DennisTate

Are LDS open to Theistic Evolutionary Theory?

Are LDS open to the idea of Theistic Evolutionary Theory?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Are Latter day Saints open to some variation of Theistic Evolutionary Theory?

    • No
      4
    • Yes
      5
    • Perhaps... but that will depend on the wording for the explanation.
      5


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1 hour ago, person0 said:

I'm no population expert, but just from the math it seems you didn't subtract the death rate or compound the growth rate.  Is your assumption that the birth and death rate is equal? If, for example, the death rate is 9% then couldn't we can effectively compound the 1% net gain over the time period?  If so, then the population would double roughly every 70 years.

It's distressing to see things that seem so obvious being misunderstood so badly. So instead of throwing around silly examples of infinity-year doublings, let me do a different silly thing and tell the story of the Wasabi.

The Wasabi were a people with neolithic (late Stone Age) technology, living on a large island off a continental coast. They lived in almost total isolation for a period of ten thousand years, surviving primarily on herbs, fruit, some wild game, fish, and spicy mustard. They had no domesticated animals until about ten thousand years ago, when they began domesticating various plants and found it useful to have cats around their granaries to combat the spike in native mouse populations. The Wasabi began farming, but continued to be hunter-fisher-gatherers.

Early evidence from about 10,000 years ago establishes a population of Wasabi of roughly 10,000 individuals, concentrated in the southern island group. They comprised four settlements on three islands, one on each of two smaller islands and two on opposite sides of a large island. Each settlement consisted of 20 to 30 villages, ranging in size from a few dozen people to large villages of several hundred. Their early history runs more or less as follows:

<YEAR> : <POPULATION>

<HISTORICAL OCCURRENCES>

***********************************************************************

Year 0 : 10,000

The earliest evidence for the Wasabi show nomadic people who are primarily hunter-gatherers, but who also begin to tend naturally occurring collections of fruit trees in this area. They are in four major groups covering three islands, as has been described. The big island hosts two separate groups that maintain contact with each other. The two other islands, Alice and Bob, hold smaller populations of the same overall blood lines. Each of the smaller islands has 2000 to 2500 individuals, and the big island has around 5500, roughly equally divided between the two big island groups.

Year 50 : 15,000

After a couple of generations, the Wasabi are well-established and growing. But it appears that several consecutive years of cool weather occur during this 50-year period, possibly connected with a volcanic eruption a few thousand miles away in Micronesia, that impacted the fruit harvest. The people survive and thrive despite this.

Year 100 : 15,000

A couple of generations further on sees the population pretty much the same. There are several periods of one to two years of drought, and the population may have dipped between years 50 and 100. However, all evidence suggests that by year 100, the Wasabi had rebounded. At this point, the Wasabi begin experiencing good climatic conditions most years, which would last for the next three centuries.

Year 200 : 60,000

The Wasabi have grown immensely in the last century. Good fruit harvests, peaceful conditions, and the introduction of better fishing technology in the form of a primitive type of gill net, have made this a Golden Age of sorts. Innovations in farming technology seem to have been introduced. Occasional contact between the big island, Alice, and Bob have spread these innovations throughout the people. Things are good with the Wasabi.

Year 250 : 30,000

The population, though still large, has suffered a series of terrible setbacks. On the big island, the two populations, who had before maintained good relations, began fighting over mid-island resources. This devolved into open warfare between tribal factions, both between the two populations and also within the populations, as various tribes strove to consolidate power. Many of the men died in battles, but far more people died of starvation that resulted from the destruction of farming plots and the inability to fish (because fishers were subject to be killed by their enemies). The populations on Alice and Bob do not show the same devastation, but their growth appears to have essentially stopped, and each has around 8000-10000 people.

Year 280 : 18,000

The next generation or so sees continued warfare on the big island, which has now been established in the cultures of the big island's population. War and famine have reduced the combined population on the big island to around 5000 people in total. Evidence suggests that at this point, the hostilities largely ceased while the people struggled just to survive.

The warfare has only tangentially touched the two smaller islands, but contact with the larger island has had other negative consequences. One of the smaller islands, Alice, had a population of over 10,000 in Year 270, including a large village of almost a thousand people. People from this village visited outlying areas, including the large island, and brought back with them an influenza virus. This quickly infected everyone in the village, then on the island. Since this was a novel and quite nasty virus for this population, the death rate was 25% from the virus itself. The survivors sought to take care of their own, and many children orphaned by the disease died of sickness (not flu) or starvation. After two years, fully half of this island's population had succumbed to this devastating plague. The large city on Alice was abandoned and apparently never again inhabited. By year 280, Alice's population is no more than 5,000 people. Bob did not make out nearly so badly, but the flu pandemic did result in widespread death, with perhaps 10% of its population dying off. Bob is at perhaps 8,000 people.

