Thursday, July 5, 2012

False Assumption #5 of Young-Earth Creationists

Alice C. Linsley

Assumption 5: Diversity of languages and skin color is the result of God’s judgment at the Tower of Babel.
This concludes the series of False Assumptions of Young-Earth Creationists.

Assumption 1: Genesis is history and should be read as a chronological account. (Response is here.)

Assumption 2: The Genesis “begats” list the first people living on earth. (Response is here.)

Assumption 3: Bishop Ussher's timeline is reliable and can be used to calculate the age of the earth. (Response is here.)

Assumption 4: All the peoples today came from Noah’s three sons whose descendants repopulated the earth after a worldwide flood. (Response is here.)

Tera means priest. Abraham's father was Terah. Terah (Tera) is a title, not a name. Usually, the names of great rulers, scribes and priests were not revealed in antiquity. Tera is a title associated with the Ainu. The Nilotic Ainu had a reddish-brown skin tone and their elders wore beards and moustaches, as do the Ainu elders of Japan and Eastern Canada. The Ainu spread from the Nile to Japan and to Northeastern Canada via Finland many centuries before the construction of the ziggurats (stepped pyramids) of Babylon.

The Ainu brought their system of writing to Japan. It is perhaps the most lasting heritage of the Ainu of whom only about 300 pure-blooded remain. This explains why the Hebrew and Japanese alphabets are so similar.

Young-Earth Creationists Ignore Facts

At the back of Young Earth Creationist books such as Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth by Terry Mortenson, a former Campus Crusade missionary, one finds the 12 Affirmations and Denials. Affirmation XII claims that the diversity of languages and skin color came about as a result of divine judgment at the Tower of Babel.

XII. We affirm that all people living and dead are descended from Adam and Eve...and that the various people groups (with their various languages, cultures, and distinctive physical characteristics, including skin color) arose as a result of God's supernatural judgment at the Tower of Babel..."

This is the easiest of the Young Earth Creationist claims to refute since the evidence of many languages and skin colors before the time of the Tower of Babel is overwhelming and cannot be denied by reasonable persons.The spread of the Ainu is but one example. Other examples involve the dispersion of the Proto-Saharans and the Kushites. These peoples represent a range of skin color and languages before the construction of the ziggaruts.

Migrations Out of Africa

The negrito Andaman and Nicobar Islanders migrated between 70,000 and 50,000 years ago from Africa and Arabia along the coastlines, and eventually crossing the seas. They moved eastwards to India, Japan and Australia.

The 20,000 year old human skeletons found at Lake Mungo in New South Wales are likely descendants of early peoples who migrated from Africa, if we follow the red ochre trail. The Lake Mungo population buried its rulers in red ochre, derived from hematite (Fe2O3). This appears to have been a common practices among ancient peoples who dispersed out of Africa. The earliest known use of red ochre powder (300,000 years) is at the site GnJh-03 in the Kapthurin Formation of East Africa, and at Twin Rivers in Zambia.

The Onges and Jarawas of Andaman and Nicobar belong to Haplotype D, a subtype of Haplogroup C, which is also common in Tibet and Japan. The Ainu aboriginal people of Japan are in haplotype D (Y-chromosome) and haplogroup X (mitochondrial chromosome). The Ainu have a red-brown skin tone similar to the Horite or Edomite people. Edom means red.

The Proto-Saharans (ca. 10,000-3000 BC)

Between 10,000-3000 years ago the Sahara was much wetter. Seasonal rainfall turned the Sahara into a fertile savannah with sedentary populations. The oldest known cemetery in the Sahara (ca. 7500 B.C.) reveals "The burial density, tool kit, ceramics, and midden fauna suggest a largely sedentary population with a subsistence economy based on fishing and on hunting of a range of savanna vertebrates." The discovery was made by National Geographic photographer Mike Hettwer in 2000.

