The 7-billionth person was born recently.
Don’t feel bad if you missed it. Record keepers aren’t absolutely sure when he or she was born. There’s also a slight disagreement between the predictions of the United Nations and the U.S. Census Bureau. With an estimated population increase of 215,000 per day, the U.N. Population Division had projected that the 7-billion mark was crossed by April 30th of this year. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates a daily world-wide increase of 367,000.
In either case, the 7-billion threshold would have been met no later than this month. One thing is certain, though. This milestone has reinvigorated fears about limited resources on an overcrowded planet. Sound familiar?
In the 1960s and 70s, researchers published reports warning of the dangers of overpopulation. Movies such as Soylent Green painted a horrifying picture of a dying planet and starving people who became unwitting cannibals.
For almost half a century, we’ve been led to believe that limited food resources combined with a growing world population is a recipe for disaster. But is this science or hype?
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has stated, “the world currently produces enough food for everybody, but many people do not have access to it.” The problem is distribution, not production. In fact, our own government actually pays farmers to not grow certain crops.
In an apparent coincidence, the Supreme Court issued their 1973 landmark ruling on abortion the same year Soylent Green was released.
But what if the solutions to many of humanity’s problems would have been discovered by the very lives we’ve destroyed? Billions of dollars are spent on research to find cures for everything from cancer to AIDS. What if the person who would have achieved a breakthrough is one who was aborted in the name of “quality of life”?
What if the life ended in a womb is the person whose kind words or gentle smile would have brought encouragement to your life or my life last week or next year? What if the baby determined “abnormal” by the medical community is the infant who would have influenced her parents to draw closer to their Sovereign Creator? Or what if such a child might have shown his siblings that being different is not bad, it’s just…different.
Is the value of a life determined by the economic status of her parents or the convenience of their lifestyle? Is a baby really a baby and not a blob of cells only if the parents want him to be a baby?
If a child in the womb is not a “life” until he is born, why do we protect sea turtle and sandhill crane eggs before their babies hatch? If the single cell of a pre-born baby does not constitute life, then why are scientists eager to find even a single cell on another planet that would prove the existence of life outside of earth?
The value of life is not found in sheer numbers. Neither is it found in individual development. Seven billion people or one baby growing in his mother’s womb – each one has value because they are created in the image of God. He sent His Son to die for each one. If we truly want to define the value of a life, we need to look in the right place. It’s found at the Cross…and in the Resurrection.
Care Net’s annual fundraising banquet will be held September 21st.
Will I see you there? Contact me to reserve a seat at my table!