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Sunday, May 16, 2010

A graph post for Cohen. Not a canticle for leibowitz.

Happy Weekend!!! We will celebrate the girl (high school prom picture below) as a college graduate tomorrow...


Ain't she sweet? Our wonderful and youngest daughter Amanda is preparing to leave the nest.

At least she is marrying yet another one of those Christian radicals! My almost son-in-law Dan.




One last post before we go...

Let's review my post of about a year ago that covered the population growth and why the curve and the numbers all fit the Flood scenario and NO WAY fit Darwinist conjectures...


Friday, March 27, 2009

Quick post on population and human genetics


In Six Days

Why 50 Scientists Choose
to Believe in Creation

The above is the title of a publication in which fifty (out of several hundreds associated with the site) presented evidence to explain their belief in a literal six days of creation and a young earth. I will present excerpts from one of those fifty quickly.


James S. Allan, genetics


Dr. Allan is a former senior lecturer in genetics at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. He holds a B.S. in agriculture from the University of Natal, an M.S. in agriculture from the University of Stellenbosch and a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He currently serves as an international consultant in the field of dairy cattle breeding.


"As a biologist in the field of population and quantitative genetics, I had believed in the theory of evolution for nearly 40 years. During that period of my life, the long-time requirements of the theory did not really concern me. Chance (genetic drift) and natural selection in response to gene mutation and/or environmental change seemed to be logically acceptable mechanisms for the assumed extent of adaptive radiation.

My research involved using biometrical methods of analysis. I was concerned to predict rates of genetic change as a result of applying artificial selection procedures of varying intensities, based on different kinds and amounts of information. The accuracy of prediction of the rate of genetic change can be assessed theoretically and the results can, in many cases and in the short-term, be checked empirically. The change in genetic merit (and associated phenotypic merit) from one generation to the next is due to changes in the relative frequencies of the underlying genes.

Over all those years, because I accepted the “fact” of evolution, I saw no reason to differentiate in principle between changes in relative gene frequency as a consequence of either short-term or long-term natural selection. To me, these forms of selection resulted in just the one simple principle of change in relative gene frequency, and the essence of the theory of evolution is change in relative gene frequency as a result of genetic drift and of natural selection in response to gene mutation and/or environmental change.

When, at a fairly advanced stage of my career, I became a Christian I began to read the Bible reverently and as intelligently as I was able. At that time most of my reading was focused in the New Testament and, as my main concern was to know more of Christ as my Savior, my opinion concerning the theory of evolution remained unchallenged. I did not, in fact, give it much thought.

One day, after I had been expounding on the universality of DNA as evidence for the theory of evolution, my wife, who had been a Christian much longer than I, asked me whether there was any reason for God to have used other genetic systems. Just one simple question, but it stimulated me to ask myself many more.

Was there any reason for God to have created life-forms on the basis of ABC … PQR … and XYZ as well as DNA? Were that so, would it have influenced my belief in the theory of evolution, or would I have interpreted it as a number of independent origins of life?

Was there any reason why God should not have created all forms of life as “variations on themes” and so have provided the observed orderly degrees of genetic and phenotypic resemblance as evidenced in taxonomic classification? Relatives tend to resemble one another in physical, functional and behavioral characteristics. This is a phenomenon which is basic to the science of genetics. The resemblance is due to the fact that relatives, sharing in the common gene pool of a reproducing population, have genes in common. The closer the relationship, the greater is the proportion of genes in common and, therefore, the greater is the degree of resemblance. The theory of evolution assumes a common origin for all forms of life and, therefore, infers that species, genera, families, orders, etc. are genetically related. They all do carry some genes with similar structure and function, yes, but did this imply genetic relationship in the normal, within-species sense, and was one at liberty to assume a common origin for all forms of life? Was there any reason why God should have created different species, genera, etc. in completely different ways and with completely different genes?"

