|Wesley R. Elsberry
Joined: May 2002
This thread is for documenting the various young-earth arguments and responses to those arguments.
I'll start off with one that is based upon ecology.
The Population Argument
The following quotes are selected from an online essay of mine.
|Certain proponents of "scientific creationism" (SciCre) have put forward an argument that humans could not have evolved, simply because human population size shows that humans have only been around a few thousand years. Those putting forward the argument tie the original population size to either two (sometimes Adam and Eve, sometimes Noah and his wife) or eight (Noah's immediate family), note a current population figure, and derive a rate of increase by use of some Biblical chronology to either creation, Noah's birth, or The Flood. It should be noted that biblically, what should be argued is either descent from two (Adam and Eve) or from six (Noah's sons and their wives). While some admit up front that the calculation of rate of increase yields an average value and that the actual rate of increase varies, many do not. The crux of the argument comes when they use the derived rate of increase for comparison to the deep time that evolutionary timetables give. The numbers of humans that would be present, they say, were evolution true, would be far greater than what we observe today, and thus evolution of humans must be false. Some are precise enough to restrict their conclusion to only humans, others leave how much is disproved unspecified. Some utilize the numbers to infer intermediate population sizes. |
I am going to point out some problems with the SciCre population argument. First, the argument assumes what it is supposed to prove. Second, all such arguments yield absurd values for population sizes at historical times. Third, the argument ignores what is known about population dynamics from other species. Fourth, final population size is an unreliable indicator of initial population time. I am only interested in the anti-evolutionary components of the SciCre population argument; use of the population argument in apologetics is not something I care about. I don't think that anyone can demonstrate that real population dynamics disbar Global Flood scenarios, so if use in apologetics is all that is intended from some source, I have no real beef with it.
|Third, the argument ignores what is known about population dynamics from other species. Various other species can be observed to sometimes reproduce exponentially, but we observe that such populations fluctuate, stabilize, or crash. In no case do exponentially reproducing populations "take over the world" as SciCre'ists assure us would be the case if evolution were true. In recent times, human population growth has been exponential, but this does not mean that the human population has been growing exponentially for all its residence time. Just as the number of E. coli present in your gut will not tell us your birthday or the time of your last use of an antibiotic, so human population size is decoupled from when Homo sapiens arose, or even when a bottleneck may have occurred.|
|In short, the SciCre population argument fails on many different criteria. Honest creationists should eschew its use.|
-- Population Size and Time of Creation or Flood
Interestingly, the population argument is not listed among those that "Answers in Genesis" recommends that YECs should not use.
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker