Did humans leave Africa earlier than previously thought? Discovery of ancient tools in China

Clearly Patrick doesn’t believe in Adam - but Ann’s approach to the science is as a “lumper” - the sharp divisions others make between varieties of Homo she does not, and the cultural artifacts of those are a major reason.

Yes - it’s so often lost that the distinction Pauol makes is not between the sinful and the redeemed, but the “natural” and the transformed.

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I think Ann is right in that aspect, and what I would merely call “misguided” in the “first man” interpretation. But, I could be misreading her, myself, as well.

Yes, the evidence is mounting that H. erectus (and I am lumping Homo Habilis, Homo ergaster, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo rudolfensis and others into H. erectus of 2 million years ago) had language, culture, technology. If you don’t agree that H. erectus should be called human, what is it about H. Sapien and H. Neanderthal, and H. Denosivan and the great mixtures of species of the past 2 million years that earns the distinction of human?

To me humanness, starts about 2.5 million years and is the slow process of evolving culture, language, technology practiced by all Genus Homo.

The transition to uniquely human behaviors, thought and culture is summarized as:
–Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.God blessed them; and God said to them, “ Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. - Genesis 1:26-31 NASB
For most these words imply something sudden and dramatic, although that is not always how the prologues to aetiological stories unfold.
I note that it’s the result of an act of God, a gift.
I note that it involves understanding language, acknowledging and trusting and emulating the Creator, accepting a calling to benevolently rule in nature, recognizing the truly complentary value of women and men, recognizing that food is a gift from God, and steering choices away from predatory behavior, with an emphasis on gathering over hunting.
All in all, a marvelous accounting for the changes in behavior associated with being an “imago Dei” human.
That I don’t find a strict demarkation line in the paleoanthropological sand is not particularly vexing to me, personally.
All of these changes are preliminary to the successful rise of human civilization and ecological sustainability for a burgeoning human population.

Humanness, as Josh has pointed out, is an ill-defined term that is probably best treated contextually. Many of its meanings (deserving equal rights under law, being suitable for ones daughter to marry, for example) are irrelevant as they are long dead.

Doctor T, your post inspired me to do a little reading up on the Stegodons of Flores. And of course I was already familiar with the famous “hobbits”. I did not even get past the Wiki article on the Stegodons of Flores when I read this:

“A general evolutionary trend in large mammals on islands is island dwarfing. The smallest dwarf species, S. sondaari, known from 900,000-year-old layers on the Indonesian island of Flores, had an estimated body weight of 300 kg (660 lb),[6] smaller than a water buffalo. Another estimate gives a shoulder height of 1.2 m (3.9 ft) and a weight of 350–400 kg (770–880 lb).[4] A medium- to large-sized stegodont, S. florensis, with a body weight of about 850 kg (1,870 lb), appeared about 850,000 years ago, and then also evolved into a dwarf form, Stegodon florensis insularis.”

It seems both hominids and stegodons made it to Flores 800,000-850,000 years ago but were subsequently stranded and subjected to island dwarfism. They could get there, but they could not get back. This seems more consistent with a hypothesis that there was a time period when the gap in the strait was significantly narrowed, permitting larger and more athletic creatures to swim across but leaving the Wallace line for smaller fauna. Later the gap re-widened, stranding them on Flores. The other hypothesis, that the stegodons swam and the hominids built boats to get across, would require the stegodons to forget how to swim and the hominids to forget how to build boats.

You seem to be assuming that the strait of Bali was always as wide, deep, and treacherous as it is now. Is there a good reason to assume that? We can’t know that for sure, but it is more reasonable to suppose that at the height of the last ice age when sea levels were lower the distance across was less than it is now. We don’t know what the changing ocean and temperature patterns did to any currents flowing through the strait. Finally we don’t know if any of the volcanic eruptions from those islands caused a lava flow which provided a causeway shortening the distance until the channel currents eroded it away.

Guy I don’t see the “much more” but I have no problem at all with the Outside-the-Garden population of humanity being 77,000-100,000 years old. Or twice that. Or half that. It doesn’t matter. If Genesis chapter one is the whole history of the world from its formation to the advent of humanity then its cramming a billion years or more into a single chapter. Given that scale, what do I care if verse 1:27 is talking about events which occurred over the course of 200,000 years? That doesn’t mean they are, but it wouldn’t be out of place.

