Thursday, May 23, 2013

African Projectiles 90,000 Years Old

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA—Archaeologist Corey O’Driscoll has developed a method of determining if wounds on bones were made by spears thrown from a distance. Indirect evidence from examining stone point, suggests that humans living in Africa began hurling weapons as early as 500,000 years ago, but this evidence is often disputed. To solve this problem, O’Driscoll and a colleague knapped flint spear and arrow points modeled after Middle Stone Age technology from Africa. They then threw the replica spears and fired the replica arrows at lamb and cow carcasses, defleshed the bones, and compared the marks on the bones with a reference collection of butchered animal bones. O’Driscoll found that the butchering marks and the projectile impact marks have clear differences when viewed with a microscope, including traces of stone left in the projectile point wounds. He and Jessica Thompson of the University of Queensland then examined three animal bones from Pinnacle Point Cave in South Africa. Using the new diagnostic criteria, they identified projectile impact marks on all three bones, two of which are between 91,000 and 98,000 years old—the oldest direct evidence for the use of projectile weapons.

From here.

Related reading:  Facts About Human Origins; Meat Consumption 3 Million Years AgoEarliest Archaeological Evidence of Persistent Hominin Carnivory; Implications of Artifacts and Bones on Ancient Human Butchery Practices


Tina said...

It has been a while since I gave thought to this topic, but these recent conversations have jogged my interest again. That said, I have to do some study before discussing knowledgeably.

Alice Linsley's work stands unique in a very wide field. I have a great respect for you and a trust of your work especially because you are willing to challenge the status quo. I will go back through and re-read some of your other articles on evolution, as well as buff up on the details of the dating systems. In the meantime, I think my first question (and you may have dealt with this in past posts) is this:
If there were a sudden discovery that proved the earth to be only ten thousand years old, would that change in dating assumptions affect the research and conclusions you have made into the peoples of the Bible as an anthropologist?

That will help me understand how to study this better.


Alice C. Linsley said...


The Bible asserts that God created the universe. The "in the beginning" of Genesis 1 starts with the earth already formed and covered with waters. The context of this material is the Nilo-Saharan belief system of Abraham's ancestors. The account resembles those creation stories.

I am skeptical of any single "discovery" indicating a 10,000- year earth since this one discovery would contradict a huge body of the scientific evidence and also the Biblical evidence. Young earth creationists constantly make such claims, yet they ignore the questions I ask that their approach fails to answer. They have no answer for the astronomical measurement of great distance of the stars. They have no answer for the great age of archaic human fossils. They cannot explain the sudden disappearance of most of the large animal life and the Clovis people in the Americans about 12,800 years ago. By their flawed and un-biblical dating system the earth should not even exist, much less already be populated by people and animals. (Research, for example, Young Dryas boundary layer south of Grand Blanc, Michigan.)

There is no contradiction between Genesis and the evidence that the earth and human and animal populations have existed for millions of years. Further, such an assertion does not require an evolutionary view. One can hold to the great age of the earth and still be an essentialist. You might find this helpful:

Tina said...

Thank you Alice! That gives me a handle on how to start. I will check out these references.

I have not been to the Creation Museum in Glen Rose TX but it is near us, and now that we know it is there I hope we can visit it this summer.

As to the dating of bones that science has named archaic humans (I think the differences were merely racial, not specieal(sic?)), that is a place where flags go up for me. Even when dating is proven wrong, there is an assumption that the proven-incorrect-date is still somehow "accurate" - most recent example of that tendency is shown in both the original paper and in interpretation here:
Those kinds of rampant assumption and manipulation of multiple diverse data sources (also used in climate warming models & in various sociological initiatives) are what lead me to question whether the science is traveling the full road (without ever questioning the God who Created us).

Your point that Genesis opens with the Universe and the Earth already created is significant, and helpful. The age of the universe is, for me, a different question and one that does not need to impact the way we study human history since creation. If anything I assume that our God Who is outside of time, and Who is so creative that He even allows us to share in that creation, probably has created for eons worlds and universes unimaginable to our little minds. HE is so good! :-)

Have a spectacular Memoral Day and thanks again!


Alice C. Linsley said...

John Hawks is a Neo-Darwinian. Read his work with that in mind. However, he has much significant data to consider and some actually supports the Biblical data.

All truth is God's, and if the Bible is true we do not need to defend it. We should study it with as few preconceptions as possible.

Ultimately, Genesis isn't about creation and human origins as much as it is about the origin of Messianic expectation among Abraham's Nilo-Saharan ancestors, and that can be traced using the tools of kinship analysis, linguistics, archaeology, molecular genetics, and climate studies.

May this weekend be restful for us all!