The Instigator
Jerry947
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Phantom423
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

It is reasonable to say that Humans have not been around for 200,000 years

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,690 times Debate No: 85775
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (51)
Votes (0)

 

Jerry947

Pro

This debate should be impossible to accept. Please comment in the comments section if you wish to debate me on this subject.

Debate Format:
Round One: Debaters present opening arguments. No Rebuttals.
Rounds Two-Three: Rebuttals

Definitions:
Earth-the planet on which we live (http://www.merriam-webster.com...).
Reasonable-fair and sensible (http://www.merriam-webster.com...).
Unreasonable-not guided by or based on good sense (https://www.google.com...).
Young-Being in an early period of life, development, or growth (http://www.thefreedictionary.com...). Basically I am arguing that it is reasonable to say that the earth is thousands of years old instead of millions of years old.

Burden of Proof:
Pro must show that it is reasonable to believe that humans have recently begun to exist (about 6,000 years ago).
Con must show that it is unreasonable to believe in the recent existence of humans.

My Argument:

1. Human Population Growth

According to evolutionists, humans (in our current state) started existing 200,000 year ago (http://anthro.palomar.edu...). Now let us look at how the human population has doubled in the last few centuries. From the 19th century to the 20th century, the world population "growth has noticeably increased with 15-20" annually, although there have been some oscillations" (http://www.desenvolupamentsostenible.org...). That said, this would require the entire human population to double around every 45 years.

If humans did actually double like this 200,000 years ago, the number of humans would be impossibly high. I mean, there literally couldn't be that many humans. But if we were to double the amount of humans very 75 years instead of 45 years, the population would be "would be 8.5 x 10 to the 37 power. One trillion is 1"10 to the 12th power, or a one with 12 zeros after it. So we would now have a population of over 85 trillion trillion trillion, still not close to reality" (http://evoillusion.org...).

Then we get to even more interesting matters. If the population were to double every 2,000 yrs....the numbers still wouldn't add up. The "result would be more than 2.5 x10 to the 30th power. Or a 25 with 29 zeros after it, or 2.5 million trillion trillion. Still not a number that would make any sense in reality" (http://evoillusion.org...).

So as you see, saying that humans existed 200,000 years ago doesn't make sense when considering how the population has increased in the past. In fact, in order for the humans existence to have began 200,000 years ago, the population would have had to double every 6,250 years which is not possible. 6,250 years "approximates the time from the beginning of the Egyptian civilization until now. So 193,750 years ago there would be 4 people. And in 187,500 years ago there would be 8 people. Of course I am talking about averages, and I am starting with two initial humans for simplicity, two being a highly unlikely starting point" (http://evoillusion.org...).

But now we get to the fun part. If the world were only 6,000 years old, and there were in fact only two people at the time humans started existing...the number of humans would add up to around what we have now. From "two people, created around 6,000 years ago, and then the eight people, preserved on the Ark about 4,500 years ago, the world"s population could have grown to the extent we now see it"over 6.5 billion" (https://answersingenesis.org...).

So if the earth is around 6,000 years old, like the Bible seems (many Christians disagree) to indicate, it would make sense considering the growth of the human population. Therefore it is reasonable to say that humans haven't been around for 200,000 years (like evolution indicates).
Phantom423

Con

Argument:

The Math

The rate of change in any population can be calculated only with data. For instance, in the United States, the Bureau of the Census acquires population data over a period of time and reports statistical studies performed on that data.

A rate of change is generally linear because the rate is based on averages. It is a quantitative calculation as opposed to a qualitative calculation. For instance, the rate of population growth in the United States between the years 1990, population 248.7 and 2000, population 281.4, is calculated as:

Rate = (281.4-248.7) / 10

= 327,000 per year

But we know that it is highly unlikely that exactly 327,000 people were added to the population every year for ten years. The probability is that the population varied by larger or smaller amounts year over year.

This holds especially true when attempting to calculate population growth from prehistory through the present time.

First, in order to do a calculation, data is required. The first census in the United States was in 1790. There are no prehistorical records or estimates of populations across the globe. Even if a few records existed, it would be impossible to determine the rate of growth of the entire Earth based on a few populations out of thousands of populations that existed at the time.

