A crowd in Siena, Italy, during the running of the Palio. Environmentalists use the tally of the dead to support their claim that the number of those living is fast approaching an unsustainable level. Victor Spinelli / Photographer's

How Many People Have Lived on Earth?

Debunking the myth that the living outnumber the dead

In one of the earliest known works of literature, “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” the goddess Ishtar threatens her father Anu: “I will break in the doors of hell and smash the bolts; there will be confusion of...

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