Re: Human skull evolution

Stephen Jones (
Mon, 15 Jun 1998 15:18:00 +0800


On Sun, 07 Jun 1998 18:54:51 -0500, Glenn R. Morton wrote:


>>>There is a report tonight on the AP Wire in the science
>>>section which describes a relatively modern looking skull found in strata
>>>dating 1 million years old. While the skull has brow-ridges like erectus,
>>>it has modern human facial features. The importance of this lies in the
>>>time at which the morphological transistion from erectus to sapiens began.

>SJ>Thanks for the information. I was unable to access the article at the above
>>web site. Have you got an exact web address, or can you post the article?


GM>To access the AP you need to go through a newspaper like the Fort Worth
>Star Telegram. There is no direct access without going through that. And I
>try never post an entire article because of copyright laws. Quoting is on
>thing reproducing the entire article is another.

In Australia it is OK to copy up to 10% of a book or journal. Perhaps you can
post some relevant quotes from the article?

I found some references to it myself:

"Old, Old Skull Has a New Look
Ann Gibbons
A well-preserved skull of an early human found in northeast Africa, dated to
1 million years ago, shows a tantalizing mix of ancient and modern traits,
according to a report in this week's issue of Nature. Although it has yet to
be studied in detail, the skull could indicate that features typical of Homo
sapiens emerged earlier than previously thought, and also underscores earlier
hints that northeastern Africa was a focal point of human evolution."


"Ancient Skull Fills Big Fossil Gap
The discovery of a 1-million-year-old skull belonging to the same evolutionary
lineage as modern humans ranks as a highly significant addition to the hominid
fossil record." (

>>GM>Those who hold to the view that anatomically modern man was created by God
>>>directly and separately from Homo erectus around 100,000 years ago need to
>>>explain why erectus had begun the transition to the modern human skull
>>>shape 1 million years ago.

>SJ>Who believes that "anatomically modern man was created by God directly
>>and separately from Homo erectus around 100,000 years ago"?

GM>Oh, I hesitate to do this but what the heck. Everytime I say something
>about what our leaders are teaching you get mad at me.

That is not true and you know it. I only object to your *destructive* criticism
of Christian "leaders".

GM>Hugh Ross believes something very close to the above.

I think I may have misunderstood your ambiguous wording. Do you mean
1. "created by God directly", separate "from Homo erectus", or do you mean
2. "created by God directly ...from Homo erectus"?

If the latter, Hugh Ross does *not* believe that "anatomically modern man
was created by "from Homo erectus" at all, let alone "around 100,000
years ago"!

GM>He writes:
>"While bipedal, tool-using, large brained hominids roamed the earth at
>least as long ago as one million years, evidence for religious relics and
>altars dates back only 8,000 to 24,000 years. Thus the secular
>anthropological date for the first spirit creatures is in complete
>agreement with the biblical date.
>"Some differences, however, between the Bible and secular anthropology
>remain. The Bible not only would deny that the hominids were men, it also
>would deny that Adam was physically descended from these hominids. Even
>here, support from anthropology is emerging. New evidence indicates that
>the hominid species may have gone extinct before, or as a result of, the
>appearance of modern man. At the very least, 'abrupt transtions between
>[hominid]species' is widely acknowledged." ~ Hugh Ross, The Fingerprint of
>God, (Orange: Promise Publishing, 1991), p. 159-160.

Unless you mean 1. above, this actually says *the complete opposite* of what
you claim. Ross denies that "Adam was physically descended from these hominids."
So I assume you do mean 1.

GM>When did this occur? Less than 60,000 years ago.

That Ross believed in 1991 (and indeed in 1994-the same quote appears in his
1994 Creation & Time) that "anatomically modern man was created by God
directly and separately...around" "60,000 years ago", is true. But I am not so sure that
he is not changing his mind over ruling out that Adam may have been created from
a hominid. In recent articles (e.g. those quoted by you below) Ross has emphased the
spiritual uniqueness of man, rather than denying that man may have been created from
a hominid.