Second, the rate of change is a statistical calculation. Anomalies like mass extinctions are not taken into account. We know from the fossil record that catastrophic events occurred since the first human walked on the Earth. In fact, a recent study found just such evidence for the end-Triassic extinction, caused by a series of massive eruptions in north-central Pangaea, and recently completed studies into the Chicxulub impact all but confirm that a massive impactor was indeed responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

But what about humans? There is one near-extinction event that is fairly well-known, although it remains controversial. Roughly 70,000 years ago, give or take a few thousand years, an enormous eruption occurred in what is now Sumatra, leaving behind Lake Toba . The eruption coincides with a population bottleneck that is often cited as the reason for the relatively low genetic diversity across Homo sapiens sapiens. Research suggests as few as 2,000 humans were left alive by the eruption and its aftereffects.

Catastrophic events have even altered the population growth rate as recently as the early 1900's after the First World War. There were so many casualties relative to the total population of the Earth that the growth rate of the entire globe was impacted.

The Fossil Record

The fossil record shows that humans have been around for approximately 200,000 years. This data is derived from physics. There are two types of dating methods: absolute and relative. Absolute dating methods include radiometric methods such as Postassium-Argon and Rubidium-Strontium. The data derived from radiometric dating gives specific time frames in the Earth's history when the human fossil was likely to live.

Relative dating methods include analysis of strata (layers) of rock. A fossil found in a particular strata can be dated by correlation.

One of the most recent advances in fossil dating is magnetic orientation. The magnetic poles in material can be associated with a particular time in Earth's history when the poles might have been in a different position. Pottery in particular can be dated quite accurately using the magnetic pole orientation method.

In conclusion, the combination of simple mathematical functions like rate of change in two variables and modern physics offers a massive amount of hard evidence that humans have occupied the Earth for at least 200,000 years.
Debate Round No. 1
Jerry947

Pro

I will quote my opponent and then respond to what he has to say underneath the quote.

"First, in order to do a calculation, data is required. The first census in the United States was in 1790. There are no prehistorical records or estimates of populations across the globe. Even if a few records existed, it would be impossible to determine the rate of growth of the entire Earth based on a few populations out of thousands of populations that existed at the time."

Well, we have records of the world's population from that past two-three centuries. I have already provided those records in a link. These records show that the human population doubles ever 45-75 years. But since we don't know quite how the population would have doubled in the past, I made a example of the population possibly doubling every 2,000 years (which seems quite generous). Even then, if humans had existed 200,000 years ago, there would be trillions and trillions of people right now. The population would have had to double ever 6,250 years for the numbers to work. And that is just absurd when we see that our population doubles every 45 years (at least recently).

"Second, the rate of change is a statistical calculation. Anomalies like mass extinctions are not taken into account. We know from the fossil record that catastrophic events occurred since the first human walked on the Earth. In fact, a recent study found just such evidence for the end-Triassic extinction, caused by a series of massive eruptions in north-central Pangaea, and recently completed studies into the Chicxulub impact all but confirm that a massive impactor was indeed responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs."

The problem is that humans would have to be on the verge of extinction for the majority of their existence in order for the numbers to add up. And the example you gave killed off supposedly killed 70,000 people but this doesn't explain why there aren't trillions and trillions of people now. 70,000 people is nothing compared to how many people there would be if they had really existed 200,000 years ago.

"Catastrophic events have even altered the population growth rate as recently as the early 1900's after the First World War. There were so many casualties relative to the total population of the Earth that the growth rate of the entire globe was impacted."

But again, these catastrophic events would have had to kill most of the 2.5 million trillion trillion of people that would exist today if the population doubled only after every 2,000 years (this fact alone is extremely unlikely). That seems to be an impossible idea.

"But what about humans? There is one near-extinction event that is fairly well-known, although it remains controversial. Roughly 70,000 years ago, give or take a few thousand years, an enormous eruption occurred in what is now Sumatra, leaving behind Lake Toba . The eruption coincides with a population bottleneck that is often cited as the reason for the relatively low genetic diversity across Homo sapiens sapiens. Research suggests as few as 2,000 humans were left alive by the eruption and its aftereffects."

I have never heard of that near-extinction event. Is there any way you could provide some information on it. I of course will do some research myself. But even if something like this happened, the numbers of humans would still be way too many. Humans would have another 130,000 years to recover from that event. 2,000 humans doubling every 2,000 years (that is being really generous by the way considering humans double much quicker than that) would amount to an impossible amount of humans. so this event still would not help you case.

"The fossil record shows that humans have been around for approximately 200,000 years."

Using certain dating methods you will get numbers that support your position. But the numbers still do not add up and that is a problem for the evolutionists.

