Engineering Tools From Stone But Nothing Else?

This is one the more bizzare stories coming out of the evolution camp. In science daily, it states…

“An international team of researchers, including three from the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, deduce that “this technology required a novel association between fire, its heat, and a structural change in stone with consequent flaking benefits.” Further, their findings ignite the notion of complex cognition in these early engineers.”

“Our illumination of the heat treatment process shows that these early modern humans commanded fire in a nuanced and sophisticated manner,” says lead author Kyle Brown, a doctoral candidate at the University of Cape Town, and field and lab director in Mossel Bay, South Africa, for ASU’s Institute of Human Origins.”

The new claim says these cognitive abilities were implemented much earlier than previously thought. The dates are all over the map, one says 50,000 earlier than the record, Other estimates are between 72,000 years to 164, 000 years. The paper stated that some items they found in a South African cave may date to 164,000 years before the present.

John Webb and Marian Domanski of La Trobe University, Australia, writing in the same issue of Science, believe in the 164,000 year time frame with a bizarre explanation…

“This use of fire as an engineering tool is an early step in the evolution of means by which humans could more effectively control their environment.  Heat treatment in Africa appears at roughly the same time as widespread evidence for symbolic behavior, signaling the development of increasingly complex cognitive ability.”

“By enabling the manufacture of more efficient tools, heat treatment may have played a key role in allowing early modern humans to spread rapidly from the relatively benign environments of southern Africa into the colder, more hostile environments of Europe.  The Neandertals in Europe apparently lacked this technique, perhaps giving the early modern humans an evolutionary advantage as they moved into Eurasia.”

Do you have any clue what I’m leading to about this strange explanation? Obviously, the writers of the paper overlooked it. From this angle, look at this way, early modern humans they say had the ability to learn technology and learn from experience. They understood that heat-treating stones was an upgrade for tools, which they were skilled at making. They were smart with aesthetic ability.  Are you with me so far?

Now think about this…They are telling us in this particular paper that for 93,000 years with all this ability, early modern humans just sat around in caves, hunting animals, never communicating with each other by voice and never inventing anything else but sharp rocks.  Then they are also telling us it took 50,000 to 60,000 years before the first idea of agriculture and civilization popped into their intelligent heads.

There is something seriously wrong with their dating methods. There is no logic to their story. The BBC had claimed humans were using fire 800,000 years ago, which makes the story even more bizarre with such a huge gap and no human progress!  Obviously, their scheme depends on the gullibility of the public.  They keep hoping that the reputation of Science will be enough to convince people not to be critical with their story about evolution.

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8 thoughts on “Engineering Tools From Stone But Nothing Else?

  1. “There is something seriously wrong with their dating methods. There is no logic to their story. The BBC had claimed humans were using fire 800,000 years ago, which makes the story even more bizarre with such a huge gap and no human progress! ”

    I was beginning to wonder what the connection of this article was with creationism. But this is desperation, pure and simple. Technology is roughly exponential. Apparently Michael has no conception of what an exponential curve looks like. Namely, that the part of the curve below the knee is very nearly horizontal—flat; no progress. In this case, flat for 600,000 years is no biggie. Nobody “overlooked”[1] anything. Also, half a million years ago, one technology would not have spread around the world via the internet. And, technologies can be lost; Middle-Ages artisans knew how to make flexible glass.

    YECreationists have a huge problem with exponential curves in another way. If humans really started out with one breeding pair about 6,000 years ago, and the world population is now 6 billion, then one iof two things must be true. (1) The birth rate must be on the order of 50 children per couple. (2) the total population of the world at the time of Christ must hav been on the order of 50,000 people.

    I think everyone would say that 50 children/family for the past 6,000 years is not in accordance with any fact we know about. Fact also intrudes upon the second alternative. At the time of Christ, the population of Rome by itself was about 1,200,000, as established by historical records. This leaves about negative 1,100,000 people for all of the rest of Europe, all of Asia, all of Africa, all of the Americas, and Australia.

    Sorry, guys. Your ignorance of elementary mathematics has done you in. Again.

    =====================
    [1] One of the purposes of peer review is to catch things such as that. But then creationists don’t believe in peer review.

  2. Well, I goofed on estimating an exponential. To account for a biblical creation date and the present world population, the world population at 1AD would have been about 5,000,000 (not 50K) as I estimated earlier.

    At theat time, records show that the population of the ten largest cities[1] was over 2,000,000. Estimates of the world population at 1AD range from 170,000,000 to 400,000,000. Making the discrepancy with biblical dates between 3,400% and 8,000%.

    What is more telling, however, is the population at the time of the Noachian flood. Using the commonly accepted creationist date of 2350 BC, the total population would have been about 1,100 people in the entire world. On the other hand, the (non-biblical) estimate for this time is about 30.000.000. The population of Egypt alone was nearly a million.[2]

    =============
    [1] Rome, Luoyang, Seleucia, Alexandria, Antioch, Anuradhapura, Peshawar, Carthage, Suzhou, and Smyrna.