Why, indeed? Dr. Allan goes into depth in the article, which I hope you do read. He presents evidence that requires millions of years for a prehuman chimp-like ancestor to evolve into a human, if indeed something like that ever happened. But allow me to present his portion of population analysis in which he extrapolates the human population back to a beginning point using both genetic and mathmatical training in the process:

"According to the 23rd General Population Conference in Beijing in 1997, the total human population of the earth in that year was assessed to be in the region of 6,000 million, showing that there has been a remarkable increase over the past 200 years. Estimates of the population numbers back to the year 1500 and a prediction for the year 2080 are given in the following table.

Year 1500 1650 1800 1900 1950 1997 2080
No. (millions) 300 550 1,000 1,700 2,500 6,000 10,000

Extrapolation further into the past gives the following approximate numbers:

Year –2000 –1000 0 1000
No. (millions) 1 50 100 250

I find these figures to be in close agreement with what one would expect from the biblical specification after the Flood in 2344 B.C. The assumed existence of thousands of millions of “prehumans” is both physically and scripturally unrealistic."

I believe it is obvious that a non-linear population growth is represented by the human race. Fits and starts have happened as rapid population growth probably occurred during the great warming period but plagues and wars and the little ice age hampered populations in some areas. Overall, the human population growth estimates take us back to around 2500 BC, which is about 4,500 years ago. Based upon the way the human population has been recorded to have expanded during the last few hundred years it is astonishing that anyone could believe that there has been a steadily expanding population for hundreds of thousands of years, let alone millions! No Sigmoidal curvature yet, that is for sure! (Although the United Nations chart predicts the sigmoidal curve to show up in the future).

No one looking at a chart of human population growth would categorize this as a linear chart. Nor would anyone suggest that we have reached stasis. This kind of growth is found in populations that are relatively young and did not begin long ago. Those of you who love math have to know this, I cannot imagine how you can ignore these kinds of numbers and believe that humanity has been around for any significant period of time.

Population growth is just one clue that the Biblical Flood absolutely took place somewhere in the neighborhood of 2500 BC and there are plenty of other indicators. Next post will go into more detail.

With thanks to the Guardian and Radar O'Reilly, linear, cubic, exponential and sigmoidal curves: exponential vs. linear and cubic curves
Exponential, linear and cubic curves

sigmoidal curve
A sigmoidal curve.

"As O'Reilly points out, in the end those curves always flatten out. They have to; there just aren't enough people, aliens, atoms, quarks to keep growing exponentially all the time. Growth always slows."

But growth has not yet slowed because the human population just hasn't had much time to grow yet.

~


Compare the actual chart of human population growth and expect growth to the sigmoidal curve and you see that scohen must have missed or forgotten this post. No worries.

Now I may not post anything else for Sunday because our daughter Amanda is graduating college this Sunday! Art Scholarship all through and it will be so great to see her receive her diploma! Then she is going to go and marry this Dan fellow at the end of the month and live forty minutes away. Far enough to have things to themselves most of the time, close enough to visit easily and regularly. Just about as far away as our other daughters (probably 45 and 35 minutes each and both of them have our grandkids!) and we are really happy family stays close.

All three boys (men from 18 to 26) are living at home finishing or about to start college, Yikes, so that is right, we get to see Nathan graduate from high school and he has made the honor roll every single semester so he ought to be getting a few awards, too.

SO I have one artist, one not-sure-yet, one auto mechanic, two teachers and a paralegal working in County government on my kid list. That's right, I am a real guy. Nobody pays me to write this blog, I do it to love people.

Woolf and creeper and schohen and anonymous of various stripes and Angel and Jim and Tim and Amy and chaos and lava and canucklehead and the rest of you commenters, I poke you and prod you and challenge you while providing content for my students and follwers in the church/Christian community. I figure if a doper hard-drinking rock and roll singer with the vocabulary of a sailor and an eye for women could get saved and turned all around it could happen to you.

Life has been interesting. I could be officially labeled handicapped and receive a stipend. I could feel sorry for myself and all the pills I take and all the pain I deal with. I see myself get too mouthy or overstate a point and then work on pulling myself back. I am not here to hound you Darwinists, I am here to save your butts! People like creeper, who I scold and argue with are part of my blog family. I worried when Dan S fell off the end of the world. I miss IAMB not coming back often, even though I know some of those guys make fun of me in other places. So what?

