Re: News on fossil man

Amanda C. (
Sat, 27 Mar 1999 09:45:13 PST

Hi Glenn,

Good to see you back, however briefly. I'll try to reply though you have
disability of not being able to respond.

----- Original Message -----
From: Glenn R. Morton
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 1999 8:30 AM
Subject: News on fossil man

But there are two items which are of considerable importance in the
creation/evolution area which have come up over the past month and a
half since my last post in early February. I must confess disappointment
that no one posted anything about this on either of the lists! These
items have tremendous implications for where fossil man fits with the

Sorry to be so slack Glenn. Can you forgive us? But seriously we've been
discussing other things. Some of us aren't as hung up on Fossil Humans
you are, tho we appreciate your research and insights - please help us
the coal issue...:-)

First, lots of Christians have taken the path of least resistance to the
anthropological issues and have identified Adam with the first member of
our species.

[snipped, some quotes]

All of these authors are resting spirituality upon what the man looks
like, i.e. spirituality only rests in the modern human form.

theological racism.

For the past 4 years I have been arguing that more ancient hominids were
spiritual in the same way modern humans are spiritual. I have based
that upon their behaviors inferred from the fossil record.


On 2/28/97 on the ASA list I wrote:
" I don't like either of these choices and would offer a Turing test for
ancient man. If he acts like us (or a technologically primitive version
of us, the I would include him in humanity. By this definition, Homo
erectus, Archaic Homo sapiens and Neanderthal are all human."

a reasonable position, but some of us disagree about whether the
evidence says what you claim. I still believe that modern behaviour
properly appear until c.300 - 250 kya, and most of the earlier evidence
mistaken. As for Flores crossing by H.erectus we're yet to work out
how they did it, so I'll remain sceptical of it indicating advanced
behaviour. They could have swum assisted by flood-drift. Who knows how
aquatic H. erectus was?

I list those documentations because I want it clearly shown that my
theological/scientific position ANTICIPATED the following. Unlike other
positions my position does not have to react to the latest discovery by
immediately pooh poohing it which will be the modus operandi of many
Christian apologists. Why Christians would rather always be reacting to
new discoveries rather than smiling because we anticipated the results,
I don't understand.

HEHE... Good point. If Xianity was really at ease with Science then its
testable pronouncements would obtain.

Genetics has come to support my position. First, there is the discovery
that paternal mtDNA does get passed on to the offspring although it is
rare. So the mitochrondrial Eve, just might have been a mitochrondrial
Adam. But the real implication of this is that the last common
mitochondrial ancestor would have lived longer ago than 200,000 years.
If this is the case, then there were NO anatomically modern people on
the planet at that time and Eve was NOT an anatomically modern human.
This is reported on the web at:


``Eve may be older than we thought,'' Adam Eyre-Walker of
the University of Sussex said in a telephone interview.
``We thought she lived about 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
She might be anything up to twice as old now.'' "

Which doesn't really damage the possibility of an earlier rise of H.
sapiens. Transitional forms between "archaic H. sapiens" [what can we
African heidelbergensis?] and moderns have been redated to 300 - 250
and that also pushes back Omo to ~ 600 kya. In fact transitional
might now go back to ~ 1.0 mya with that new Ethiopian skull. I feel
H.antecessor or whatever derived from a post-ergaster group similar to
as well. Point is I don't think we've yet found the oldest Moderns. I
what makes us human is language and I'm yet to see real evidence of it
very archaic Homo.

HOWEVER, have a read of "The Symbolic Species" by Terence Deacon. He
the roots of language back amongst "H. habilis" and he theorises that it
arose out of the necessity of a symbolic abstraction essential to
reproduction and social cohension - the marriage contract [Chapter 12.]
Genesis, as we all know, hints at the primeval nature of marriage, so

The second item concerns a gene which iindicates that Africans and
non-Africans were two separate populations PRIOR TO THE ADVENT OF
ANATOMICALLY MODERN MEN. Here is the report:

Science & Ideas 3/29/99


Out of the African past
Modern DNA provides clues to a division
in the ancestral tree of human forebears


Backed by their analysis of a minuscule mutation on a single gene, two
researchers contend that the ancestors of Africans and non-Africans
split into separate populations long before modern man walked the Earth.
Population geneticist Jody Hey and anthropologist Eugene Harris estimate
that the subdivision took place nearly 200,000 years ago, predating the
earliest known fossils of modern Homo sapiens by about 70,000 years.

[snipped, a few provisos]

This means that IF one postulates that Adam was subsequent to this
split, then either Africans or non-Africans are NOT descendants of
Adam. This is an awful choice full of bad theological consequences.

REALLY BAD theological racism... you should read what some Orthodox Jews
about Africans at the "Torah and Science" web-site. The usual
curse thing that South Africa used for so long. Ugly stuff.

The way to avoid this problem is as I have suggested, believe that Adam
was very very ancient and that the ancient hominids were fully human, as
were their descendants, both Africans and non-Africans. In this way an
awful theological problem can be avoided. I would repeat my mantra of
the past 4 years: Current Christian apologetics is totally inadequate
and falsified by the anthropological data. It is time for Christians to
belly up to the theological bar and deal with it.

But I'm not so sure many want to put Noah back so far as the Messinian
Events! There has been some mention of the timescale on which the
infilling/Deluge occurred and the latest data rules out your scenario
We'd like your analysis anytime you can.

Keep safe and in His care,


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