Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 18, 2014

4. Population Growth – How Many Died in Noah’s Flood?

Noah, the Movie graphically portrays the devastation of Noah’s Flood, but it ignores a very intriguing question: How many people died in Noah’s Flood?

Forty-five hundred years ago Noah’s Flood wiped out the entire human population except for eight people: Noah and his wife and Noah’s three sons and their wives. Today’s
7 billion people are Noah’s descendants through 6 people — his sons Japheth, Shem, and Ham and their three wives (Genesis 9:18-19).
(See Tower of Babel – Origin of People Groups for information on the dispersal of Noah’s descendants across the globe.)

People Drowning Outside Noah's Ark

How Many People Died in Noah’s Flood?
Answer: Everybody outside the Ark

Population Growth Before the Flood

How many people died in Noah’s Flood?
The shortest and most accurate answer is “all but eight.” But how many does “all” include?

Prior to Noah’s Flood, population growth was much, much more rapid than today’s growth, because people lived much longer and had many more children. One can make calculations similar to those of previous posts to estimate the number of people who died in the Flood. However, this will be more speculative than the previous calculations, because we must estimate population growth parameters based on sparse data in Genesis.

From Adam to Noah’s Flood was 1656 years. If we assume for this period an average population doubling time of 74 years corresponding to 1804 to 2012 when humanity grew from 1 billion to 7 billion, then the world’s population would have been 10.9 million people at the Flood.

But this is surely far too low an estimate due to the much longer life spans, greater vitality and fertility, and far more children before the Flood. Let’s see if we can make a better estimate based on Biblical data.

20000522-MiddleAged

I will need to estimate lifespans, the average number of children per family, and generation lengths for the pre-Flood years.

1. Lifespans

The lifespans of nine pre-Flood patriarchs Adam through Noah listed in Genesis 5 ranged from 777 years for Lamech to 969 years for Methuselah with an average of 912 years. This excludes the outlier Enoch, Noah’s great-grandfather whom God took to heaven prematurely at age 365 (Genesis 5:23-24).

Thus I will use 900 for the average pre-Flood lifespan.

2. Children

Each of the 10 patriarchs in Genesis 5 except for Noah is described as having “other sons and daughters” in addition to the named son. So each of them had at least 5 children and likely many more.

The age at which the patriarch’s named son was born ranged from 65 for Mahalalel to 500 for Noah. This named son was not necessarily the oldest or the youngest; for example, Adam’s named son Seth in the Genesis 5 genealogy had at least 2 older brothers (Cain and Abel). The average age of the Genesis 5 patriarchs at which the named son was born was 155. So clearly the pre-Flood patriarchs were continuing to have children at much greater ages than people sire children today.

The Jewish historian Josephus of the first century A.D. reports that Adam and Eve had 56 children — 33 sons and 23 daughters.
(Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, Chapter 2, Paragraph 2, Endnote 8.)

Josephus also reports that Lamech had 77 children by two wives. Lamech was the sixth generation after Adam through Cain; this was a different Lamech from the father of Noah through Cain’s brother Seth (Genesis 4:17-19).
(Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, Chapter 2, Paragraph 2.)

Eve, mother of all living

Scripture records data on the children of 10 families immediately after the Flood which can be useful for estimating pre-Flood practices. Noah’s three sons had at least 16 sons among them. Seven of those 16 grandsons of Noah had at least 38 sons among them. The progeny of the other 9 grandsons is not recorded. Thus 10 families immediately following the Flood had at least 54 sons and presumably about the same number of daughters, thereby averaging at least 10.8 children per family. (Genesis 10; 11:10-13)

Based on all this data, I will assume for estimation purposes that the average pre-Flood family had 10 children. This is probably a low estimate because men lived for so long and could have children at least through 500 years of age. If a family started at age 20 and had a child every 2 or 3 years to age 500, they could easily have over 200 children.

3. Generations

How long was a pre-Flood generation? Today a generation is about 35 years, because on average families complete child-bearing by about age 35. Only 400 years after the Flood, Sarah was considered too old to bear a child at age 90 (Genesis 17:17; 18:11).

I will use 90 years to be the average length of a generation before the Flood. Then the number of generations before the Flood averaged 18.4 (1656/90 = 18.4), and the number of generations in a lifespan averaged 10 (900/90 = 10).