Year 500 : 25,000

Jumping ahead more than 200 years, investigators are surprised to find that the population has not rebounded nearly as much as expected, not even close to their maximum of 60,000 three hundred years earlier. The record in the dirt is not clear on why this is, but leading theories include climate change and extensive emigration; it is at least clear that the excellent weather conditions experienced in the Wasabis' early years ceased at around year 400, when rainfall patterns shifted and things became much drier. It does seem evident that much of the farming abilities developed by the Wasabi in earlier years were abandoned or forgotten.

Year 700 : 75,000

Two hundred years later, the population has boomed. Bob is now the principle island, though with only 15,000 inhabitants, the smallest population of the three islands. Bob now hosts the largest city among the Wasabi, and with fully 2500 people, it cannot be considered a mere large village. Technological innovations in this city include running water in an extensive ditch system. There are no large draft animals among the Wasabi, but evidence suggests that at least hogs and waterfowl have been domesticated on the islands. The big island shows evidence of a continuation of the two-population division, but genetic markers show that the people are closely related, so intermarriage obviously continues. Alice hosts a population of 25,000, spread out across the island. These relatively small islands are nearing their carrying capacity for human populations; there is compelling evidence that the Wasabi were sailing to other islands, possibly even the continent, and engaging in trade.

Year 800 : 90,000

The Wasabi continue to grow, but their culture is undergoing some sort of transition. Religious emblems have always been prevalent in the Wasabi detritus, but not so much at this time. Farming has reached an apex of technological innovation, and the climate is as good as it has been in centuries. But despite plenty of food, this is clearly a season of war. We can only guess at its causes.

Year 850 : 25,000

War and the resulting famine have killed off many people. Coincidentally, shifting weather patterns have obviously resulted in severe food shortages. In a period of 50 years, the population has utterly collapsed. This is a catastrophe worse than anything the Wasabi have ever experienced.

Year 900 : 15,000

The population continues to drop for the next couple of generations as the climate cools severely. People still survive in areas, especially in Bob, which has a population of nearly 8000. The big island is almost completely depopulated, with no more than 2000 people living there (and no sign of population division). Large numbers of small villages still exist on Alice, concentrated on the coastline. The people were obviously leveraging fishing for their food, but fish populations at this time were in decline.

Shortly after this point, the first of three major influenza epidemics swept through the surviving Wasabi populations.

Year 950 : 6,000

The Wasabi have been nearly wiped out. Warfare, disease, famine, and drought have combined to make the islands much less hospitable than in times long past. The Wasabi have lost much of their culture and technology in the savage years of the preceding two centuries; several large groups have emigrated from the islands, mostly from Alice, and are lost to Wasabi memory. The remaining population is split between the big island and Bob, with no more than a few hundred still living on Alice. The Wasabi are perilously close to extinction; Vegas odds would give them no more than a 25% chance of long-term survival.

Year 1000 : 10,000

Pulling back from the brink, the Wasabi have reestablished both fishing and farming, The climate is still not favorable, but the ever-resilient Wasabi have learned techniques to produce and gather food, and have managed to structure a society that avoids war and its attendant evils. Bob is still the center of Wasabi culture, but settlements have been established on all three islands, with a significant population of more than 2000 on Alice and over 3000 on the big island. Evidence shows a definite spreading of Wasabi influence in the larger area, disproportionate to their population at this time.

***********************************************************************

So in a 1000-year span of time, our fictional Wasabi find themselves right back where they began with regards to their population.

Now obviously, this is just a made-up story. But it parallels reality; you could doubtless find dozens or hundreds of such stories. The Book of Mormon presents several, and shows how numbers wax and wane.

The point is, a little reflection will show that the statement "you can't stay at a population of 100,000 for centuries or millennia" is silly. Of course you can. Populations grown and diminish, and sometimes go extinct (from which there is no return). Especially if your population is at the carrying capacity of the land, it's entirely possible—likely, even—that a stable human population can go centuries or longer without growing much in numbers. My silly little dramatization should at least illustrate this most obvious idea.