This year I was thoroughly involved in politics in Indiana, meeting some of the actual power behind the power in some cases, meeting candidates, becoming friends with some and detesting others. I saw the various and sundry Potter schemes being hatched and mostly pulling out a win. And yet, one candidate who was an obvious front guy for money people and Indianapolis string-pullers attended a local church just after the election (that he won) and while there at church he got saved. He became a Christian!!! Just that one thing makes so much of the hard work and sweat and money and time worthwhile.

One of my new friends is head of the local Right To Life agency and he jumps up and down and gushes when on occasion some young lady is talked out of having an abortion. His joy is genuine and he loses money doing this. Another new friend is investigating how a plan to build a highway may well be a con and is risking his future in politics to get to the bottom of it all.

To quote a friend who quoted an author who quoted a philosopher so by this time it is mostly me:


Public convictions are convictions that I want other people to think I believe, even though I really may not believe them.

Public figures are notorious for stating convictions for the purpose of creating an impression rather than communicating truth Television comedian Stephen Colbert says the quality to which these statements aspire is truthiness. They may not be true, but they sound true; they allow the speaker to impress people with his or her sincerity.


This has been going on for a long time. We give politicians a hard time for replacing truth with truthiness, but I have an inner politician who puts in overtime, and his main job is crafting and communicating public convictions to help me get what I want. I have to keep an eye on my "publicist" to make sure he First, thank God I did not go off and tell even one-third of what I found out about local politics as a result of being heavily involved in the 2010 Indiana primaries. Part of this is because of a journalistic instinct not to print anything you cannot either attribute or prove. Second would be a Christian urge to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Thirdly, the admonition that begins, "When in Rome..." applies to a small extent. Discernment is of more value than the satisfaction of whacking someone upside the head with a questionable mallet.




Truthiness:


Sometimes being part of a community of faith increases the temptation to pretend to believe what we really don’t. One of the beliefs espoused by my church is not in accordance with my beliefs, but since I do not consider it to be doctrinal, I just let it go. But not before my wife and I had a sit-down with the two top pastors (we are part of staff) to let them know that we were willing to avoid the subject in teaching mode but in personal mode would defend that position and they agreed that we could all disagree peacefully.

One fairly local Bible colllege demands that all teachers sign a profession of faith in premillennialism and when one of the professors was asked why he subscribed to this, since it has been a minority position throughout the history of the church, he said, “My belief in premillennialism hangs by a slender economic thread.”

That would be a public conviction. One of the dangers of preaching is that it tempts preachers to pretend they have no doubts and to settle for truthiness. Or that they preach the truthiness their congregation wants to hear rather than the truth they know in their hearts would cost them a few members and maybe a few dollars in the collection plate as well.

In politics truthiness is the coin of the realm. As many of this year's primary candidates discovered, the real truth doesn't always attract the most voters. We can blog about what is going on night and day but until the voters care about what really is behind that curtain and instead listen to the Great and Powerful Oz pontificate...well, it is going to be a long hard fight.


Private Convictions

Private convictions are convictions that I sincerely think I believe, but it turns out they may be fickle. They may be illusory.

Although it sounds odd, I may think I believe something, but it turns out my true convictions run another way. Private convictions seem to be real at the time, but when circumstances shift, they are revealed to be hollow. A biblical example of this took place the night before Jesus died when he predicted that Peter was going to deny him. Peter said: “Even if all fall away, I will not....Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you” (Mark 14:9, 31).

We have the Private convictions we THINK we believe. Sometimes we really do not know what we actually believe in our hearts until we are challenged. Will I fight to protect a friend to my own personal danger of loss? Will I indeed give my life to protect my family?

But Peter thought he would fight for Jesus to the death and then ran away from accusations around the fire in fear...and then found his personal crisis of beliefs. Peter had Public and Private convictions that adhered to Christ, but...it was AFTER Christ died and Peter was filled with the Spirit of God that his Private convictions matched his Public convictions.