Genesis 5 lists 10 generations for the line from Adam to Noah covering the 1656 years before the Flood. However, many lines probably had many more generations. A family line for which offspring were born starting around 20 could have produced over 80 generations in this period. So 18 is again a conservative estimate for the average number of generations in family lines before the Flood. It was probably much higher.

Similarly, the number of generations in a lifespan probably averaged much more than 10. But I will use these very conservative estimates in order to compute a conservative estimate of the population at the Flood.

4. Population at the Flood

I’m now ready to calculate an estimate of how much the population grew from Adam and Eve to the Flood in 1656 years. I assume an average lifespan of 900 years, an average of 10 children per family averaging 5 boys and 5 girls that grow to adulthood and marry, 18 generations on average in family lines, and 10 generations in an average life span. Most of these estimates are probably pretty good except for the average number of children in a family which I think was probably much higher. But these estimates will enable me to calculate a conservative lower bound for the Flood population.

Using the third population formula included below (in bold), these parameters (P=2, c=5, g=18, k=10) yield a population of 9,536,742,187,500. To this must be added the unmarried childless people who were alive at the time. A very conservative estimate for this is 8% of the reproducing population. This gives a total estimated population at the Flood of 10,299,681,562,500. This is over 10 trillion people! It corresponds to a growth rate of 1.783%. And I believe this estimate is low, since I used conservative estimates for the parameters.

This estimated pre-Flood population of 10 trillion is another indication that the Flood was worldwide. The Flood would have to be global to destroy such a huge number of people.

This estimated pre-Flood population of 10 trillion people is well over 1,000 times today’s world population of 7.1 billion people. How could this be possible? Is 10 Trillion a Reasonable Estimate for the Population at the Flood? This is the topic of the next blog post.

Population Growth Formulas

For those interested in checking the math, here are the relevant Population Growth formulas:
The population doubling time (length of time it takes a population to double) in years is
= T/d where T is the population’s elapsed time in years and d is the # of doublings.
= (log 2) / log(1+r) where r is the annual growth rate.

Starting with population P, the new population is
= P x 2d after d doublings.
= P x (1+r)n after n years at an annual growth rate r.
= P x (cg+1 – cg-k+1) / (c-1) after g generations, where 2c is the average number of children per family who marry and have children (c boys, c girls), and k is the number of generations in a lifespan.

This last formula is derived as follows. Starting with an initial population P (consisting of P/2 men and P/2 women), the first subsequent generation would have 2c children in each of P/2 families for a total world population of
P + (P/2) x 2c = P(1+c).
The next generation would have 2c children in each of Pc/2 families for a total world population of
P(1+c) + (Pc/2) x 2c = P(1 + c + c2).
Similarly, after g generations with no deaths, the population will be
P(1 + c + c2 +…+ cg) = P x (cg+1 – 1) / (c-1) upon summing the geometric series.

To get the actual population after g generations, we need to reduce this by the number who have died. If the average lifespan is k generations (with k<g), then those who had died by the gth generation are those in the (g-k)th generation or earlier. By the same argument as above, this is P x (cg-k+1 – 1) / (c-1).

Subtracting those who had died in the first (g-k) generations from the total in the first g generations gives those alive after g generations: P x (cg+1 – cg-k+1) / (c-1).

This model assumes that on average in each generation families produce c boys and c girls who marry and themselves produce 2c children. Childless people are not counted in this model. This does not affect the growth rate, but an estimate of the living childless should be added to the formula if the intent is to use it to estimate the total population alive at some specific point.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Do you think 10 trillion people is a reasonable or unreasonable estimate for the world’s population at the Great Flood? Why?
  2. What would you estimate the world population to be at Noah’s Flood? Why?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the prequels in this series on Population Growth:
1. Population Growth – Could Noah Fill the Earth?
2. Population Growth – Israel in Egypt
3. Population Growth – Challenge to Evolution

Read the sequel:
5. Population Growth – Is 10 Trillion Flood Deaths Reasonable?

