Thursday, January 14, 2010

You are one in 100 billion

Some estimates of the total number of humans that have lived on the earth come out at around 100 billion. The present population of the earth is 7 billion. We reached our first billion between 1800 and 1850. That has all happened over about 70,000 years. Mind you, some folks say the world is only 6000 years old, and the human race started with Adam and Eve. If that is the case then the estimate of 100 billion is wildly out. A lot of those 100 billion must have lived and died before Adam and Eve even showed up.

So just how much shagging has been going on to bring the population to its present day seven billion. Bearing in mind scientists estimate that in 4000 BC the world population was 20 million, and in 1000 AD it was 300 million.
Phew, it's all rather confusing for my poor brain. I was trying to work out if you could get from two people to 7 billion in 6000 years. That is a pretty impressive breeding programme. That's 240 generations. If every woman had four kids, that's pretty feasable isn't it? But at what point does the Adam and Eve theory start to accept the population estimates? If the estimate for 1AD is correct at 200 million then that's 160 generations to get from two people to there.

I can't work those figures out, but somewhere along the way, in that 6000 years, from those two people we got a whole load of different coloured people too. How and when did that happen? I'm struggling to believe the 6000 year theory.

Jeez, I'll be glad when it's 9 o clock, and Celebrity Big Brother is on and then I can stop thinking about all this crap.


  1. So if we all come from Adam and Eve we're all relatives? I had enough with my current inlaws and now i have 100 billion more???
    240 generations, 4 kids/woman... Tom. My brain hurts a lot.

  2. Lets not forget the plague and similar things that wiped out sizeable percentages of the population at various points.

    But then when life expectancy was 30 years ( which it certainly was in the stone ages and probably well beyond ) and people were breeding younger, maybe they crammed in more generations into the same amount of time...

  3. Leni, It's good to know that we are so closely related. And I promise I won't give you any grief.

    Glenatron, Yep, but then loads of them died. There must be someone out there who, as the yanks say, can 'do the math'.