Answers in Genesis (AiG) recently posted a brief article in which they addressed the question as to how many people were on earth at the time of the global Flood.
According to the folks at AiG, “some people believe the population was relatively low” (whatever that means) because of “wars, diseases, and other factors.” However, if the population growth rate in the pre-Flood world – that is, in the years between 4004 and 2348 BCE – was “equal to the growth rate in 2000, there could have been about 750 million people at the time of the Flood.” But “given the extremely long lifespans prior to the Flood, the growth rate could have been much higher,” and thus the population could have been “close to four billion at the Flood” (Emphases ours).
What? The Earth’s population may have been upwards of four billion in the year 2348 BCE? Even AiG’s more modest suggestion of 750 million people is jaw-dropping, given that scholars have concluded that in year 1 CE – 2348 years later! – the global population was approximately 170 million.
There is much to be said here about what counts as logic for AiG. For now, note the unnamed author’s matter-of-fact tone in telling the story of global slaughter, in casually (even callously) suggesting the possibility that between 749,999,992 and 3,999,999,992 human beings drowned in the Flood, the Flood that young earth creationists use to wash away mainstream geology.
Here are some questions that folks outside the world of young earth creationism would find reasonable to ask about this scenario:
- If even just a few hundred of these millions/billions of people had heeded Noah’s warning of global flood, how would they have fit on the Ark?
- Did every one of these millions/billions of people receive Noah’s warning?
- Did every one of these millions/billions of people deserve to drown?
- Did the millions and millions of infants and small children deserve to drown?
- When the flood waters started to rise, did the eight people on the Ark hear the screams of the drowning people?
- As the eight people on the Ark ate their dinner or went to sleep at night, did they think about the fact that outside the walls of their boat millions/billions of people were dying a horrific death?
- When the Ark came to rest, and the eight people ventured forth, did they shriek in horror at the sight of the skeletal remains of billions of people and animals?
Of course, for AiG the future Judgment is as important as the past Judgment. As the article’s unnamed author observes in the concluding paragraph: “Earth currently has about seven billion inhabitants. How many of them will be judged with eternal condemnation if the Lord were to return soon?”
Approximately 31% of the world’s population is affiliated with Christianity. Let’s leave aside that fact that some percentage of these individuals would not meet an evangelical definition of “Christian.” According to AiG, if the end of history came this year at least 4.8 billion individuals would be cast into a hell where they would consciously endure eternal torment (Righting America, pp. 224-225).
Here, then, is the message of Ark Encounter. The righteous drowning of millions/billions of human beings prefigures the righteous burning of billions of human beings.
Quite the tourist site.