Creation 31(2):18–19, March 2009
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Where have all the people gone?
According to the now-prevailing view, the first humans lived over a million years ago. If that is really so, where are all the trillions of people who should either be alive, or whose buried remains, potentially fossilized, should be found in vast graveyards scattered around the world?
As a child, I was raised to believe that Adam and Eve were the first two people created and I had no problem believing it. But later people said we evolved from apes and I started to have problems.
A big question arose in my mind, ‘How many millions of years ago could humans have supposedly begun evolving from apes?’
I worked out how many times the world’s population had doubled since the first man and woman. Allowing for past diseases, famines, pestilence, wars and infant mortality, the population would probably have doubled at about the rate of once every couple of hundred years, allowing for it to be much slower than the sixty to seventy years it took to double last time. Multiplying the number of times that the population doubled by a couple of hundred years should give a rough idea, give or take a few thousand years, of when the first two humans were either created or evolved.
Believe it or not, the world’s population has doubled only 31½ times since the first human couple appeared on earth. This gives 6,500 years. You can work it out for yourself on your own calculator.
A lecturer on evolution once told me that there were never just two people because a whole population would have evolved. If that were so, then that would mean that the human population has doubled far less than 31½ times. But, to maximize believability of the evolutionary scenario, let’s say that the population started with only four people a million years ago. This would mean that the average time that the world’s population took to double was about 33,000 years (30.5 doublings). So it would have taken that many years to get to eight people, and another 33,000 years before the world’s population rose to 16. That is rather slow growth—by comparison, a Maori lady died in New Zealand in December 1984 at the age of 112, leaving 450 descendants.
Population growth is increasing currently at a rate of approximately 1.8% per annum (World Book Encyclopaedia), or doubling every 39 years.
Even if the average time that the population doubled in the past was as slow as once every thousand years (that is one twenty-fifth of the present growth rate), this would put the first pair of humans on Earth only 31,500 years ago.
Some people, not willing to believe that mankind was created only a few thousand years ago, claim that the world’s population has been almost wiped out many times. Clearly it has never been wiped out entirely. While some people will assert that the human population has been almost wiped out a number of times, without their providing any evidence to back it up, these same people get very agitated if we suggest that the population was nearly wiped out once by a great Flood in the time of Noah.
The world’s population was approximately 600 million in the year 1650 and increased to about 2,400 million by 1950. This means that it would have doubled twice in 300 years, at an average rate of once every 150 years.
Thanks to the Bible, we can trace the lineages of Jews and Arabs right back to the same patriarch, Abraham, who was born about 2167 BC and had six sons. His first son, Ishmael, was the father of the Arabs, and his second son, Isaac, was the father of Jacob, later called Israel, from whose twelve sons came the 12 tribes of Israel, better known as the Jews.
The World Book of Knowledge says that there are approximately 200 million Arabs in the world and about 18 million Jews.
This means that since Abraham’s time, his descendants through only two sons have doubled roughly 28 times at an average rate of about once every 150 years.
Now the Jewish people have undergone a tremendous amount of persecution and slaughter over the centuries. Hitler murdered over six million in concentration camps alone during the Second World War.
They must have lost many members through disease, infant mortality and starvation over the centuries just as other people groups have. Their history is replete with stories of battles and loss of life because of wars. Yet we find that their numbers have doubled a minimum of 23 times, at an average rate of once every 182 years.
We can calculate the rate of population growth starting from about 4,500 years ago, when, from the historical details found in the Bible, Noah and his family—eight in total—survived the deluge. That population has to double 29½ times to get the current world’s population of six and a half billion, at an average doubling rate of once every 152 years. Interesting, isn’t it? The Bible’s timeframe of history fits the data.
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