Edited by Vort

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30 minutes ago, Vort said:

It's distressing to see things that seem to obvious being misunderstood so badly. So instead of throwing around silly examples of infinity-year doublings, let me tell the story of the Wasabi.

Now obviously, this is just a made-up story. But it parallels reality; you could doubtless find dozens or hundreds of such stories. The Book of Mormon presents several, and shows how numbers wax and wane.

No one is denying that a civilization can yo-yo back-and-forth and be as volatile as a stock market. But, this doesn't happen time and time and time again for thousands and thousands of years. Since the beginning of dawn, tragedies of all sorts like the ones you just mentioned have been occurring. And they still occur. And yet, populations double quickly. I'm not denying that a population can remain unchanged for an extend period of time. Huge difference between 1,000 years and 9,000 years. 

And your previous example, with a tribe of 10,000, would absolutely go extinct. No question. I took the demographics of Lesotho and divided them in half, which seems reasonable since the life expectancy of Lesothans is 55. And cavemen allegedly lived anywhere from 25-35 years. So, a 0-7 year-old on my chart, would have been 0-14 years old for Lesotho. 31.84% of their country fits within that demographic. So what happens after a few years? Well, if you lose 1,000 people every year between these four demographics, and death is equitably distributed, then your 0-7 year old group will quickly become the majority... eventually you won't have enough fit men to father children, or defend themselves from other tribes. Time for another theory. 

 

cavemen_population.PNG

Edited by ldsguy422

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2 hours ago, ldsguy422 said:

And you've yet to touch on how there was little to no progression for 190,000 years. 

I already answered this earlier.

Quote

Has a nation or tribe ever struggled to grow for such a long period of time? 

Yes.  Lots of them.   This is true of almost all hunter and gatherer societies.

The Sentinalese, for example have an estimated population between 50 and 200 individuals.   They have likely lived on the same island for thousands of years. Most scientific sources say they have lived on the same island for tens of thousands of years, but I won't argue those ages on the forum.   In any case there population hasn't grown to more than 200 individuals over many thousands of years.  This is also true of other island tribes, the isolated tribes in New Guinea, the Amazon, etc. 

Papua New Guinea, for example there are at least 820 distinct and non-related languages.  On the island there are at least 1100 languages.    This is because the tribes there have lived in isolation for thousands of years.  The tribe's populations have grown very slowly over thousands of years.   Some of the tribes are estimated to have been there tens of thousands of years (though I'm not going to argue those ages) and they still have low populations.

Edited by Scott

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3 minutes ago, Scott said:

I already answered this earlier.

Yes.  Lots of them.   This is true of almost all hunter and gatherer societies.

The Sentinalese, for example have an estimated population between 50 and 200 individuals.   They have likely lived on the same island for thousands of years.   This is also true of other island tribes, the isolated tribes in New Guinea, the Amazon, etc. 

Also, don't forget the example of Easter Island.

Using a tribe would make sense... if no one ever broke off from that tribe. We're talking about the world's population, not a single group. Divisions have always existed. And knowing little to nothing about the Sentinalese, I'm going to guess they've had members that have left the tribe. Have they been completely in tact for thousands and thousands of years without division? If people have left the group, then your example is completely irrelevant. 

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22 minutes ago, Vort said:

Now obviously, this is just a made-up story. But it parallels reality; you could doubtless find dozens or hundreds of such stories. The Book of Mormon presents several, and shows how numbers wax and wane.

I understand your point and I enjoyed reading your story; what I don't understand is how that relates to the theory of Adam and Eve being the progeny of an evolutionary line or the actual population growth that has occurred over the course of recorded history.

I am trying to figure out how we can mesh all the data together from the supporters of organic evolution in this thread so that we spit out a result that doesn't contradict the following:

Quote

We are all descendants of Adam and Eve, our first parents, who were created in God’s image. There were no spirit children of Heavenly Father on the earth before Adam and Eve were created. In addition, “for a time they lived alone in a paradisiacal setting where there was neither human death nor future family.”
(What does the Church believe about evolution? - 2016)

Quote

6 Q. What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.

7 Q. What are we to understand by the seven seals with which it was sealed?A. We are to understand that the first seal contains the things of the first thousand years, and the second also of the second thousand years, and so on until the seventh.
(D&C 77:6-7) emphasis added

Even if we assume the 7000 years didn't begin until after Adam and Eve partook of the fruit and became mortal, how do we tie it all together?  Are we in agreement that the humanoid creatures who supposedly lived before Adam and Eve were not children of God?  I'm sure there are other important questions of note, but alas, my children are calling for me and I must go.