See these related articles I’ve written on Noah, the Ark, and the Flood:
Noah’s Flood—Key to the Past
Noah’s Flood—A Global Event
Noah’s Ark Replicas
Noah’s Ark Found?
Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes, & Noah’s Flood
Rebuilding Noah’s Ark
Ark Encounter Park
Noah’s Ark Model in Holland
Noah’s Ark
Noah’s Ark Found?
(with video)
1. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Intro
2. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Kentucky Governor
(with YouTube videos)
3. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – How Big?
4. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Ark Encounter video
5. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Ark Encounter Park
6. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Location
(with maps)
7. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Funding
8. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Facing Opposition
9. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Ham Debates Lynn
(with video)
10. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – What Would Noah Think?
11. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Tour the Dutch Ark
(with video)
Dinosaurs on the Ark?
Tsunami Videos and Noah’s Flood
Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes, & Noah’s Flood
USA TODAY features Noah’s Ark
Marilyn Monroe and the Age of the Earth
Wallenda, Niagara, & Noah’s Flood
(with video)
Mystery of Noah’s Flood (with videos)
Leftover from Noah’s Flood?
Noah, the Movie
(with videos)
The Truth about Noah
Meet the Real Noah
(with video)
Could Noah Fill the Earth?

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday June 18, 2014 A.D.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. And the rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds. So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed it behind him. Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days; and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. And the water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark floated on the surface of the water. And the water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. And the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days. (Genesis 7:11-24)

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Responses

  1. Amazing! I never stopped to think about how many people, but it is staggering to think about. And I am no mathematician, but your math makes sense (as far as how you come up with the answer, not the doing the math part because, I could never figure that out). 😉 Thanks for the info! The world is so worried about overpopulation…God knows what He’s doing! I enjoy reading your posts!

    Deanna Ervin F.A.I.T.H. Homeschool Inc deanna@faithhomeschool.net Phone: 810.625.2109

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    • Thanks for reading and for your encouraging words. Yes, it is staggering to realize how many people must have died in the Great Flood. The earth was literally filled with man’s violence and corruption (Genesis 6:11-13) before being washed clean by Noah’s Flood.

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      • That makes god the biggest mass murderer in the history of the planet. How many innocent infants and animals were amongst those ten trillion I wonder

        Liked by 1 person

        • God, the righteous Judge of all the earth (Genesis 18:25), did not murder those who died in the Flood. He executed them for their wickedness (Genesis 6:5-13). Execution is not the same thing as murder. Moreover, the Creator and Judge has the right to do as He pleases with His creatures.

          There is no such thing as an innocent person; all have sinned (Romans 3:23). The younger a wicked person is when he dies, the less severe his judgment, because he has had less time to do evil. Since everyone except Noah and his family were wicked, it was actually a mercy to those who were executed young.

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        • Hey joshua,

          FAMILIES ignored what noah was preaching and the building of the ark. Just like today, people ignore the greatest preaching work being carried out by TRUE christains . WHAT will follow will make 911 look like a wet firecracker. NOT innocent, parents were responsible for their children.

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      • I didn’t see your mention of the giants (Nephilim) that were destroyed too. That’s one of the biggest reasons why God destroyed nearly all life on earth. Not just mankind’s sins but the sins of the Watchers and the offspring nephilim. These fallen evil angels are who taught mankind a ton of the extreme and sinful practices.

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        • What if the giants was those that were godly? Its a problem today too that godly men seek company with the world and not saved woman.no wonder its like the days of noah

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        • The giants were and still are with us. They’re called the Nephilim. Genesis 6:4 KJV. A thorough study will show with supportive evidence that there’s mention of them in the Dead Sea scrolls. The book of giants, the book of Enoch, and many other non-canonical or non-inspired books exist. Reading them will explain how the fallen angels corrupted God’s creation starting with all of the earth and humankind following. That’s where we get demons from. They were far from godly and the book of Enoch predates the worldwide flood.God was trying to kill off these giant/human hybrids that roamed the earth.

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  2. Very interesting article and I like your approach. I ran some calculations similar to these on other populations and found that death rates are very difficult to calculate because of wars and disease. Average lifespan is not an valid number unless you can include these and other factors such as infant and child mortality. Any combination of wars, famines, or epidemics in the early stages of population growth could easily cut the 10 trillion estimate to billions or even millions. Nevertheless, kudos for taking this on and starting an interesting discussion. Look forward to more. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks for reading and commenting.

      The formula I used does not need death rates. Average life span and average number of children cover all the birth and death factors. Even reducing the average life span by half does not appreciably change the 10 trillion estimate (see my comment below).

