(I'll snip the passages I have nothing to add to for the moment, but
leave the others in the original sequence)
> You should look at the data on Bilzingsleben:...
> "'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...
> The occupant of the site was H. erectus... cf. D. Mania, U. Mania, E. Vlcek,
> "Latest Finds of Skull Remains of Homo erectus from Bilzingsleben
> (Thuringia)", Naturwissenschaften, 81(1994), p. 123-127.
> And while I personally don't claim this as proven yet, there has been one
> claim in the literature to the effect that H. erectus drew a picture of a
> vertebrate animal at Bilzingsleben. Since you are German, here is the German
> that I had translated by a friend for me:...
I am Swiss - .ch in my e-mail address ;-) -, not German. - The paper by
D. Mania et al. shows that the paved area has an irregular shape, not a
circle as Gore wrote. Mania et al. suggest it may have been used for
cultural activities (not necessarily implying a religious cult). The
significance of the bison skull at one of the 20 one-man "workshops"
(which happens to be one of the two found on the edge of the pavement)
is apparently unknown. It may have been used as a seat by the workman.
The paper doesn't specify a "large anvil of quartzite" near the bison
skull, although it indicates a "large travertine slab" about 10 m away.
The human skull fragments are widely scattered, not just over the paved
area, but over at least 40 m, and the collection is clearly incomplete.
Whether these findings have any sacrificial or other religious
significance is, at present, anyone's guess. There is no recognizable
altar anywhere. The lines engraved on some bone tools seem to be at
least decorative. Whether they have a symbolic significance is unknown.
Feustel (in the German text you sent me) claims some of the lines are to
be "interpreted" as a representation of "a large vertebrate", but he
doesn't appear to be sure about it. I don't think there is clearcut
evidence for a spiritual (as opposed to "soulish") dimension in those
people. It is possible, of course, that more finds would make a clearly
spiritual aspect to become recognizable.
> >mtDNA is just one of the systems considered, its different mode of
> >evolution, and not just a low diversity, being taken into consideration.
> >And it's not straightforward to conclude from a lack of a Drosophila
> >bottleneck to humans.
> You make unsupported claims like this. WHat different mode of evolution?
> Drosophila mtDNA is probably under selection just as is human mtDNA. If you
> have strong selective pressure, then the variation decreases and this gives
> the appearance of there being a smaller Ne (effective breeding population).
> One can't claim that reduction in heterozygosity alone means a bottleneck
> unless one can also show that the system is selectively neutral.
I was not comparing Drosophila and human, but mitochondrial and nuclear
DNA. These don't evolve in the same way: mtDNA doesn't recombine,
evolves faster (as a whole) and is inherited purely through the maternal
line, Ne is different, mutation rates and selective pressures vary with
the sequences, even individual nucleotide positions, etc. Polymorphisms
and their implications are not easy to interpret, especially when you
want to draw conclusions from one species (Drosophila) to a widely
different one (human). Even the data about Drosophila alone are not yet
clearcut regarding their population dynamics and possible bottlenecks in
the wild, cf. Andolfatto P. "Contrasting patterns of X-linked and
autosomal nucleotide variation in Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila
simulans." Molecular Biology and Evolution 18 (2001), 279-290;
Przeworski M., Wall J.D., Andolfatto P. "Recombination and the frequency
spectrum in Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila simulans." Molecular
Biology and Evolution 18 (2001), 291-298.
> No, I don't accept your H and S definitions. I believe that if a being built
> an alter, as did H. erectus, then he is spiritually human. Otherwise what is
> the purpose of the altar?
No altar was found at Bilzingsleben. The probable altar found at
Bruniquel was made by Neandertals, not H. erectus, and dates to 47,600
years BP, according to R.G. Bednarick, "Neanderthal News," The Artefact
1996, 19:104, whom you quoted in your post.
> ... and if you are going to have that situation, you need to move it
> way, way back in time. It can't have occurred within the past 100,000 years.