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5 minutes ago, person0 said:

I understand your point and I enjoyed reading your story; what I don't understand is how that relates to the theory of Adam and Eve being the progeny of an evolutionary line

It doesn't.

5 minutes ago, person0 said:

or the actual population growth that has occurred over the course of recorded history.

ldsguy422 believes that human populations must either expand without limit or else go extinct. This is his "proof" that mankind has not been on the earth for 200,000 years. As I have said many times, ldsguy422 does not understand stable populations. My fanciful example was intended to illustrate the idea that an isolated population (including a population isolated on planet Earth) could indeed, despite ldsguy422's protestations, maintain a population within bounds over a very large extended period.

But as they say, none is so blind as him who simply will not see. I think my contribution to this thread is finished.

Edited by Vort

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6 minutes ago, person0 said:

Even if we assume the 7000 years didn't begin until after Adam and Eve partook of the fruit and became mortal, how do we tie it all together?

I don't. I believe it is not possible to do so at this time.

6 minutes ago, person0 said:

Are we in agreement that the humanoid creatures who supposedly lived before Adam and Eve were not children of God?

Probably, inasmuch as the scriptures make it clear that Adam was the first man. Other possibilities exist, such as the speculation that this earth has been the cradle for others of Father's children in previous "plans of salvation", so to speak. In such a case, those remains would indeed be children of God, but would have nothing to do with us. I find all sorts of holes in this particular idea, but I don't completely reject it out of hand. The state of our knowledge of such mechanical explanations is so deeply deficient that I think the safest and most correct answer is that we don't know and probably cannot know at this time.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Vort said:

It doesn't.

ldsguy422 believes that human populations must either expand without limit or else go extinct. This is his "proof" that mankind has not been on the earth for 200,000 years. As I have said many times, ldsguy422 does not understand stable populations. My fanciful example was intended to illustrate the idea that an isolated population (including a population isolated on planet Earth) could indeed, despite ldsguy422's protestations, maintain a population within bounds over a very large extended period.

But as they say, none is so blind as him who simply will not see. I think my contribution to this thread is finished.

You're not grasping how crazy it is for the world's population to double every 9,000 years. Let's just scale it back every so slightly and say 5,000 years. So the example you gave was stable for 1,000 years. Let's say that example was true - nothing happened to the growth for 1,000 years. And then it gets back on track and finally doubles after 5,000 years. And that pattern of doubling every 5,000 years continues 38 more times. Okay, so what happens when you double every 5,000 years from 200,000 B.C. to 10,000 B.C? You get an astounding number of 550 billion. A far cry from 4 million. It's amazing that you're doubling down and not conceding any ground. The numbers are not on your side. And like I said, yes, populations can go relatively unchanged for periods of time - but, not for 9,000 years. That is not feasible. 

 

Edited by ldsguy422

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3 hours ago, ldsguy422 said:

And knowing little to nothing about the Sentinalese, I'm going to guess they've had members that have left the tribe.

As far as is known they haven't left the island in thousands of years.

Have they been completely in tact for thousands and thousands of years without division?

As far as is known, yes.  Same with the other tribes mentioned.

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4 hours ago, ldsguy422 said:

And knowing little to nothing about the Sentinalese, I'm going to guess they've had members that have left the tribe. Have they been completely in tact for thousands and thousands of years without division? If people have left the group, then your example is completely irrelevant. 

If you want to read a little on the tribe, see here:

https://www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/sentinelese

Keep in mind that in pre-Biblical times, all human or human like peoples lived in similar groups.  Population explosion and cities didn't come about until agricultural based cultures existed.

Edited by Scott

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4 hours ago, Scott said:

As far as is known they haven't left the island in thousands of years.

 

 

As far as is known, yes.  Same with the other tribes mentioned.

 

4 hours ago, Scott said:

If you want to read a little on the tribe, see here:

https://www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/sentinelese

Keep in mind that in pre-Biblical times, all human or human like peoples lived in similar groups.  Population explosion and cities didn't come about until agricultural based cultures existed.

It's an interesting case. I'll grant you that. The biggest issue here, of course, is no one actually knows how long they've been there. I just read an article from Forbes, and it says that they're related to other groups in the Andaman Islands. So, there have been divisions. But, no one knows how many of the Sentinelese fled to other indigenous groups. No one knows how many integrated into modern society. Or how many got kicked out of the tribe for violating tribal protocol. It's hard to account for a group that doesn't have a documented history - and almost no contact with the outside world. Too many missing variables. Would love to know more about them. But there's very little we can analyze with that. 

