Alice C. Linsley
In the following Facebook thread some friends asked excellent questions and I asked their permission to post this at JUST GENESIS. This is the sort of conversation that can help people sort through the issues.
The conversation arose in response to this article about the discovery of trillions of stone artifacts in Africa. The article was posted by a Christian geologist. If humans have been on the earth only 5000-6000 years, they could not have produced the volume of work found at the stone working sites in Africa. At 40 million artifacts per year, it would take a population of 100,000 individuals 100,000 years to produce just 4 trillion artifacts.
Alice Linsley Time was created by God for constancy. Just as some stars are fixed for navigation. Just as the sun always rises in the east for orientation. Just as the constellations move in a clock like pattern so that we can predict cycles. There are some features of creation which are fixed and beyond man's reach; beyond the ability of man to have an impact on them. There is nothing in Scripture to indicate that time was affected by the Fall.
- Dwight Huthwaite Do you feel that time could have been impacted by the fall in addition to man and creation?
Saw the Naturalist Historian article. Fascinating stuff. I'd like to play devil's advocate for a minute in the other direction, if I might. ;)
For a stone age of 2M years, artifacts estimated to be 4T, an estimated population of 100k, the average artifacts fabricated per person per year is 20. Plausible.
Raises some interesting questions in my mind.
Which groups within the population hunted, and which did not? We might assume that only men hunted, however out in the West, both men and women hunt (though more common for men to hunt).
Did the people who used the tools, also make the artifacts? Or, was the task of fabrication relegated to special guilds?
How quickly did each new artifact wear out, with continued use?
Were artifacts sharpened one or more times during the time of use, or discarded as soon as they became dull?
Define, 'artifact.' Are the bits of scrap generated during fabrication, considered artifacts in their own right?
Is there evidence of improvement in artifact design over time, or at least a diversity of designs for artifacts that do similar tasks?
What tools were used to make the artifacts, and where are they? What became of the 'stuff' that the artifacts acted upon, and where is that?
I assume that the artifacts are evidence of hunting, but are they also evidence of trade? Of domestic life?
Do artifacts like these worldwide, tell stories similar to hagliogroups and cognates?
Actually that wasn't devil's advocate playing. I should have edited that first paragraph.
Good questions, Jay.
Primitive populations had both division of labor along gender lines and coordination of efforts between the sexes. Men tended to hunt and women tended to prepare what was hunted. When it came to scavenging and cultivation, both males and females were involved.
As for tools, initially this was probably done by both males and females, but tool making came to be the exclusive work of a caste within the community, as did metal work, ceramic, leather work, etc. at a later time.
These flaked and knapped stones are considered artifacts because they are located at specific tool making sites. The artifacts reflect different methods which suggests that the makers were creating tools for different purposes/uses. Most were cutting, scraping, or butchering tools. Also some were more suited to puncturing.
Similar stone artifacts have been found near major water sources in Europe, Siberia, Asia, Australia and the British Isles. These are not as old.
RE: "Similar stone artifacts have been found near major water sources in Europe, Siberia, Asia, Australia and the British Isles. These are not as old."
This suggests that migrations outside of Africa occurred after the development of tools. Was tool development a factor in migrations, sort of prerequisite?
Favorite tools were taken along by people as they moved from place to place. Especially tools that had ritual use, such as knives used for scarification, tooth removal, and circumcision. These stone tools tended to have a high sodium content, which was useful in the prevention of infection.
A more significant factor in migration was climate change.
Thanks Alice. Really appreciate the conversation.
Heh .. the reference to circumcision got me on yet another tangent, and I perused some of your articles on that.
Male circumcision is a BIG DEAL in my wife's country of origin, the Philippines. According to my esteemed wife, if you are not circumcised, then you are not a man.
I inquired about the local church's teaching in the matter (RC), since it has seemed to me for a long time that the New Testament shuns the necessity of the practice, opting instead for baptism. Indeed, a Roman Catholic source confirms that their denomination frowns on the practice as a continuing sacrament.
The thing about the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines though is that .. it's not the same as what you get from Rome. It's in communion with Rome, but it doesn't align on some things (e.g., crucifixions during Holy Week).
I wonder .. You mentioned the migration of Kushites into the Philippines. Might male circumcision be a Kushite influence rather than a Christian one?
Both male and female circumcision appear to have originated in the area today called Sudan and this was part of ancient Kush.
Though circumcision has some health benefits, it is not required of Christians. Nor is scarification and the removal of front teeth (called Naak). The Christian's body is to be adorned by Christ. This is what St. Paul means when he speaks of "putting on Christ."
"A more significant factor in migration was climate change."
It seems a population at rest stays at rest until acted upon by an outside force:
I should qualify that Mindanao is by no means culturally (and linguistically for that matter) monolithic. They've got Visayan, the aboriginal mountain people, Chinese, Muslims, Catholic, "Baptist" (a category rather than a denomination). My wife celebrates the Western New Year with a Chinese custom.
One of my friends, a linguist / missionary remarked at how diverse the languages are there. Two people on the same road may walk up to one another and strike up a conversation. Sometimes they come to a point where they can't understand one another, and so they start substituting words from different languages. If not Visayan, try the national language; if not that, try English; if not that, try Chinese or Portuguese, etc. They usually aren't aware of this.
Anonymous - Fascinating stuff. I'm smiling right now, and Alice knows why. I won't elaborate on why I'm smiling as that would take us off-topic for even the blog. :)
Thanks, DMA, or the link to this great article. The genetic charts are fascinating!
Cornwall and Devon clans separated by a river called "Tamar" and the two sides had ancient mining operations and stone tombs like those of the Kushan of Southern Europe and the rulers of Edom whose ancestors were "sent-away sons" from Kush (Nile Valley).
In addition to climate change, war, or natural disasters, the Bible identifies the additional factor of the Horite marriage and ascendancy pattern, whereby first born sons rule and other sons are sent away to establish territories o their own.
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