The thread was closed where I posted this question earlier. What would be the result if all human life was destroyed except for 7 humans? I am referring to noah and his family. What would the genetics look like after 6000 years?
I agree that there is no evidence for a GLOBAL flood 4350 years. In fact, all the evidence is against it. I am starting to believe in a mesopotamian flood around that time that destroyed the sumerian culture. I should have posed my question differently though. Would it be possible to have a thriving human population after 4350 years if it started with only 7 humans such as noah's family?
I think that with an effective population size of only 5 humanity would probably go extinct. And that's without assuming a population of only 2 a couple of thousand years earlier which would make things even worse.
Aside from the genetic issues, though, I don't think that there is necessarily a barrier to the actual population size increasing hugely since then (although I think we'd still be behind current population).
That said, good as the genetic evidence is, if you put the flood 4350 years ago I don't think that the archaeological evidence shows any culture being wiped out and replaced at that time. Not even the Sumerians. If you want to avoid archaeology, you'd have to go further back in time.
Surely you agreed that the sumerian culture disappeared at a certain point in time? There is indeed geological evidence for a substantial flood in the mesopotamian area at least in the vicinity of the time that the sumerian culture existed. What date does archaelogy give for the disappearance of the sumerian culture?
Maybe. Coyote's point (and mine on the other thread) was that the human population couldn't be as genetically diverse as it is now. Could it be as large as it is now? I don't really see why not, assuming they weren't wiped out by genetic problems associated with inbreeding. But it would not look, in detail, like the human population that we actually have.
Inbreeding causes problems because of harmful recessive genes. If that original population of 7 from noah's family was free of harmful recessive genes, then inbreeding would not be a problem. There is a verse in genesis suggesting just that. "These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." In my mind, perfect here refers to the physical guality of noahs body. If perfect meant "good behavior", it would be redundant since the verse already says noah was just.
Is that your final answer, or could it be any less?
I don't think an exact number matters but I will stick with that figure for arguments sake. The point is whether or not it is possible to grow a human population of significant size from just 7 people in a short amount of time.
I don't understand the point of your question. If there was no global flood, then there is scant reason to wonder how the earth got repopulated in only 4300 years.
I am confronting just portions of all the objections to the biblical account of the flood. I realize there are serious problems with the idea of a global flood. But for the sake of argument, I want to know the possibilities of repopulating the world with just noah's family because the objections to the other problems could be resolved in the future with knowledge we do not now have.
Two problems have been identified with starting with a starting population of seven.
I realize the diversity of the gene pool is not possible coming from 7 people 4350 years with current biological knowledge. We cannot solve all problems at one time. I have already addressed the problems of inbreeding.
A third problem is that reducing all of earth's population to 7 only 4300 years ago makes it extremely difficult for all other historical events to have happened during periods contemporary with the post flood period.
What if we have misinterpreted the bible and the flood was earlier than 4300 years ago like 7,000 years ago? Would that still make it extremely difficult for all other historical events to have happened in the post flood period?
The fourth problem for some people at least is that it renders the flood story in Genesis as a rather allegorical, if not fanciful account.
No need for this problem if you realize that our understanding of a supernaturally inspired text written to a people and time far removed from us is not always going to be accurate. Resorting to naming a text as allegorical when a straightforward reading gives problems scientifically, is not the way to go IMO. There are a myriad of literal interpretations of biblical texts. The modern mind ,however, only grasps one particular literal interpretation when the ancient mind had a completely different idea when it was written.
Most biologists reckon you need a minimum viable population (MVP) of thousands for larger animals to survive.
An MVP of 500 to 1,000 has often been given as an average for terrestrial vertebrates when inbreeding or genetic variability is ignored. When inbreeding effects are included, estimates of MVP for many species are in the 1,000s. Based on a meta-analysis of reported values in the literature for many species, Traill et al. reported a median MVP of 4,169 individuals
The problem isn't just genetic, it's mostly about accident and disease. You only need a few deaths during childbirth and it's game over.
This is the response I was looking for. Tangle knew what I was getting and did not respond with snark. So, accident and disease makes a MVP of 7 impossible? If you are constantly breeding and live in a favorable environment, wouldn't that lower the MVP from 500-1000 to much less?
Yeah, why not? Let's take the interval between generations to be 30 years, and take the flood to be 4000 years ago. That gives us 133 generations. In that time, we'd want to multiply the size of the human race by about a billion. So you'd want the average number of (surviving and then marrying) children per couple to be about 2.3. So it's biologically possible.
The only fly in the ointment is that human populations haven't in fact grown that fast over most of human history, but since we're taking Noah's Flood as a hypothesis, I guess we're not worrying too much about historical accuracy.
So, it is possible. How do we know how fast global human populations grew in the past? From the biblical records, the families of each generation appear to be quite large. It doesn't take too many of that kind of generational enlargement to get an enormous population rather quickly.