Dating Adam

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@earthlink.net>
Date: Wed Apr 27 2005 - 18:38:28 EDT

This was just released in a monthly report by Fred Heeren of Day Star Ministries in Olathe Ks:

Dating Adam

I’m speaking of the headline: NEW STUDIES SHOW FARMING CULTURAL REVOLUTION SPREAD TO EUROPE BETWEEN 5400 AND 4000 BC. My Portuguese cave-diving buddy Joao Zilhao is one of the leaders in a great series of studies now being carried out by archeologists and paleontologists to date just when farming came to Europe and where it came from.

It’s now generally accepted that farming began in the Middle East and spread across Europe, where hunter-gatherers were quickly replaced in a series of quick migrations that must have made use of sailing vessels heading along the northern Mediterranean and up major rivers such as the Danube. Farming reached northwest Europe by 4,000 B.C. The founder crops come from the Middle East, and they consisted of three domesticated cereals—emmer, einkorn, and hulled barley—along with flax and four bean varieties—lentil, pea, bitter vetch, and chickpea. This then spread out to central Turkey and then Cyprus, Crete, and Greece.

Anatomical studies of cranial shapes were done with 231 adult skulls at 54 sites in the Middle East and Europe. These show that people from what is now modern Turkey brought this culture to Greece and southeastern Europe. My friend Joao Zilhao, of the Portuguese Institute of Archeology in Lisbon, has done studies that pinpoint the settlement of farming cultures from Italy to Western Europe to a period lasting just 100 years or so, about 5,400 B.C. He says that only colonists who sailed vessels along the Mediterranean coast and up European rivers could have settled such a vast area so quickly.

By about 4,000 B.C, the village lifestyle of farming and animal raising had also swept through England, Ireland, and southern Scandinavia. This is the same period when, suddenly, archeologists see a whole new level of ceremonial structures and elaborate graves.

Of course, the significance of all this to Bible readers is that, in Genesis, Adam and his first family are clearly set at or near the beginning of this time when plants and animals were domesticated. And for those of us who are so concerned about dates, the Genesis account, it seems to me, eliminates many of the possibilities and narrows down the setting to a period when agriculture and herd tending was the norm, as were early cities and early civilization.

I know that some Christian apologists, like Hugh Ross as I’ve been told, have expressed some confidence that Adam lived in the period around 50,000 years ago and that’s certainly a position Christians can take, but I don’t find that as consistent with either the situation described in the early chapters of Genesis, or what we now know from archeology, since the world was still filled with hunter-gatherers and no farming, no cities, all the way from 50,000 to about 7,000 B.C.

I understand that such apologists just want to make Adam fit into the first time we see a jump in elaborate burials and art and so on about 40,000 years ago in Europe. But there’s another great jump, and it’s the one fitting what the Bible describes, at about 5400 B.C. in Europe and earlier in the Middle East, and specifically in the Fertile Crescent, and it fits the situation for cities existing where Cain went off to build a city, in Genesis 4:17, and we’re clearly not talking about the hunter-gatherer culture that existed up until what I see as an even greater innovation than the one that happened in Europe about 40,000 years ago, but this is the much more recent innovation when farming and domestication of animals started, and humans started taking dominion over nature in every way.

So let’s look more closely at Genesis and ask ourselves whether the contradictions with modern science are as clear as we’ve been told. Even paleontologist Niles Eldredge cites Genesis 1:28 to describe “the most ringing declaration of independence ever set down,” when humans ceased to fit so neatly into nature and stood out for their ability to use nature. Hunter-gatherers turned to domesticating plants and animals.

This is right where the Bible also marks the beginning of humanity, when God told our early ancestors to “‘fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’ Then God said, ‘ I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Adam’s sons became tillers of the ground and keepers of flocks.

This looks to me like the real mark of the Bible’s story of humanity’s beginning, as we can relate it to archeology. But, you might ask, didn’t we just say that scientists are telling us that humans came out of Africa, not the Bible’s Fertile Crescent?

Yes, but science suggests that modern humanity was launched much as Genesis describes. Again, DNA studies of wheat, grapes, olives, and chickpeas trace today’s varieties around the world back to the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. “There,” says geneticist (and Darwinist) Steve Jones, [“between the Tigris and Euphrates”] “the modern world was born.”

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Dick Fischer - Genesis Proclaimed Association
Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History
www.genesisproclaimed.org
Received on Wed Apr 27 18:40:08 2005

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