An evangelical minister I know who is a YEC, believes this proves the age of mankind, that if you extrapolate average population growth from one couple (Adam and Eve) this equates to about 6,000 years therefore this proves the bible should be taken literally as Bishop Usher did. Help to give him a reasoned answer (not too complicated) would be much appreciated.
Hi Ihf, thanks for stopping by again. I’m not the best to give advice on this, but hopefully others with better ideas will chime in. If someone asked that to me, I guess my first question would be what their source was, and how they would determine “average population growth” in the first place.
This article nicely summarizes the problems with the argument that you can date humanity by current population size.
This argument is not even coherent in the fundamentalist worldview and literal treatment of the Bible, according to which there was a flood which wiped out the entire population of the human race. The Bible doesn’t say what the population was before that event and of course simple geometric/exponential models of the population don’t hold over all sizes of the population since there is a limit to the population which the Earth can support.
Of course I don’t actually believe there was a planet wide flood reducing the population of the species to a handful of people, which is not even supportable from the Bible or simple logic, let alone the scientific evidence. At most it is reasonable to read this as a flood wiping out an early human civilization in a local area which was the whole world to the people living at the time.
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