Paul Arveson (
Wed, 5 Jun 96 12:10:34 EDT

In message <> writes:
> asa-digest Wednesday, 5 June 1996 Volume 01 : Number

> From: (Glenn Morton)
> Date: Tue, 04 Jun 1996 21:29:00
> Subject: Re: In the Image
> Hi Dick,
> you wrote:
> >According to anthropologists (but what do they know?), 5.5 million
> > years ago would be the sub-human race.
> >
> Let me point out something about the nature of the fossil record.


> What does this have to do with mankind? It means that a small, slow
> growing population of humans could have lived on earth for millions of
> years and never leave a trace. Only when they became widespread enough
> were they subject to enough depositional catastrophes to have a decent
> chance to be fossilized. This would be especially true if they lived in
> the rainforest. Bones decay within a year in rainforest environments.
> Because of this the earliest fossil of a chimpanzee is around 400 years
> old. This is why the nearly simultaneous appearance of Homo erectus in
> Georgia SSR, Java and Africa circa 1.7 myr ago implies a long, presently
> recordless pre-history for them. How long, I don't know. But one rule is
> supreme in historical sciences: "Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of
> Absence." Your objection falls into this category.

Robinson Crusoe saw a single footprint on the sand, and it totally changed
his "world view". We don't need a lot of evidence in order to falsify a wide
range of theories, and narrow them down to a smaller number of possibilities.
The database of hominid fossils is thin, and any significant new find often
changes the story. But there is enough evidence already to indicate the
presence of anatomically modern humans older than 100,000 years. It's true, as
James Houston (I Believe in the Creator) said, that dead bones do not say much
about the living creature. But they say enough to refute the young-earth
chronology, for instance. They have to resort to the desperate defenses of
either refuting radiometric dating or invoking apparent age.

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-1914 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)
Code 724, NSWC, Bethesda, MD 20084