Sorry it has been so long since I last posted, you know real life and how it can get in the way of our hobbies. I am still working on some new posts to put on here and I hope to develop some good discussions. But in the mean time I came across this video and wanted to see what everyone thinks.

Is evolution mathematically impossible based on population growth? and please watch whole video before commenting because your may find answers to your questions in the video before you ask it.

The flaw in this guy’s logic is that he is assuming a constant rate of growth. We know that there are periods of negative growth rate in human history. His reasoning is based on an ideal world and not an actual world.

This video is comical.

By: Thaddeus Dombrowski on August 7, 2009 at 12:28 am

Well correct me if I am wrong, but is not using averages the mathematical way of adjusting for higher and lower rates of population growth? He does not take the population growth of one year and use it for the entire equation, he took an average that has been worked out over many years of recorded history this would account for declines and spurts in population.

Also, is not assuming rates do not very what some geologist do when it comes to the decay rate of elements? Radiometric Dating is based on the assumption that the decay rate of an element has not changed ever. Would not your argument include this as a flaw in logic?

You said, “He does not take the population growth of one year and use it for the entire equation, he took an average that has been worked out over many years of recorded history this would account for declines and spurts in population.”

If he took the population growth rate for one year and used it to model the growth of human population over 500,000 years, he would be wrong. I can see you understand that by your comment. He did something just as wrong. He took an average that has been worked out over many years of recorded history and applied it to human pre-history as well as recorded history. In other words, the growth rate of .456% is only valid for the span of years from which it was derived. He then used that number and applied it for the estimated time human beings have been around. Absurd — especially from a math “professor”.

What is really interesting is that he pulled this figure, not from a scientific paper on evolution, but from a precalculus text book. How does that disprove claims made by evolutionary biologists?

In mathematics, if you try modelling something and you come up with an incorrect result you first check your computations. If your computations are correct, you then check your assumptions. He did neither. He came up with a ridiculous figure and then made a video claiming that he had disproved evolution!!! What is especially comical is that evolution doesn’t make any claims about population growth for any species, let alone for humans. How would this exercise disprove evolution? This isn’t even someone else’s model. It’s his model. The most that this demonstrates is that his model is way off.

You also asked, “…is not assuming rates do not very what some geologist do when it comes to the decay rate of elements? Radiometric Dating is based on the assumption that the decay rate of an element has not changed ever. Would not your argument include this as a flaw in logic?”

No. My argument does not include this flaw. The logical flaw was made by the “mathematician” in the video. He assumed a constant rate of growth for something that clearly does not have a constant rate of growth — the change in human population. He took the growth rate from the recent past, a period in which human population on earth has boomed, and then applied to for a range where there is no evidence for such a growth rate. Radiometric dating is based on the assumption that the decay rate of an element has not changed because there is no evidence that it has ever changed. You could only assume a variable rate of change if you could show that the rate of change varies.

In mathematics, you choose the simplest model that works. You only change to a more complex model if there is evidence to support it. Assuming a variable rate of decay for isotopes when there is no evidence for that would be to start off with an incorrect assumption. Any conclusions drawn from that would clearly be suspect.

By: Thaddeus Dombrowski on August 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I’m very interested to talk to you about this, but I’m not confident that blog comments are the best way to get a good back and forth. Feel free to suggest another means if it is more convenient.

As I understand it, you believe in a young-earth based on a literal reading of the Christian/Hebrew scriptures. If I understand, you are putting this forward this video as one piece of evidence that you feel logicaly supports your beliefs and therefore debunks evolution (because a young-earth and old-earth are incompatible, mutually exclusive ideas)…

Is that correct? If so, great, we have a starting point. I am interested in truth, wherever that may lead, which is why I want to know more. I will admit that I see some problems here, but let’s make sure that I understand the idea before I prematurely criticize it… I am open to the idea that I might not understand.

Clearly, the risk here is all on the evolution side as disproving this fact wouldn’t disprove a young earth or lend credibility to evolution. To be fair, it wouldn’t exactly prove that a literal translation of the Bible were true either, but it certainly wouldn’t contradict it and would make for an interesting hypothesis to follow.

The flaw in this guy’s logic is that he is assuming a constant rate of growth. We know that there are periods of negative growth rate in human history. His reasoning is based on an ideal world and not an actual world.

This video is comical.

