Alice C. Linsley
The age of the earth and archaic human populations continues to be debated among Young Earth Creationists in their attempts to prove evolution wrong. Evolution stands on four main pillars: mutation, adaptation, natural selection, and common ancestry of apes and humans. Mutation and adaptation are facts. There is evidence for natural selection, but not sufficient evidence to hold this model as a law of biology. The pillar that should be questioned is common ancestry of apes and humans, for which there is no physical evidence. Even evolutionary paleontologists are having doubts about common ancestry.
From the perspective of anthropology, the deep time record of human activity is evident in the vast number of innovative objects made and used by humans. Here is a short list. Note the 100,000+ custom of burial in red ocher, a symbolic blood covering.
2.5-3.4 million YBP (Years Before Present)
Butchering flints found in Dikika, Ethiopia. This bone shows evidence of butchering.
Stone tools found in Saudi Arabia near the Red Sea from a time when the region was much wetter.
A trove of hand axes found in central Israel at Jaljulya.
Engraved shell found in Java.
Earliest known use of red ocher at site GnJh-03 in the Kapthurin Formation of East Africa, and at Twin Rivers in Zambia.
Humans worked ochre as early as 307,000 years ago at a site called Olorgesailie in Kenya. Archaeologists working there found two finger-sized pieces of ochre that had been worked by humans.
The Rising Star Expedition has recovered remains dating 236,000 to 335,000 years ago. These show the full range of anatomical features found in modern humans. Chambers had small hearths as evidence by the discovery of well-preserved charcoal, ash, and discolored clay. The excavations also turned up many fragments of animal bone.
Heat-treated silicrete stone tools at Pinnacle Cave in South Africa.
In 2010, Thomas Strasser and Eleni Panagopoulou found stone tools on Crete dating to between 200,000 and 100,000 years. These are identical to those found in Africa and parts of Europe. More than 2,000 stone artifacts, including hand axes, were collected on the southwestern shore of Crete, near Plakias.
Credit: Chip Clark
Red ocher burial of young male in Qafzeh Cave, Lower Galilee.
Evidence of human habitation in the area of Bethlehem is well-attested along the north side of Wadi Khareitun where there are three caves: Iraq al-Ahmar, Umm Qal’a, and Umm Qatafa. These caves were homes in a wooded landscape overlooking a river. At Umm Qatafa archaeologists have found the earliest evidence of the domestic use of fire in Palestine.
Barbed harpoon points (right) were used to spear catfish in Central Africa. Hundreds of bone harpoons have been found at the lake site of Ishango.
Mattress of reed and rushes
Engraved stone from the Blombos Cave in Southern Africa (below).
Python stone in Botswana is the oldest known example of python veneration.
A boy buried with a seashell pendant and covered in red ocher was found in the Lapedo Valley near Leiria, 90 miles north of Lisbon.
A man buried at Chapelle-aux-Saints in southern France in red ocher.
Flour processing plant
The "Fox Lady" of Dolni Vestonice, Czechoslovakia, buried in red ocher.
Lake Mungo Woman (LM1) was cremated and her remains were sprinkled with red ocher.
Australian burial sites dating to about 20,000 years reveal pink staining of the soil around the skeleton, indicating that red ocher had been sprinkled over the body. The remains of an adult male found at Lake Mungo in southeastern Australia were copiously sprinkled with red ocher.
Lady of El Mirón cave in northern Spain was buried in red ocher. She died around the age of 35.
Red ocher burials found at the Natufian cave site Hilazon Tachtit in Israel. A red ocher mine was found in Lovas, Hungary.
Girl buried in red ocher in the Tanana River Valley in central Alaska.
The oldest known copper artifacts.