Proto-Saharan peoples fished and hunted. Ancient Sudan rock paintings show fishing nets. The much older Khormusan sites of ancient Nubia (65,000 and 55,000 years) also reveal evidence of fishing and hunting.

The Proto-Saharans navigated the interconnected rivers which were their highways and trade routes. Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, and Niger had rivers and lakes that connected to major water systems that are identifiable today, such as the Niger, the Benue, Lake Chad and the Nile. The 8000 year old Dufuna boat, a fishing dugout, was found buried in the Sahara.

The cave paintings at Gilf Kebir in the Sahara date to about 6000 BC. At that time a sizeable community lived on this vast sandstone plateau near the Egyptian-Libyan border, about 400 miles from the Nile.

The Proto-Saharans raised cattle in the Lake Chad region which was a much larger lake. They venerated cattle and left behind engravings of bulls and cows with solar disc between their horns. This image was associated with Hathor, the Virgin Queen whose son was Horus. They built the oldest known fortress city dedicated to Horus and Hathor at Nekhen (4000 BC). At archaeologists have discovered a temple, elaborate burial sites, and evidence of animal sacrifice. The rulers of Nekhen had access to sub-Saharan mineral resources of the eastern desert. The high quality of the gold work at Nekhen is evidenced by the discovery of this gold plumed falcon representing Horus.

Proto-Saharan peoples moved into the Nile Valley as the Sahara began to dry. Some would later be called "Kushites." Some crossed the Indian Ocean from East Africa and settled in southern India. These are the Dravidians. There is a close linguistic and religious connection between the Kushites and the Dravidians. The Africanist Geoffrey Parrinder has noted that at least twenty-five tribes in East Africa worship Murungu as the Supreme God, and like the Dravidian god Murugan, the African Murungu lives on sacred mountains.

The Kushite Expansion (ca. 3500-1500 BC)

Abraham's ancestors came out of the Nile and are referred to as Kushites in Genesis 10:6-12. Kush is a Biblical term that refers to the descendants of Noah by his grandson Kush. It is a general term that includes many people of different skin tones and languages before the establishment of the ziggaruts on the plain of Shinar. The Kushites included red and black Nubians, red and white Ainu, red, white and black Canaanites, red, black and yellow Nilotes, red-brown, light brown, black and yellow Egyptians, red-brown and black Sudra, and red, white and brown Mesopotamians. The variety of skin tones is evident on ancient monument paintings in Egypt and Sudan.

Red and black Nubian captives
(Detail from Ippolito Rosellini's drawing from the 1828 Franco-Tuscan expedition to Egypt)

Genesis 10 speaks of the migration of the Kushites into Mesopotamia. The Kushite migration has been confirmed by DNA studies. The Kushites were great pyramid builders and the ziggurats were a type of stepped pyramid similar to that of Djoser at Saqqara constructed between 2667–2648 BC. No pyramids had yet been built in Sumer/Kish. The ziggurats date to the Akkadian period, about 2334–2218 BC. The earliest monarch of Sumer whose historical existence has been independently attested through archaeological inscription ruled Kish about 2700–2600 BC.

Amenhotep III ruled between about 1382 and 1350 B.C. His name means "peace of Amen" and indicates a date when
Amen, a name for God was favored over the name Set, which was favored in the Delta. It was during the 18th dynasty that the title 'King's Son of Kush' was first used. The earlier known Kushite ruler was called Kashta which means "The Throne of Kush." This is about 1000 years after the construction of ziggurats, so the Kushite expansion out of Africa is one of the most recent movements out of Africa.

The Kushite expansion out of the Nile Valley is one of the later migrations out of Africa, between about 3500 and 1500 B.C. The Kushites represent a highly organized people, consisting of numerous clans and castes. Their rulers controlled the major water systems and founded early mining industries along the Nile and in southern Israel. Nimrod was a Kushite kingdom builder. He and his brother Ramah were the sons of Kush (Gen. 10:6-12).

