URCall: Time to Double

From the ICR’s URCall series of videos, hosted by Markus Lloyd. “How did we reach 7 Billion people?” (link)


How can we have a world population increase to over seven billion people today from only eight survivors from Noah’s flood, if the Earth is only a few thousand years old? Let’s assume one male and one female marry, and had children, and all their children marry and had children, and so on. Let’s assume, conservatively, that every 150 years the population doubles. After 32 doublings, or 4800 years, the population would reach almost 8.6 billion – which is more than we have now. On the other hand, if modern humans started 50000 years ago, at the same conservative population growth rate, even considering death rates, famine, wars etc, all the people could not even fit on the Earth. So if humans had really been around for millions of years, where did everybody go?

Let’s take a look at the equations. The ICR’s gloriously simplistic model can be written like this.

Doubling formula: Starting population * 2 ^ (Time / Doubling time) = Target population

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Prime Numbered Cicadas

2013 Brood II cicadaRight now, the northeastern US is experiencing a plague of cicadas. These are no ordinary cicadas, however – these are “Brood II” of the famous 17-year periodical cicadas (a collection of species under the genus Magicicada). There are 15 distinct living broods, which can also have 13-year periods as well as 17. Brood II is far from the most wide-spread: for 17-year broods that goes to X, while for the 13s it’s XIX.*

Noting this, Brian Thomas writes Cicadas Make Great Mathematicians. Really now? Continue reading

A Great Volume of Lumber

The Building of Noah's ArkJohn D. Morris, President of the Institute for Creation Research, has a new book – called The Global Flood. I’m not entirely sure to what extent this book is supposed to be a successor to Whitcomb and (Henry) Morris’ 1961 tome with a similar name (The Genesis Flood), but I don’t get the impression that this was the intent. That’s not important, however. More relevant is that John Morris’ usual Acts & Facts column has been replaced this month by an excerpt “adapted” from the book, entitled An ‘Impossible’ Task?

Forced to pick the most implausible part of the Flood story, it is easiest to talk about the ark itself. The ark is supposed to have been a very large, wooden ship that was supposed to hold a very large amount of animals for about a year in what had to have been, factoring in your favourite hypothesis for how the flood itself worked, some extremely rough seas. For their part young Earth creationists have done their best to try to justify aspects of the account – whole books have been written about the topic. The excerpt here is one example, and if it’s in any way representative of other attempts then the YECs are in a bad way indeed:

By any estimation, the building of Noah’s Ark was a monumental task. Assuming an 18″ cubit, the Ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Could Noah and his sons have accomplished it? By making reasonable assumptions, we can perhaps determine whether the task was too great.

Morris’ “reasonable assumptions” are, of course, of the “just make up a number and call it a conservative estimate” school of educated guesswork. Continue reading