More on Population Growth and Creationism
David Milne's article in Creation/Evolution on the creationist population growth argument was a pleasure to read (1984). Surely this is one of the most absurd items in the creationists' arsenal. As Milne pointed out, it is based upon totally unwarranted assumptions, and the implications of population equations formulated by creationists are ridiculous. Milne has shown just how ridiculous by calculating the 2500 BCE population, and so forth, but perhaps it would be useful to look at some more implications of the population growth argument.
In Scientific Creationism, Morris introduces the population equation, 2cn, in which 2c is the average number of children per family and n is the number of forty-year generations since the flood (four thousand years ago). He equates this equation with the 1974 world population,
assumes one hundred generations, and then calculates the value of 2c:
The value of 2c should be 2.474346. This may seem like nit-picking, but if Morris' value is used the calculated 1974 population figure is nearly 45 percent too low. The above is a prediction equation. If it has any validity whatsoever, it should predict ancient populations with at least a fair degree of accuracy. It does not. Assuming that creationists still think that this equation is valid, it is reasonable to assume that it is equally applicable to the pre-flood population. All that is needed is an estimate of children per pre-flood family, the time from creation to the flood, and the duration of each generation. Morris furnishes the needed data.
Whitcomb and Morris estimate conservatively that pre-flood families had six children (c=3) and that generations averaged ninety years (1961, pp. 25-26). Morris claims the decay of the magnetic field gives an "outside limit" of ten thousand years for the age of Earth (1974, p. 158). The oldest reported date of the flood is sixty-three-hundred years ago (Morris, undated). Therefore, the population at the time of the flood must have been at least:
If one cares to work out the population density, it comes out to be over thirteen thousand persons per square foot for the entire earth's surface, or about 0.01 square inch per person. If the flood occurred only four thousand years ago, as suggested in Scientific Creationism, the mass of humanity at that time would have exceeded the mass of the earth.
It is interesting to examine this figure of 7.2946 x 1019 persons in view of Morris' assertion that the human fossil record for evolution is incredibly deficient (1974, p. 169). Since, according to creationist calculations, at least "3000 billion people would have lived and died . . . in the past million years," if evolution is true, there should be far more evidence in the fossil record. Yet the pre-flood population must have been over 24 billion times as great, and we are offered only "Paluxy man," Carboniferous "human footprints," and a few others as evidence of this mass of humanity.
Why anyone would even present population growth as a viable argument is difficult to understand. Surely those who formulated these equations were aware of the ridiculous implications. Imagine such an argument being presented in a high school science class. A good student would see through the facade of underlying assumptions in a minute. Those not so mathematically adept would be bamboozled by a completely fallacious argument. How would a teacher respond to a student's observation that these equations indicate that there were eighty-six persons in the entire world in 1300 BC, the time of the exodus, or 354 persons to witness the judgment at Babel? In short, the teacher would be in the position of defending a worthless argument.
Morris himself implies that his calculations are of little value:
Every process in nature operates at a rate which is influenced by a number of different factors. If any one of these factors change, the process rate changes. Rates are at best only statistical averages, not deterministic constants. [1974, p. 139]
Admittedly, Morris is criticizing radiometric dating, but he is using the process rate of population growth and its accumulative effect as a geochronometer of sorts. He continues:
Thus, at best, apparent ages determined by means of any physical process are educated guesses and may well be completely unrelated to the true ages. [p. 139]
I submit that Morris' calculated date of the flood is not even an educated guess. He has used completely worthless equations to calculate the age of a nonexistent event. Such is the nature of "scientific" creationism.
Milne, D. H. 1984. "Creationists, Population Growth, Bunnies, and the Great Pyramid." Creation/Evolution XIV, pp. 1-5.
Morris, H. M. (editor) 1974. Scientific Creationism,
public school edition. San Diego: CLP Publishers.
——. (undated) "Evolution and the Population Bomb." Impact, number 21. Institute for Creation Research.
Whitcomb, J. C., and Morris, H. M. 1961. The Genesis Flood. Philadelphia: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co.