Core Convictions

This concept leads to a third level of convictions, and these are the ones that really matter. Core convictions are revealed by our daily actions, by what we actually do. They are what might be called the “mental map.” Every one of us has one of these mental maps about the way we think things really are and the way life rally works.

I believe if I touch fire I will get burned. I believe coffee helps me wake up. I believe in gravity. This is part of my mental map, so I don’t have to work hard to behave in a way that is congruent with gravity. I don’t have to remind myself not to jump out of a ten-story building. On the other hand, if I wanted to hurt myself, I would jump off the building. My actions are always the result of my purposes and my core convictions. Gravity is a part of my mental map about the way things really are, and therefore my actions are always congruent with my belief in gravity. This means I will have to become a student of my own behavior to find out what I really believe.


Peter had discovered his Core convictions were not what he thought they were. but afterwards, seeing the risen Christ and being filled with His Spirit, Peter would die for those convictions. That proves that he really did change. Peter's convictions ran from the surface all the way to the core!

We have Core convictions and they determine what we actually DO. This is what we call true integrity. If you are the same man at home, at work, at school and goofing around with family or friends then you are a real deal.

Some of you call me a liar and yet I do not lie on this blog. I will not lie on this blog. I must not lie on this blog or elsewhere or I am untrue to myself, to you and to God. You often say this when you disagree with me but you do not understand. Lying does me no good. Only truth wins the day.

Most of you must know that this blog comes from my heart and my mind and my soul. It serves as a source of laughter and lampooning for some just as the Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn/Olivia DeHaviland/Claude Rains and Basil Rathbone begot Men in Tights in its own way as well as The Princess Bride and other such lampoons and spoofs. That is fine. I will be Robin and you be the Sheriff of Nottingham or the Sir Guy of Gisbourne. Let us see what happens when Richard the Lionheart arrives to take over his kingdom, shall we?
May we all be at the public level what we are at the core.

12 comments:

creeper said...

I'd advise going here, so you can also see the discussion that took place at the time.

The obvious problems with the post that I pointed out:

1. This is a strawman argument: nobody argued for a linear progression. We already briefly touched on that in the comments. Taking the datapoints for 1 billion and 6 billion, mankind would have started in 1912.

Some of us consider that unlikely, though if the Bible said it was so, I would expect you to try to dismiss any and all historical sources that would agree with that.

2. Obviously this falls short of extrapolating to a population of 8 (the inhabitants of Noah's Ark), so you still owe an answer to that question.

And as you probably know, exponential curves are quite flat towards the left. As others have already commented, populations were quite stable for extended periods of time due to health etc. Our improved living conditions have made it possible for us to live longer as well as survive adversarial conditions that our ancestors would not have survived.

3. "I find these figures to be in close agreement with what one would expect from the biblical specification after the Flood in 2344 B.C."

For some reason, his extrapolation becomes linear (perhaps because he needs to do some "curve fitting" so he can hit a population of 8 around 2,344 BC):

100 million in 0 AD
50 million in 1,000 BC
1 million in 2,000 BC

That's a linear progression, not an exponential one. Put it on a graph along with his preceding numbers and see for yourself.

4. "The assumed existence of thousands of millions of “prehumans” is both physically and scripturally unrealistic."

I don't know what thousands of millions he is talking about here. But since he mentions physically realistic (I don't know what exactly "scripturally realistic" means), let's think about this progression in "realistic" terms. For example, there's this little comparison from here - go there for a better layout of this list.

World Population Date Event

17 2566 BC Construction of Great Pyramid
2,729 1332 BC Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten dies
5,000 1185 BC Trojan War
~1200 BC Hebrew exodus, # of males = 603,550 (excluding Levites)
32,971 776 BC First Olympic games
87,507 490 BC Greek wars with Persia
133,744 387 BC Brennus' Sack of Rome
586,678 28 BC Augustus' census of Rome (70 to 100 million counted)
655,683 1 AD Nice date

I forget if we've already discussed this on this blog.