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  3. I don’t think 10 trillion people is reasonable, as that equates to about 19,600 people per sq km of the total area of the earth. They’d be tripping over each other and food production would be somewhat of a problem. I suppose God could assist in these areas, but there’s no evidence I’m aware of of this happening.

    Using the basic philosophy you’ve laid out though, it could still be significant. What if you recalculated using a lower life span?

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    • Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful comment.

      Using a much lower lifespan does not appreciably affect my population estimate. If I cut the average pre-Flood lifespan in half from 900 to 450 years, and then re-calculate the population at the Flood using the parameters P=2, c=5, g=18, k=450/90=5, then one gets a Flood population of 9,533,691,406,250. Adding 8% for the unmarried childless gives 10,296,386,718,750 (compared with 10,299,681,562,500 if I use 900 for the average lifespan – about 3 billion less). It still gives an estimate of 10 trillion for the population at the Flood. See Is 10 Trillion Flood Deaths Reasonable? for my discussion of the reasonableness of this estimate.

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    • Dave: Hi, your estimate of 19,600 people per km2 does not factor in that “pre-flood there was a much much lower sea-level, much much more land. Where did you get your numbers from for your calculations? Considering that about 30Mil Chinese live in caves, what about other nations of known cave dwellers. Millions on floating villages, Millions living on boats? How many more islands would there be at pre-flood levels? We also need to consider that they had forms of technology that we don’t even know of, as batteries were dug up in Egypt dating BC. Perhaps they had high-rise buildings, concrete etc who knows… Very interesting post. Only God knows, and knowing Him is better than knowing about His creation, but still very interesting discussion.

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    • You make a good point but also consider that there may have been a loss in land during the flood possibly 1/3. Just a thought if man lived this long so could have animals also they were possibly bigger there are fossils showing dragonflys 2ft long and other animals because the earth’s atmosphere was perfect and rich in oxygen. Just my thoughts

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      • Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree: the earth’s land area was surely much greater before the Flood. Yes, animals were bigger. There are beaver fossils the size of black bears.

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  4. I love your blog. God bless you brother. I only have a question. Enoch as far as I understand, wasn’t taken to heaven but to Paradise, the Nice side of Hades, since nobody has entered yet to Heaven but only the Father and the rest of those have reached the glory of the Lord are awaiting in paradise for the final judgement. Only then they will be taken to heaven, isn’t that right?

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting and for your encouraging words.

      Regarding Enoch, what we can be sure of is simply the specific information given in Scripture: Enoch “was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:23) The affirmation of Hebrews is similar: “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.” (‭Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭5‬). You are correct that the Bible speaks about life after death using a variety of descriptive phrases. I don’t think it’s especially profitable to speculate about which elements would apply to Enoch’s destination.

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    • That is correct.

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    • Paradise IS heaven. Moses Enoch and Elijah are in Heaven now. Sorry where do you get this strange belief that paradise is a different place than heaven? it is not biblical!

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      • John 3:13

        No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man.

        Paradise is a place where souls are waiting for final judgement ,is Biblical, please refer to ,John 3:13

        This is just one example of this

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        • But read the whole thing and try to understand the passage from the beginning. Jesus said that “no man has ascended up into heaven” because he was explaining heavenly things to Nicodemus and he did not believe Jesus. Jesus told him of earthly things because he has been in earth, he also told Nicodemus of Heavenly things because he had been in heaven. So he was basically telling Nicodemus that if he is to believe of Heavenly things to believe him because he is the only physical human body that has been in heaven and is on earth with him. No other man on earth in that present time has gone to heaven. He is not saying that no one is in heaven, he is saying that he is the only present man that has gone to heaven, so believe him when he speaks of heaven. The theme of the parable is to believe Jesus when he speaks of heaven because he himself is from heaven, the theme is not that no man has never seen heaven. Even in Jesus’ last days he promises heaven to the thief next to him because he had believed in him. If you believe in Jesus Christ, he promises you heaven. This is the constant theme throughout The New Testament. Throughout The Bible you find plenty of verses and parables on how to get to heaven and who goes to heaven, however, you never hear that no one ever goes to heaven. I can easily point to you dozens of verses where Jesus and God promises ever lasting life.

