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Author Topic:   The race issue
Member (Idle past 3924 days)
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From: London., UK
Joined: 05-23-2003

Message 37 of 134 (492044)
12-27-2008 5:41 AM

Minimum Population Size
There's been some discussion about the population size in a post-flood situation.
Even assuming that Noah's sons all had wives (not mentioned in the Bible), and even children, the total post-flood population could not have been muc more than 20. Taking a further assumption that they bought (again unmentioned) servants, this number can be doubled or perhaps trebled: certainly no more than 100.
This is below the viability limit for isolated human populations. This is best described in Jared Diamond's book "Collapse". I'm doing this from memory, a my copy of the book is packed away as a result of some work being done on the flat.
He describes the case of Pitcairn Island: uninhabited when the Bounty mutineers arrived, but with traces of Polynesian occupation. It was first colonised several centuries earlier from a much larger island comples to the East, along with a much smaller island to the West. They traded with each other for Pitcairn volvanic stone (for tools), but when the society on the larger islands collapsed, the trade ceased, and boats stopped coming (IIRC the Pitcairn Island had few if any boats). The island's population was c200, but within a very few years they had all gone. This was no resource-related: the island could easily support a population of that size. There is a minimum size at which an isolated population is viable in the 200-500 ange, and probabally near the upper limit.
There's another example: post-Ice Age Tasmania. Durin the Ice Age Tasmania was linked to the land, and as the ice melted, Tasmania and a few other high points became islands, isolating Aborigine populations (who had no boats) on them (this is known from archaeological work). Again, on the smaller islands the populations died out and, a further point, the Tasmanian Aborigenes lost much of the mainland technologies: this is a feature of isolated populations a (larger) size of population is required to maintain civilisation: the more complex this civilisation, the higher the number.
The conclusion is obvious. If the flood hade reduced population levels down to my size estimate, let alone the actual level stated in the Bible, this remnant population would have suffered a technological/civilisation collapse follwed by extinction.
Therefore it did not happen.

For Whigs admit no force but argument.

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