Reply to David F. Siemens,Jr.

Glenn R. Morton (
Sun, 03 May 1998 23:23:09 -0500

I just noticed David Siemens, Jr.'s letter to the editor (On McGrath's and
Morton's Speculations, PSCF 50:1:78) concerning my article The
Mediterranean Flood PSCF 49:4:238-251. Since I didn't have the opportunity
to reply to this letter, I thought I would do so in this forum.

Siemans writes:

"In contrast, the latter [Morton-grm] builds his case on some physical
similarities between a desiccated Mediterranean Basin and aspects of the
Flood while neglecting the chronological problem which negates the entire
speculative structure. Since the Mediterranean was dry only until about 5.5
million years ago (Mya), he needs to show that Homo sapiens, not just a
hominid (p.245), was living at the time."

Obviously the underlying assumption of this criticism is that only Homo
sapiens as currently defined, is capable of working wood or even worse that
only Homo sapiens is capable of being spiritual. Neither of these is the
case. In point of fact, there is much evidence of woodworking, religion,
and art going on at least back to 1.5 million years ago. Here are the facts:

wooden spears made most probably by H. heidelbergensis 400 kyr ago
[Dennell, R. 1997. The world's oldest spears. Nature 385(Feb. 27):767;
Thieme, H. 1997. Lower Paleolithic hunting spears from Germany. Nature

H. erectus manufactured a planed wooden plank with polish dating between
240-700 kyr ago.
[S. Belitszky et al, "A Middle Pleistocene Wooden Plank with man-made
Journal of Human Evolution, 1991, 20:349-353.

There is increasing evidence that H. erectus actually crossed the ocean
800,000 years ago. This implies the ability to manufacture some type of
boat, which implies working in either wood or bamboo.
[M. J.Morwood, et al., "Fission-track ages of Stone Tools and Fossils
on the East Indonesian Island of Flores," Nature, 392(1998):173-176, p.
176;P.Y. Sondaar, et al., "Middle Pleistocene faunal turnover and
Colonization of Flores(Indonesia) by Homo erectus," Comptes Rendus de
l'Academie des Sciences. Paris 319:1255-1262]

Microwear from woodworking at Koobi Fora 1.5 MYR.
[Kathy D. Schick and Nicholas Toth, Making Silent Stones Speak, (New York:
Simon and Schuster, 1993), p.160]

The ancient hominids at least back to 1.5 million years were much more
sophisticated than is generally accepted, especially by Christians who are
unfamiliar with the anthropological data.

Siemens continues:

"On Morton's approach, Noah had to be a very primitive australopithecine
precursor, with a brain smaller and less specialized than a modern

I would respond that it is not the size of the brain that is important but
rather the organization it possesses. Daniel Lyon is listed in the Guiness
Book of World Records as being the man having the smallest brain size who
still is of normal intelligence. His brain at 700 cc is no bigger than
that of a gorilla at 752 cc.[Ralph L. Holloway, "New Endocranial Values for
the Australopithecines", Nature, 227, July 11,1970, p. 199-200.] My
expectation is that Homo will be found much earlier than currently exists,
but one other item needs to be noticed. Ernst Mayr at the 1950 Cold Spring
Harbor Conference suggested that Australopithecus should fit into the genus
Homo. [John T. Robinson, "Variation and the Taxonomy of the Early
Hominids," Evolutionary Biology 1(1967):69-100, p. 97-98]. That being
said, I would prefer it if some larger brained member of the genus Homo
were found in earlier strata than the current 2.4 MYR. This does not have
to be Homo sapiens however. This is a prediction of my views.

Siemens continues getting silly:

"While unretouched stone chips were apparently used 3 Mya, the Acheulean
tool kit is half that age. Did Noah and his sons, then, shape the timbers
and planks for the ark with their teeth? Could they have trekked north into
Europe to secure beaver teeth for the task? The posssibilities are, at
best, dubious."