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  5. Staggering! When I saw an estimate in the millions I felt it was low but 10 trillion! Wow! But you base it on the statistics and averages given in the Bible so it is completely 100% reasonable, and logically it could possibly be higher. And from what we understand about the pre-flood world a population that size could easily be sustainable. Perfect environment and no seas so the earth was basically one solid land mass, seen from orbit it wouldn’t be the blue planet but the green planet. No mountains and no great deserts just unending fertile lush greenery as far as the eye could and as far as your feet could carry you and in those days you could walk around the world if you so desired. So entirely possible. My question is what happened to the bones? Some commentators say that humans would of been on top during the flood and that their remains would’ve been picked clean by animals, birds,etc. Would there have been enough birds and sea creatures to finish off ten trillion, probably extra large humans? Made sense when I was thinking only 6 to 10 million. Wouldn’t some of the bones have made it into human artifacts like tools or religious relics by the post-flood people? Or with that many would there not be a large number in the fossil records and easy to find since they would have been on top trying to escape by swimming? Personally it doesn’t seem to me that they ever found a legitimate antediluvian human fossil (I could be wrong). At millions that seemed logical but trillions not so. Trillions makes sense to me but I’m just trying to remold preconceived ideas. Maybe sea creatures, sharks, etc. were enough to handle the job in 40 days. Maybe God buried them? Could there have been a whirlpool effect somewhere (at the poles?) that pulled them deep and buried them? What if the antediluvians went underground at the start of the rain? Maybe they had deep caverns they lived or played in? Maybe some of our gasoline is pre-flood humans? Just pondering but either way when think of the magnitude of that event and only 8 made out possible 10 trillion makes you realize that if I was among those trillions I wouldn’t of made it, how much more I realize my desperate need for the life of Christ, His Blood, and His Forgiveness, Lord please mercy, Amen. Great article.

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    • Just look up re -geological changes during the flood. All this water from above and below must have caused total devastation to the existing landmass. I believe all of it is buried under the water deep at the ocean’s bottom. God covered it well. there must have been unimaginable creatures , hybrids of different sorts, expermantation of fallen angels and their offspring Nephilim. I think it is better for us not to know all of it. God bless you. Mark

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  6. Good job brother

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    • Enjoyed the article very much. Anything is possible; there’s a lot of sense to what you said. One comment that was made about the bones in the body and the remains that amount of water in pressure would have taken its toll on me mean I would think without any scientific background just common sense. I also appreciated the response God made life creation and is His will to do with what he has even the children we are given are gifts read Job. Very much the last comment [by chester]. The only thing that we need to remember is that there’s a way home and all what has happened doesn’t matter. Only where we ends and that the perfect will of God answer all our questions where we can have an eternity of being satisfied and having no more questions, only joy.

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  7. Well done. I am impressed with your estimates and method. According to my estimates 10 trillion equates to roughly 50,000 people per square mile, and that is assuming the earth to be 100% land. This then equates to roughly 550 square feet per person; the size of a modest 1 bedroom apartment/condo.

    What are your thoughts on this?

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    • There are many possibilities for living space in addition to the earth’s surface area. Even today people live in caves, high rises, tree houses, and in stilt-houses over water. With shallower seas before Noah’s Flood, there could have been extensive towering sea cities. We simply do not know much about the advanced technology mankind had developed prior to the Great Flood. See Is 10 Trillion Flood Deaths Reasonable? for more on the reasonableness of this 10 trillion estimate.

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  8. The ages of “those” biblical characters are listed in YEARS. Did they have calendars back then or they painstakingly counted the lunar orbits?

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    • Yes, I’m sure they were smart enough to have calendars. Genesis 1:14 explicitly mentions that heavenly lights were given for signs, season, days, and years.

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      • Assuming you believe the bible, keep in mind that mankind was created with a great deal of inherent knowledge about the way the earth worked. If God saw fit to create man in His own image and to place all things under his care (as we see in the beginning of Genesis) it would be reasonable to believe this kind of knowledge about time accounting was also given.

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  9. As corrupt and evil as the people were near the end you would have to to take in consideration all those in rebellion against God and his desires. Deaths by abortions, murder’s such as Cain’s killing of Able, human sacrifice’s, same sex marriage’s, and abstinence by choice. To estimate those parameters use current statistics as well as historical statistics for percentages to subtract from your estimated number. The Bible states that the end will be like the days of Noah, and while we are not quite there yet we can still estimate by these statistical percentages pre flood attempts for population control, serial killing, murder, human sacrifices, child sacrifices, abstinence, homosexuality, eunuchs, etc.etc.etc.