I am going to pretend that by that statement you are requesting that I make and post more videos here.

But this one is not about the theology so much as it is about what the facts from science are saying verses what the researchers, and therefore others, are saying that the facts are saying. Theologically I don’t see how it matters if the Outside-the-Garden population was in Africa or not. I am not speaking of Adam the man here but adam the race- you know I am of the two populations school of thought. Nor does the timing much matter. As I mentioned to Guy, Genesis chapter one stuffs a billion years of earth history into one chapter so if verse 1:27 is referring to events spaced out over 200,000 years it would not at all be surprising. I don’t think it matters theologically when adam the race came along, 100,000 years ago, double that, or half that.

I do think it is important to completely separate the definition of human from intelligence or some ability to individually fashion and use tools. After all, when we learn of the foul deeds of some conscienceless psychopath and say “He’s inhuman” we don’t mean that he can’t make or use tools. We don’t mean that he can’t use speech or abstract symbols, or even that he is biologically incompatible with the rest of us. We mean that he has no empathy, no desire to love and connect with others… He has no higher sense of right and wrong.

And it is that sense of humaness which has allowed us to cooperate and soar to heights that non-humans like Neanderthals could not conceive of. Individually we may not be much if any better tool-makers than some of these other hominids. But the fact that we are better at those other things fosters cooperation and a sense of oneness which permits the achievements of civilization which they lacked completely.

The science, if I understand it correctly, is dropping hints that humans outside Africa and inside it but those outside Africa mostly or totally died out. Scenarios where humanity arises in Africa do not well account for this study which indicates that an ancestor of an Eastern Neanderthal in central Asia apparently hybridized with a human 100,000 years ago- a human from a population which is not an offshoot of the San but rather either a co-equal branch of humanity or from a slightly earlier branch…

In the same way, it seems to me that the result in this following study could be explained at least as well by the idea that the African branch of humanity was only one part of the original human group…


Yes they would be stranded and subjected to island dwarfism. Homo floresiensis is now thought to be a human species descendant from Homo Erectus.


To answer your question, Mark --you absolutely would care if the text, in fact, didn’t require a relatively recent origin for “imago Dei” humanity. I’m saying that, in a sequential reading, it doesn’t --therefore have no biblical or theological objection to evidence which seems to lead in that direction. So, why do you object to the notion that neanderthals could be human? What reading of the text requires you to so object?

Not that I want to get into it for the tenth time here, but my reading of the text does require that.

But is a sequential reading without biblical or theological objections? I think a strictly sequential one is objectionable for some of the reasons @jack.collins and others have pointed out.

Not sure my objection is based on the text, though as a creationist I expect a sharp behavioral break between those God created according to His own likeness and what came before. I think the science is very strong that they were not like us. If they find a Neanderthal has scratched some cross-hatching on a rock people are quick to proclaim it is human art. To me the astounding differences between that and the human cave art from the same period is striking.

Go back and read Collin’s posts. He argues that the first two pericopes are “complimentary,” as if a sequential reading would not find them so.
Josh grilled him fairly closely on this, and he didn’t seem to be able to move beyond this false objection. If you can find a more cogent argument from him, I’d love to see it.


Hopefully it won’t take too long for me to find whatever posts you mean. “Pericopes” and “complimentary” should be easy words to trace.

But I’m honor-bound to point out that “best practice” is literally to lead a reader/horse to water - - by giving a url to the SPECIFIC writing you want them to read.

Sometimes when someone is too weary to provide a link … the reader is even more prone to weariness and doesn’t even try to look for it.


Maybe you could provide something more specific?

The ONLY “hit” on pericope and complimentary is… in fact… your posting immediately above. Ironic, aye?

If you tell me where it is, I will investigate per your suggestions.

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Try again; posting glitch. Hope the review of that thread is illuminating, and shows how no definitive case either for or against a sequential reading has yet been made, @gbrooks9 .
But, as @jongarvey says, the sequential reading is “cleaner.”

CLEANER is what makes the sequential interpretation more definitive.

A great paper on the discovery:

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