I have seen the quote below on numerous sites (example), always being attributed to Bill Gates and treated as an admission of his malicious purposes, basically proving that his vaccination programmes are really thinly veiled population control operations. Did he really say this?

The world today has 6.8 billion people … that’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.


Yes he said it, in a 2010 TED Talk.

Vaccines reduce infant and child mortality, giving parents more certainty and making it more likely that they will choose to have fewer children.

In society after society, he saw, when the mortality rate falls—specifically, below 10 deaths per 1,000 people—the birth rate follows, and population growth stabilizes. “It goes against common sense,” Gates says. Most parents don’t choose to have eight children because they want to have big families, it turns out, but because they know many of their children will die. (Forbes)

Most things that reduce the uncertainty in family planning (like vaccines, health care, reproductive health services) lead to lower birth rates.

Another effect of better health care is an increase in education levels, which is usually followed by lower birth rates in developing countries. (Education Leads to Lower Fertility and Increased Prosperity)

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    @mikeglenndale: Depends on whether you consider the "goal" of evolution to be "maximize the population of the species" or "ensure that a stable population of the species survives for the longest possible time". In many cases, the two are in conflict. – Nate Eldredge Dec 10 '15 at 0:11
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    As a thought experiment, imagine that in some society, each family wants a 85% chance of having at least two children survive to adulthood. In a population where the infant/child mortality rate is 50%, a family needs to have 6 children, of whom an average of 3 will reach adulthood, so the population grows at a rate of 50% per generation. In a population where the child mortality rate is 7%, a family need only have 2 children, since there's an 85% probability they both survive. Thus an average of 1.86 children survive to adulthood and the population actually falls. – Nate Eldredge Dec 10 '15 at 0:21
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    Some other skeptics sites that support this answer: Skeptoid, Skeptical Raptor, Debunking Denialism. – Oddthinking Dec 10 '15 at 0:49
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    @mikeglenndale: Evolution is completely disjunct from population growth. (Or E.coli et al. would have to be the tip of the evolution, as they replicate much faster than humans...) Actually, evolution is not about improvement either. It's merely about adaption. "Survival of the fittest" is not about "fitness", but "best fit to the environment". – DevSolar Dec 10 '15 at 8:34
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    Please move questions about how evolution works to Skeptics Chat. – Sklivvz Dec 10 '15 at 22:23

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