Glenn Morton's Letters

Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 20:46:37 EST

  • Next message: Geoff Bagley: "RE:Intelligent Design"

    Hello Glenn:
        I received 2 E-mails from you this afternoon, after returning from 3 days
    of field work in the Grand Canyon. I'm not sure what the
    address is, but I assume that you are sending in a "Letter" reply in
    Perspectives to my article on Noah in the March Perspectives from your last
    statement "Lest anyone criticize me for making this criticism publically, I
    did e-mail Ms. Hill privately last week, but got no reply." You sent the
    first E-mail off Friday (16th) and this one on Monday (19th) - do you
    consider 3 days long enough for someone to reply to you?
        I'm attaching both letters of yours and will reply briefly to them.
    However, I do NOT want to reply to Glenn Morton's Letter criticism in
    Perspectives, whoever is at the end of things.

    Subj: Your article
    Date: 3/16/01 2:40:25 PM Mountain Standard Time
    From: (Glenn Morton)


    I just read your article and enjoyed it. Thanks for the citation, even
    though what you said was negative about my views. There are a few things I
    think I should point out to you in relation to your article and the
    archeological record. It is these things that made me go the direction I
    went with my views. Yes, I may be wrong, but I know beyond a shadow of a
    doubt that the flood could not have been in the Mesopotamian basin as surely
    as I know that the sun won't rise in the west. Your article really didn't
    say much about the total lack of evidence for a big flood in the
    Mesopotamian region--the lack of a widespread geological deposit, the fact
    that the big cities show absolutely no discontinuity during the period they
    were supposed to have been flooded, the fact that if Noah was in southern
    Mesopotamia, his ark could not possibly have floated uphill against the
    current to land in Turkey. see

    In criticizing my article, you write: "First, the Bible says that Noah lived
    in Mesopotamia, not in the Mediterranean area." (p. 38) Would you be so
    kind as to point that verse out to me. Somehow, I seem to have never seen it
    in my Bible. All I am looking for is a simple statement that Noah lived in
    such and such a town, which town lies in Mesopotamia. Thank you in advance
    for this. But if you can't point this simple statement out, then it must
    rest on some line of deduction, or upon assumption. If it is an assumption,
    then is not your theory merely assuming what it intends to prove?

    Concerning the Archaeology, You wrote: "The word 'father' in verses 20 and
    21 of the King James Version implies that Jabal and Jubal were the first to
    practice these occupations in Mesopotamia." p. 25

    Why must this follow from anything in the Bible? Archaeology doesn't support
    the invention of the pipe as late as you have it being invented. In fact,
    pipes go back nearly 100,000 years into human history. That is, pipes made
    of bone which is archeologically preservable. Wooden flutes must have
    existed long prior to the earliest bone flute. Whoever made that original
    wooden flute was the father of the pipes, not some guy who lived 5,000 years
    ago. I would suggest that you take a look at for all the references
    you could possibly want. As to the harp, it is correct that the oldest known
    depictions of them come from mesopamia, it is not at all clear that they
    were invented that late in the world. Mankind has been making cordage for a
    long, long time. The oldest evidence for cordage is from 27,000 years ago at
    Dolni Vestonice. But there are statues with cords depicted on the people
    from earlier times. And there is evidence that cord was used to attach stone
    tools to javelin shafts even longer ago. (Robert G. Bednarik, "Lower
    Palaeolithic Hafting Evidence," THe Artefact, 19(1996), p. 99). To claim
    that the harp, a stringed instrument was an invention by people only 5000
    years ago, must implicitly claim that no one in the previous 30,000 years
    had ever noticed that strings make sound when accidentally plucked. I find
    that assumption rather weak.

    On page 25 you state that sheep and goats were domesticated around
    Mesopotamia ~6500 BC This is not correct. Domestication of the sheep may
    have been as early as 11,000 years ago:

    "Sheep and goats, whose role would become essential in the peopling of the
    middle Mediterranean area, were domesticated in the Near East. The sheep
    is, at first, a victim of a selective hunting process, for example, at Zawi
    Chemi at the foot of the Zagros, where a possible domestication as early as
    9000 B. C. is postulated. " ~ Jean Guilaine, "The First Farmers of the Old
    World," in Jean Guilaine, editor, Prehistory: The World of Early Man, (New
    York: Facts on File, 1986), p. 82

    Sheep herding was very widespread prior to the time that you say that Jabal
    is really the father. Also, you ignore the statement that Jabal is the
    father of those who live in tents. Mankind has been living in tents for
    over 400,000 years and maybe as long ago as 1.6 million years. If so, in
    what sense can Jabal be the father of tent-livers? Several examples:

