Human origins pushed back further into the past

by fulltimestudent 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • fulltimestudent

    Science is a self-correcting journey. Any error in thought will be corrected by later research or discoveries, So the common concept that we humans (Homo sapiens) developed something like 200,000 years ago is undergoing a major correction

    The discovery of fossilised bones of at least five individuals have been recovered from an old mine in Morocco. Testing brought the amazing information that they are 300,000 years old.

    Note the similarity of the jawbone of one individual to modern humans, in this video:

    More on this discovery can be found in this account from the UK Guardian:

    There will, of course, be different arguments as to how the humans who once lived in that area fit into a 'first humans' and the 'spread of humans' accounts, and more discoveries may adjust the account. But that's how science works - each discovery corrects earlier misconceptions.

  • Simon

    Amazing discovery. I find it fascinating to think of people who were like us but lacked (as far as we know) any written history. It's writing that really catapulted our species forward - allowing people to build on previous knowledge and transmit and store ideas.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Satan has just put another five fossil skeletons in the ground to mislead us!

    Are there any others here interested in skull morphology?

    The one shown in the Guardian clip is clearly human but appropriately has many features associated with other older hominins, in this case especially Neanderthals.

    The skull thickness will be much greater than modern gracile H.sapiens. Large eye orbits and absence of a "mental shelf" i.e. the projecting lower chin, is like the classic neanderthal as is the "occipital bun," the protuberance at the back of the head, which is not found in moderns. The prominent eyebrow ridges are clearly a universal characteristic of early man but the high dome of the Jebel Irhoud skull is a modern feature.

    Although it won't be easy to determine, I hope we get a DNA analysis soon.

    Another five nails in the creationist's coffin!

  • Skepsis

    How would a JW think when listening to this kind of news or at a History class in highschool when teacher explains about last Glaciation period 12000 years ago or Paleolithic and then reading the Bible and being tols Adam was created 6000 years ago?

    I could never reconcile both things. I couldn't deny that it was nonsense what Bible says and tried to interpreted it for myself as approximate dates. But then I wandered: if God couldn't get correct numbers about it in the Bible, how do I know the rest of the book is literal and correct? Could it be an inspired human point of view?

    It was a source of concern for me so I tried hard not to think about it.

  • SAHS

    You mean it’s been longer than 6000 years? (I say so sarcastically with a droll and devilish impishness).

  • Rainbow_Troll

    Amazing! I remember when even most scientists didn't think that homo sapiens had been around more than 50,000 years.

  • cofty
    I remember when even most scientists didn't think that homo sapiens had been around more than 50,000 years

    Really? I've always thought 100,000 was a conservative figure.

  • fulltimestudent

    Ha!! I note that the Sydney Morning Herald (surely one of Australia's premier newspapers) has chosen to head their take on this story in some web editions with the line:

    "The human bones that prove 'there was no Garden of Eden'

    Not sure why, unless its a reaction to recent controversy over gay marriage with a former tennis stare (Margaret Court) turned christian fundamentalist minister leading the charge.

    Anyway the SMH provided added detail with more information concerning the dating methodology:

    "Professor Grun and other geochronologists, led by Associate Professor Daniel Richter from the Max Planck Institute, used two methods to determine the age of the specimens.
    One used a technique that measured the build-up of uranium and thorium isotopes in the tooth enamel. This put the age of the human tooth at 286,000 years, plus or minus 32,000 years.
    The other technique looked at the build up of electrons in quartz in flint artefacts that had previously been heated.
    Dr Kira Westaway, a geochronologist from Macquarie University not connected with the study, said: "In this application they've used flint artefacts that have been deliberately or accidentally heated."
    She said during extreme heating electrons are expelled from "traps" in the quartz and rebuild during non-heating periods.
    "We can work out the date of the last major heating event by measuring how many electrons have been trapped ... The build-up is proportional to the amount of time since heating."

    There was also a nice pik of the site.

    with the comment:

    "Co-author of the paper dating the fossils Dr Shannon McPherron, also from Max Planck Institute, said: "The overall picture we have [from this dig] is of a hunting encampment in a cave on a hill, with early humans taking shelter as they move across the landscape."
    He said the site had strong evidence of fires and a mix of animal remains – gazelle, zebra and even lions – that these humans consumed. There were also stone tools – cutting implements and spear heads – they had presumably used to hunt and consume those animals."


  • jookbeard

    amazing find.

  • fulltimestudent

    And, as a personal thought: It would not really matter if the dating methodologys used, later came up with a major correction, reducing the date from 300,000 years BP to say 10,000 years BP. It would still indicate that the Genesis account is only what it is, an origin myth, trying to (but not succeeding) in explaining how humans came to exist on this earth.

    And, the dating is only one feature, the other more important feature is the differences in the skull, similar to modern humans, but not identical. The Genesis account can give no reason as to why we can find similar human remains in different locations around the planet,

    What do christians imagine that the YHWH/JESUS designers were doing? Experimenting with different creative designs, until they got it right (in their own image-grin!!)? If YHWH (at least) is perfect as imagined in the Jewish sacred texts that christians now call the Bible, why would he need to experiment. Surely. he would get it right the first time?

    And, its not just humans, there are animal remains from the past, similar to modern Australian fauna, but much larger, like this giant platypus:

    over one metre long. Was that a failed creation also?

    There are others too, browse this Australian Museum site to examine them:

    And going back a bit further you come to the dinosaur type life forms,

    The Genesis account makes no effort to explain these extinct life forms. Why? because the author of Genesis could no nothing about them - therefore neither YHWH or JESUS (if they exist) could be the authors of the Genesis account.

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