Re: Drawing Lines

Glenn R. Morton (
Fri, 12 Jun 1998 22:08:52 -0500

At 04:48 PM 6/12/98 EDT, wrote:
>In a message dated 6/12/98 1:39:49 AM, (Dick Fischer)
><<Now there is a short collection of data that points toward Adam's
>position in the stream of humanity at a point far downstream
>from the Australopithicines, or H. habilis, or H. erectus, or
>even the anatomically modern Cro Magnon. Where is there even a
>shred of evidence that would put Adam back millions of years
>just so he can start the human race?

First to answer Dick. If one believes that Adam must be the genetic head of
the human race then here is the evidence. Alan Templeton writes:

"If the coalescence time of mtDNA is truly about 200,000 years ago, then
the expected coalescence time of almost all nuclear genes are going to be
commonly greater than one or two million years. This places the expected
coalescence times of much nuclear DNA into a period in which all humans
probably lived in Africa. Hence, studies on nuclear DNA are expected to
have an African root under all hypotheses of modern human evolution." ~
Alan R. Templeton, "Testing the Out of Africa Replacement Hypothesis with
Mitochondrial DNA Data," in G. A. Clark and C. M. Willermet, ed.,
Conceptual Issues in Modern Human Origins Research, (New York: Aldine de
Gryuter, 1997), pp. 329-360, p. 353

So, while most Christians rejoice over the mtDNA coalesence time, because
it fits their preconceptions, the actual data of nuclear DNA appears to
support a genetic origin of mankind at least a couple of million years ago.
What gets me is that Christians always talk about mtDNA but NEVER talk
about the nuclear DNA coalescence time. I think it is because we do a
shallow job of research and that we accept the first answer that comes
along which supports our theology.

Dick, I think this qualifies as at least, a shred of evidence if not more.

>Dick has it right, IMHO. The hypothesis that Adam was the head of the
>biological human race poses such intractible problems that it needs to be
>ruled out. Here's just one. If Adam is placed among the Australopithicines
>as the head of humanity, how could he have named the animals that God
>presented to him, as described in Gen. 2, given A.'s lack of sophisticated
>language and the intellectual capacity required for the task? Any
placement of
>Adam in the human genealogy is purely arbitrary.
>There is an answer to the biological head of the human race, that is
given in
>the first chapter of Genesis. Here God consults within the godhead to create
>beings in his image-- "male and female created he them". This is the
>beginning of the lineage that developed into the human race. This lineage is
>what Glenn has argued was becoming human long before most Christians thought
>they were.

Bob, you have misunderstood what I have said. I am uncertain of what to do
with the australopithecines. I would prefer to find bigger brained
hominids further back. But as of yet there is no evidence of them. If you
will go look at all my arguments on fossil men they are all concerned with
homo habilis on and I emphasize that what they are doing is quite human.
Are the piths the ones who made the first stone tools at 2.6 million years?
Personally I don't think so, but no one really knows. I admit to being
fascinated by two possible evidences of 'humanity' in the piths. First is
the possible association of the robusts with fire which I discussed last
night and the second is the 3 million year old Makapansgat pebble which
someone picked up and carried 3 km to the Makapansgat rock shelter. The
pebble has two faces on it, an australopithecine face and a human face. It
was an example of 'recognised art'.

Known as the Makapansgat Pebble, after the site where it was found, it is
thought to be the most ancient art object in the world. What makes it so
extraordinary is that the cave where it was discovered was not occupied by
prehistoric man but by the early man-apes known as the Australopithecines.
they may not have been capable of fashioning a model head themselves but
they were at least able to see one in the natural surface-weathering on a
pebble and to be so impressed by the image that they were moved to carry it
home with them, over a long distance.
In performing this seemingly simple action of collecting an unusual
pebble, those primeval man-apes were in reality taking a giant step. They
were seeing a face that was not a face. They were reacting to something
that stood for something else. By responding to the image on the pebble
they were indulging in a primitive form of symbolism. They were struck by a
resemblance, by an accidental echo, and were so fascinated by it that they
carried it for three miles. This long journey, carefully transporting the
pebble, reveals that their interest in the pebble-face was not a fleeting
reaction but a serious preoccupation.
"Fashioning an image, as distinct from collecting one, appears to have
been beyond these man-apes, and was still a long way off in the future.
Until recently, it was thought to be a creative act that occurred only in
the last fifty thousand years of the human story. A recent discovery in
the Middle East has now pushed that date back to three hundred thousand
years, but even this is still quite young compared with the Makapansgat
"The newly found sculptural object - the most ancient man-made image in
the world - is a small stone figurine of a woman, unearthed at an
archaeological site on the Golan Heights. It is extremely crude, but the
head is clearly separated from the body by an incised neck, and the arms
are indicated by two vertical grooves, apparently cut by a sharp flint
tool. It is a find that establishes the even greater antiquity of the
human fascination with symbolic images." ~ Desmond Morris, The Human
Animal, (New York: Crown Publishing, 1994), p. 186-188.

By the way, Makapansgat is where the ashes of Raymond Dart were scattered.

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