> But if we don't have that situation--a single pair, then how on earth can we
> say that the Bible is true? Jesus' genealogy goes through Adam.
You can have Jesus' genealogy go through Adam in a biological sense even
if there were 10,000 pre-Adamites living at the time of Adam. But
presumably you were thinking that all fallen humans (and this includes
all humans except Jesus) must have their biological genealogy go through
Adam. But the Bible does not imply the doctrin of the biological
inheritance of the so-called "original sin" (supposedly Adam's). Romans
5:12ff contrasts Adam the head of the fallen humanity with Jesus Christ
the head of the new, spiritual humanity. In both cases, it is definitely
not biological inheritance that is in view. All believers, including
Abraham and many other Old Testament believers, belong to the new
humanity - but none of them descends from Jesus biologically; similarly,
all humans before, contemporaneous with, and after Adam belong to fallen
humanity, because "all have sinned", not because some of them
biologically descend from Adam. The text emphasizes the correspondence
between the old humanity and the new humanity, implying that the
relationship of fallen humanity to Adam is taken in the same spiritual,
not biological way as that of the new humanity to Jesus. The
significance of Jesus' genealogy is also (partly) biological, but its
primary impact is spiritual: it shows the fulfillment of prophecies
given to Adam, Abraham, and David, and Jesus' right to the throne of
David and his being the Messiah. Else why would the genealogy in Matthew
1 go through Joseph (who was not Jesus' father in a biological, but in a
> As to supposedly ruling out multiregionalism, one must explain why Mungo man
> had a pre-anatomically modern human mtDNA---meaning that he had to have
> gotten it from a maternal line that goes back at least 300,000 years
> according to my calculations. His mother was not your Eve, yet he himself
> was anatomically modern.
Adcock G.J. et al. determined the sequence of just 354 (of the over
16,500) base pairs of mtDNA of the anatomically modern Mungo man (LM3)
of ~60,000 years ago ("Mitochondrial DNA sequences in ancient
Australians: implications for modern human origins".
Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.USA 98 (2001), 537). Their mtDNA tree indicates that
it branches earlier than any of the modern human mtDNAs but closely
groups with a nuclear insert (on chromosome 11) which survives in all
modern humans. Adcock et al. don't give a time for the branching, though
they think it challenges the recent-out-of-Africa model. But Svante
Pääbo (as quoted in Holden C. "Oldest human DNA reveals Aussie oddity",
Science 291 (2001), 230) doesn't agree. Adcock et al. concur that their
analysis "did not reliably establish an early divergence of the
LM3/Insert lineage". Relethford J.H. ("Ancient DNA and the origin of
modern humans", Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.USA 98 (2001), 390), commenting on
Adcock et al.'s work, says: "Although the fossil evidence provides
evidence of the continuity of modern humans over the past 60,000 years,
the ancient mtDNA clearly does not, providing an excellent example of
why the history of any particular locus or DNA sequence does not
necessarily represent the history of a population." It is unknown when
LM3's ancestors got to Australia, and we don't know when the ancient LM3
mtDNA sequence was lost from the other human populations. The belief
that LM3 proves multiregionalism is not warranted.
> You must explain the characteristically Neanderthaloid muscle attachements
> in the Lager Velho child from Portugal. The supposed replacement don't have
> those types of attachements yet this kid did, and yet he too was mostly a
> modern human. There was interbreeding.
> You must explain why the earliest humans in Europe resemble the Neanderthals
> more than the supposed Out-of-Africa invaders. In fact, I never see anyone
> like you really discuss the evidence below...
> In order to account for this data and still believe that there was no
> mixing, you must believe that the mere fact that the Africans invaded Europe
> made them look like the Neanderthals. That of course is a silly idea. But no
> OoA people I know of really deal with this data at this level of detail...