5. I also seem to recall that after the flood there are mentions of meeting other tribes and nations later on. Radar can probably cite those for us, but I forget how they tie into these extrapolations.

(continued)

-- creeper

creeper said...

6. We've also previously discussed whether it is possible for races to have evolved that quickly, and whether we still see evidence of those mechanisms today. There is no evidence that this is possible.

7. And we've already been over the fact that there was no discontinuity in other ancient civilizations at the time the supposedly global flood was taking place.

8. Nor is there evidence of it in dendrochronological records. I fully expect Radar to dismiss this with the claim that he's already answered this. He hasn't. Radar ran away from that argument, though we can gladly revisit it.

9. "But growth has not yet slowed because the human population just hasn't had much time to grow yet."

What kind of logic is that?! So growth will slow once the human population has had enough time to grow? Could you explain what you mean by this?

Growth has not yet slowed because the human population can still grow, i.e. it still has room and resources. Once those become more scarce (or there are deliberate measures to control population, such as in China), the graph will level off, as shown in the graph above at the top of the article.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Nice summary, Creeper. I'd add that it seems Radar is a "biblical scholar" who doesn't know or respect the power of the Four Horsemen.

Human population was basically static, or grew only very slowly, for a very long time. Disease, Famine, and War saw to that. In days of yore it wasn't uncommon for a couple to have four kids, lose three of them to plague, have three more kids, and lose two of them to famine. The Black Death alone has killed millions over the centuries; smallpox, syphilis, typhus, and other diseases have killed millions more. Floods and earthquakes have also done their part.

The notion that pre-20th-century human population followed any sort of easily-predictable growth curve is ridiculous.

Hawkeye® said...

Radar,
Nice pics of your daughter.

(:D) Best regards...

radar said...

Sigmoidal curve. Human population. Reread the post. Sigmoidal looks like it is fairly linear until it hits more exponential growth and shoots up, which is where we are now.

It actually comes very close to the Noah starting point. It certainly cannot represent mankind starting even ten thousand years ago.

Dendrochonology, you do not remember the genetics population expert who specialized in trees and former head of the European Union giving his opinion on this?

If one did find trees that were older than the flood date then they probably were among those trees uprooted that managed to float for a year and land in a place where they could still thrive as unintentional transplants. It is something that probably happened all over the globe but few trees live long enough to remain alive today.

As to "races" we have discussed and demonstrated rapid speciation so there is plenty of time. Speciation happpens quickly and macroevolution doesn't happen at all.

creeper said...

"Sigmoidal looks like it is fairly linear until it hits more exponential growth and shoots up, which is where we are now."

The author attempted some curve fitting to reach his desired conclusion, but as was pointed out by several commenters and elsewhere on the Internet, that would yield population figures that are completely at odds with history.

"It actually comes very close to the Noah starting point."

Funny how when you engage in curve-fitting to suit a foregone conclusion, the curve fits to suit the foregone conclusion...

"It certainly cannot represent mankind starting even ten thousand years ago."

Only if you insist on a linear graph, which of course this isn't.

"Dendrochonology, you do not remember the genetics population expert who specialized in trees and former head of the European Union giving his opinion on this?"

Nope. Did you blog about it?

"If one did find trees that were older than the flood date then they probably were among those trees uprooted that managed to float for a year and land in a place where they could still thrive as unintentional transplants. It is something that probably happened all over the globe but few trees live long enough to remain alive today."

It's an interesting, if wildly implausible just-so story obviously made up by someone who wishes to hold on to their conclusion at all costs.

But as with all such ad-hoc hypotheses, why not think one step further and ask what we would then expect to see?

From your adventures in climate-related subjects, you should be aware that dendrochronology is used to draw conclusion about past climates and atmospheric conditions. Don't you suppose that if a tree (or perhaps a small forest) were miraculously uprooted, floated in salt water for a year, then just as miraculously re-rooted in soil drenched in salt water, that it would leave some kind of trace in the tree rings?

Maybe Ian Juby can try this, rip out some trees and let them float in the ocean and see what it takes to re-root them - and see if this would leave some trace in the tree rings.