    [2] At the end of the Old Kingdom, about 2400 BC. Written records began in about 3100 BC, near the beginning of the First Dynasty.

  3. Yeah, when I made a 100:1 error on a simple calculation and Michael didn’t even notice it, you have to wonder.

    Creationists are strangely silent on their world-population paradox.

  4. Michael: “Now think about this…They are telling us in this particular paper that for 93,000 years with all this ability, early modern humans just sat around in caves, hunting animals, never communicating with each other by voice and never inventing anything else but sharp rocks. Then they are also telling us it took 50,000 to 60,000 years before the first idea of agriculture and civilization popped into their intelligent heads.”

    Here’s a little test Michael. Let’s see how you do with all your native intelligence.

    (1) Invent a language from scratch. (By the way, your larnyx has not yet descended, so you can only pronounce two vowels and 5 or 6 different consonants.)

    (2) Describe how to find iron, and how to process it with only small fires in caves, and how to shape tools from it. (Iron itself is too brittle to make tools from—bet you didn’t know that.)

    (3) Describe how to flake a stone to produce a sharp edge without shattering it. Oh, and how to find and select the correct kind of stone. (With all your modern technology, this should be a romp in the park.)

    (4) Describe how to select a wild plant that has never been cultivated as a crop–what qualities would you look for, describe its growing season, how to plant it (would you use broadcast or drop?), select a field with the proper amount of water and drainage, invent a way to harvest it and to thresh it. (Remember that corn, when it was first cultivated, was about an inch long, the kernels looked like large wheat grains, and were so hard they had to be cracked open. But, with your intelligence, I’m sure you can overcome all these difficulties without even inventing the internet.)

    (5) Create civilization from scratch. What you have is isolated bands of hunter-gatherers, several dozen people in a band. From that, persuade a thousand other bands to live together with you, build permanent dwellings, create the concept of laws and rules, invent gods, art, myths, and rituals. (I’m sure you can do it all in 60,000 years or so.)

    What a laugh. Please tell your anonymous source to butt out of amateur anthropology.

  5. One more question, Michael:

    (6) Describe how to find and smelt aluminum, and how to work int into usable implements.

    Aluminum is the second most plentiful metal on Earth, lighter than steel and almost as strong. Yet your biblical patriarchs literally stood on it for thousands of years without so much as picking it up. Did God tell them about a material that could fashion light swords and arrows to smite their enemies? Noooo. Did their native intelligence let them make utensils from it? Nooooo. They wore sapphires and rubies, but never discovered aluminum. Not too smart, were they?

  6. Soc brings up a point. If intelligent people can stare right at things for thousands of years and not see them, maybe Michael just isn’t as smart as he thought he was.

    So here’s a little test. It’s mot about factual knowledge. We have plenty of that, and Michael could look facts up on the Web anyway. So this test concerns reasonoing about the type of things Michael probably runs into frequently.

    (1) Why does a flat mirror reverse left and right, but not up and down?

    (2) If yiou shake a jar of large plastic balls and small plastic balls up and down for a while, how will they be distributed in the jar? Why? (If you have no plastic balls, substitute rocks in a field.)

    (3) A recent study found the lowest cancer rates in counties having the smallest populations. From that fact, where would you expect tot find the highest cancer rates? Why?

    (4) You shoot a spitball through a curved straw in your classroom Would you expect the wad’s path to be more or less curved after it leaves the straw? Why?

    (5) Your school district classifies each student into one racil group. Last year the average math score of every racial group went up—yet the overall average math score of all students went down. Explain.

    If anyone thinks of some more questions for cavemen, let me know.

  7. Michael: “They are telling us in this particular paper that for 93,000 years with all this ability, early modern humans just sat around in caves, hunting animals, never communicating with each other by voice and never inventing anything else but sharp rocks. Then they are also telling us it took 50,000 to 60,000 years before the first idea of agriculture and civilization popped into their intelligent heads.”

    But, Michael! You keep saying that our dating methods are wrong. If we compress the real age of the Earth to the creationist age, we get a factor of 682,000 to 1. That would mean these primitive humans only sat around in caves for a little over 7 years before inventing things besides sharp rocks. Then it took less than 4 years for agriculture and civilization.

    But then, if you think about it for a couple of seconds (this woulds be about 10 months in creationt time, of course), you will notice that, no matter how you cut the time scale, these early humans did not have agriculture, domestication, and other indicia of civilization. And hundreds—thousands—of other early humans did not have these things.

    Yet Genesis tells us that Adam’s immediate family did till the soil and herd sheep. So where do tall these other human fiossils, who did not do those things, fit in? Hmmmmm? Tell us a story about that one.

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