Robert Miller asked me if the fact that the descendents of
Adam engaged in iron work could be used to date when Adam
and Eve were created.
Archaeologically there are lots of problems with this
speculation. The events described in Genesis 4 are
found over a vast time frame in the archaeological record.
Since Cain was a farmer, when was the first evidence of
farming? Flint sickles were first used in 11000 BC The
Software Toolworks Multimedia Encyclopedia, Grolier,
Genesis 4:20 Jabal was the father of those who live in
tents and raise livestock.
Problem The first possible tent is from 300,000-400,000
"Again, at the Acheulean site of Terra Amata on the
French Riviera, about 300,000 years old, post-hole patterns
and stones, along with the inferred hearth structures
mentioned above, suggested to the excavator, Henry de
Lumley, that there were several hut structures, most
with a fireplace inside. And the cave of Lazaret in
France, estimated to be about 200,000 years old and also
located on the French Riviera, an Acheulean assemblage was
associated with a pattern of stone blocks measuring
about thirty feet by twelve feet along one cave wall, with
two concentrations of charcoal inside. Several areas with
quantities of small marine shells suggested to the
excavators that hominids were bringing dried seaweed
(and, as hangers-on, the tiny shells) for bedding material.
Once again the evidence is sparse and, often,
controversial. It is likely that structures from this
time period were ephemeral and would not have left
behind much archaeological visibility."~Kathy D. Schick
and Nicholas Toth, Making Silent Stones Speak, (New York:
Simon and Schuster, 1993), p. 281.
"What may well be the first discovered ruins of
Middle Palaeolithic dwellings have been found at
open-air sites. At Molodova I these consist of an oval
ring of mammoth bones, some 10 metres by 7 metres in
exterior dimensions, containing extremely dense stone
artifact and food-bone remains and fifteen hearths. The
mammoth bones have been interpreted as weights to hold down
a superstructure of streched skins over a light wooden
framework. More disturbed remains of what may have been
a similar structure were found nearby, at Molodova V.
"~Leslie Freeman, "The Development of Human Culture," in
Andrew Sherratt, editor, Cambridge Encyclopedia of
Archaeology, (New York: Cambridge University Press,
1980), p. 84-85
See also (~Chris Stringer and Clive Gamble, In Search of
the Neanderthals, (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1993),
Genesis 4:21 Jubal was the father of those who make
"Music assumed an important role; the first known
instrument, a bone flute found in France, dates to
around 30,000 years ago."~Bruce Bower, "When the Human
Spirt Soared," Science News, 130, Dec. 13, 1986, p. 378
[THIS IS AN NEW INSERTION Just yesterday on
sci.anthro.paleo I caught wind of a flute possibly found at
a Slovenian Neanderthal site from 40,000 years ago. I am
trying to get a reference on it. If this is true, it
pushes music back to a morphological type different from
us. And since Neanderthals go back to about 230,000 years,
it would makes us face the fact that they may very well
have been spiritual beings. I will let you know if I can
verify this claim.]
Genesis 4:22 Tubal-Cain was a worker in bronze and iron.
"The earliest metalworking was of copper, perhaps as
early as the 11th millennium, using small nuggets of native
copper picked up in streams or from theground."Microsoft
Encarta Multimedia Encyclopedia, 1994."copper"
Bronze was found from 4000 B.C.
The oldest iron object is from Egypt and are some
oxidized iron beads dating from 4000 B.C. Microsoft
Encarta Multimedia Encyclopedia, 1994. "Iron"
Now, what is a concordist like me to do with this data?
There are only two ways to handle it. The first
possibility is that Biblical description is wrong. But
there is another possiblity. The description of these
events in Genesis 4 are much longer ago and describe a
world destroyed by the flood (which I believe is local).
What we see in the archaeological record is a
re-development of technology. I believe that Adam lived
around 5-6 million years ago. The flood was near that
time as was the in filling of the Mediterranean basin
(which is firmly established geologically (See Hsu _The
Mediterranean was a Desert, Princeton Univ. Press,
1983)).The first hominids appear in the fossil record
immediately after this time period.
Humans (I believe they were human even if they didn't
look exactly like me and we don't call them human today)
walking upright left footprints in an ash bed 3.7
million years ago at Laotoli. Their feet are like your
feet would be if you never wore shoes!
We have to get out of the apologetical box we have
painted for ourselves. By always considering Adam to have
been created within the past 60,000 years or so, we can
never hope to account for the anthropological data.
To which Robert responded,
>How long did Adam live? Genesis 2:17 promises death only
>if they eat from the tree of life. Could it have been
>several million years before Eve came on the scene? Was
>the garden of Eden an island of tranquility that isolated
>Adam from the turmoil of evolution going on in the outside
You have a freudian slip above. It is the tree of
knowledge. And no it was not several million years. What
drives my interpretation is two items. First the need for a
locale for the flood. Go read the Dec.1973 article in
Scientific American "When the Mediterranean Dried Up" by
Kenneth Hsu. Hsu uses Biblical language when speaking of
the infilling of the Mediterranean. In the bottom of the
Mediterranean shallow water deposits (stromatolites which
require less than 30 ft of water to form) are immediately
overlain by dark marine sediments containing animals which
could only live in waters greater than 3000 feet! An empty
Mediterranean would recieve little rainfall, the minerals
described in Genesis 2 are all there in the ophiolite belts
of Cyprus. The infilling of the Mediterranean was 5.5
million years ago.
The second item which drives my interpretation is the need
to explain the anthropological evidence. The first fossil
appearance of a hominid was 5.5 million years ago. It is a
mandible from Lothagam Kenya. (see A.T. Chamberlain, "A
Chronological Framework for Human Origins," World
Archaeology, 23:2, 1991, p. 140) It seems rather
coincidental that the first appearance of a hominid in the
fossil record coincides with the only geological event in
the past 250 million years which could remotely fit the
description of the Biblical flood.
As pointed out above, the evidence for mankind's activity
appears gradually. No recent Adam accounts for this
gradual appearance. Hugh Ross is wrong when he says that
evidence for humanity's spirituality appears less than
60,000 years ago. What do I do with the Golan Venus
figurine which is an art object from 330,000 years ago? Do
we mark spirituality with the advent of fire? A spear? Art?
Lots of art? What if 1.5 million years ago,fossil man was
engaging in art made from wood, most of which would decay?
We know his stone tools were used to work wood.
I have to conclude that every theory I have heard proposed
to account for the anthropological evidence fails because
there is no clear demarcation point which one can claim
"Here is humanity".
Foundation,Fall and Flood