From Ape to Man
It is sometimes rather staggering to read the findings of men who call themselves scientists. A bit of a jawbone with three or four teeth in it is found in one spot, a skeleton portion of a limb is found yards away, and these are definitely stated to have belonged to a man who lived 50,000 years ago
When the young Christian reads such statements and remembers that, if calculations are made from the Bible narrative, they put the creation of man as taking place roughly some 6,000 years ago, he often feels puzzled and even troubled.
A simple calculation will show at a glance that the fixing of these fabulous dates of 50,000 years, or so, ago for the existence of man on earth is simply absurd.
The population of the United Kingdom in 1801 was over 16 millions; in 1901 it was 41 millions, or considerably more than double. Take that as a rough kind of standard, and assume that the human race as a whole doubles itself every century. Begin with 2 in the first century, and double—4, 8, 16, 32, and so on, for sixty centuries, that is for 6,000 years. We know of course that the first nine patriarchs, as recorded in Genesis 5, became parents at the average age of 117 years. Noah’s great age (500) before he begat children was, no doubt, arranged by God in view of the flood, so that there should not be five or six generations in the ark at the same time, but only two, viz., Noah and his wife, his three sons and their wives. However that does not vitiate our calculation, as we shall see.
What then is the result of doubling the population each century for 6,000 years? We arrive at a colossal number represented by 1 with eighteen figures after it. If we calculate for 100 centuries, that is for 10,000 years, we should get a number represented by 1 with thirty figures after it. So we pass from 19 figures to 31 figures—a tremendous jump.
Yet, not long ago (April 8th, 1930) a London daily paper printed the following:—“The transition from ape to man appears to have taken a period calculated by geologists at fourteen million years;” that is, 1,400 times 10,000 years. If we could calculate up to that point we should arrive at figures that would take up the whole space of this magazine, if they were printed, and then we should not have enough space for our purpose by a very long way, nor live long enough to complete the calculations even though we became centenarians.
We are certainly in a position to calculate with greater exactitude the area of the earth’s surface. We are told it consists roughly of about 50,000,000 square miles. This reduced to square yards would be 154,880,000,000,000 square yards, that is a matter of 15 figures. If the human race be doubled each century for 60 centuries our calculations show that there would at the end of that time be only one square yard available for over 10,000 people.
It may be urged that the population of the earth has been greatly diminished by earthquakes, floods, fire, plagues, diseases, wars, bad seasons, producing lack of food, resulting in the death of millions by famines; and further that the effect at modern civilisation is to reduce the birth rate. On the other hand however, we know how civilised countries reduce the death rate by better sanitation, increased knowledge of hygiene and the laws of living, better medical knowledge and surgical skill and the like. Still there can be no doubt that on the whole the death rate must have been much higher in the past centuries, and the rate of increase therefore lower.
But allowing for all this on a very liberal scale, our figures, by a very big margin indeed, convince the scientists of childish folly in their wild guesses, and point to the accuracy of the Bible. The Scriptures, be it remembered, show us that we have not to start our calculations, with the first two people—not from Adam but from Noah—so the number of centuries to be allowed for is about 43, rather than 60. The Bible is scientific wherever it makes statements that touch on facts within the domain of science.
A French savant truly said, “I am not credulous enough to be an unbeliever.” If we had to believe the scientist as to the age of man on the earth we should have to disbelieve the Bible narrative. We find we can believe the Bible narrative and our belief is not antagonistic to reason. To believe the scientist on this point would take a credulity that would be childish and foolish in the extreme.
“We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (2 Cor. 13:8). Young Christian, hold on to your Bible. It will never let you down.