It's a nice little fantasy, Radar, but can you seriously not see that this is squarely in the realm of making stuff up and not thinking it through?

"As to "races" we have discussed and demonstrated rapid speciation so there is plenty of time."

Yes, we have discussed this, but with regard to races, you've never managed to provide any kind of reasonable answer.

By what mechanism would races have evolved so rapidly? What is it that caused the differences between the races? Was it the climate? Something in the water?

Because the weird thing is, whatever "rapid speciation" you wish to appeal to in this case, it ain't happening today. For example, Caucasians living for generations on end in, say, Africa or Southeast Asia are not evolving to look like their native neighbors.

Makes sense according to the theory of evolution, not so much according to this YEC fairy tale of yours.

-- creeper

scohen said...

". Sigmoidal looks like it is fairly linear until it hits more exponential growth and shoots up"

Which makes the problem I was illustrating even worse. I used Ken Ham's numbers along with exponential growth, which even though it is much more optimistic, still gives ridiculously low population numbers during significant events in human history. Using a less optimistic curve would only make the problem worse.

At best, Ham is wrong and sloppy, at worst, he's intentionally deceiving people.

Seriously, use that brain of yours to run the numbers and see for yourself.

radar said...

creeper I have posted so much on rapid speciation even a caveman could do it. Good grief!

Ham's numbers are not necessarily based on thoughtful study but the guys who produced the graphs did careful analysis of the population and frankly populations usually do follow the sigmoidal pattern and we are right on the money there. No scohen, I cannot imagine how many corrolaries you must have to input into your numbers to hold human population artificialy low for tens of thousands of years, you will have to explain that.

The only trees I thought about that might predate the flood are a few bristlecone pines that wound up being caught in a plant mat and not completely stripped of limbs and roots. Whether or not that happened is not the issue.

The problem with tree rings and ice cores is the same, we really cannot be sure about layers and number of layers and/or rings once we go back a couple of thousand years. The flood is the wild card. Not only was that an event so massive that we cannot imagine the implications easily in any processes, it would have wiped out any records mankind had kept previously and stripped remaining mankind of his technologies, such as they were, so that it is hard to find a reliable record of events beyond the Bible. We also can imagine that all sorts of forces caused processes that seem very slow now to move quickly during the flood. Darwinists measure processes at today's rates and assume that nothing in the past was different except all sorts of macroevolution was happening. Which isn't happening now. Creationists say life was designed from the beginning and what we see is speciation. Which we do.

radar said...

Yes, I can and have mentioned the table of nations in Genesis and how the names are found in cultures around the world. Most cultures mention Ham, Shem or Japheth and often Noah as well. The Miatsu even mention Noah's wife as well as Adam and Eve. In the table of nations Cush is mentioned, who began the Egyptian dynasty not long after the Tower of Babel and Manhetho mentions this in discussing Egyptian history.

If you are African you are from Ham and perhaps also Shem. Middle East and Near East are also mostly from Shem. Far East and North was where the family of Japheth went. Descendants of Ham and Shem both seemed to have gone across to South America, etc. So oddly enough both the Chinese and the Norwegians come from Japheth as do the Greeks. Jews and Palestinians are both from Shem and many both from Abraham, which is part of the problem. Hamites could easily be not just African but in South America and Australia as well.

But "race" is just a lot like saying "Pointer" and "Setter." Two varieties of the same thing, human. People of different colors are all equally human.

Jon Woolf said...

frankly populations usually do follow the sigmoidal pattern

No, they don't. The sigmoidal growth curve is typical only of unbounded populations -- that is, populations which are not limited by disease, food supply, or predation. This simply doesn't apply to humanity prior to the 19th century.

Yes, I saw your subsequent post with all those impressive-looking numbers and charts. Since that material all came from avowed creationists, none of it is worth a load of fetid dingo's kidneys. It's still the Bunny Blunder, and it's still as wrong today as when Morris the Elder first proposed it 35 years ago.

creeper said...

