Bill Nye, science guy, maybe. Math guy, not so much. Here is an excerpt from Nye’s speech to graduates of Johns Hopkins:
When my father was graduated from Hopkins in 1939 and my mother from Goucher in 1942, the world was home to 2.3 billion people. That number has gotten somewhat larger recently.
My parents took me to the Worlds’ Fair in New York City in 1965. I remember well, what to a little kid seemed like, a huge display depicting the estimated human population of the world. It was getting larger, counting up by one every seven seconds or so. I was very disappointed, because we had just missed the number changing from 2,999,999,999 to 3 billion humans on Earth. Well, you all lived through the transition from 5 to 6 billion. If you look at a similar population clock today, it says about 6.7 billion, and it skips through three or four births each second. By the time you reach your billionth second, when you’re a little over six months into your 31st year, we will probably be over 12 billion and on our way to 15 billion humans on Earth.
Say what? When recent graduates are 31 — that is, in about ten years — we will have nearly doubled our population, from 6.7 billion to 12 billion?