REPLY #16 TO|
"EVOLUTION VS. CREATIONISM"
Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.
Italicized/emphasized comments prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.
My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).
(R) I am absolutely, positively, not going to start a debate on this, I just
want to hear you defend evolutionism after you read the following...
(MB) Reading ahead, I see you will be dredging up the old nonsense and bogus
mathematics that are the centerpiece of the Creationist garbage that seeks to
"prove" a young Earth by claiming to show how the entire world population
descended from Noah and his family.
It is probably best that you are unwilling to debate this point, since it was
conclusively debunked within about 3.14159 seconds after it was first published.
Creationists can only push it when the target audience is mathematically
illiterate. To "defend evolutionism" against this inconsequential attack, I
will be quoting a crushing refutation that was used to defeat one of the prime
Creationist pushers of this claim, Dr. Kent Hovind, in a 1994 debate.
(R) (Note: The statement, "Evolution is science and Creation is religion is
(MB) Oh? Really? How is this statement false in any scenario where the
meanings of the words "science" and "religion" are correctly known and used?
(R) Therefore since evolution is, and always will be, a theory, you believe
it by faith.
(MB) Not true. The broad subject of evolution is undeniable fact. Some of the
details that are parts of the larger process are still being examined and
debated, but no thinking person can possibly deny that evolution itself is a
very real thing.
Also, you seem to be committing the common error of misinterpreting the word
"theory" and attempting to equate it with an idea that has no evidence to
support it. Quite the contrary is the case, however. A scientific "theory" is
an explanation for a given phenomenon which is strongly supported by evidence
and is generally accepted as being correct. Theories stand or fall on the basis
of the evidence which supports them and not on the basis of how many people
believe in them or how strong their beliefs might be. Consider that gravity is
"only a theory", but I'll bet that you accept it on much more than mere faith.
(R) And believing it by faith in turn means that evolution is a religion!
(MB) "Religion" involves some sort of worship and/or ceremony -- normally in
conjunction with a belief in the supernatural and one or more superior beings
that inhabit that realm. None of this applies to evolution -- no matter how
much Creationists might attempt to denigrate the word "theory".
It's interesting to consider the illogic of those Creationist claims. Evolution
is to be dismissed since it has not been absolutely proven in its entirety and
is, therefore, "only a theory". Yet, the idea of Creation has every flaw that
Creationists ascribe to evolution multiplied by several orders of magnitude. If
evolution is to be dismissed, then how, by Creationist argument, is anybody
supposed to accept Creationism? Or, doesn't Creationist "logic" apply to their
(R) Also, I think Darwinists are biased)
(MB) Naturally. Standard stuff...all evolutionists are "biased" and "locked
into inflexible and unchanging dogma" while all Creationists are "open-minded"
and "equally tolerant of all views and opinions". Something is definitely
(R) Explain this:
(MB) I'm going to address this issue by first presenting your case in its
entirety and without any interjected comment. I shall then continue by
presenting the entirety of the aforementioned refutation. After this, I will
address your final statements. Here we go...
(R) This is what population studies show. One of the most revealing "clocks"
deals with the growth of Earth's population down through time. Dr. Henry Morris
addresses the subject. Consider the following facts Dr. Morris has gathered.
If man has been on earth for a million years why is population explosion
only recently becoming a problem?
Families average 3.6 children
Annual population grows 2%
FACT: The present population would have been developed from a single family
in just 4,000 years if the growth rate were reduced to only 1/2% per year or
about an average of only 2 1/2 children per family. That is 1/4 the present rate
of growth. It would easily allow for long periods of no growth due to famines
What does the evolutionary framework have to offer?
With the supposed million-year history of man there would have been an
incredible 25,000 generations (at 40 years each). Even more incredible, the
final total of people amounts to only the present population of under 5 billion.
Does this fit the statistical facts?
How big would the population be now if it increased only 1/2% per year for a
million years? In other wards I would be insisting there be only 2.5 children
per family for 25,000 consecutive generations.
The resultant present population would be represented by the number 10 with
2,100 zeros after it!