"creeper I have posted so much on rapid speciation even a caveman could do it. Good grief!"

Avoiding the question of what would have caused the races to evolve. How predictable. Simply repeating "rapid speciation" doesn't answer the question.

What evolutionary factors would have caused changes in skin color, hair etc.? And why don't we see those factors at work today?

"Ham's numbers are not necessarily based on thoughtful study but the guys who produced the graphs did careful analysis of the population"

Up to a point, they just used generally available data. And then they drew a straight line from that to the conclusion they were determined to reach.

"and frankly populations usually do follow the sigmoidal pattern and we are right on the money there. No scohen, I cannot imagine how many corrolaries you must have to input into your numbers to hold human population artificialy low for tens of thousands of years, you will have to explain that."

Most populations that we observe around us are actually steady, so this is not inexplicable by any stretch of the imagination and doesn't require all that many corrolaries.

"The only trees I thought about that might predate the flood are a few bristlecone pines that wound up being caught in a plant mat and not completely stripped of limbs and roots. Whether or not that happened is not the issue."

Of course it didn't happen, or we'd see evidence of it in tree rings. And since we don't, we can conclude that the global flood did not take place.

"The problem with tree rings and ice cores is the same, we really cannot be sure about layers and number of layers and/or rings once we go back a couple of thousand years."

1. Actually, yes we can, because they sync up over great distances. That would not be the case if they were as fickle and unreliable as you suggest.

2. If they're as unreliable as you suggest, then you should abandon your other hobby horse, global warming/cooling. Almost all of it relies on ice core layers and tree rings, plus it's a historical science, argh...

"The flood is the wild card. Not only was that an event so massive that we cannot imagine the implications easily in any processes, it would have wiped out any records mankind had kept previously and stripped remaining mankind of his technologies, such as they were, so that it is hard to find a reliable record of events beyond the Bible."

How much of a wild card can it be? You're talking about a whole lot of water, which would leave certain evidence in, say, tree rings and ice core layers. There is no way you can explain away hundreds of thousands of ice core layers with no trace of a flood anywhere.

Seems you're close to arguing that the flood had some kind of magical powers, including the power to erase all trace of itself.

Oh and to magically sort fossils in the rock layers of course.

"We also can imagine that all sorts of forces caused processes that seem very slow now to move quickly during the flood. Darwinists measure processes at today's rates and assume that nothing in the past was different"

It's an assumption that happens to be consistent with the evidence.

"except all sorts of macroevolution was happening. Which isn't happening now."

Radar, if macroevolution is happening now, would you be able to see it?

"Creationists say life was designed from the beginning and what we see is speciation. Which we do."

And speciation by definition is macroevolution. Do your friggin' homework, Radar.

But "race" is just a lot like saying "Pointer" and "Setter." Two varieties of the same thing, human. People of different colors are all equally human."

And how did they get to be different colors? Shouldn't be that hard to answer. If there is an answer.

-- creeper

Chaos Engineer said...

Sigh, everybody's getting the definition of the Sigmoid Curve wrong.

The sigmoid curve describes population growth under a constant supply of resources.

In the beginning, resources are plentiful and growth is exponential. As time goes on, there's more competition for resources and growth slows down. At the 50% mark growth has become linear, and then after that it keeps getting slower and slower until the maximum population is hit and growth becomes exactly zero.

(Note that this only works if resources are constant and if there aren't any other factors affecting population, like predators or climate change.)

The interesting thing about human population growth is that the maximum population isn't constant. New technologies keep increasing the number of people we can support.

So, from an Evolutionary perspective: Modern humans first appeared about 100,000 years ago. The population probably hit the pretechnological maximum fairly quickly, and then stayed there until the development of agriculture, which allowed the maximum population to increase starting around 10,000BC. The maximum has been raised several times since then, by other inventions such as deforestation, the horse-drawn plow, chemical fertilizers, and the modern welfare state. Any attempt to make human population growth fit a nice simple curve is doomed to failure.

As The Onion reminds us, this isn't necessarily inconsistent with the Biblical story of creation.