Carol Hill's article

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 16:04:52 EST

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    Carol Hill's article in the PSCF this month, "A Time and Place for Noah,"
    PSCF 53:1:24-39
    criticizes my views on two grounds, both of which are factually false. She

    "The problem with Morton's hypothesis is two-fold. First, the Bible says
    that NOah lived in Mesopotamia, not in the Mediterranean area. The place is
    wrong but the timing is even more wrong! The geological flooding of the
    Mediterranean basin with seawater happened in Late Miocene time. Not even
    hominids existed in the Late Miocene (~10-6 million years ago), let alone a
    man who ahd the technology to build a boat the size of the ark," p. 38

    First, I know of NO verse in Scripture that claims that Noah lived in
    Mesopotamia. One can only glean that by equating Noah with Ziusudra of the
    Gilgamesh epic(p. 36). This may be correct or it may be quite fanciful. But
    the Bible never says where Noah lived. And if he lived in Mesopotamia, there
    is a real problem getting the boat to go uphill around 5000 feet to land at
    a higher elevation, since water, in my limited experience, always flows
    downhill away from mountains.

    Secondly, she says that hominids didn't exist when the Mediterranean
    infilled. This is so flatly false as to be laughable had it not appeared in
    a referred journal. Hominids have existed for the past 6 million years.
    First we find anthropologists commenting on a possible connection between
    the infilling of the Mediterranean and the appearance of the hominids:

    "Five million years ago is also the age of the first fossil hominid in
    Africa, making a suggested connection between the cataclysmic drying up of
    the Mediterranean and human origins almost irresistible."


            "This similarity in timing of the end of the Messinian Event and the
    appearance of the first hominid fossil in the paleontological record is
    remarkably close. A half mandible from a site near Lake Baringo in the
    Eastern Rift Valley of northern Kenya known as Lothagam was discovered by
    paleontologist Bryan Patterson from Harvard University in 1965. The
    specimen has the squarish, thick-enameled molar of a hominid, and its
    mandible is both thick from side to side and high from top to bottom-also
    hominid traits. Dates on the sediments at Lothagam indicate that the
    mandible is between 5.0 and 5.5 million years old. Patterson and colleagues
    published the mandible as a hominid, tentatively referred to the species
    Australopithecus africanus, and suggested that its age was about 5 million
    years old. In the intervening years many paleoanthropologists, including
    myself, have studied the specimen in the Kenya National Museum in Nairobi,
    and agree that it is a hominid." ~ Noel Boaz, Eco Homo, (New York: Basic
    Books, 1997), p.92-93

    Furthermore, a new fossil, which is more advanced than any of the
    australopithecines has just been found in Kenya, called Millennium
    ancestor. Here is what reports say about it:

            “Last week, two collaborating groups of researchers, a French group led by
    Brigitte Senut of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and Martin
    Pickford of the College de France, and a local group from the Community
    Museums of Kenya announced that they had discovered the remains of a
    six-million-year-old creature in Africa’s Rift Valley dubbed ‘Millennium
    Ancestor.’ It is 1.5 million years older than previous hominid finds.
            “’It’s not completely human, but definitely nothing like an ape,’ Senut
    told New Scientist, ’It’s really something.’ The creature’s teeth and
    upright posture are key features linking it to humans, said Senut. The teeth
    are small and have thick enamel suggesting that Millennium Ancestor enjoyed
    a diet of thick skinned fruits.
            “Study thigh bones suggest that the hominid could walk upright on two legs,
    although probably not quite as we do. If correct, this means bipedalism
    evolved two million years earlier than previously thought, says Chris
    Stringer, an expert on hominids at the Natural History Museum in London. But
    researchers would need to study the creature’s knee joints and pelvis to
    confirm this, he adds. Chew marks on the bones hint that the hominid met a
    gruesome end—possibly in the claws of a large cat such as a leopard.” Claire
    Ainsworth, “The Oldest Strider in Town,” New Scientist, Dec. 16, 2000, p. 5

    Even more interesting is that some anthropologists believe that Hominids may
    have been able to enter Africa BECAUSE of the events of that time frame:

    "Furthermore, this result suggests that the
    oldest known diagnostically hominid hypodigm is that of
    Sivapithecus from the Chinji Formation of the Siwaliks.
    Close in age to this is Dryopithecus, followed by
    Ouranopithecus, Oreopithecus, and Lufengpithecus, all from
    Eurasia. Euhominoids and hominids are thus seen as primarily
     Eurasian, which suggests an explanation for the dearth of
    hominid fossils in the late Miocene of Africa. Hominids may
    have entered Africa for the first time only in the late
    Miocene or early Pliocene from Eurasia, possibly following
    the Messinian salinity crisis.” E. R. Begun, “A Eurasian
    Origin of the Hominidae,” American Journal of Physical
    Anthropology, Supplement 24, 1997, p. 73-74

    This latter citation would certainly fit with my views (indeed it IS my
    view) and all of the above flatly contradicts Hill's assertions. While one
    is perfectly justified to say that my scenario is too early to be relevant
    for the flood, one is NOT justified in using false 'facts'. Someone didn't
    do a thorough fact check here.

    Lest anyone criticize me for making this criticism publically, I did e-mail
    Ms. Hill privately last week, but got no reply.


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