Obviously that is impossible since tiny electrons numbering 10 with 130
zeros following, would fill the entire universe!
If a million years of man's history produced only the present population,
how many people would have lived and died in all that time?
It would have been at least 3,000 billion! That's at least a couple of dozen
graves for every acre on earth! But ancient bones are extremely rare.
It seems that the facts line up directly with the biblical model and the
acknowledged evidence that human culture can be verified back to less than 5,000
years ago. And that is the point of the global flood.
(MB) Yes, and by the same reasoning 8 germs could populate every cubic inch of
available living space on Earth with 1 million germs in less than a week! That
is, after 158 generations, assuming a generous die-off rate such that the fourth
generation has about 40 germs instead of 128, and assuming that the population
divides every hour, each and every cubic inch of living space on the earth, from
100 feet below ground to a mile above, would have 1 million germs by that time.
I guess, by creationist reckoning, the earth must be a week old! If it were a
few thousand years old, the germ population would have gone through the roof!
Yes, given unlimited living space, a good deal of luck in the early stages,
protection from mass destruction by disease or other disasters, and a high
motivation of purpose throughout, eight people could probably populate the earth
in a few thousand years. Eight germs could do it in less than a week. Eight
bunny rabbits would fall somewhere in between. Eight cats would give us yet
another figure. What do any of these figures have to do with the age of the
earth? Nothing! What do these figures have to do with actual growth rates?
The human exponential growth rate of the last few hundred years is possible
only because of technology. When our ability to stay one jump ahead of
starvation and disease fails, when our resources give out, then you'll see a
dramatic change in that growth rate! It will no longer be exponential. It will
When man lived in scattered tribal groups, which is what he did for 99% of
his history, the net human population growth was zero most of the time, just as
it is for animals today. Animal populations may undergo cycles of boom and
bust, especially small animals such as rabbits or mice, but their net growth is
zero. No permanent increase in population can be sustained unless it is
reflected by a permanent change in the environment. Such a change might include
the loss of a predator due to the colonization of new territory, a permanent
increase in the food supply due to climatic change or a change in dietary
habits, or a variety of other factors. In the case of man, the development of
agriculture and the use of fossil fuels have played major roles. After a
favorable change in the environment, a population of animals (or people) may
record a permanent jump before leveling off at a zero net growth again. Thus,
the growth rate, before technology intervened in a major way, necessarily
involved a series of plateaus where the population was in approximate
equilibrium with the environment. Indeed, many tribal groups probably died out.
There was no assurance that early man would even survive. Jumps between plateau
levels would likely have been exponential. Indeed, the exponential growth rate
of the last 300 years or so can be thought of as one long jump to a new plateau
which has been raised artificially high by technology.
Those who imagine that eight people gave rise to all living today according
to a simple exponential growth curve have demonstrated an inability to think
things through. Let's look at the equation involved in these growth rate
P(n) = P(1 + r)n
P(n) is the population generated after n years. (With the proper adjustment
of r, n could be months or generations, etc. For our purposes, years will do
nicely and r will be adjusted accordingly.) P is the initial population which,
in our case, is eight. The growth rate is r which would be close to zero for
humanity per year. A negative value would indicate a population decline. Henry
Morris used a value for r of 0.0033 [0.33%] in a similar calculation which
started with Adam and Eve. However, since the flood supposedly reduced the
population to eight people 1656 years after creation, a figure Dr. Hovind gives
based on patriarchal ages, we should start our exponential curve at the latter
date. If we assume, for the sake of this argument, that the earth is 6000 years
old, then we start our calculation with 8 people 4344 years ago. We must wind
up with the present population of 5.5 billion people, the figure given by Dr.
