Re: Dating Adam

Glenn Morton (
Sun, 26 May 1996 22:07:44

Paul Arveson wrote:

>Congratulations, Glenn -- the data are going in your direction:
>"A group of Chinese fossils known collectively as Peking Man dates to at
>least 400,000 years ago, considerably earlier than previous estimates,
>according to preliminary analysis of sediment at the site where the finds
>first emerged in 1921.
> "If the revised age holds up, it suggests that Homo erectus -- the
> species to which Peking Man belongs -- lived in East Asia before modern
>humans did. The former age estimate of 200,000 to 300,000 years for the
>fossils raised the possibility that H. erectus and an early form of H.
>sapiens existed simultaneously in that part of the world.
> "Even given a markedly older Peking Man, however, current debates
> over the nature of human evolution appear unlikely to vanish. For
>instance, Ian Tattersall of the American Museum of Natural History in NYC
>sees no reason at this point to revise his opinion that H. erectus evolved
>only in East Africa as a dead-end species and that separate Homo species in
>Africa eventually led to modern humans....
> "Richard Teh-Lung Ku, a geochronologist at USC in Los Angeles,
> directed the new study. It is slated to apear in the August Acta
>Anthropologica Sinica, a scientific journal published in China."
> -- Science News, v. 149, May 11, 1996 p. 292

As much as I would like to take a bow, I really don't understand this report
at all. I saw it in science news before I left for the field and thought that
somebody screwed up. Things can get lost in translation easily between Chinese
and English. Homo erectus has been known from China since 500,000 years ago.
That is what Peking man was, H.erectus. His date was and always has been
considered to be 500,000 years ago. (see Richard Klein, _The Human Career_ p.
191 or Victor Barnouw, An Introduction to Anthropology: Physical Antrhopology
and Archaeology, Vol. 1, (Homewood, Illinois: The Dorsey Press, 1982) p. 141).
Klein has a table which shows Homo erectus specimens in East Asia going from
250,000 years back to 850,000 years ago. The speciments have been found at
Zhoukoudien (500,000 years) Chenjiawo (550,000), and Gongwangling (800,000
years ago). Because of this I can't figure out what the big deal is with this

I know Mandarin and can not figure out any logical type of numerical mistake
which could account for such a report. Maybe Zhoukoudien specimens are now
700,000 years old (200,000 years older than previously thought.

Foundation,Fall and Flood