Population Estimates – A Major Problem for Evolution


hWhen Mary Jo and I were at Northern Illinois University giving Creation programs, a student asked how it was even possible that the 8 people who got off the ark could have reproduced enough offspring to account for the population during the short duration from the Flood to the Exodus, led by Moses, out of Egypt.

Actually there is no issue for Biblical timeframes, but instead, population studies pose a huge issue for evolutionary assumptions. Using the average worldwide figure for population increase (Birth rate – Death rate) during the decades following when I was born (1.8868%), the population at the time of the Exodus  (857 years after the Flood)  could have been in excess of 54 million. To get a feel of how rapidly population increases, think about the spread of civilization in just the first 400 years of our country to where it is now.

These numbers certainly show the plausibility of the Genesis account. However, if applied to evolutionary assumptions that modern man has been around for 40,000 years, the numbers obtained reveal serious problems for evolution. We would have too many people today! Suppose you have a population increase of a mere ½ of 1 percent (almost 1/4th of what I used above). The population today after the assumed 40,000 evolutionary years (starting with only 2 people) would be a whopping number:  8.9 x1086 . That number is more than can be jammed into the entire known universe! Even if we assume 15,000 years, we would still have 6 x 1032 people.

Further calculations using an unrealistically low growth rate of one tenth of 1 percent and the assumed timeframe of 40,000 years, still gives today’s population to be 4.6 x 1017. This means that we would have about 1000 people occupying each square foot of land surface on planet earth.

One might argue that plagues, wars, and catastrophes have limited the population. However, assuming only 1.5 percent rate of growth and a catastrophe which wipes out ½ of the total world’s population every 75 years, the population after only 15,000 years (starting with 2 people) would still be in excess of 1035. That means that each of those 1000 people standing on each square foot of Earth would have a stack of people standing on their shoulders that would reach far past Alpha Centauria, our next closest star (which is 25.6 trillion miles away).

Here is the point: Calculations of population numbers do not work to accommodate evolutionary time frames even when we consider unrealistically low population estimates and very high catastrophe rates.  However, time frames consistent with the Biblical record work out nicely to what we have now.

*For you mathematicians, the equation that I used is: PY = Po(1 +i/100)Y(1-d)Y/dy

Where PY =  population in year Y; Po = initial population, i = population increase; d = fraction of decimation; and dy is the periodic number of years wherein the population is decimated.


Dave Nutting

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