Re: Descendants of Wolves, Bovines and Adam

Glenn R. Morton (
Mon, 16 Nov 1998 06:34:47 -0600

At 03:27 AM 11/16/98 PST, Adam Crowl wrote:
>How recent is that report of an altar? I've seen a recent report that
>casts substantial doubt on that "Venus" carving from c. 300kya that you
>mention in your books. I can't remember where I found the reference - it
>was either Science or Nature.

The first I heard of it was in a 1994 article:

"The home base of early man from Bilzingsleben was situated on a shore
terrace close to the outflow of a karst spring into a small lake. Previous
excavations revealed a division of the camp site into different activity
areas and outlines of three simple shelters with hearths and workshops set
up in front of them. Five to 8 m from the dwelling structures, an
artificially paved area with a diameter of 9 m was found. According to the
archaeological evidence, special cultural activities may have been carried
out there.
"Along with large pebble tools( choppers, chopping tools, and
hammerstones), small specialized tools of flint appear. Basic standard
forms are knives, scrappers, denticulates and notches, simple points which
are pointed-oval, Tayac and Quinson points, borers, and core-like tools.
Edge retouches predominate, but also unifacial and bifacial retouches
occur. Large scrapers, knives, chisel-shaped tools, wedges, bodkins, and
work supports were manufactured from the compact bone, preferably of the
straight-tusked elephant. Mattock- and cudgel-shaped tools were made from
cervid antlers. Specific, deliberate manufacturing activities are
recognizable in the workshops. Apart from the dissection of the animal
prey, these tools served for the working of predominantly organic materials
which in turn were used for the manufacture of other tools and objects of
daily use. Wood was also a frequently used raw material. Numerous
calcified remains of wood artifacts were found at the site. Some bone
tools dispaly deliberately engraved sets of lines which we regard as
expressions of abstract thinking, perhaps as graphic symbols." ~ D. Mania
and U. Mania and E. Vlcek, "Latest Finds of Skull Remains of Homo erectus
from Bilzingsleben (Thruingia)", Naturwissenschaften, 81(1994), p. 123-127,
p. 124

Mania discussed more about it in 1997:

"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
"'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

I contend that if you saw what is described above in a modern village, you
would turn around and run from the obvious symbolism. But you want to deny
it to early man.

As to the Berekhat Ram figure Yes there was a report early this year in the
literature contradicting that view. I have it somewhere in my database but
can't find it now. I know that the man who invented the technique of
microscopic examination of paleolithic artifacts believes it is real.
(Alexander Marshack, "The Berekhat Ram Figurine: A Late Acheulian Carving
from the Middle East," Antiquity 71(1997), p. 327-337, p. 327

> The extreme MR people have evolution occurring
>>everywhere with diffusive gene flow.
>Very unlikely if local features are to be retained, let alone evolved.

I agree with you here, which is why I find MR untenable at least in its
extreme view.

>>The Ojibway were hybridized and replaced, and only 1% of the original Y
>>chromosomes still exist today after only 400 years. The Ojibway people
>That's an incredibly rapid "submersion" of out-liers into the general
>dominant gene-pool. I get the impression that Neanderthals were lower in
>population density across Europe, than the Newcomers.

so were the native Americans lower in population density, especially after
the plagues we gave them. All it would take for a similar take over of
Neanderthal Europe would be for the newcomers to bring disease which would
spread more rapidly than the newcomers.

Of the Bruniquel site:

>>the middle of it. I don't think they went to the trouble just for a
>>cook-oout. They needed artificial lighting, planning, and motivation..
>That particular "cultic site" has been reinterpreted for some time as
>doubtfully intentional. Maybe, maybe not - the jury is still out.

I suspect you are thinking of Drachensloch. Bruniquel hasn't been
re-interpreted for a long time since it was just found in 1996.

Michael Balter, "Cave Structure Boosts Neandertal Image", Science,
271(January 1996), p. 449

Robert G. Bednarick, "Neanderthal News," The Artefact 1996, 19:104

Mark Berkowitz, "Neandertal News," Archaeology, Sept./Oct. 1996, p. 22

>>Religion would provide an acceptable motivation.
>Physical evidence needs to be clearer. It is stunningly clear with late
>moderns, but hazy with earlier hominids. Ochre mining seems to have
>strong cultic associations and it is very archaic.

