Eight Billion!

Friday, November 18, 2022

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth” (Genesis 6:11,12 KJV).

Friend, Earth’s human population has just surpassed eight billion!

While the Holy Bible never supplies any figures as to how many people were on Earth in the days of Noah and the Great Flood, we know their lifespan was literally hundreds of years because of unique atmospheric conditions, a purer genetic makeup, and a lack of world wars (read Genesis chapter 5, which means exactly what it says!). There may have been hundreds of millions to perhaps a few billion people alive when Noah and his family boarded the Ark! Whatever the total number of inhabitants, we can only speculate, but here is what we do know: just eight survived the global Flood of Genesis chapters 6–8 (1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5).

Concerning modern history, we have the following data. World human population was one billion in 1804, two billion in 1927, three billion in 1960, four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987, six billion in 1999, and seven billion in 2011. Thinking of it another way, whereas it took 200 years to add five billion (1800–2000), it has taken us only the last 20 years to add the final two billion. Yet, it is speculated it will take us about 60 years to reach 10 billion, because the global population growth rate has fallen since 1950. In the mid-20th century, it was five children per woman, but that has been reduced to 2.4. Global life expectancy has increased from 64 years in 1990 to 73 years now, largely because of advances in healthcare and medicine, so people are living longer and that plays a substantial role in maintaining an enormous global population.

What is Earth’s “carrying capacity?” That is, how many humans can its resources sustain? No one really knows because the value depends on several factors, including how greedy we are now and will be in the future. Today’s Scripture, though thousands of years old, is an up-to-date description of our modern world, as God in His marvelous grace now tolerates eight billion sinners!