Considering that I made no such suggestion, I will leave this to Dr.
Siemans to defend. One must realize that if there were truly only 8
survivors of a pre-flood world, there would be little opportunity to pass
on the preflood technology. Even the Tasmanians, who numbered 4000 souls
were unable to pass on the aboriginal technology of their forebears. At
the time of European contact Tasmanians had only 24 very simple tools in
their repertoire. If 4000 couldn't pass on technology to their children,
how could 8 do it?

Siemens goes on:

"One must grant that God could have created Adam 6-5.5 Mya and arranged
that no trace of his descendants or their artifacts would remain until
about 100 thousand years ago (Kya), when the first anatomically modern H.
sapiens appeared, or even 30 Kya, the probable date of the first fully
modern human beings."

As I have documented on my web page, in my book Adam, Apes and
Anthropology, and in this forum many, many times, one cannot equate
spirituality with the modern human form. There is art, altars, evidence of
murder, clothing, tents/huts going back hundreds of thousands if not
millions of years produced by people we currently classify into different
species than our own. What is Christianity to do with them?

Golan Venus-probably a fertility goddess--250+ kyr
[Desmond Morris, The Human Animal, (New York: Crown Publishing, 1994), p.

Drawing of a quadrupedal animal at Bilzingsleben 400 kya
[von Rudolf Feustel, in H. Muller-Beck and G. Albrecht eds. 1987 Die Anfange
der Kunst vor 30,000 Jahren. pp 60-63]

carving of a human face at 1.6 Mya Discovered by Mary Leakey.
[M.D.Leakey, Olduvai Gorge 3 Excavations in Beds I and II, 1960-1693,
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), p. 269]


Neanderthal sacrificial site Bruniquel, France. Burnt bear bones were found
inside a rectangular structure in total darkness several hundred meters
inside the cave. It has the appearance of a bear sacrifice and because it
was deep inside the cave, artificial lighting and planning must have been
involved with this as well as a powerful incentive to risk it all in a deep
dark cave.[Michael Balter, "Cave Structure Boosts Neandertal Image",
Science, 271(January 1996),p. 449]

400,000 year old altar at Bilzingsleben
"But Mania's most intriguing find lies under a protective
shed. As he opens the door sunlight illuminates a cluster of
smooth stones and pieces of bone that he believes were arranged
by humans to pave a 27-foot-wide circle.
"'They intentionally paved this area for cultural
activities,' says Mania. 'We found here a large anvil of
quartzite set between the horns of a huge bison, near it were
fractured human skulls.'"~Rick Gore, "The First Europeans,"
National Geographic, July, 1997, p. 110

One man was murdered by a pick ax to the head at Broken Hill 400,000 years
[Cyril B. Courville, "Cranial Injuries in Prehistoic Man," in Don
Brothwell and A. T. Sandison, eds., Diseases in Antiquity, (Springfield:
Charles C. Thompson, 1967), p. 614]


Considering that Homo erectus was living in Georgia, SSR (winter
temperatures -20-30 F) as long ago as 1.6 Mya and that it is almost a
certainty that he was as hairless as we, he would have required clothing.
Yet evidence from microscopic wear on tools shows that animal hides were
manufactured at least 1 million years ago at Swartkrans, S.A.
[Donald C. Johanson, Lenora Johanson, and Blake Edgar, Ancestors, (New
York: Villard Books, 1994), p. 163-165]


300 kyr Terra Amata France
[D. Bruce Dickson, The Dawn of Belief, (Tuscon: The University of Arizona
Press, 1990), p. 42-43]

1.6 Myr ago at Olduvai Gorge,
[Richard Leakey, "Recent Fossil finds From East Africa," in J.R. Durant ed.
Human Origins, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989) p 60-61]

While my views of the flood may be very, very different from all other
theories proposed, I would suggest that the only effective way to deal with
these very human activities among the ancient hominids, is for Adam to have
lived millions of years ago. And if Adam lived that long ago, then so
possibly did Noah.

Adam, Apes and Anthropology
Foundation, Fall and Flood
& lots of creation/evolution information