We noticed in a local paper a few days ago an extract entitled "A Curious calculation," which assumed to figure up the total number of inhabitants who have lived on the earth; claiming an unreasonable number, and asserting that the globe was a vast cemetery; that in fact it must have been dug over about eight times in order to bury its dead. As this may seem an objection to truths which we hold concerning the race in this day of the Lord, in the reliving of all the dead upon this earth, and as this article in some shape is picked up and passed along by the press every little while, having been frequently answered, we propose to illustrate how it may be met.
It is evident that the world was never so thickly settled as at present; and as man's age is gradually shortening, the number of generations in a given time is proportionately increasing. Consequently, if we multiply the present population of the earth by the number of generations since creation, assuming the present ratio, it is evident that we will more than cover the entire number that have ever lived on this globe. That is, we assume, for the sake of argument, that the race begun with one billion, two hundred millions, and that there have never been less in any generation since.
To show the extreme liberality of our estimate, we have but to remember that the race really began with a single pair, and continued so for many years, as Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old. At the flood, the race started again with only four couples. The present length of a generation is reckoned at about 33 years, or three generations to a century. But, from Genesis, 5th chapter, we learn that there were only eleven generations between the creation and the flood—1,656 years—making full 150 years to a generation. In Luke, 8th chap., we find seventy-six generations from Adam to Christ inclusive. Dividing into 4,000 years, the commonly accepted [R86 : page 8] chronology—we get about 52-1/2 years to a generation.
Discarding, however, all reductions, and assuming that we are 6,000 years from the creation of Adam, which is about the time by the best chronology we have, 3x60 = 180 generations. Then 180 x 1,200,000 = 217,000,000,000, as total number of inhabitants. Allowing ten square feet as the surface covered by each dead body, large and small, we have 2,160,000,000,000 square feet occupied.
Dividing this sum by the number of square feet required as above, we find it goes three times, with the trifle of 127,000,000,000 of square feet to spare. That is to say, THREE TIMES our most liberal estimate of the world's total number of inhabitants since creation might be buried in the State of Texas, with nearly 3,000,000 of acres left. W. I. M.
[We have just received an article of similar import to the above, from Brother Rice, with which he sends us the following statistics clipped from a California paper, which is both curious and interesting. Evidently there is room enough for the accomplishment of "the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets."—EDITOR.]
"In the following computations it is assumed that the earth was created 6,000 years ago, and that the average population since the creation has been the same as the population of the present time, and the average duration of life 33 years.
The present population of the earth (1,424,000,000), could stand on an area of 86 square miles; an area about twice that of the city of San Francisco; and that number of persons could be seated on an area of 171 square miles; an area about 2-5/8 that of the District of Columbia.
The area of the United States is 3,603,884 square miles. Within its boundaries there is standing room for 60,282,311,823,360 persons; a number equal to the population of 1,396,991 years, in time nearly 233 times the age of the earth."—Statistician.