"In conclusion, the combination of simple mathematical functions like rate of change in two variables and modern physics offers a massive amount of hard evidence that humans have occupied the Earth for at least 200,000 years."

I don't think so. The human race would have to face extinction through it entire existence in order for the numbers to add up. But if humans have only existed for 6,000 years, there is no longer a problem with the numbers of humans there are today. So it is reasonable to say that humans have not been around for 200,000 years.
Phantom423

Con

Argument:

Population Growth

My opponent pointed out that the citation he included in his argument demonstrates that populations growth at a doubling rate of approximately 45 years.

First, no where in the article does it say that all populations since man has walked on the Earth have doubled every 45 years. In fact, the nature of the article is clear in its title: 2.1.1. The world population growth in the last three centuries. The author only addresses population growth for the last three hundred years which works out to be 5 x 10 to the minus 4 (format would not allow for scientific notation), or .0005% of the time span from time zero to time plus 200,000 years. The author never suggests that this same analytical approach can be used to extrapolate population growth throughout the ages.

Statistical Calculations

My opponent suggests that populations would have to be on the verge of disaster frequently in order for the catastrophic event theory to be valid.

A literature search of prehistoric population growth revealed the following:

Hominid population estimates
It is estimated that the average life span of hominids on the African savanna between 4,000,000 and 200,000 years ago was 20 years. This means that the population would be completely renewed about five times per century,[citation needed] assuming that infant mortality has already been accounted for. It is further estimated that the population of hominids in Africa fluctuated between 10,000 and 100,000 individuals, thus averaging about 50,000 individuals. Roughly multiplying 40,000 centuries by 50,000 to 500,000 individuals per century, yields a total of 2 billion to 20 billion hominids, or an average estimate of about 10 billion hominids that lived during that approximately 4,000,000 year time span.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org...

Although catastrophic events may be few and far between, there are other factors which impact population growth in the ancient world. Some of these are:

Life span: It is estimated that the life span of the average person in the ancient world was approximately 20 years. Assuming that humans at that time were able to reproduce approximately 40%* of that life span, this would mean that the average person would have about six years to reproduce.

By contrast, during the last three hundred years, life spans have ranged from approximately 50 to 75 years. Using the same calculation as above, that would allow humans a reproduction period of approximately 38 years of reproductive activity, or 63% of total life span. The impact of increased time for humans to reproduce is obvious - more time, higher reproduction rates.

*Assumptions:
A person was capable of reproducing from the age of 12.
Prehistoric man fertility span: 20 years " 12 years = 8 years
Modern man: Mean life span = 60 years. Number of fertile years: 60 -10 = 50 (this allows for the cessation of fertility at age 50). Fertile time during life span: 50 " 12 = 38 years.
Calculation for Prehistory Man: 20 " 12 = 8 years, or 40%, for reproductive time
Calculation for Modern Man: 50 " 12 = 38 years, or 63% for reproductive time

Given the estimations above, it's highly unlikely that the growth of any population prior to the AD time frame would even come close to doubling every 45 years.

Once again, I will point out that there is no real data to substantiate the numbers definitively. However, archaeological evidence which includes the fossil records suggests that a much lower rate of population growth is more likely.

The Fossil Record and Dating Methodology

As pointed out in my first argument, radiometric dating methods have been validated mathematically and empirically.

This is a topic that requires a more detailed debate and isn't the topic of this one. I would be happy to engage in that debate with the caveat that I am a physicist. A challenger would have to be up on the mathematics and history of these developments.

In conclusion, the evidence provided by my opponent in no way validates the assumption that all populations have doubled at any particular rate. Extrapolation of current calculations on 300 years of data isn't statistically relevant for the reasons given above. The linearity alone of that assumption is highly unlikely " nothing moves in a straight line forever.

The available data is insufficient to draw conclusions about previous population growth. Even the archaeological evidence and fossil record cannot pinpoint statistically significant population dynamics as the research is an ongoing process. Therefore, the positions of my opponent are invalidated given the evidence presented herein.

References:

1. ^ Angela Piero and Alberto Piero (1993), The Extraordinary Story of Human Origins, New York: Prometheus Books, p. 194
Debate Round No. 2
Jerry947

Pro

"The author never suggests that this same analytical approach can be used to extrapolate population growth throughout the ages."