    40,000 years ago:
    "Thus, at Arcy-sur-Cure, protected by the overhang of the Cave of the
    Reindeer, the Chatelperronians built and rebuilt circular huts three meters
    in diameter, with a floor of flat stones, over the course of at least 5,000
    years. Part of the framework of these huts might have consisted of mammoth
    tusks set in holes, and the roof might have been made of skins or bark, flat
    stones or lumps of soil. These dwellings are different from those of
    prehistoric Russia and the Ukraine--true pit houses whose construction
    required skeletal parts of almost 150 mammoths." ~ Andre Leroi Gourhan, The
    Hunters of Prehistory, transl. Claire Jacobson, (New York: Atheneum, 1989),
    p. 131

    400,000 years ago HOMO ERECTUS:
        "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
    display 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 (Thuringia)", Naturwissenschaften, 81(1994), p. 123-127, p.

    And Mary Leakey found the controversial remains of a tent dated 1.6 million
    years ago. It seems to me that you are picking and choosing the items you
    want to fit within your theory and ignoring things like the existence of
    pipes and tents long before Sumer.

    On page 29 you write: "Clay sickles are a common artifact of early (Uruk)
    Mesopotamian agricultural sites, but by Jemdet Nasr time, chert-bladed
    sickles hafted with bitumen were also being used. " (p. 29).

    Such sickles were used long, long prior to Jemdet Nasr time.
    early Neolithic Jordan Valley, 10,500-9300 bp
    "Its assemblages are characterized by arrowheads ('Khiam' points), a
    proliferation of perforators, a decrease in the frequencies of microliths,
    and the presence of bitumen-hafted sickle blades." ~ Ofer Bar-Yosef and
    Mordechai E. Kislev, "Early Farming Communities in the Jordan Valley," in
    David R. Harris and Gordon C. Hillman, Foraging and Farming, (London: Unwin
    Hyman, 1989), p. 634

    On page 30, you write:
    "Urban civilization first arose in southern Mesopotamia around 3400 B.C.,
    expanding in late Uruk and Jemdet Nasr time." (p. 30)

    This is simply false. Urban life, with cities and city walls arose much
    before that and not in Mesopotamia.

    "Excavations at ancient Jericho, identified as Tell al Sultan, 10 km (6 mi)
    north of the Dead Sea in Israeli?occupied Jordan, have revealed remains of
    the oldest city yet discovered by archaeologists. The earliest occupation
    of the site, dating from the 10th millennium BC, consists of remains of the
    NATUFIAN culture and includes what may have been a shrine. During the 8th
    millennium BC the site was greatly expanded under a culture known as the
    Aceramic, or Prepottery Neolithic A, and a wall standing 5.2 m (17 ft) high
    was erected around the settlement. On the west side were found remains of
    a round tower that stood 7 m (23 ft) high and included an internal flight
    of steps."1992 Software Toolworks Online Encyclopedia.

    THere were also other sites:
    "At Mallaha (Eynan) in Palestine, in the 10th millennium, a cluster of round
    cabins -- 10 to 13 feet (three to four meters) in diameter on the average
    and sometimes up to 30 feet (9 meters)-- was planned. These houses were dug
    in pits, and their periphery was surrounded by stone walls. At Mureybet
    (Syria), in the 10th millennium, circular habitations dug into the ground
    were constructed, limited by low walls of argil and wood, and covered by a
    thick coating. The preference for circular houses would be maintained even
    in the beginning of the Neolithic. In the course of the ninth millennium,
    Jericho (in Jordan), already occupied by the Natufian, enlarged the town in
    association with a development beyond that which was customary for stone
    architecture. A high wall, 10 feet (3 meters) thick and 13 feet (4 meters)
    high, could extend out to 26 feet (8 meters), while an imposing tower (33
    feet/10 meters wide at its base and 30 feet/9 meters high) contained an
    interior staircase." ~ Jean Guilaine, "The First Farmers of the Old World,"
    in Jean Guilaine, editor, Prehistory: The World of Early Man, (New York:
    Facts on File, 1986), p. 80-81

    This was an urban city. Only cities built walls.

    On page 38 you erroneously write:

    "The geological flooding of the Mediterranean basin with seawater happened
    in Late Miocene time. Not even hominids existed in the late Miocene
    (~10-6million years ago), let alone a man who had the technology to build a
    boat the size of the ark."

