Re: Dating Adam

Glenn Morton (
Wed, 22 May 1996 21:49:52

> I haven't followed all the details of the recent debate between Glenn
> Morton and Dick Fischer, but my impression is that:
> % Glenn advocates a date for Adam of about 1.5 million years, and
> that Adam and Eve lived in the Mediterranean basin, which was then dry.
> % Dick advocates a date of about 5000 BC, and that Adam and Eve
> lived in Mesopotamia, and that there were contemporary proto-humans
> If this concise summary is roughly correct, then it seems that
> these options by no means exclude others. A friend of mine who is
>familiar with this subject suggests a date based on the beginning of
>anatomically modern humans, which is a few hundreds of thousands of
>years, i.e. in between the extremes of Morton and Fischer. This sounds
>more plausible to me.

Unfortunately, Paul, your friend's suggestion is about as workable as
saying that the speed of light has changed because it ignores a whole lot
of evidence for human activity prior to the advent of anatomically modern
humans. It also ignores the fact that when anatomically modern humans
first appear, they do nothing different for many millenia than the older
populations were doing. Evidence of human activity gradually appears in
the fossil record long before the appearance of anatomically modern

The first stone tools are from 2.7 million years ago. (A. T.
Chamberlain, "A Chronological Framework for Human Origins," World
Archaeology, 23:2, 1991, p. 143) Apes do not make stone tools like these.
They were also used for woodworking. Only mankind makes a tool and uses
that tool to make another tool.

The first evidence of leather working is from 1.5-1.8 million years ago.
(Donald C. Johanson, Lenora Johanson, and Blake Edgar, Ancestors, (New
York: Villard Books, 1994), p. 163-165)

The first spear is from 400,000 years ago. Only mankind makes
weapons.(Kathy D. Schick and Nicholas Toth, Making Silent Stones Speak,
(New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993), p. 271)

The patterns of behavior do not change when modern man first appears. The
first homo sapiens in Europe made tools identical to those of Middle Stone
Aged Peoples (Brian M. Fagan, The Journey From Eden, (London: Thames and
Hudson, 1990), p. 57; Ian Tattersall, The Fossil Trail (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1995), p.225). They produced no art just like the
Neanderthals produced little art.

Fire probably was first used by man from greater than 1.4 million years at
Chesowanja, Kenya. (J. A. J. Gowlett, J. W. K. Harris, D. Walton and B. A.
Wood, "Early archaeological sites, Hominid Remains and Traces of Fire from
Chesowanja, Kenya," Nature, 294, Nov. 12, 1981, p. 128)

The problem I have with that suggestion is that like so many suggestions,
it does not deal with the artifacts coming out of the ground. And if we
don't deal with that data, our suggestions are useless.

> The latest Issue of US News & World Report describes bone harpoons
> and other discoveries that indicate advanced social organization in
>Africa at over 900,000 years ago. Notwithstanding the Nephilim
>problem, I think it is evident that all the human characteristics were
>present long before 5000 BC. The article emphasized that the real
>discovery implied by the African artifacts was the presence of
>organized activities that probably required language.
> Comments?

If US News and World Report said 900,000 years they are wrong. Those
discoveries are dated at 90,000 years. And there is lots of evidence that
Homo erectus also spoke. From endocranial casts, his brain appears
organized exactly as yours. He has a Broca and Wernicke's area. He first
appears in the fossil record at around 1.8 Myr ago. But, he appears in
Java, Europe (Georgia) and Africa at about the same time! Tools 2 Myr old
made either by H.habilis or H.erectus have been found in Pakistan (R.W.
Dennell, H. M. Rendell and E. Hailwood, "Late Pliocene Artefacts from
Northern Pakistan," Current Anthropology, 29:3, June 1988, p. 498.) Since
there must be some time for the population of such a large area, I will
make a predict that ultimately Homo erectus will be found much further
back than that time. The types of discovery currently being made supports
strongly my contention that mankind (even if he is not exactly like us
cranially) is very old. (See Ian Tattersall, _The Fossil Trail_, p. 243n)

Foundation,Fall and Flood