This is true. The first link I gave only gave the doubling numbers for the past three centuries. But using this data there would be an impossible amount of people right now if the doubling rates have been the same. That said, the rates are most likely not the same. That is why I raised the doubling years to 75 years and then to 2,000 years. And the truth is, as I stated in round one, the amount of people would still be way to high. The population would literally have to double every 6,250 years in order for humans to have the same population we have now (as my second link showed).

"It is estimated that the average life span of hominids on the African savanna between 4,000,000 and 200,000 years ago was 20 years."

Whether that is true or not is open to debate. Your wiki link does not give much information as to how this information was collected and it only has about five lines of information on the subject (those hominids aren't even people right?). But the main problem is that I am not interested in what supposedly happened between 4,000,000 and 200,000 years ago. My concern is about people that lived 200,000 plus years later when your rates no longer matter. People living (if this happened) to the age of 20 years during 4,000,000 years ago makes no difference on the people that lived 200,000 years ago. See what I mean?

"Roughly multiplying 40,000 centuries by 50,000 to 500,000 individuals per century, yields a total of 2 billion to 20 billion hominids, or an average estimate of about 10 billion hominids that lived during that approximately 4,000,000 year time span.[1]"

But actually, this new information creates more problems for you. If 10 billion hominids lived during the 4,000,000 -200,000 years period...then you are going to have even more people (descendants of the 10 billion) added to the impossible amount of people that would have existed from 200,000 years till now.

"Life span: It is estimated that the life span of the average person in the ancient world was approximately 20 years. Assuming that humans at that time were able to reproduce approximately 40%* of that life span, this would mean that the average person would have about six years to reproduce."

But again, this debate is on the people that supposedly lived 200,000 years ago and not on the ancient world (4,000,000 years ago). So you still have a huge problem. The people existing 200,000 years ago would have doubled to an impossibly high number as stated in round one and the decedents of the people in the ancient world would only add to that number.

"Once again, I will point out that there is no real data to substantiate the numbers definitively. However, archaeological evidence which includes the fossil records suggests that a much lower rate of population growth is more likely."

The amount of people would have to double every 6,250 years in order for your numbers to work. That isn't even including the ancient world. That is highly unlikely as my second link demonstrated.

"This is a topic that requires a more detailed debate and isn't the topic of this one. I would be happy to engage in that debate with the caveat that I am a physicist. A challenger would have to be up on the mathematics and history of these developments."

I do not know to much about the dating methods except that are used with certain assumptions about the world that may or may not have been true thousands of years ago.

"In conclusion, the evidence provided by my opponent in no way validates the assumption that all populations have doubled at any particular rate."

Not quite true. I did show the rates for the past three centuries and using that information I made hypothetical scenarios about the doubling rates in the past. And we found out that 2,000 years would not have even been enough time for a population to double 200,000 years ago.

"The linearity alone of that assumption is highly unlikely " nothing moves in a straight line forever."

The problem is that the current rates of population growth do not even come close to supporting the humans existence 200,000 years ago.

"The available data is insufficient to draw conclusions about previous population growth."

Based of what we know about our population, 2,000 years would be plenty time for any population to double. But humans would need to double over 6,000 years in order for humans to have existed 200,000 years ago. And unless there were constant catastrophic events for the majority of humans existence, the numbers do not add up.

Therefore it is in fact reasonable to say that humans have not existed for 200,000 years. The data does not make sense since the numbers of humans would be to high and hence it is certainly reasonable for a person to say that humans did not exist that long ago.
Phantom423

Con

My opponent has made the following arguments:

1. Extrapolation of data from the past 300 years is a valid method to use for prehistory.
2. That the average 20 year life span mentioned in my previous argument "may or may not be correct" even though a citation was listed
3. The debate title is: "It is reasonable to say that Humans have not been around for 200,000 years". However, now he is changing the format to include hominids who lived 4M years ago+:

"But actually, this new information creates more problems for you. If 10 billion hominids lived during the 4,000,000 -200,000 years period...then you are going to have even more people (descendants of the 10 billion) added to the impossible amount of people that would have existed from 200,000 years till now."

Humans evolved approximately 200,000 years ago. Prior to 200,000 years ago, only hominids and transition/divergent species walked the Earth. The topic is directed towards humans, not hominids, which is an entirely different area of research.

The following is the abstract from a research paper published by the Smithsonian Astrophyiscal Observatory, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics entitled: Agriculture, population growth, and statistical analysis of the radiocarbon record.

