Claim CB620:
A reasonable assumption of population growth rate (0.5 percent) fits with
a population that began with two people about 4000 years ago, not with a
human history of millions of years.
Source:
Morris, Henry M. 1985. Scientific Creationism. Green Forest, AR: Master
Books, pp. 167-169.
Response:
- This claim assumes that the population growth rate was always constant,
which is a false assumption. Wars and plagues would have caused
populations to drop from time to time. In particular, population sizes
before agriculture would have been severely limited and would have had
an average population growth of zero for any number of years.
- There is no particular reason to choose a population growth rate of
0.5 percent for the calculation. The population growth from 1000 to
1800 has been closer to 0.1227 percent per year (Encyclopaedia
Britannica 1984). At that rate, the population would have
grown to its present size from the eight Flood survivors in 16,660
years.
- The population growth rate proposed by the claim would imply
unreasonable populations early in history. We will be more generous in
our calculations and start with eight people in 2350 B.C.E. (a
traditional date for the Flood). Then, assuming a growth rate of 0.5
percent per year, the population after N years is given by
P(N) = 8 × (1.005)^{N}
The Pyramids of Giza were constructed before 2490 B.C.E., even before
the proposed Flood date. Even if we assume they were built 100 years
after the flood, then the world population for their construction
was 13 people. In 1446 B.C.E., when Moses was said to be leading 600,000
men (plus women and children) on the Exodus, this model of population
growth gives 726 people in the world. In 481 B.C.E., Xerxes gathered
an army of 2,641,000 (according to Herodotus) when the world
population, according to the model, was 89,425. Even allowing for
exaggerated numbers, the population model makes no sense.
Links:
Elsberry, Wesley R., 1998. Population size and time of creation or Flood.
http://www.rtis.com/nat/user/elsberry/evobio/evc/argresp/populate.html
References:
- Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1984, Population. Encyclopaedia
Britannica vol. 14: 816.
created 2003-4-10, modified 2006-3-31