August 26, 2013
to be posted on unless you object

Richard Garwin

Dear Richard Garwin:
Much enjoyed the article on you.  (Ann Finkbiner Indispensable Outsider SCIENCE vol. 341 no. 6144 July 26, 2013 page 334)  My little brother tells me that during the Korean war an officer called his men together and said, “As you know the enemy is coming from the north and has flanked us to the east and west.  I have just received word that they are behind us.  Gentlemen, they can’t get away now.”  I see that you are a member of the National Academies of science, engineering and medicine.  You are also indifferent to received wisdom.  Seems to me you are surrounded, so here goes. 

It is often mentioned that the developed world is in demographic decline although not as often as the issue deserves.  Malthus was wrong.  So far as I know my attached paper is the only one that has tested the idea that populations grow without limit.  It was a no brainer.  You just try it.  They don’t.  It appears that the industrialized world will decline in numbers until we are in the low hundreds.  What would happen then we will never know.  Social changes will make things different long before populations drop to one or two per country.  My data are at 

I have grappled pretty much alone with zilch financial resources outside my retirement nest egg – which is a significant problem – and very limited intellectual resources – which is a disaster.  Results coming out now have me baffled, but I won’t have the new data together for another year or two. 

How’s about taking an interest.  Nobody gets blown up.  No secrets.  The quickest way to get a grasp is go to  If there is anything I can do to help, I am at your disposal. 


M. Linton Herbert MD

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