invention of writing vs. tools (was: Evolution's Imperative)

Rich Daniel (
Fri, 26 Mar 1999 12:33:11 -0500 (EST)

> What do the modern myth-makers claim about how long homo sapiens have been
> around? What, a 100,000 years? What kind of physical head trauma did you
> suffer that caused enough damage for you to be able to think that a "few
> years" is 95,000 years? And, if 95,000 years is a "few years" how many
> years is 5,000? A "year or two"? Were you born yesterday?

There's no need to get abusive; I don't recall insulting you.

Modern Homo sapiens sapiens is about 120,000 years old. But if you believe
that man is only 6000 years old, then you believe that we went without the
invention of writing for 1000 years. Why is it reasonable to believe this
but not reasonable to believe we went without it for 115,000 years?

If I remember correctly, the oldest examples of writing we know about are
inventories, either for taxes or military purposes. In either case, we
didn't need writing until we had fairly large cities. Lots of other
inventions had to come first, like agriculture, for instance, which is
not something that even a genius could develop quickly.

> > Why do creationists disagree about whether Homo erectus was human?
> How old do the modern myth-makers say homo erectus is? Approaching a
> couple million years? Is it your assertion that he was smart enough to
> manufacture tools, but too stupid to learn even crude writing, couldn't
> draw a picture of a constellation?

That's pretty close to what I believe, with the caveat that *learning* to
write and create art does not take nearly as much intelligence as *inventing*
them. What precisely is wrong with this view? Why would anyone think
that every human activity requires the same amount of intelligence as every
other human activity? Also note that tools are immediately useful for
survival, while writing and art are not. And note that chimpanzees can
manufacture tools. In the wild, they select and strip small branches to use
in getting termites, a skill which is not easily copied by humans. They
have even been taught to make stone tools in captivity.

> BTW, as for the disagreement you refer to, who says it's human, who says
> it's not? Part of the answer could be that a number of different fossils
> are identified as homo erectus.


Rich Daniel