The Biblical term "Kushite" refers to many peoples and castes: Nilotes, Egyptians, Sudra, Canaanites, Ainu, Nubians, Horites, Hapiru, Southern Arabians and the rulers of ancient Mesopotamia. Among these peoples there was a wide range of skin color and a great diversity of languages. To this day, the greatest linguistic and genetic diversity exists in Africa, from which the ancestors of these peoples spread along the coastlines and by sea around 70,000 years ago.

Linguistic Diversity

There are seventeen language families in the world. Each breaks down into hundreds of languages, dialects and sub-dialects. The most diverse of all the language groups is also the oldest group, the Afro-Asiatic languages: Chadic, Kushitic, Ugaritic, Elamite, Semitic, Hausa, Amharic, Ethiopic, Magyar, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Babylonian, etc. There is also a clear linguistic connection to Dravidian and Yoruba. These languages, or their earlier forms such as Dedanite and Thamudic, were spoken before the construction of the Babylonian ziggaruts.

All the peoples and rulers mentioned in Genesis 10 can be placed linguistically within this language family. The Bible is their story. It tells how God fulfilled the promise of the Son that was made to their ancestors in Eden (Gen. 3:15). These peoples exhibited a range of skin color so it is ignorant to say that skin color is the result of God's judgment.

I agree with Dr. Joshua Zorn, a former young-earth creationist, who has said: "The worst aspect of YECS teaching is that it creates a nearly insurmountable barrier between the educated world and the church."


Derrick said...

You're comment about Red Ochre reminded of something I recently learned. In Wisconsin and all across the upper great lakes Red Ochre burials are quite common and they have been dated to the Archaic period of North american history which was from 8000-500 BC. Recent archeology has found some evidence of Wattle and daub houses, and of course the beginnings of North american Pyramid culture.

These peoples were some the best copper miners and metal smiths the world had seen at that time. With elaborate cast copper axe heads, jewelry, breast plates, and utilitarian objects of extreme beauty and functionality. In fact, if you look at the later woodland period, their stuff looks like a people who had lost all knowledge and ability to use metals. It was a dark age.

I have been pondering the idea that perhaps the ancient world was far more connected than we admit. These same people were trading copper for obsidian knives, mother of pearl jewelry, and expensive textiles. No much about them is known except what has been found in burial sites and ruined villages. Until Europeans arrived in the 1600's their culture was the most advanced the region had ever seen simply judging by the objects they left behind.

Alice Linsley said...

"...the ancient world was far more connected than we admit."

A wonderful observation, Derrick. I agree with you.

There is a principle in cultural anthropology that the more universal a trait or phenomena, the older it is. The burial of rulers in red ochre power is universal and therefore extraordinarily ancient. Examples have been found on every continent beginning as late as 20,000 years ago.

Han said...

This is tangential to you point, but where are you getting this idea that the various Japanese kana are somehow related to Hebrew?

The origins of the various Japanese writing systems is well known. The Japanese imported Tang era Chinese culture wholesale during the Nara period and the Chinese language, written in Chinese characters was used at court. Thereafter (around the 8th Century A.D.), Chinese characters were simplified into syllabries to write the Japanese language. The two in use today are Hiragana (for native Japanese words not written in Kanji) and Katakana (for foreign words or for emphasis--like itallics). Ainu is written in katakana with a few special kana added to represent sounds that do not exist in Japanese.

Katakana is not some sort of Jomon-era writing system that the Yamato people adopted from the (likely) ancestors of the Ainu when they (the Yamato perople--ancestors of the modern Japanese) arrived from the mainland. The simplification of Chinese characters into kana is well attested and accepted by linguists. The Ainu langauge was not even written down until the 1940's. There is simply no connection between written Hebrew and written Ainu.

Alice Linsley said...

Jomon would likely disagree with you. You can see the similarity for yourself. The Nilotic Ainu were scribes, so how can you say that they had no system of writing?

Han said...

Dr. Linsley--

The archeological record of Japan bears no witness to any Jomon (or Yayoi, for that matter) writing. The first record of writing we have in Japan comes from the Yamato period, and this writing is unmistakably Chinese.