While doing some research on them, I've found that the population estimates ranged from 50 to 400. You took the low end on that number. So, we know there have been divisions, which is important because we don't know how many actual descendants came from the original two. And We don't know how long they've existed on the island. And we don't know what the current population is. Let's go ahead and say the population is 256. That allows the tribe do double exactly 7 times. If they've been around for 6300 years, it means the population would double every 900 years. It's very possible that the total descendants is much more than 400. Could easily be in the thousands. So yeah, still hard for me to believe that any tribe would need 8,950 years to double. And remember it's not just 8,950 years. It's continuing with that razor thin population growth for 190,000 years. 

Edited by ldsguy422

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1 hour ago, ldsguy422 said:

It's an interesting case. I'll grant you that. The biggest issue here, of course, is no one actually knows how long they've been there.

No one knows exactly, but for sure it has been thousands of years.

Quote

I just read an article from Forbes, and it says that they're related to other groups in the Andaman Islands. So, there have been divisions.

Yes they are related, but when going back thousands of years ago.  Go back and re-read the article.

Quote

But, no one knows how many of the Sentinelese fled to other indigenous groups

None have bred with other groups in the last thousands of years.  The last date DNA shows of genetic mixing with other groups is as least 16,000 years BP.  I won't argue the accuracy of the date and how it fits in with Adam and Eve, but let's just agree that it was thousands of years ago.

It is possible that some left the tribe sometime in the last few thousand years, but if they did, they didn't reproduce.  

Quote

No one knows how many integrated into modern society.

Yes, they do.  Zero have.

Quote

Or how many got kicked out of the tribe for violating tribal protocol.

And go where?  It's an island surrounded by water.  The tribe hasn't left the island for thousands of years, or if anyone did they didn't leave any mark or offspring 

Quote

It's hard to account for a group that doesn't have a documented history - and almost no contact with the outside world. Too many missing variables. Would love to know more about them. But there's very little we can analyze with that.

There is plenty to analyze, even without contact.  The tribe has been observed.

Quote

So, we know there have been divisions, which is important because we don't know how many actual descendants came from the original two.

Original two?  Where did you get that?  Adam and Eve aside, it takes at least 50 people to genetically sustain a population.  The original migration would have had to have been at least 50 people to sustain a healthy population this long.

Quote

We don't know how long they've existed on the island.

If you believe the genetic studies we do (approximately at least), but as said I'm not going to argue those dates.  For sure it has been thousands of years.

Quote

And we don't know what the current population is.

True, but it's most likely between 50 and 200.

And the original migration for such a sustained isolated population for that long of a period of time would have had to be at least 50.

Quote

Let's go ahead and say the population is 256.

Fine.  The population started out with at least 50 during the initial migration to the island.  Estimates for that migration are thousands of years ago (studies of the tribe on the next closest island says 55,000 years ago, but again I'm not going to advocate or try and argue that number), but for sure it was thousands of years ago.

Let's just say you don't believe the 55,000 year estimate (and I assume that you do not).   What do you want to use?  As discussed, the initial migration had at least 50 people.  

Also, the sentinalese were just one example.

ALL hunter gatherer groups have slow population growth and all existing now are tribes that are thousands of years old.  It's not just the sentinalese that have small population growth.  It's not just a few hunter-gather tribes.  It's all of them. 

Name one hunter gatherer group that has a high rate of population growth.  There are none.  There likely have never been any.  As mentioned many times it is agricultural (or modern) societies that have high rates of growth.  

Edited by Scott

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7 hours ago, ldsguy422 said:

You're not grasping how crazy it is for the world's population to double every 9,000 years.

From what I can see, Vort does grasp it.  It has been pointed out many, many times (which you can't seem to grasp) that the world population doubling in those time periods only happened after agricultural societies came into play and the doubling over those shorter time periods only came from those societies, not the hunter gather ones.  Why is this so hard to grasp?

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4 hours ago, Scott said:

From what I can see, Vort does grasp it.  It has been pointed out many, many times (which you can't seem to grasp) that the world population doubling in those time periods only happened after agricultural societies came into play and the doubling over those shorter time periods only came from those societies, not the hunter gather ones.  Why is this so hard to grasp?

Because that's not how it happens in nature with most animals?  At least not in how I understand what people are describing here.  Sure, population may seem stagnant (AFTER an initial explosion in some areas) but it's more of a cycle of increase (where, yes, population does double rather quickly in relation to a couple thousand years), stagnation, and decimation.