GM>However, the dates for these finds are well within the biblically
>acceptable range for the appearance of Adam and Eve -- somewhere between
>10,000 and 60,000 years ago according to Bible scolars who have carefully
>analyzed the genealogies. Since the oldest art and fabrics date between
>25,000 and 30,000 years ago, no contradiction exists between anthropology
>and Scripture on this issue." Hugh Ross, "Art and Fabric Shed New Light on
>Human History," Facts & Faith, 9:3 (1995)p. 2
>"If this is the case, we should see biologists' date for "Adam and Eve"
>drop from a maximum of about 200,000 years ago to a date within the
>biblical range of about 10,000 to 60,000 years ago."Hugh Ross, "Chromosome
>Study Stuns Evolutionists," Facts & Faith, 9:3,(1995) p. 3

See above. What I find as significant is that these quotes (and indeed the whole
article) makes no mention of "Adam and Eve" not being created from a hominid.

GM>And David Wilcox:
>"Both cultural and physical evidence suggests an abrupt establishment of
>the image about 100,000 years ago." ~ David L. Wilcox, "Adam, Where Are
>You? Changing Paradigms in Paleoanthropology," Perspectives on Science and
>Christian Faith , 48:2( June 1996), p. 94

By "abrupt establishment" David Wilcox does not mean that "anatomically modern
man was created by God directly...around 100,000 years ago". He specifically says
that he acceptsthat "chimps and humans are descended from a common ancestor":

"If, as we concluded in the last chapter, such measures can
be useful for deducing ancestry, it would be logical to suggest that
chimps and humans are descended from a common ancestor (at about
7 MYA)." (Wilcox D., "The Creation: Spoken in Eternity; Unfolded in Time,"
manuscript in preparation, Eastern College: St. Davids PA, 1990,
chap. 7, p3)

You deleted what you said, without even an elipse which lead to this response
of mine below. This is not the first time. How does this square with your "My
Utmost for His Highest" standards that you routinely apply to others?

Here is what you said:

GM>Progressive creation and special creation should predict no transitional forms
between erectus and us because there is nogenetic relationship.

And this is my response:

>SJ>Certainly this is true of "special creation" and it may be true of some
>>versions of "Progressive creation." But it is not necessarily true of PC.
>>Erickson says that in PC the original created unit could be "as broad as
>>the order or as narrow as the genus":
>>"More adequate is the position termed progressive creationism. According
>>to this view, God created in a series of acts over a long period of
>>time. He created the first member of each "kind." That grouping may
>>have been as broad as the order or as narrow as the genus. In some
>>cases it may have extended to the creation of individual species. From
>>that first member of the group, the others developed by evolution...."
(Erickson M.J., "Christian Theology, " Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1985,

GM>I like this range of possibilities.

See above. You are just changing the subject and you deleted your
original point, without elipses, in order to do so.

Your point was "Progressive creation...should predict no transitional forms
between erectus and us because there is nogenetic relationship". My
quote from Erickson demonstrated that this is a false statement.

If this is your idea of "My Utmost for His Highest" the you have a different
idea of it from mine.

GM>If the created unit is the order then we were evolved from the first monkey!!!!
After all, they and we humans are all in the order "Primate".

Also false is your implication that under PC "the created unit is the order".
Erickson specifically says "That grouping may have been as broad as
the order OR AS NARROW AS THE GENUS" and in fact "may have extended to the
creation of individual species. (my emphasis). Thus, under PC, in the case
of man, the "created kind" may have been first primate (order), the first
Homo (genus) or the first Homo sapiens (species).

GM>So since you are citing Erickson as an
>authority, I presume that you believe that we, the chimps, gorillas and
>monkeys all descended from the same, originally created unit---Adam, the
>monkey. Stephen, I think we finally agree on something. :-)

We don't "agree" at all. You are falsely caricaturing PC (as you often do with
positions you disagree with), in order to make your own weak 5.5 mya Adam/Noah
position seem better. PC would *never* claim that "Adam" was a "monkey". Either
PC would claim that in the case of man, either Adam was created as the first
*species*, ie. Homo sapiens, or Adam was the *end product* of a process
started with the creation of the first "order" (Primate) or "genus" (Homo).

Note that I personally do not necessarily agree with PC in the above, but I respect
PCs like Hugh Ross as honestly trying to integrate Biblical and scientific data, and
I will defend them against your wholly unsympathetic destructive criticisms.


"Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented."
--- Dr. William Provine, Professor of History and Biology, Cornell University.

Stephen E (Steve) Jones ,--_|\
3 Hawker Avenue / Oz \
Warwick 6024 ->*_,--\_/ Phone +61 8 9448 7439
Perth, West Australia v "Test everything." (1Thess 5:21)