That both the hiragana and katakana writing systems are derived from Chinese characters is simple fact--not conjecture. That the Ainu language is written in katakana (with some additional kana), not some earlier native script, is also well attested. The Ainu are known for a vibrant oral tradition, but nobody wrote down their language until the Rev. John Batchelor studied them in the 1940's.

You simply cannot try to prove some sort of Semitic origin of the Ainu from a script that is unambiguously derived from Chinese bearing some resemblance to square Hebrew. Perhaps there may be some genetic connexion between the Ainu and various peoples of the ancient near east, but some similarity between the shape of modern Hebrew letters and katakana is a poor proof. For example, in the table you present, the "japanese" mixes in hiragana, which is NOT used to write Ainu, for the syllables "hi" "a" and "fu."

Alice Linsley said...

The Ainu oral tradition is of interest to me. Where could I read or learn more about this?

"some genetic connexion between the Ainu and various peoples of the ancient near east" - that is true.

Thank you for your comments. I would be interested in your thoughts on this article also:

And this one:

Han said...

Dr. Linsley--

As for Ainu culture, a good place to start might be the Ainu Museum in Hokkaido:

As for the Nile-Japan article, it certainly is interesting, but I wonder if you are trying to prove too much. Similarity does not necessitate inheritance. Take sun worship (or worship of the sun god), for example. I find it highly unlikely that a solar cult originated in one part of the globe and thence spread throughout the world resulting in vastly different particular practices simply because they all involve the sun. More likely, the sun is a natural object of worship, given what it does for the planet and its inhabitants, and therefore sun worship has multiple independent origins. I think that human universals are just that--"memes" (for lack of a better word) that resonate with humanity because we are human, not because some subset of humanity spread it abroad from a single place. Were it otherwise, the archeological record would require far less conjecture.

Regarding the Kindling of Ancient Memory article, I get the Ainu N. American Indian connexion, but I am not sure about the connexion to the Near East. See: Again, because of the false equivalence between modern Hebrew letters and katakana, I wary about any additional claims based upon linguistics. Historical linguistics is a tricky subject, especially if one is relying upon similarity of sound (as opposed to similarity of grammar). For example, Latin "mater" and Greek "mathp" may be evidence of linguistic (and by extension genetic--although this is an assumption) kinship, but the proof is not from the similarity of sound, but rather by similarity of grammatical principles. Neither has any linguistic kinship with Mandarin Chinese, "ma" (mother) or "muqin" (mother--more formal).

Alice Linsley said...

Han, You are well named! Clearly you know and love the Hanzi system.

Thanks for the link. I will check it out.

I am familiar with Mathilda's blog. However, I have found a certain bias against Africa there, so I always investigate what she posts further.

The Kushites didn't worship the sun or a sun god. The sun was the emblem of the Creator, and sometimes the boat or chariot which carried the Supreme God.

I agree that historical linguistics is tricky. That said, I find many connections between Japanese and African words. For example, the name Isahi appears to be a variant of Esau or Issa. Kishi appears to be a variant of Kish and Kush.

According to the Nihon Shoki, a Korean scribe called Wani Kishi (Wang Yin in Chinese?) brought Kata to Japan. The Kojiki indicates that Wani Kishi arrived sometime after 372, but before 375 AD. Kata was a priestly syllabic system, similar to Hebrew.

Wa-kishi is an African term found among the Ba-Kaonde of Northern Rhodesia. It refers to the ancestors spirits to which they offer prayers at a family altar called a chipanda. This resembles the Shinto family shrine.

It is also possible that Obito, the title for a regional chief in Japan, as in Obito-no-Oji (later the Emperor Shomu), is related to the Edo/Edomite/Horite word for chief or ruler, which is Oba. The first ruler of Petra was the Horite King Obodas.

As you can see, there is a reason to investigate further and I would be grateful for any assistance or enlightenment you might provide.