    Once again, you are wrong. It is a shame that you neither know the time of
    the infilling of the Mediterranean, nor the reason for the definition of the
    Pliocene, nor the anthropology necessary to make the erroneous claim that
    you make here. First, the infilling of the Mediterranean exactly marks the
    Mio-Pliocene boundary. Lyell was the one who used the change in fauna at
    that point to mark the boundary. The boundary is NOT 10 million years ago
    it is not 6 million years ago, but is 5.5 million years ago.

    And as to hominids existing, you need to read more anthro. Consider

        "Until recently, hominids older than 4 million years were limited to less
    than a half-dozen specimens. These specimens include a right mandible
    fragment with a first molar found in the site of Lothagam, in northern
    Kenya, and dated to approximtely 5 to 6 million years ago. Although its
    anatomy is consistent with placement in the family Hominidae, the
    fragmentary nature of the Lothagam specimen makes assignment to genus or
    species impossible. A proximal humerus from Lake Baringo, Kenya, dated to
    approximately 4.2 million years ago, shares morphological similarities with
    Australopithecus africanus." ~ Donald Johanson and Blake Edgar, From Lucy to
    Language, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997), p. 39-40

    And very recently, Millennium man has been found and he dates to 6 million
    years ago and is more modern than the australopithecines.

    "Dr Brigitte Senut emerged triumphantly from a corner of a ramshackle office
    in Paris's Natural History Museum brandishing a bone. "This is what it's
    about," she says, as her colleague, Dr Martin Pickford, nods

    "Here is a replica of the femur of the creature we are calling Millennium
    Ancestor. It is around 6 million years old; the oldest discovery to date.
    Yet this bone is closer to a human thigh bone than femurs that are 2.5
    million years younger.

    "The creature to whom this belonged appears to be both more ancient and yet
    more human than previous findings. It can provide a new key to our prehuman

    You also make the statement that betrays your lack of study in archaeology
    when you write:
    "And could prehistoric humans--barely out of the Stone Age--have constructed
    a boat the size of the ark? With what--stone tools? Boy, do you need to
    study ancient boatmaking. First off, the stone age Hawaiians, who NEVER left
    the stone age because they had NO metals at all, built ocean going vessels
    that were actually larger than the iron-tool-built boats of Captain Cook.

    "The boats used by Polynesians when James Cook encountered them were marvels
    of craftsmanship. The Polynesians manufactured multi-hulled, multi-plank
    boats, propelled by paddles and sails and they were extremely fast. Some
    Tahitian canoes were 65 feet long, longer than many power cruisers. One
    canoe that Captain Cook saw was longer than his own ship. Polynesian ships
    were all made with stone-age tools." G. R. Morton Adam, Apes and
    Anthropology, DMD publishing 1997, p. 139 reference: John R. Whiting,"Boat
    and Boating" The Software Toolworks Encyclopedia, 1992 Ed. version 1.5.
    Text Copyright Grolier Inc. 1992

    The earliest planed and polished piece of wood is dated between 240-780,000
    years (a time of Homo erectus) who obviously had skill with woodworking. (S.
    Belitszky et al, "A Middle Pleistocene Wooden Plank with man?made Polish,"
    Journal of Human Evolution, 1991, 20:349?353.)
    There is microscopic wear evidence on stone tools of woodworking going back
    1.6 million years. Homo erectus manufactured a javelin balanced just like a
    modern olympic javelin and he did it with stone tools. What is the problem
    with building a boat with stone tools, which many primitive cultures still
    do today_-ocean going vessels made of wood!

    And Homo erectus first crossed the ocean (8 different straits to get to the
    island of Flores (which 8 straits were never connected to the Asian mainland
    during lowered sea levels) and this implies that he built some kind of boat.
    (M. J. Morwood, et al., "Fission-track ages of Stone Tools and Fossils on
    the East Indonesian Island of Flores," Nature ,392:173-176), and the ancient
    polynesians first occupied the Pacific with boats built with stone age

    YOu really need to do some homework before you condemn that which you
    haven't studied. If I place the story in mythology, your view makes it
    unbelievable. How did the ark float to Turkey against the current of a
    flood? Why didn't it land in the Indian ocean which is where the current was
    going? Why is there no evidence in the form of disrupted civilization of a
    flood of more than normal proportions?


    for lots of creation/evolution information
    personal stories of struggle

    Subj: Carol Hill's article
    Date: 3/19/01 1:59:17 PM Mountain Standard Time
    From: (Glenn Morton)
    To: (Asa@Calvin. Edu)

    Carol Hill's article

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