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The Myth of Eons of Human Existence

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

If evolution is true, Homo sapiens existed for hundreds of thousands of years. Is this true?

Evolutionists claim that the evolution of Homo sapiens happened over millions of years. This notion of eons—an immeasurably or indefinitely long period of time—of human existence on earth is rarely challenged. Accepted as truth because evolutionary theory requires it, eons of Homo sapiens on earth remains as a tenet of the evolutionary story. And this tenet is apparently held by the faithful as true.

For example, as reported by Smithsonian Magazine, Homo sapiens evolved from a prior human species at least a million years ago:

The long evolutionary journey that created modern humans began with a single step—or more accurately—with the ability to walk on two legs. One of our earliest-known ancestors, Sahelanthropus, began the slow transition from ape-like movement some six million years ago, but Homo sapiens wouldn’t show up for more than five million years.

Recognizing that precise dating of fossilized remains is difficult, Smithsonian Magazine arrives at the best precise date of the first Homo sapiens as occurring 300,000 years ago:

But fragments of 300,000-year-old skulls, jaws, teeth and other fossils found at Jebel Irhoud, a rich site also home to advanced stone tools, are the oldest Homo sapiens remains yet found. Ibid.

Homo sapiens. 300,000 years ago. Is this true? Is there another way to look at population data to date the earliest Homo sapiens on earth?

If population data drives the analysis, rather than theory-driven analysis, we find a fascinating discovery. It seems that the first human beings on earth date only back about 10,000 years.

10,000 years? That seems like a contrived number that is also theory-driven for another ideological camp.

In fact, however, the 10,000-year number (plus or minus, as we will see) derives from ideology-free scientific data analysis.

For example, consider “Historical Estimates for World Population” provided by the US Census Bureau. Below we show a portion of the graph provided. The data provided are gathered from many sources and provided in the chart, a portion of which is shown below. Importantly, all the data sources show measurable human populations dating from 10,000 BCE.

FIG. 1: World Population Growth from US Census Bureau

The US Census graph represents scientific consensus population data, as reflected from other sources. Consider the graph of “World Population Data” provided by Our World in Data. In this graph, which is also a depiction of measurable human populations, we find, again, human beings arriving around 10,000 BCE.

FIG. 2: World Poplulation Growth

In its explanation, Our World in Data noted the following:

The chart shows the increasing number of people living on our planet over the last 12,000 years. A mind-boggling change: the world population today is 1,860 times the size of what it was 12,000 ago when the world population was around 4 million – half of the current population of London. (bold emphasis added)

And note what Our World in Data finds striking:

What is striking about this chart is of course that almost all of this growth happened just very recently. Ibid.

No, what is striking about this chart is that all of this growth started only about 12,000 years ago! According to evolutionary theory researchers should be able to trace measurable Homo sapiens populations to at least around 300,000 years ago.

We provide one final chart from “Historian on the Warpath,” Scott Manning. Mr. Manning tackled the challenge of estimating world population growth in a very deliberate, data-driven manner, and concluded with the following chart comprised of 12 sets of estimates. The complete sets along with sources can be found in Appendix: World Population Estimate Sets. Here is the chart:

FIG. 3 World Population Estimates from 12 sources.

Note again the striking consensus among 12 different researchers of world population. All independent researchers find the first measurable human populations on earth arising around 10,000 BC.

Some may object that the “measurable” populations at 10,000 BC are in the millions, so human beings clearly existed earlier. True. But how long would it take the first human couple to replicate into the first million human beings? Not as long as you might think, and certainly not eons of time.

According to a fascinating post on StackExchange, the time required for the first 100 human couples to have 1,000,000 descendants is only from 3 to 9 generations. Of course, such estimates involve a bit of conjecture and a fair number of assumptions. But regardless of the conjecture and assumptions, population data suggests that the earliest Homo sapiens on earth arrived tens of thousands of years ago, not eons ago.

Such population data is surprising, if not troubling, only if the required facts of your chosen creation story don’t line up.

But what if there was a creation story that is completely in line with the facts of world population growth?

Think about it.


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