Question about the antiquity of mankind


#1

The oldest homo sapiens fossils are dated to circa 200,000 B. C. What is commonly thought of as “civilization” (architecture and writing and mathematics and philosophy and farming and etc.) doesn’t really start until 5 to 10 thousand years ago. In the last several thousand years, mankind has made amazing technological and intellectual advances: mathematics, philosophy, art, architecture, music, science, theology, submarines, quantum physics, cosmology, evolution, airplanes, interplanetary craft, men on the moon, etc.

But for nearly 200,000 years before all that, mankind basically had stone choppers, wooden spears, and fire? How could homo sapiens spend tens of thousands or a couple of hundred thousand years content with rocks and sticks and fire, while the last several thousand years have witnessed a nigh indescribable explosion in all areas of human culture?

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, I acknowledge that the universe, the world, and life are billions of years old. I acknowledge biological evolution. The sticking point for me is not whether or not man evolved, but the screaming conundrum of mankind doing so much in the last 5 to 10 thousand years but doing so little in the 190,000 years before that. Men being what we are, I can’t imagine human beings content with stones and spears for a span of time that is about 40 times the length of time separating the Great Pyramids from the Apollo moon landings.


(Jim Lock) #2

@Geoffrey Its a fascinating question to which I’ll offer a couple of thoughts. First, there is a site in Turkey (the name is escaping me) that appears to be a central meeting place for potentially nomadic groups. Recent dating has pushed the original construction to around 15,000 B.C.E. So, a little bit farther back than you indicate and I don’t believe it contradicts your point. Just interesting.

Now, to the question. One train of thought focuses on the ability to distribute information. Essentially, the great technological leaps forward, Neolithic, Industrial, and Digital Revolutions, were facilitated by similar developments in writing, the printing press, and the internet respectively. In other words, until our early ancestors learned how to write, they lacked the means to keep records and communicate more complex ideas about agriculture.

Also, it appears the the lives of early Hunter-Gatherers were not quite as ‘…nasty,brutish, and short…’ as Thomas Hobbes first imagined. They ate a more varied diet, lived longer, and worked less than there agricultural brethren. In short, life was good so there was no reason to try and change the status quo. Farming is HARD work, why till the soil when you can survive pretty effectively either through gathering wild plants or some limited ‘forest-gardening?’

Jim


(Jan De Boer) #3

Hi Geoffrey
When a man, Galileo was his name, tried to convince people that our Earth was not the center of the Universe and that Earth was turning around the Sun, he was given a choice between withdrawing his words or being barbecued at the stake.
When a man, Semmelweiss was his name, found out that the medics in the birth department of the hospital killed over 90% of the women who came to that department to give birth to their babies because they did not clean their hands after dissecting a corpse, he was thrown out of his job and the hospital. Medical doctors never really changed their attitude.
Watch http://www.ted.com/talks/margaret_heffernan_dare_to_disagree how more than one thousand babies were killed at a single hospital and extrapolate that for all hospitals. A whole generation of MD’s had to become extinct before the killing stopped.
I can give many more examples how people who came with new knowledge and also solid proof that their new knowledge was correct, were thrown out their job, or their profession and sometimes even out the window.
Watch also http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/learning-think-critically/
It is about the staggering lack of knowledge about science and scientific results, about the damage this lack is causing, and about the lack of interest and care to do something about it.

You are completely right.
You are also a bit wrong: the oldest Home Sapience skull that has been found is some 500,000 years old and 200,000 years ago they were traveling in space. Their civilization was killed off some 150.000 years ago, but I presume that part of them survived in space.
We went in less than ten millennia from Stone Age to collecting stones on the Moon. Evolution is a very slow process, so our ancestors must have been as intelligent and sophisticated as we are.
So, what has happened.
Well, our learned geologists do not know how and where liquid lava is formed. Yet they claim to know that the central core of our Earth is made of iron. They are completely wrong. The same applies to the scientists of several other fields of science.
We have hiccups sometimes and Earth has something similar. And if Earth has a hiccup, almost every living being is killed in the violence. Solid proof is available on Internet.
But time and again humanity reinvented Stone Age in order to survive, recovered and started once again collecting stones on the Moon. I would be very disappointed if it turns out that the oldest time would be less than one million years ago.
One scientist estimated how many humans have lived on Earth. His result was 75 billion people.
My estimate is at least 10 trillion people, but it may more than five times more, during the last million years and it does not include the humans living in space and on other planets.
My research hast lasted more than 70 years and is still continuing.
I have tried to contact lots of scientists, but got so far only one reaction: I was called a pseudo-scientist.
I have also contacted Biologos, but, as said, no reaction.
I have decided to continue trying to make contact with Biologos, this time with Brad Kramer and John Walton. So far no reaction. I tried to get a private conversation, but the system decided that I´m not a valid user. So no private conversation so far.
Meanwhile have a look at a globe of our Earth and try to find out what is clearly visible on that globe and yet not noticed.


(Mazrocon) #4

Jan, I just have to say that this is historically false. The catholic clergy (and even the pope) liked his ideas. He was never burned at the stake or tortured.

