Dec 10, 2010

Further Thoughts on AiG

I've been thinking more about yesterday's post.  The question with such claims always is, are the people who make them believers or frauds?  Stupid?  Or evil?  Which is to say: they're spouting nonsense, as simple arithmetic* will show you.  So do they honestly believe that nonsense?  Or are they liars who are cynically manipulating followers they believe to be bad at math?

Consider the exactitude with which their stated rate of population doubling got from six breeders coming off the ark in 4500 BC to 6.5 billion people in AD 2000:

6 * 2 ^ (4500 / 150) = ~6,442,450,944

That's a deviation of less than 1%.  Getting a number like that isn't the result of chance: someone figured this out.  Finding the years-per-doubling you need to get from one population to another over a set period time isn't terribly hard, but it's beyond the math capabilities of the average person.  The basic equation is this:

Initial Population * 2 ^ (Years Elapsed / Years per Doubling) = Final Population

Plug in their numbers and you get this:

6 * 2 ^ (4500/X) = 6500000000

X is our Years per Doubling, so let's solve for X.  Divide both sides by 6:

2 ^ (4500/X) = 1083333333.333

then take the log:

log (2 ^ (4500/x)) = log (1083333333.333)

bring out the exponent:

(4500 / X) * log (2) = log (1083333333.333)

multiple both sides by X, and divide by log (1083333333.333):

4500 * log (2) / log (1083333333.333) = X

then pull up the calculator and solve it:

X = ~150

Now, to be fair, there were actually eight people even though only six breeders, so they might have run the equation for 8 people, gotten ~152, and rounded it down.  An initial population of eight doubling every 150 years results in the 8.6 billion final population which they mention, but the wiggle room at the top can be for the compounded effects of wars, famine, plagues, what-have-you.  Either way, though, someone solved for X.

So when we read the sentence: "let us assume that the population doubles every 150 years", we know--for a fact--that it isn't an assumption: someone sat down and figured out exactly what number they needed to "assume" for the answer to come out the way they wanted it to.  I'm willing to bet good money that the person who did that knows what an exponential growth curve looks like, to say nothing of being able to divide by 2 enough times that the absurdity of the proposition because apparent.

What I'm getting at is that the intellectual capacity needed to figure out that you need to double the population every 150 years to get from 6-8 people to our current population in ~4500 years, though hardly impressive, far, far exceeds the intellectual capacity needed to figure out that such a rate is a glaring impossibility.

So.  Stupid?  Delusional folks who drink their own Kool-Aid?

Or evil?  Fraudsters lying for money and Jesus?

The math makes the former position harder to maintain.

*You don't even need an equation: just fill out a little chart with the years and keep dividing by two if you want to show that the idea that population has historically doubled every 150 years is pure fiction.

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