Neanderthals left ochre pencils and crayons (with flattened sides). They
were coloring something, probably themselves or rocks. See
Brian Hayden "The Cultural Capacities of Neandertals ", Journal of Human
Evolution 1993, 24:113-146, p. 123-124

Why is that not 'stunningly clear'?

Even Acheulian sites (900,000 years ago) find such objects:
Robert G. Bednarik, "Art Origins", Anthropos, 89(1994):169-180, p. 172

>>Both cave dwellers and surface dwellers did art, only the cave art has
>>survived. The bone carvings of animals and venus figurines are only
>>in regions with alkaline soil. Bone is destroyed by acid and preserved
>>alkaline soils. Are we to presume that only the people who lived on
>>alkaline soils engaged in portable art? No. Similarly, we can not
>>ipso facto that the lack of early cave art means man didn't engage in
>Points I never knew about carvings being so short-lived except in the
>right soils.

I know. The apologists who point to portable art as the origin of the
spirit of man have not done their homework and mis-lead lots of people by
that failure.

>Amazing how much is made from so little evidence. We have such little
>insight into the past.

Agreed. Think about what will be left of your personal existence in 1
million years.

>>The image of God was something inbreathed by God.
>Why? What motivates you to interpret it so? The need to set humans
>apart? If anything is a sign of the Image then I'd say language [real
>language]is a strong candidate - I know you'll have objections to that
>idea since some humans don't speak. However speech seems to define what
>we are in the Genesis tale. Onkelos even translated "and Adam became a
>living soul" as "became a speaking being", so that awareness is quite
>ancient. Our Creator is Logos, so his image should involve Word...

Lets take your definition of the image as language. The brain structure
involved in speech is found 2 million years ago in Homo habilis who also
had the human pattern of child birth (pain because of a big brain). Why is
he not in the image of God especially since he is suffering one of the
curses of sin?

Of the lack of a recent mediterranean desciccation
>What is the evidence? >

Lots of drilling cores through the sediments at the base of the
Mediterranean Sea. There are no evaporites in the recent stuff.

>> If pain in child-birth and sweating are signs of the curse
>>>then Australopiths just don't make the grade as cursed hominids.
>>Which is why I have in general (with occasional lapses) argued that the
>>genus Homo is much more ancient than currently believed. By 1.8
>>years ago erectus was spread from Java to Georgia to Africa. this
>>a long history prior to this time.
>Jeez Glenn you're talking about ~ 4 million years more history! Come on.
>If Noah could build an Ark that size back then, I'd say that
>technological advance would mean that humans have gone off-planet and
>probably colonised the Galaxy by now. Gives a whole new meaning to
>"hosts of Heaven"...

Everybody thinks that the deepest desire of primitive man is to become
civilized. It isn't. They are quite happy with their situation. Maybe
more happy than us.

Consider this captive wanderer:

"Having escaped from Ushuaia, he had been captured once again, this time
by settlers, and handed over to the Silesian Mission. He seemed to have
nothing whatever to complain of with regard to his treatment, but was
terribly sad at his captivity. Looking with yearning towards the distant
mountains of his native land, he said:
'Shouwe t-maten ya.' ('longing is killing me')
"Which was actually the case, for he did not survive very long. Liberty
is dear to white men; to untamed wanderers of the wilds it is an absolute
necessity." ~ E. Lucas Bridges, The Uttermost Part of the Earth, (New York:
Dutton, 1949), p. 267

Consider the Bushmen:

"Scattered throughout the world, several dozen groups of so-called
primitive people, like the Kalashari Bushmen, continue to support
themselves that way. It turns out that these people have plenty of leisure
time, sleep a good deal, and work less hard than their farming neighbors.
For instance, the average time devoted each week to obtaining food is only
12 to 19 hours for one group of Bushmen, 14 hours or less for the Hadza
nomads of Tanzania. One Bushman, when asked why he hadn't emulated
neighboring tribes by adopting agriculture, replied, "Why should we, when
there are so many mongongo nuts in the world?"" ~ Jared Diamond, "The Worst
Mistake in the History of the Human Race," Discover, 1987, in in D. Bruce
Dickson, ed. Readings in Archaeology, (New York: West Publishing, 1994), p.

Why indeed? To say that man would have been more inventive ignores the
fact that their life is often more leisurly and that early agriculturalists
had a shorter lifespan than the huntergatherers.

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