Most animals increase exponentially.  Normally you have the starvation cycle.  They increase in numbers, too many are around and unless predators eat them, there are too many in the area, they overeat an area resulting in not enough food, and they starve.  This is why the numbers are cut down, not due to not being able to multiply.  Those that do not multiply, die off.

They are either increasing in number or decreasing to extinction.  Very rarely is any species simply stagnant.  Climate changes, introductions of other species, and other items can disrupt this balance and cause a different cycle of increase or extinction, but largely, the number of animals constantly increases under the natural order.  This is why there have not been 16 deer for the past 20,000 years.

The numbers increase dramatically until the environment cannot provide enough food if there are no other predators.  With predation, normally the balance is kept and the numbers do not increase in massive numbers to outgrow what the environment can support.  When the balance is disrupted, and they starve to death, this causes something which takes a few decades to recover from, but it normally goes back to the balance of increasing numbers kept in check by predators.  When too many of the animals die off, the predators also die off (lack of food on all sides) which causes disruptions, but within less than 100 years (normally less than even 50 and in some cases, 20) nature is rebalanced again to the natural cycle.

Hunter/gatherer societies actually lived off this, as there was a mandatory increase of animals in order to support them.  If the animal population did not increase in this manner, the hunter/gatherer societies would not be able to survive as they'd eat all the animals until there were none left, and they'd die out as well (just as predators do when there is nothing to eat).

It IS feasible that this would cause the delicate balance to be disrupted.  Normally, the number of prey increases exponentially and thus the number of predators can as well.  This means for early man, as their numbers increase in parallel with the prey that they hunted.

On the long scheme of things, for such societies, they would ALSO be subject to the starvation cycles (if the predators grow faster than the number of prey, or the prey grow faster than the number of predators, the cycle can be disrupted much in a similar style as I mentioned above in relation to disruptions) and thus numbers would be cut down more from starvation than anything else.  This could, possibly wipe out whole tribes of individuals.

Of course, we don't know all that much about them (and those who say we do, are really just bluffing.  We have GUESSES based on archeological evidence, but we really are just guessing).

We have written history, but much of that is from more agrarian societies and do not date more than a couple thousand years ago.  Population doubles, but I'm not sure if people grasp how long it actually takes to double from a small number to over 7 billion people on the planet.  That last few billion were quickly done, but it didn't start out close to that number.  They were under a couple million for many, many years (centuries, millennia...etc).  We have a hard time calculating how many people were on this planet before this.

It could have been (though there is NO geological or archaeological evidence that this is so) that there were billions of hunter/gatherers on the planet 15,000 years ago and then they died off from starvation/plague/climate changes/etc... and we simply do not realize this yet.  It could be more along the lines that there were less than a couple thousand.  Population is a tricky thing.

If we go Biblically and take it literally, we would say that less than 5000 years ago the entire population of the world was wiped out.  Or we could say that at least a large portion of the world was wiped out (on a side note, as the Garden was in the Promised land in the Americas, perhaps they started in the Americas and that was what was flooded, and Noah's ark came to the Old World/Europe-Africa-Asia instead which might not have been flooded???...just a thought).

Our knowledge of early man and the world is constantly evolving.  No Historian is going to say they know it all or everything about it.  The evidence that we KNOW OF POINTS in some directions that currently do not agree with what we see in our INTERPRETATIONS of the bible, but that doesn't mean it is absolute truth or absolute knowledge.  It is an "evolving" (see what I did there) understanding and a process that is constantly revising what we know and discover.

Vort gave a somewhat reasonable fictional society, though not enough famine and starvation on the island I think, but it is strange that people think Humans are exempt from the natural cycle of starvation and increase that most animals on the planet are subject to.

PS: the reason in modern times of why we have gone beyond this is that we have enabled our environment to support more animals (humans) than it would have been able to previously.  With agrarian advances in farm and food production, we have been able to produce larger and larger quantities of food which result in larger populations.  If/when we reach the limit of food production in relation to population, in theory, we would again be subject to a starvation cycle.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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15 hours ago, ldsguy422 said:

You're not grasping how crazy it is for the world's population to double every 9,000 years. Let's just scale it back every so slightly and say 5,000 years. So the example you gave was stable for 1,000 years. Let's say that example was true - nothing happened to the growth for 1,000 years. And then it gets back on track and finally doubles after 5,000 years. And that pattern of doubling every 5,000 years continues 38 more times. Okay, so what happens when you double every 5,000 years from 200,000 B.C. to 10,000 B.C? You get an astounding number of 550 billion. A far cry from 4 million. It's amazing that you're doubling down and not conceding any ground. The numbers are not on your side. And like I said, yes, populations can go relatively unchanged for periods of time - but, not for 9,000 years. That is not feasible. 