The cardinals discussed with him that he could publish his book only IF he presented his idea as “not yet proven” nor “absolute fact”. What did he do? He ended up doing just the opposite and even ended up mocking one of the popes for believing in a stationary earth, characterizing the fool as “Simplicio”. He also went out of his cultural bounds by interpreting the Bible for himself — so he stepped on the Church’s toes in multiple ways. By going against their instruction to present his idea as a hypothesis, mocking those that believed in the classical system, and interpreting the Bible. Long story short — Galileo wasn’t the nicest guy, even if he keeps getting falsely portrayed as a “martyr for science” … Despite the fact that every person involved in the affair was highly religious and had a high respect for the Bible!

Yet despite all this antagonism, he was never burned at the stake, tortured or sent to jail. The villa they sent him too was colloquially called “Galileo’s Golden Cage” … Because it was pretty much a slap on the wrist. He could still leave and visit his family, and people could still visit him, and indeed that’s what often happened — he was quite the celebrity in those days!

The irony of this myth is that Galileo actually hesitated publishing his book, not because or religious persecution, but because of what the scientists would say! He still had a lot of unresolved science questions … Like if the earth is moving why don’t you feel wind across your face? And what about the tides? He incorrectly conjectured it was because of the earth’s rotation — but St. Bede, a monk that lived a thousand years before him, got it right by tying the cause to the moon!

-Tim


(Jan De Boer) #5

@Mazrocon
Hello Tim. Thank you for correcting me. I started my life as catholic and at a catholic school I was told that he was given a “free” choice between a) withdrawing his words and b) being tortured until he died or confessed being a heretic and then he would end at the stake. He choose the first option. As result he was not tortured nor burned, and only put under oversight and a bit restricted in his actions.
Greetings, Jan.

PS. Would you please read my four posts about the history of Humanity and Earth and see if you can find more errors?


(Patrick ) #6

Lucy find:


(Mazrocon) #7

Hey Jan. It’s often difficult to decipher a person’s meaning online because it’s just text. I’m not sure if you’re honestly inviting me to find errors in your research OR you’re being sarcastic and saying I’m just trying to find holes in your argument.

The reason why I brought up the Galileo controversy is just because it’s a common myth today that often gets misrepresented. Because Galileo made discoveries and advances for Heliocentrism, and at one point in time the Catholic Church pronounced “judgement” on him, it’s tempting to put two and two and together and assume Galileo feared for his life because of his disocovery, or that the Church kept a tight leach on people who promoted heretical ideas (namely a belief in a moving a earth). But the truth of the matter is much more complicated than that, and more so involved questions like. “Who should interpret the Bible?”, rather than, “Is a moving earth heresy?”

That aside … I’m not Catholic so I’m not familiar with what Catholic school teaches.

If I have time I’ll check out your earlier posts … But with the holidays and all it might take me awhile to get around it.

Have a great thanksgiving by the way.

-Tim


(Patrick ) #8

Tim,
Smaller is better:


(Jan De Boer) #9

@Mazrocon
Hi Tim.
Yes, I’m inviting you to find errors in my research. I have no hidden agenda, except that I hope that you become fascinated by my findings.
Theologians, pre-historians, geologists, climatologist, and a few other sciences will have to review their basics, but are too stubborn and suffer too much from tunnel vision to question their basics.
A simple example: according to Wikipedia the crust of our Earth is not floating on liquid lava, which was the opinion when I was young, but rests upon a nearly solid interior.
There is a heat flow from inside the Earth to the surface, that causes a temperature gradient of 30 °C/km depth, so far measured and verified until 12 km depth. The heat conductivity of ceramic materials are all in the same range. So after a few hundreds kilometer depths the temperature is well above the critical temperature of all known materials. Which means that the crust is floating on gas. It also raises the question: what is the solid central core made of! Solid material at a temperature of some one whole million degrees Celsius! Two days ago I coined a name for it: Material-X. It is formed inside planets by a still unknown radiation from the Sun.
You will have serious problem to accept that it has to be true and at the same time you will not be able to reject it as being not true.
You only need some mathematics and physics at high school level. Share it with others, ask the opinions of teachers and scientists. If I’m wrong, then that should be proven and I will apologize for having wasted the time of you and other people, but if I’m right, then it should get attention, above all attention from the theologians who write at Biologos.
Thank you for wish, but thanksgiving is not known on the European continent.
Greetings Jan.


(sy_garte) #10

Geoffrey

I dont believe the previous commenters have actually answered your question. Here is the answer. You are right that we can trace the origins of H. Sapiens to about 200,000 ya in Africa. We dont know much about what happened in the next 100,000 years; although some hypothesize that during this time there was a very slow gradual growth in communication and tool making ability. We do know at about 70,000 ya, some intense volcanic activity led to a colder and drier climate, and H Sapiens were reduced to between 2000 and 10000 individuals (some put the lower bound even lower, at 1000 or less). This is close to the extinction level. Things stayed that way for about 20,000 years. Around 60 to 40,000 ya there were a series of dramatic changes in the technology of humans, shown by the sophistication of their tools, and signs of art, ritual and modern communication. We dont know why. At about the same time, the species began a strong recovery of population numbers, and small groups began to travel outside of Africa, settling in the Mideast, Asia, Europe and Australia. This was also the time of the last ice age.

Agriculture probably began in the Middle East around 10,000 ya, and spread quickly. In contrast to a comment above, agriculture was far superior to hunting and gathering (except in certain limited areas) and became the dominant human way of life by around 5000 ya. It also allowed for the growth of cities (due to the excess food that could be produced) and civilization. The rest is history. Literally.