Sometime around 460 BCE, Hippocrates, a Greek physician and founder of the first university was born. He is considered today as the father of medicine, and based his practice in observation and deductive reasoning. Around 2000 years later in 1796, Edward Jenner discovered vaccination through cowpox and smallpox. He became the father of immunology. Since then, medical advancements have been increasing at an accelerated rate from Felix Hoffman to James Watson, from the discovery of insulin to tetanus vaccinations.
Like the advancing medical field, the world population has experienced continued growth since the end of the Great Famine and the Black Death in 1350. The United States Census Bureau estimates that as of today, the world population stands at 7.118 billion compared to 1 billion people in 1800. Both medicine and world population seem to run parallel, but over the course of human history, it is revealed that one is in fact a direct product of the other.
Modern medicine has become so advanced that diseases considered deadly in past decades can be prevented by a simple vaccination. Vaccinations are now standardized in many countries, the first being the smallpox vaccine in Britain in 1853. The World Health Organization claims that vaccinations save more than 3 million people worldwide each year. Modern preventative and curative medicines allow humans to survive diseases or not contract them at all. If accessible to even a minority of the world’s inhabitants, this would result in a decline in death rate and an increase in birth rate on a large scale.
Other than treatments and cures for specific diseases, modern medicine has made it a common knowledge to eat healthy and exercise daily. An example of this: The Public Health Agency of Canada prescribes at least 2.5 hours of “moderate to vigorous aerobic activity” each week. This general standard of clean eating and activity should suggest that the overall health of humans would also be increasing. In a time span of about 200 years, this may be true, but not in terms of thousands of years. This can be explained in the difference in the type of illness that results in death. In the past, most deaths were attributed to acute illness, ones that were “caught”, such as the flu. Deaths today most often occur from chronic…