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting. The estimated growth rate and doubling times account for births and deaths.

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    • I was thinking the same thing as Philip. Noah and his descendants would have had much longer lifespans than everybody else, because they were sinning much less. The less you sin against your neighbor, the less your neighbor has a motive to sin against you. Everybody outside Noah’s family was sinning against their neighbor and being sinned against by their neighbor until they would end up either killing their neighbor or being killed by their neighbor.

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  10. I find it frightening to think that people romanticize the murder of so many innocent people. To think that millions of unborn children and other innocents were murdered is so sad. All of this before a time when the doors of Heaven were opened to mortals makes it worse. Do you think that it was bad of God to do such a terrible thing?

    Like

    • Thank you for reading and commenting.

      There was no “murder of innocent people” by the Flood. Genesis 6:5, 11-13 describes the world of Noah’s day: The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. … Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.”

      Therefore, no “innocents” were destroyed by the Flood–only wicked. Yahweh graciously saved the very few 8 innocents alive on the earth at the time (Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth, and their 4 wives) via Noah’s Ark.

      No, it was not “bad of God to do such a terrible thing” as destroying the world with a Flood. Yahweh is the righteous Judge of all the earth. All His work is done in righteousness. His character and works are the standard for the Truth and the Right. It is presumptuous, arrogant, and blasphemous for man to suggest judgment of God. Instead we are to praise Him for all His works, including His judgment of wickedness at the Flood.

      Some 500 years after the Flood, Abraham expressed the proper view. He said to Yahweh, “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” (Genesis 18:25)

      (Also see my reply to Joshua Oswald of January 17, 2015 near the top of the list of comments.)

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      • Well said. And to clarify further, it was only Noah who was seen righteous. One man, and his favor with God, is all that prevented the TOTAL annihilation of mankind.

        Genesis 6:8-9 (KJV) But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD…Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

        It is hard to comprehend how corrupt all people had become, but we know that it was so bad that only Noah and his family were spared. That, my friends, is a grevious thing.

        Quick note regarding innocent babies. Keep in mind that God does not view us just as we are at a single point in time, but, rather, who we are in the fullness of time. He sees us for who we will be, just as much as who we are now.

        YAHWEH is so very Gracious to us all!

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  11. A very interesting article. Math does not lie, but right answer depends on the formula and parameters used in the calculation. I don’t see issue with the formula; thus, the reasonableness of the answer depends on your assumptions and parameters.

    To test its reasonableness, I will use your other population growth calculation between Noah family (6 people) and today’s population (~7bil). You used th same formula, similar approach to come up with assumptions and parameter values. Your answer was ~30 billion, which is about 4 times higher than the actual number. Since both calculations were done by you and share similar approach, I suppose I can use this simple comparison to reduce 10tril down to 2.5 tril. However, one of your facts [in pre-flood growth calc] was each man would have 50-70 children during the mentioned time. I agreed with you that your assumption was generally on the lower side. Just in early 1900s, many man could easily have 6-12 children by 1 wife. I specifically said “man” for easy calculation. So, if a man has 2 or 3 wives, yes, we can assume near-linear multiples. Back to pre-flood time, each man lived much longer and had many more wives, in additions, birth period was much longer than today’s time. Thus, this fact alone could easily give a man 50-70 children. I’d say 100 in average.

    All in all, 2.5 tril or 10 tril is very reasonable. Let’s say even the more conservative reasonableness would result 1tril. The big picture, I believe, from your calculation is the pre-flood population was much much more than today. And I see it’s very reasonable. There are many more points I can say here to support your assumptions and results, but I think I say enough. 🙂 Thank you for educating us.

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    • I’m not sure that it makes sense to count the number of children that married men had but rather the number women were capable of physically giving birth to. You can say that men had more wives but it means that women had less husbands on average. If one man has ten wives then nine men go without, meaning only 10% of men were having children.

      The death rate also needs to be considered. How many young girls were eaten by dinosaurs before they could get to child bearing age? If humans were everywhere on earth, the dinosaurs must have been having a ball. No wonder they got so big. Then consider diseases, especially if we lived so close to animals and each other. God’s most evil creation, smallpox, killed around 500m people last century alone. Imagine what that would do on a planet with a trillion people. I still don’t understand how smallpox survived the flood but I guess that is a story for another day.