It turns out that if r = 0.0047 then after 4344 years we would wind up with
about 5.6 billion people, which is close enough. After substituting the values
for P and r into the above equation we are at liberty to try out different
values for n to obtain the population at different times. At the time the
Israelites entered Canaan, we get a world population of 2024! By the time you
divide that up between Egypt, Canaan, the rest of the world, and Israel, that
leaves maybe 6 or 7 people for the Israeli army! If we go back to the time that
the Hykos were expelled from Egypt, in 1560 BC, we get a world population of 325
We can't calculate the population at the time the Great Pyramid of Cheops
was built, around 2500 BC, because it was supposedly washed away by Noah's
flood!! Being an antediluvian structure, many people might have been available
to work on it. Odd, that the Great Pyramid of Cheops shows no water marks.
Stranger still, that the Egyptians should be unaware of Noah's flood! I would
think that Noah's flood, coming a mere century or thereabouts after the Great
Pyramid of Cheops was built, would have found a prominent place in the Egyptian
As you can see, an exponential growth curve leads to absurdity when we
assume that 8 people generated today's population. Creationists, of course,
could jack the r value way up at the start, jack it way down in the middle, and
jack it up again for modern times, but the ad hoc nature of such an argument
becomes a little too obvious. Regarding the foolishness of this whole
enterprise, Dr. Alan Hayward had this to say:
"Nobody who has ever studied the population explosion would make such an unwise
extrapolation. It is well known that growth rates have increased enormously in
recent centuries. Population expert Paul Ehrlich gives world average yearly
growth rates of 0.9 per cent between 1850 and 1930, 0.3 per cent between 1650
and 1850, and a mere 0.07 per cent in the thousand years prior to 1650. And in
the fourteenth century the population increase must have been very small indeed,
and it may even have been turned into a big decrease, because of the Black
Death. Ehrlich's figures are not just guesses; they are based on historical
records. These facts show how misguided it is to extrapolate present population
trends into the remote past. (Hayward, 1985, p.136)"
The Times Atlas of World History (1978) estimated that the world population
increased 16 times between 8000 BC and 4000 BC. That yields a growth rate (r =
0.069%) which is almost identical to the figure quoted above by Hayward for
Try plugging in some real data! It does make a difference. If we assume a
growth rate of 0.07% before 1650 (a rate already a bit high because of
agriculture), a growth rate of 0.3% between 1650 and 1850, a growth rate of 0.9%
between 1850 and 1930, and a growth rate of 2.0% between 1930 and 1994 you will
find that Noah and his crew are the ancestors of a whopping 1740 people today!
(R) I strongly urge you to post this letter on your web site for all who visit
it to see. If you don't post it, along with your response, I'll know why.
(MB) I have gladly posted your letter and the conclusive refutation for all to
see. Anyone who reads this will quickly notice that all that is needed to
conclusively disprove the Creationist argument is basic mathematics in
conjunction with a bit of historical data. One doesn't have to be an
"evolutionist" to see the fatal flaws in that argument. I guess I know why
you've already decided not to debate or defend the Creationist side. It would
be a hopeless task.
(R) You know what? I wouldn't be surprised if the theory of evolution is
discarded within the next 20 years.
(MB) Why? The theory has only gotten stronger for more than a century despite
the concerted efforts of the Creationists. There is no reason to believe that
it will come crashing down at any time in the future. But, for the sake of
argument, if evolution was discarded, what would replace it and why?
(R) The only reason it hasn't been discarded yet is because nobody can look into
the past. That includes evolutionists.
(MB) But we *can* look into the past -- in a manner of speaking. Every time we
look at the light of a star, we see it as it was in the past and not how it is
at present. The same applies to the fossil and geological records. They are
the past history of life and events on Earth.
(R) And just to emphisize it- there is no real evidence for evolution
(MB) "Real" evidence being anything that agrees with Creationism, of course,
right? Out of curiosity, just what would you consider to be "real" evidence for
evolution? Where is the "real" evidence (or any evidence at all, for that
matter) for Creationism?
One final question, why do Creationists think that toppling evolution will lend
any credibility to their own model? One model being "wrong" does not, in any
way, shape, or form, make any other model "right". The only way that any
prospective model can be "right" is if the accumulated weight of evidence
supports that model. At present, the weight of evidence supporting Creationism
is exactly zero while that which supports evolution is overwhelming.
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