> "We do not doubt that many prehistoric groups were replaced by others, but
> we conclude that the hypothesis that all living humans descended from a
> single geographically isolated group during the Late Pleistocene is false,
> and that the replacement explanation for the origin of these early modern
> Australians and Europeans can be ruled out." Milford H. Wolpoff, John Hawks,
> David W. Frayer, and Keith Hunley, "Modern Human Ancestry at the
> Peripheries: A Test of the Replacement Theory," Science 291(2001):293-297,
> Wishing this data away, doesn't make it go away. It is contrary to your
Paleoanthropologists are still divided about the amount of genetic
mixing between early and late humans outside of Africa, the extremes
being the multiregionality and the out-of-Africa models, and occasional
migrations between groups in and out of Africa might have provided for
any amount of genetic mixing. Such mixing would prove these
(contemporary!) groups to belong to the same species, but it doesn't
prove everyone from H. habilis of 2 million years ago to today's H.
sapiens belongs to the same species. I'm no specialist in this field and
therefore suspend my definitive judgement. For the moment, I tend more
towards the OoA end of the continuous spectrum of biological models. My
theological model of time points "H", "S", "A" is independent of how the
paleoanthropology debate turns out, as I have no way of confidently
> Why, it says that Eve is the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20). She isn't
> under your view. Pure and simple that makes that statement wrong. I don't
> know how else to define a false statement other than as wrong, wrong, wrong
> or false, false false. Either she is the mother of all living or she isn't.
> And with your view, she isn't.
What does Genesis 3:20 imply? Jesus is the representative of the new
humanity (both before and after his time). Adam is the representative of
the old, fallen humanity (both before and after his time). Abraham is
the father of all genuine believers (Gen.12:2-3; Rom.4:16), both
Israelites and gentiles (gentiles presumably both before and after his
time). Could Eve be the "mother of all living" in a similarly spiritual
sense (both before and after her time)? Probably, it should be related
to God's "proto-gospel" in Genesis 3:15, predicting that one of Eve's
descendants will be the Messiah, through whom all will live who believe
in him, without any consideration of inheritance.
After I wrote this previous paragraph (and before I sent it to him),
Armin Held drew my attention to the fact that the Hebrew original of
Gen.3:20 doesn't read "mother of all living", but "mother of all life"
(not "ghayim", but "ghay"). If all humans were meant it would be
"ghayim", thus the usual translations and interpretations are wrong.
Furthermore, Adam didn't give his wife this new name after her first
child was born, but after God's judgement which contained the wonderful
prophecy of "her [Eve's] seed" (Gen.3:15) who would provide for
redemption. The very unusual concept of the "seed of the woman"
apparently indicates the birth of the Redeemer out of Mary as a
descendent of Eve, but without a human father. In this way, God's Son
would provide "life" for all believers in God's redemption, by his
victory over Satan and death. Thus, Eve need not have been the
biological progenitor of all humans. But God emphasises human
participation (the line from Eve to Mary) in his work. Thus,
independently of each other, Armin and I came to the same conclusion
that v.15 is the key to the understanding of v.20, pointing to a
spiritual, rather than biological interpretation of v.20.
(start of farming and population expansion at the end of the last ice
> >Yes, this is a major reason usually associated with it. It may not be
> >the only one. And what caused those people to begin farming?
> Economic necessity, certainly NOT spirituality. The populations had risen to
> the point where it was more and more difficult for huntering to support
> them. Plants became a bigger and bigger part of the diet. And they
> gradually began to do things to make sure that next year the wild plants
> they liked were plentiful. Things like scattering seed around. But this
> made the food more plentiful and thus the population even more plentiful...
Everyone agrees that there was an increase in population size between
about 2 million years ago and about 100,000 years ago, although opinions
differ about the time, sharpness, and size of a bottleneck (if any)
during this long interval. Somewhere in this epoch, we have to place
time point "S" characterized by God's creating the spiritual dimension
and commanding humans to fill the Earth. I agree with you that finds
indicating a spiritual capacity will be determinative for choosing this
point. I am just not yet convinced we have found it as early as you
place it. And everyone agrees that there was a bottleneck at the end of
the last glaciation, when agriculture began. Somewhere around this time
we presumably have to place time point "A", Adam and Eve, and the
special divine dealing with them. Clearly, Adam and his sons were
farmers. But why can't an economic necessity be part of a development
connected with spiritual significance, or an indirect consequence of
spiritual events? God works through all natural events and uses them in
his dealings with humans whenever he sees fit. And his spiritual dealing
with humans may have consequences which are visible in archeology.