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  12. Gen. 1:6-10 talks about gathering the waters together which he calls seas and the dry ground land . Notice, the passage does not say sea, it says seas, (meaning more than one) and land, (meaning one land) not lands. Have you thought the society back then didn’t have oceans but seas. Definition of seas is a body of water surrounded by land mass. This would make the earth completely covered in land with seas throughout the land. It is possible to have a large pre-flood population due to having more land to occupy more people.

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, I think the land mass before the Flood was much greater with greater land area for human habitation. The Flood came from water above (rain) and water below the surface (fountains of the great deep). Runoff Flood water now covers land that used to be habitable as mountains rose and valleys sank (Psalm 104:6-9). Genesis 1:9 says waters below the heavens were “gathered into one place,” so I think there was a single ocean and a single land mass before the Flood.

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    • I don’t know about the hebrew translation but I’m fairly sure you are thinking of a lake. A sea by definition is not surrounded by land but open to the ocean. The writers of the old testament probably never saw an ocean and therefore only wrote about seas (more than one). I’m not sure what the names were back then but today we have the Med, Red Sea, Black Sea, Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea all in that region. They wouldn’t have seen lands (plural) as people tended not to travel so far within a few generations. Even a few hundred km trip from Egypt to the east was a big deal.

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  13. NEVERMIND ABOUT PRE-FLOOD!! How about POST FLOOD?? How come no one calculates the fact that 6 humans must have enough children to fill the planet with 7 Billion people in 2015??
    Is it really possible for 6 people to start this many families??
    Nevermind the colors or hair or DNA. What I question is when sisters and cousins keep giving birth in the same family tree, mongoloid + down syndrome + every disfigurement possible WILL HAPPEN!!!

    Talk about The Family Tree That Don’t Fork!! (quoting Jeff Foxworthy)

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  14. So, at least 10 million people were mass murdered by a so-called loving father and god and people are okay with this?

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting, but murder and execution are two entirely different things. Those who died in the Genesis Flood were judged and executed by their Creator and Ruler for their wickedness:
      Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. … Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.” (Genesis 6:5, 11-13)

      The sovereign Ruler of the universe has the right to deal with His creatures as He chooses. As Abraham said, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” (Genesis 18:25).

      The Creator has demonstrated His love and mercy toward sinful, rebellious mankind through the propitiatory death of the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth with the result that any who follow Him may be saved from judgment. I hope you take advantage of His free offer of grace.

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  15. A pretty high number. I suggest to take into account that the flood was not the first cataclysm but that there were at least three. Just try to tie in other stories of the past like Hopi mythology.

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting. Noah’s Flood is the only worldwide cataclysm of history. Hundreds of other cultures have flood stories; they are dim, distorted memories of the historical event accurately recorded in Genesis.

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  16. Good article. I found the math to be ok but there is of course as you would agree I am sure, a lot of guessing or speculation. I am not going to argue or agree other than we can be assured that there were a lot of people. Now that being said. There was probably a lot more land. Being there were no major seas or oceans. What we see today is completely different than pre flood earth. One point I would like to make is life must have been easier for them before the flood and thus the reason out of billions or trillions of people God found one family following him. God saw that if life is easy then the human desire is not to serve him. If you will notice that more people tend to turn to God from tragedy than they do when times are good. This is part of the reason God changed the living conditions on the earth. The flood changed things to make life harder so that we, through tragedy, might come to him.

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    • Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful comment.

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  17. You didn’t account for the death rate in your calculations for those living just prior to the flood.

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting. The estimated growth rate and doubling times account for all births and deaths. Average life span and average number of children cover all the birth and death factors. Even reducing the average life span by half does not appreciably change the 10 trillion estimate (see my reply to Dave above of 15Jan2015).

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  18. Great post by the way.

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  19. I do believe people had more food because of pre flood terrarium effect. Also must take into account man had created war, muurder and human sacrifice for perverted Gods.

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  20. Ten trillion people at the time of the flood is a possibility, although that would mean 30000 people per square kilometre. That is just one patch of ground of 33 square meters per person. Considering how big things grew back in those days that may be possible.

