- The average life span from the Neolithic age to medieval Europe averaged 18-25 years old.*
- 75% of children born in London between 1730-1749 died before the age of five.
- In Zurich a cemetery that was in use between the 9th and 12th centuries show that 50% of those interred had died before the age of 18.
- In Britain, a 6th century cemetery at Cannington reflects 64% of its residents died before age 18.**
- Child mortality in France, as late as the early 18th century, was 45% between the first and fifth years of age alone. ***
- In the hunter gatherer societies of the Paleolithic age, fertility rates varied as food supplies increased or declined. Their reproductive spans were short, and it is estimated that 80% + of children died within the first 5 years. ****
Of course, none of this speaks to sub-Saharan populations whose child mortality rates even today are horrendous, never mind what they were tens of thousands of years ago. And never mind the wide spread famines and plagues, the latter of which accounted for the decimation of upwards of 50% Europe’s population in the 1300’s plague event alone. In fact it wasn’t until the early 20th century that the average life span reached 35-40 years old. Only in the past few decades did human life span reach an average of 65 years old.
Bottom line is that population growth is a brand new phenomena relatively speaking. Earth went from 1 billion people in 1750 to 6 billion in 2000, that’s a population growth of 5 billion ONLY in the past 250 years.
But all this is mind boggling and way too involved for your average Christian fundie. Besides, facts just makes their heads hurt. They “don’t need no ‘steenking’ facts,” or science, or forensic evidence. It’s enough to just toss out the statement “Where are all the people?” for the most backward sheep to baa in lemming like unison.
I've actually seen that fundie argument proffered three times. Each time I explained about the factors that impacted on population growth since homo sapiens appeared some 200,000 years ago. Two of the fundamentalists admitted they didn't know anything about those things nor cared about them. Of the two, only one had a high school education. They simply took it off a fundamentalist website and accepted it as "gospel." They likely still do.
The third proponent attempted to provide proof that "scientists and anthropologists" have confirmed this “not enough people” argument, stating and even those scientists were baffled as to why we have a population of "so few when there should be so many more." Naturally, these “scientists” accepted the Young Earth Creation myth as a result. It didn’t take long to find out the "scientists and anthropologists" were unaccredited and/or were YEC fundamentalists, who were employed by YEC fundamentalist foundations. No surprise there.
This is what passes for truths to those who will grasp at anything, distort and ignore volumes of corroborated historical research, and invent support for their unsupportable belief. And all along they know their accepting audience lacks the intellect and curiosity necessary to learn the truth about human development.
Whenever I hear this kind of idiocy I have to remind myself it's the 21st century…
for most of us.
**Europe after Rome: a new cultural history 500-1000 By Julia M. H. Smith, page 66
***Murder in Parisian streets: manufacturing crime and justice in the Popular By Thomas Cragin, page 245