> As to the bottleneck: The mechanics of fly mtDNA is apparently similar to
> that of humans. Assume that both started in 100,000 BC. Humans have had then
> about 5000 generations, but flies have had 100,000+ generations. Surely we
> would expect more variation in their mtDNA than we see, yet they have the
> same 'bottleneck appearance as do the humans. Why? Probably selection. Yet
> you want to say that the lack of mtDNA diversity in humans means bottleneck
> but the lack of mtDNA diversity in flies has nothing what so ever to do with
> the situation. It has everything to do with the situaation.
Why should mtDNA mutation rate depend on generation length? And as soon
as you have selection, you can have any mutation rates. I agree that
bottlenecks are not the only possible explanation for lack of diversity,
but I don't remember having claimed this. About the fly-to-human
comparison see above.
> Then I would say that you have just admitted that you can't prove anything
> about your thesis and that it is mostly speculation as to where you draw the
> adamic, spiritual lines in the anthropological record. If you can't define
> the theological status of the species, then what you offer is a speculation
> based upon no data! So why exactly are you arguing so strongly that Adam was
> late if you can't really define their theological status? Upon what basis do
> you think you have a logical ground upon which to stand?
I don't think it is possible to prove scientific matters from theology -
or spiritual matters from science. What kind of proof are you seeking?
As God wants our decision for him to be free, we cannot expect to be
able to prove him scientifically. We have data from creation/nature,
interpreted by science, and we have data from the Bible, interpreted by
theology. We can expect that the data don't contradict each other, but
the interpretations may. In this case they need revision. Also, it is
clear that scientific interpretations of nature (if correct!) may
indicate the need to revise theological interpretations. In my opinion,
theological interpretations of the Bible (if correct!) may indicate the
need to revise scientific interpretations, as well. Of course, the
correctness of an interpretation is a matter of judgement and is always
provisional. I want to find non-contradicting interpretations of the two
sides. The less data we have, the more speculative the interpretations
become - on both sides. Such harmonizations between science and theology
are never absolutely certain, they periodically need to be
updated/revised. Although they never have the character of a proof, they
are immensely valuable as an apologetic tool. You can never prove God or
the Bible as his word to a doubter, but you may be able to show him/her
that belief in God and in the Bible as his word is eminently reasonable
and attractive. About Adam being recent: unless you insist Adam was the
first human being (on the basis of a specific Bible interpretation -
which I don't think is the most reasonable and parsimonious one), you
don't have much reason for placing him early. Apparently he was a
farmer, and there are several biblical indications that he wasn't the
first human being (Jesus the "second man" and "last Adam"; Adam to
"keep" the "garden" (lit.: "enclosure", against whom?); Eve as Adam's
"helper" (Hebr. implying protective support in fight, or legal counsel,
against whom?); Cain's fear of being killed (before Seth's birth);
sevenfold vengeance on a murderer of Cain; Cain's wife; Cain's building
a city in distant Nod;...).
> I define spirituality in the archaeological record via cultural items found.
> If I find an altar, then I believe that the people were worshipping and thus
> were spiritual. I have hard evidence that there was spirituality at LEAST as
> far back as 400,000 years ago.
I agree that an altar indicates religious worship and spirituality,
although this would not yet necessarily imply having received divine
revelation (such as Adam has). But the first problem is the correctness
of a religious interpretation of the archeological findings. And as I
discussed above, there is no evidence for an altar at Bilzingsleben
400,000 years ago, but there may have been one at Bruniquel 48,000 years
ago. So, apparently, spirituality is much older than Adam, but perhaps
not as old as you think it is.
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