Re: Sub-human

Glenn Morton (
Tue, 15 Jul 1997 21:34:11 -0500

At 09:12 AM 7/15/97 -0400, Bill Hamilton wrote:

>Based on Glenn's behaviorial criteria -- which seem
>reasonable to me -- I'd have to ask whether we have any evidence that she
>and her contemporaries did some of the following: made tools, built
>dwellings, cultivated plants for food, were social (i.e. lived in groups
>with division of labor), worshipped, created works of art, ...
>If the answer to enough of these questions was yes, I'd say she was human.
>If it wasn't, I'd be reluctant to say she wasn't. Maybe that's not
>scientific, but science has its limits.

There is some pretty good evidence that Australopithecus robustus made stone
tools and used fire. But this is not a being considered to be on the direct
line to humans. The evidence comes from Swartkrans, South Africa and is
probably the 2nd oldest evidence of fire.

These are by no means the oldest known traces of fire,
which date bate 1 to 1.5 million years in Africa (at Swartkrans
Cave in South Africa, experiments suggested that the burnt animal
bones had been cooked on a wood fire) but there is no proof that
the fire in early sites of this kind was truly controlled."~Paul G. Bahn,
"Light My Fire,"The Artefact, 18(1995):90

On the other hand there is no evidence it wasn't. The bed from which the
fire was found has numerous stone tools, and so far has only yielded
Australopithecus (or Paranthropus) robustus. Was he the firemaker? No one
can say now.

As to art, there is the Makapansgat pebble which was a natural pebble which
resembled BOTH a human face AND the face of an australopithecine.(see (R.A.
Dart, "The Waterworn Australopithecine Pebble of Many
Faces from Makapansgat," South African Journal of Science, 70(June 1974), pp

It was found at Makapansgat shelter, something like 3 miles from the
nearest source of this kind of rock. The Australopithecus 3 myr ago carried
this pebble that far. They must have recognized it as a face because it has
no utilitarian purpose. But they did not make the object. (see K. P.
Oakley, "Emergence of
Higher Thought 3.0-0.2 Ma B.P.", Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B, 292, 205-211
(1981), p. 205-206)

I agree with Bill. I would hesitate to say they are not human, but I can't
say they are.


Foundation, Fall and Flood