Were Pre-Flood Humans Few in Number?
Despite this lack of information, estimates have ranged from a few hundred thousand to 17 billion people.4 These estimates are based on various population growth rates and numbers of generations. Recall that Noah was in the tenth generation from Adam, however, so these estimates may be too high.
It seems doubtful that there were many hundreds of millions of people before the Flood. If the world was indeed bad enough for God to judge with a Flood, then people were probably blatantly disobedient to God’s command to be fruitful and fill the earth. Moreover, the Bible says that violence filled the earth, so death rates may have been extraordinarily high.
In light of this, the population of humans in the pre-Flood world could have been as low as hundreds of thousands. Even if we make a generous assumption of 200 million people at the time of the Flood, there would be just over one human fossil per cubic mile of sediment laid down by the Flood!
So, assuming a great degree of violence and a high level of willful sterility, there could well be only a few hundred-thousand humans at the time of the Flood.
This does not reduce the Sadness of the Ark: if anything, it makes it more poignant. A larger fraction of humanity could have been saved, if they had decided to cease worshiping themselves.
As for today? Well, the most dangerous place in America is in the womb – especially the womb of the black mother. But today, such evil is (slowly) self-balancing. If you get a situation where Nigeria alone has more children than the entire European Community – as it is today – then you naturally get people who choose life, over time crowding out people who choose death.
Violence is not the way forward. Peace, love, compassion, justice, and hard, productive work is.