 

You are not taking into account sizing.  The dynamics changes with growth.  If there are no adjustments - say for example with eating behaviors; factors that had minimal impact will become predominant and change the norm. 

 

The Traveler

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11 hours ago, Scott said:

No one knows exactly, but for sure it has been thousands of years.

Yes they are related, but when going back thousands of years ago.  Go back and re-read the article.

None have bred with other groups in the last thousands of years.  The last date DNA shows of genetic mixing with other groups is as least 16,000 years BP.  I won't argue the accuracy of the date and how it fits in with Adam and Eve, but let's just agree that it was thousands of years ago.

It is possible that some left the tribe sometime in the last few thousand years, but if they did, they didn't reproduce.  

Yes, they do.  Zero have.

And go where?  It's an island surrounded by water.  The tribe hasn't left the island for thousands of years, or if anyone did they didn't leave any mark or offspring 

There is plenty to analyze, even without contact.  The tribe has been observed.

Original two?  Where did you get that?  Adam and Eve aside, it takes at least 50 people to genetically sustain a population.  The original migration would have had to have been at least 50 people to sustain a healthy population this long.

If you believe the genetic studies we do (approximately at least), but as said I'm not going to argue those dates.  For sure it has been thousands of years.

True, but it's most likely between 50 and 200.

And the original migration for such a sustained isolated population for that long of a period of time would have had to be at least 50.

Fine.  The population started out with at least 50 during the initial migration to the island.  Estimates for that migration are thousands of years ago (studies of the tribe on the next closest island says 55,000 years ago, but again I'm not going to advocate or try and argue that number), but for sure it was thousands of years ago.

Let's just say you don't believe the 55,000 year estimate (and I assume that you do not).   What do you want to use?  As discussed, the initial migration had at least 50 people.  

Also, the sentinalese were just one example.

ALL hunter gatherer groups have slow population growth and all existing now are tribes that are thousands of years old.  It's not just the sentinalese that have small population growth.  It's not just a few hunter-gather tribes.  It's all of them. 

Name one hunter gatherer group that has a high rate of population growth.  There are none.  There likely have never been any.  As mentioned many times it is agricultural (or modern) societies that have high rates of growth.  

The first reported sighting was in 1771. Why did it take so long? We don't know if they migrated in 1500 AD, or 500 AD, or 2,000 BC. I'll go ahead and assume it's been for several centuries. And I'm already questioning modern humans existing for 200,000 years - so yes, the appeal to authority approach carries little weight to me. 

How do you know the initial migration had 50 people? It doesn't change much, IMO. But, there's no way of knowing that figure. Noah's Ark would have been a much more ambitious undertaking, and presumably with only 8 individuals. If they were voyageurs who were seeking more fruitful land, they obviously came by boat.  If you came by boat, then the logical conclusion is that you can also leave by boat. There easily could have been a small group of defectors at any time (1000 AD, 1000 BC, 3000 BC, whatever). And yes, they absolutely could have reproduced and mixed with others. Blood can become diluted very quickly. My kids are 1/6 Native American (from my wife), and I don't think many people would think they're anything other than completely white. 

Also, the island is 23 square miles, which is 14,720 acres. If there are 50 households on the island, you're looking at close to 300 acres per family. That is substantial. Do we know if the Indian Authorities have tried to come in from any other entry point? Looks like the Sentinelse were quick to show up on the beach when that crew came with the coconuts. It's sensible that you would want to live close to the beach, as that would make access to fishing much easier. So, I can't help but think more huts are lined up near the coast, meaning it's very, very possible there are many more people on the island. And it's not like we've ever had anyone go up and down the island and take a census. Close to 15,000 acres and we think the group is capped at 200 individuals? That is hard to believe. 

So in summary,  I'm questioning the current population. I'm questioning the number of defectors. I'm questioning the total number of descendants. I'm questioning how long they've been there. 

