THE GENERATIONS GAME

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Bearing in mind birth rates, how closely might you be related to Julius Caesar?

Submitted: February 02, 2010

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Submitted: February 02, 2010

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THE GENERATIONS GAME.

Here’s a weird little thought.
Take two fictitious lovers and call them Tony and Beryl. (Fictitious, I said!!!)
Let them fall in love and marry and have babies.
Call it the year 0000. (see where I’m going?)
They have two children. Call them Apple and Eye.
By the year 0020 Apple and Eye marry chosen loved ones of their own, and have two children almost straight away. The year is 0040 and in their village you could expect to bump into Tony, Beryl, Apple, Eye and four children. That makes 8 souls.
The four children (anon) grow up and when they’re twenty marry selected loved ones. Each couple have two children. That means by the year 0060 the youngest generation of the Tony/Beryl family consists of eight youngsters.
These marry in their turn (not to each other, but to strangers!) and so by the year 0080 there are sixteen youngsters.
None of them are impotent or gay, so as time passes the calendar clicks to the year 0100 and there are thirty-two children. Life must go on, and twenty years later there are sixty-four children (year 0120) and twenty further years down the line there are 132. (year 0140)
By the year 0200 there are 1056 children in the clan
So by the year 0220 there are 2012 children.
By the year 0300 there are32,198 (work it out if you like, check my maths!)
You see, assuming that every member of the clan fathers or mothers just two children that survive to have children of their own, every twenty years the number in the youngest generation is double that of its predecessor.
By the year 0320 there are 64,396
By the year 0500 there are 32,970,752 - and still breeding!
By the year 0540 my calculator runs out of numbers at 131,883,008
By the year 600 the fictitiously prolific progeny of the fictitious Tony and Beryl have exceeded the billion at 1,155,064,064. All little people and all, after twenty more years, breeding like mad. At least, breeding to the point of having two children each.
So by the year 0700 the Tony/Beryl offspring breeding at the modest rate of 2 per family reaches 36,962,050,048
By the turn of the first millennium my fictitious family living in fictitious times numbers more than the entire population of planet Earth, and these statistics must be true of all families in which two children survive to breed in each generation.
So next time someone says he’s related to Julius Caesar you can accept that as probably gospel. If he wants to be related to Christ and assumes that Christ had either legitimate or illegitimate offspring, then he’s probably telling the truth.
Don’t you agree, cousins?

© Peter Rogerson 01.02.10
 



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