"The human population has grown significantly since the onset of the Holocene about 12,000 y ago. Despite decades of research, the factors determining prehistoric population growth remain uncertain. Here, we examine measurements of the rate of growth of the prehistoric human population based on statistical analysis of the radiocarbon record. We find that, during most of the Holocene, human populations worldwide grew at a long-term annual rate of 0.04%. Statistical analysis of the radiocarbon record shows that transitioning farming societies experienced the same rate of growth as contemporaneous foraging societies. The same rate of growth measured for populations dwelling in a range of environments and practicing a variety of subsistence strategies suggests that the global climate and/or endogenous biological factors, not adaptability to local environment or subsistence practices, regulated the long-term growth of the human population during most of the Holocene. Our results demonstrate that statistical analyses of large ensembles of radiocarbon dates are robust and valuable for quantitatively investigating the demography of prehistoric human populations worldwide."
https://www.cfa.harvard.edu...

From this research we know that the human population growth from the Holocene (approximately 12,000 years ago) was determined to be .04%. The calculation for doubling at a constant rate is:

Td = log(2) / log(1 + r)

where Td is time of doubling and r is the constant rate.

At a constant rate of .04%, the doubling rate would be 1750 years.

The current population growth is 1%. If the population growth was .04% 12,000 years ago, the average growth rate per year up until the present would be .003%.

Agricultural development and settlements arose during the Holocene, which allowed for greater sustainability of communities and a higher growth rate. Prior to the Holocene, population growth rate would have been considerably smaller given that humans were very gradually acquiring survival skills.

Using the same formula above and assuming the rate of growth prior to the Holocene was smaller, if we divide the .04% by only half, which is highly unlikely over such a long period of time (200,000 years " 12,000 years = 188,000 years), the doubling rate would be approximately 35,000 years.

As mentioned previously, linear extrapolation of current growth rates is invalid. This link explains exponential growth and doubling time calculations: http://www.cairco.org....

My opponent made this comment: "I do not know to much about the dating methods except that are used with certain assumptions about the world that may or may not have been true thousands of years ago."
This statement is absolutely false. There are no "assumptions" - only hard data. I challenge my opponent to post a credible link to research that suggests that isotopic decay algorithms are incorrect. If that were the case, there would be thousands of dead patients whose doctors relied on diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals.

My conclusion is as stated before. My opponent has presented no evidence which would support his position or contradict the current scientific literature.
Debate Round No. 3
51 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jerry947 1 year ago
Jerry947
Okay. I could create another debate when you get back from your trip. I love to learn new things about the world and you are a great/respectful person to debate with.
Posted by Phantom423 1 year ago
Phantom423
No problem, Jerry. If you want to continue the debate, would be happy to do so - just create another one.
Regards
Posted by Jerry947 1 year ago
Jerry947
The debate is actually over. That went by to fast. I should have made the debate longer. But thanks for the debate. I really enjoyed it.

By the way, I only talked about the hominids because you mentioned them first. I even said in the debate that the average life span of hominids 4,000,000 years ago didn't matter since we are talking about people that supposedly existed 200,000 years ago. I had no intention of changing the resolution of the debate.
Posted by Phantom423 1 year ago
Phantom423
Jerry, I will be out of town until next Tuesday - so if I don't respond to the next round until then, that's the reason - will respond as soon as I get back.
Regards
Posted by Jerry947 1 year ago
Jerry947
Sounds good. Feel free to respond whenever you feel like.
Posted by Phantom423 1 year ago
Phantom423
Jerry, will respond in the morning - my day is full up!
Regards
Posted by Phantom423 1 year ago
Phantom423
Yes you are correct. I'll put the references at the bottom of the arguments in the future.
Posted by Biodome 1 year ago
Biodome
Phantom423, you have provided pretty good arguments, however, some of them seem to be taken from certain sources. For instance, one part of your text come from this site: http://io9.gizmodo.com...

It is good practice to note the source material at the end of your argument, citing any links or literature that you have used. If you don't do that, you may be accused of plagiarism, which will fire back on you during the voting stage.

Good luck, and have a fun debate!
Posted by Jerry947 1 year ago
Jerry947
Sure thing. And if you have the time, it would be nice to have you officially post your argument so that it makes things easier for the people reading the debate. Also, not posting it on the main page would eventually make it look like you forfeited the debate and I don't want that to happen.
Posted by Phantom423 1 year ago
Phantom423
Thanks Jerry - got it.
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