You were wanting me to propose some hypothetical for how long I'd be willing to accept that the tribe has been there. Let me just be extremely generous and say 10,000 years  And let's say the population has only increased from 50 to 200. Again, skeptical of the time elapsed and the population (very skeptical). But, sure, let's go with these figures. The population has only doubled twice in this scenario. Even still, that means it was doubling every 5,000 years. Are we ready to extrapolate data from arguably the least progressive community in all of mankind, and apply that standard to the whole world - and do so for 190,000 years? The rest of the world wasn't living on an island. In other communities, there would have been inevitable division due to the struggles of maintaining a hierarchy. Migrations would form, and groups would discover new lands. You can't do that on an island.  But again, they came on a boat. They could also leave on a boat. I seriously doubt a group that is capable of leaving, would just sit there, and sit there, and not question anything for 55,000 years. Also, doubling every 5,000 years from 200,000 BC  to 10,000 BC would lead to 550 billion people. For the math to be more favorable, A LOT of assumptions have to go in your favor. Believing that a group has been stable for 50,000 years with little variance in population is not just a big assumption - it's an astronomical assumption. 

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22 minutes ago, ldsguy422 said:

My kids are 1/6 Native American

So how does that work, exactly?

Edited by Vort

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17 minutes ago, Vort said:

So how does that work, exactly?

lol yeah, that's not a typical fraction. So, my wife's maternal grandfather is full blood Cherokee. Her maternal grandmother's Cherokee bloodline is 21/64. So, her mom was then 85/128. Wife is 85/256. My kids are 85/512. That's what it says on the Indian Card, at least. 

Edited by ldsguy422

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Guest Scott
8 hours ago, ldsguy422 said:

We don't know if they migrated in 1500 AD, or 500 AD, or 2,000 BC.

If you ignore DNA or don't believe in it.  I already said I won't argue the age estimations from DNA evidence, but for sure it was thousands of years ago.

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The first reported sighting was in 1771. Why did it take so long?

There were a lot of islands and peoples that weren't discovered until then or after.  Even Hawaii wasn't known to Europeans until 1778 (though it is possible, but uncertain that a Spanish explorer may have reached the islands in the 1500's).

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And yes, they absolutely could have reproduced and mixed with others.

Not without leaving DNA.  It only takes one person to leave a DNA trace, diluted or not.

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My kids are 1/6 Native American (from my wife), and I don't think many people would think they're anything other than completely white.

If the saw a DNA test they would know.  

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Also, the island is 23 square miles, which is 14,720 acres. If there are 50 households on the island, you're looking at close to 300 acres per family. That is substantial.

Not for a hunter gather society.  Do you think you would prosper trying to live off the land, year round, with no agriculture on anything much smaller than 300 acres?  There are very few places in the world where this can be done.

Quote

It's sensible that you would want to live close to the beach, as that would make access to fishing much easier. So, I can't help but think more huts are lined up near the coast, meaning it's very, very possible there are many more people on the island. And it's not like we've ever had anyone go up and down the island and take a census. Close to 15,000 acres and we think the group is capped at 200 individuals? That is hard to believe. 

When I first mentioned the sentinalese, you said you have never heard of them. That was a few posts ago.  Now you know more about their population than anyone who has studied them?

Quote

Are we ready to extrapolate data from arguably the least progressive community in all of mankind, and apply that standard to the whole world - and do so for 190,000 years?

Before agriculture, all human groups were living in small tribes.  Cities didn't exist before agriculture (I think this has been pointed out many times now).

Quote

The rest of the world wasn't living on an island.

They were living in tiny groups just like the people in this island.

Anyway, I'm just talking in circles here so am done.

Edited by Scott

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2 hours ago, mordorbund said:

Polygamy?

My son and I were coming up with all sorts of possibilities, some more lurid than others.

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5 hours ago, Vort said:

My son and I were coming up with all sorts of possibilities, some more lurid than others.

With a denominator of 64, we'd be tracing it back to great-great-great-great grandparents. Each individual has 4 grandparents - and those 4 grandparents have 16 great-great grandparents. 

-If one grandparent is full blood, they would be 16/16. Diluted twice, the blood quantum becomes 16/64 for the grandchild
-Another grandparent would be 4/16. Diluted twice, it  becomes 4/64
-Another grandparent would be 1/16. Diluted twice, it becomes 1/64
-Another grandparent is white

So 16/64 + 4/64 + 1/64 + 0/64 = 21/64

I'm guessing anyway. Seems kind of strange. I just can't imagine the math coming out any other way. But, I've never verified the figures myself. 

Her grandmother that is 21/64 actually has blood from another tribe. She's more Native American than Caucasian.

Edited by ldsguy422

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