can 250,000 women "of all ages" produce in 10 years? Assuming that ...
AlexP's user avatar
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