It is often asserted, because of the recent rapid exponential growth of human population size, that there are now more people alive than have ever lived before.This is shown to be due to an incorrect usage of exponential growth models. A revised estimate is that there have been about 44 billion members of the genus Homo from its origins 4.5 million years ago to the evolution of Homo erectus, about 56 billion individuals from Homo erectus to the neolithic, and another 51 billion persons since the neolithic. This provides the opportunity for an immense amount of new mutational variation to have arisen during human evolution, on the order of 3 million new mutants per locus for the entire genome. This is relevant to the assessment of the evolution of human racial variation, and to other problems in human evolution.
Weiss, Kenneth M.
"On the Number of Members of the Genus Homo Who Have Ever Lived, and Some Evolutionary Implications,"
4, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol56/iss4/6