By:

Thaddeus Dombrowskion August 7, 2009at 12:28 am

Well correct me if I am wrong, but is not using averages the mathematical way of adjusting for higher and lower rates of population growth? He does not take the population growth of one year and use it for the entire equation, he took an average that has been worked out over many years of recorded history this would account for declines and spurts in population.

Also, is not assuming rates do not very what some geologist do when it comes to the decay rate of elements? Radiometric Dating is based on the assumption that the decay rate of an element has not changed ever. Would not your argument include this as a flaw in logic?

By:

mcovilleon August 7, 2009at 7:55 am

These guys are innumerate!

By:

Tonyon August 7, 2009at 8:53 am

Tony, what is wrong with the math, or are you just a hit and run commenter?

By:

mcovilleon August 7, 2009at 12:01 pm

You said, “He does not take the population growth of one year and use it for the entire equation, he took an average that has been worked out over many years of recorded history this would account for declines and spurts in population.”

If he took the population growth rate for one year and used it to model the growth of human population over 500,000 years, he would be wrong. I can see you understand that by your comment. He did something just as wrong. He took an average that has been worked out over many years of recorded history and applied it to human pre-history as well as recorded history. In other words, the growth rate of .456% is only valid for the span of years from which it was derived. He then used that number and applied it for the estimated time human beings have been around. Absurd — especially from a math “professor”.

What is really interesting is that he pulled this figure, not from a scientific paper on evolution, but from a precalculus text book. How does that disprove claims made by evolutionary biologists?

In mathematics, if you try modelling something and you come up with an incorrect result you first check your computations. If your computations are correct, you then check your assumptions. He did neither. He came up with a ridiculous figure and then made a video claiming that he had disproved evolution!!! What is especially comical is that evolution doesn’t make any claims about population growth for any species, let alone for humans. How would this exercise disprove evolution? This isn’t even someone else’s model. It’s his model. The most that this demonstrates is that his model is way off.

You also asked, “…is not assuming rates do not very what some geologist do when it comes to the decay rate of elements? Radiometric Dating is based on the assumption that the decay rate of an element has not changed ever. Would not your argument include this as a flaw in logic?”

No. My argument does not include this flaw. The logical flaw was made by the “mathematician” in the video. He assumed a constant rate of growth for something that clearly does not have a constant rate of growth — the change in human population. He took the growth rate from the recent past, a period in which human population on earth has boomed, and then applied to for a range where there is no evidence for such a growth rate. Radiometric dating is based on the assumption that the decay rate of an element has not changed because there is no evidence that it has ever changed. You could only assume a variable rate of change if you could show that the rate of change varies.

In mathematics, you choose the simplest model that works. You only change to a more complex model if there is evidence to support it. Assuming a variable rate of decay for isotopes when there is no evidence for that would be to start off with an incorrect assumption. Any conclusions drawn from that would clearly be suspect.

By:

Thaddeus Dombrowskion August 7, 2009at 4:31 pm

I’m very interested to talk to you about this, but I’m not confident that blog comments are the best way to get a good back and forth. Feel free to suggest another means if it is more convenient.

As I understand it, you believe in a young-earth based on a literal reading of the Christian/Hebrew scriptures. If I understand, you are putting this forward this video as one piece of evidence that you feel logicaly supports your beliefs and therefore debunks evolution (because a young-earth and old-earth are incompatible, mutually exclusive ideas)…

Is that correct? If so, great, we have a starting point. I am interested in truth, wherever that may lead, which is why I want to know more. I will admit that I see some problems here, but let’s make sure that I understand the idea before I prematurely criticize it… I am open to the idea that I might not understand.

Clearly, the risk here is all on the evolution side as disproving this fact wouldn’t disprove a young earth or lend credibility to evolution. To be fair, it wouldn’t exactly prove that a literal translation of the Bible were true either, but it certainly wouldn’t contradict it and would make for an interesting hypothesis to follow.

By:

Brianon August 14, 2009at 10:05 pm

A response has been sent via email.

By:

mcovilleon August 15, 2009at 4:03 am

“Tony, what is wrong with the math, or are you just a hit and run commenter?”

I think that Thaddeus Dombrowski gives you a great answer.

In addition the historic and archaeological material presented is terribly selective and woefully inaccurate.

By:

Tonyon September 2, 2009at 6:55 am