    But God cursed the ground and the earth wouldn’t produce what they had sown. The earth was also filled with violence and wickedness before the flood. The Book of Jasher records a more detailed account of what happened before the flood. There were wars and much blood was shed. This would have kept the population growth a lot lower than it would have been in peaceful times. The women often were made to drink a herb to prevent them from having children so that they would retain their beautiful figure. According to the book of Jasher, when Noah and his sons were inside the ark, a crowd of about 700,000 assembled to plead with Noah to let them inside the ark because they saw the rain and that the earth began to be broken up. It was too late. They had their chance, Noah told them. Earlier in the Book of Jasher, it is recorded that the people looked for deliverance because the ground would only produce thorns. Enoch who was Noah’s great grandfather persuaded them to return to the Lord and they made him king over the whole world. When they needed guidance they assembled before Enoch. But after Enoch died, they went away from the Lord and fought and killed each other. During times of peace such as the 300 or so years of Enoch’s reign over them the earth’s population would have grown massively, perhaps a hundred fold, compared to our ten fold in the last of our 300 years since 1700’s.

    I would say that ten million would be a more realistic number at the time of the flood. In the dark ages the population growth barely moved and there were some pretty dark times before the flood beginning around 200 years after Adam was created. Considering these factors from the book of Jasher, several million, not billions or trllions would be a realistic figure.

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  21. Hi. Thanks for your effort and workings out. I’ve only just found this website. I’ve always felt the amount of people must of been many millions/billions.
    On a separate note, many people believe that Noah took part in a warning message to the population at that time. But if there was billions on earth, spread worldwide and that Noah had to build the biggest wooden boat that has ever been built (even in our day) by him and his family in a few decades, seems a tough task to complete. It’s seems to me that because they were utterly wicked with demons roaming the earth influencing with violence, God only decided to spare Noah and his family and the animals. Any thoughts?

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    • hi eddie,
      sorry for the delayed response.

      i think tht once we accept tht A Living Supreme Entity Exists, then we r also accepting tht, as far as we r concernd, no thing is outside th power, authority & reach of tht unique Living Supreme Entity. there4, how do we, who r necessarily & per self evident, far less than ths unique Living Supreme Entity, determine wht is possible or not?

      i suggest tht we may only speculate upon wht may b probable or not, given th patterns found n such resources as nature-raw data, th biblical txt, secular thot, & othr such documentation of ancient & recent evnts…tht said, 1 may then ask, is it more probable tht noah had help from th violent population n building th ark or is it more probable tht noah did not hv help th violent population n building the ark?

      i am of th thinking tht th nephilum- yes hybrid human-angels, however fantastic, answers many questions…
      1) whn it ndicates tht th nephilum were on th earth b-4 & aftr, some cud hv been conscriptd to help buid the ark among tht violent ppl & then destroyd along wth th rest or noah & his family were directly enabled by God…
      2) th building of th twr of babel-th gret pyramid of Giza among a cohesive ppl-its math & cosmc precision unmatched to ths day
      3) paul’s meaning to th ephesians whn he spoke of a woman’s authority on/ovr her own head…”bcuz of th angels”…they- angels cud no longr choose & take any they (th angels) wantd…see “wht paul really said abot women…” by john temple bristow…
      4) th presence of thez hybrid human angels gives some bases for romans 1:18-23; th more ancient & global tradition of worshippng human like gods and animals…from th ancient asian emperors to th gods of th most western continents & islands to th hindu gods to th greek & roman gods to so calld “royal blood lines” & etc

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  22. Very intriguing article. Decided to spend a bit of time throwing a calculator together that allows you to create different scenarios of how the population growth may have gone before the flood. You can tweak all the variables to try different scenarios. Feedback welcome.

    http://www.quantum-soft.co.uk/flood/

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting and for making the calculator. It vividly shows how fast populations can grow. It would be helpful to show the population formulas that you used in the calculator.

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  23. Its more of a simulator I suppose really. I’ve added a bit more info on how it does its calculations.

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  24. Good. People don’t Realize SO MUCH! N NOT “FAIRY TALES”! IF 1 BELIEVES “N GOD”- U HAVE 2 BELIEVE ALL OF HIM!
    OR -YOU DONT! — THE “BIBLE ‘”2 ME -ACCOUNTS 4 ALL KINDS A LIVING-GOOD N BAD! WHAT 2 EAT. THINK. SAY. DO. NOT DO.
    FROM POOR TO RICH–SICK N HEALTHY. TO YOUNGEST TO OLDEST!,
    ( WHAT DOES -GOD- NOT “COVER” –AS FAR AS “LIVING”???)

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