Upon hearing news that human used stoned-tipped projectiles were found in Ethiopia that might challenge the claim of evolutionists about when humans evolved, thousands of creationists had an orgasm. In their mind, this is proof, as if they needed any, that evolution is w-r-o-n-g,
In a November 26, 2013 National Geographic article, Charles Q. Choi wrote:
The oldest known stone-tipped projectiles have been discovered in Ethiopia. The javelins are roughly 280,000 years old and predate the earliest known fossils of our species, Homo sapiens, by about 80,000 years.
These javelins are some 200,000 years older than previous examples of similar weapons, suggesting that modern humans and their extinct relatives had the know-how to create these sorts of complex thrown projectiles much earlier than often thought.
…The oldest artifacts at the site are roughly 279,000 years old. In comparison, the earliest known fossils of Homo sapiens, previously discovered at sites elsewhere in Ethiopia, are about 200,000 years old.
Pointed artifacts with damage suggesting they were used in spears are common at the site. The researchers focused on 141 such obsidian artifacts.
The Tip of the Spear
“We were only interested in testing the hypothesis that these tools were definitely used to tip spears,” Sahle said. “The eureka came much later as we did the analysis and found out that the features we were dealing with were the result of throwing impact, not thrusting.”
When pointed artifacts are used as weapons, V-shaped fractures, called fracture wings, can form at the moment of impact; the apexes mark where the cracks started. Past experiments in materials such as obsidian have shown that the narrower the V-shapes of fracture wings, the higher the speed of the fracturing that created them.
The researchers discovered that the fracture wings seen in a dozen of these obsidian points suggest that the fracture cracking sped faster than 1,820 miles an hour (2,930 kilometers an hour). In experiments with thrusting spears, that’s the maximum velocity seen in fracturing. And some of these artifacts apparently developed fractures after impact at speeds of up to 3,345 miles an hour (5,385 kilometers an hour), close to the maximum velocity seen with fracturing in thrown spears.
A number of these artifacts are among the oldest at the site, suggesting that javelins were used as early as 279,000 years ago. Such weapons are considered signs of complex behavior and were pivotal to the spread of modern humans.
“The implication is that certain behavioral traits that are considered complex and mostly only the domains of anatomically modern humans—such as the capacity to make and use projectiles—were not only incorporated into the technological repertoire of the African early Homo sapiens, but also had earlier roots and were present in populations ancestral to Homo sapiens,” Sahle said…
…Shea cautioned not to read too much into the fact that these findings were made in Ethiopia. “It’s often assumed that the earliest discovery of anything is the first instance of anything,” Shea said. “This is just the oldest example we have so far of this technology—it doesn’t mean that this is where it first evolved.”
He suggested similar research could be conducted at other sites “to see how widespread similar points are, to see if everyone at this time is doing the same thing or if there are regional differences.”
In the future, the researchers would like to discover when humans began using even more complex mechanically propelled weapons, such as the bow and arrow, and the spear-thrower known as the atlatl, which may have been developed between 60,000 and 100,000 years ago. These weapons may have helped modern humans expand out of Africa and outcompete Neanderthals, they noted.
The reason that creationists are orgasmic over this story is that it proves to them that evolution is wrong. However, anyone with critical thinking skills, you know a person who actually reads the story and gives it careful thought, knows that this story does not do what creationists say it does. All this story says is that evolutionary scientists will have to rethink their belief about the age of human evolution. Unlike the creationist, who is committed to the literal interpretation of the Bible and must reject any and all data that contradicts their literal interpretation, the evolutionary scientist is open to new data even if it forces them to change or reject a previously held belief.
Creationists apply their unbending, unchanging Bible-based literalistic methodology to science. They start with the presupposition…THE BIBLE SAYS. In their mind, what the Bible says and what God says is one and the same. To go against what the Bible says is the same as going against what God says. They are forced to believe the most outlandish things because it is found in the Bible, the inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God.
This is why this story is really of no importance to the creationist. They are orgasmic because they think the story damages the credibility of evolution, oblivious to the fact that all it does is change the human evolution time line. (and this is by no means certain) The creationist rejects human evolution, believing that humans were created a little over 6, 000 years ago. They believe humans were created with complex intellectual capabilities and our human ancestors should not be considered intellectually inferior to modern humans.
It is quite impossible to have a rational, intelligent discussion with anyone who begins the discussion with THE BIBLE SAYS. The Fundamentalist, and every young earth creationist I know is a Fundamentalist, rejects, out of hand, any data that conflicts with their interpretation of the Bible. A Christian News report illustrates how Fundamentalists view the recent stone-tipped projectile find:
…Scientists who believe in Biblical creation say that these discoveries cast serious doubts on the evolution of man. Brian Thomas, science writer for the Institute for Creation Research, told Christian News Network that the discovery of these ancient spear tips “leaves secular history with two interpretations, and neither appeals.”
“First,” Thomas said, “perhaps those who made this spear were not yet fully human in body shape—they still looked ape-like—but were human enough in mind to have built useful spears using assembly line-like cooperation. The problem with this is that modern and extinct apes have shoulders built for hanging by tree limbs—an anatomy that prevents them from throwing spears accurately enough to hunt. And the researchers showed that these African spears had been thrown. Throwing uses the same basic motion as pitching, and that requires the distinctly human body shape.
“The second secular interpretation,” Thomas continued, “holds that humans—fully human in mind and body—existed some 80,000 years before the evolutionary charts in textbooks and museums show. This is very embarrassing. Imagine the public mistrust that might result from redoing all those books and displays.”
Thomas said evolutionists will often find ways to incorporate the problematic data into their theories.
“In the past,” he said, “secular scientists have ‘solved’ problems like these by ‘re-dating’ the artifacts. Secularists may soon [claim] that these spears in Africa were only 200,000 years old after all.”
“Fortunately,” Thomas concluded, “a third interpretation is available to scientists not locked into secular history. Real descendants of Adam and Noah migrated to Africa, then manufactured and successfully hunted with spears not long after the Flood of about 2400 B.C.”…
Brian Thomas, a “science” writer for Institute for Creation Research (ICR), says that there are three possible interpretations of the stone-tipped projectile find. However, in Thomas’s mind there is really only one possible interpretation. He labels the first two interpretations as “secular”, code for the work of the god of this world Satan. The only correct interpretation is that which is found in the Bible. According to Thomas, the stone-tipped projectiles are likely no older than 4, 400 years old. How can they be any older since the earth is only 6,000 years old?
Count me as one atheist/humanist who has come to realize that you can’t argue with stupid. Not stupid in the sense of lacking education since there are many well-educated creationists, but stupid in the sense that their presuppositions forces them to suspend their critical thinking skills, rendering them stupid. They can not see, not because they are blind, but because the Bible stands between them and a clear, rational understanding of the world.
Until the Fundamentalist is willing to put their Bible down and consider that the Bible and their interpretation of the Bible might be wrong, there is NO hope for them. Closed minded certainty keeps them from seeing anything that does not fit the narrow, ignorant paradigm of an ancient book they call God’s Word. Every discussion/argument/debate ends the same way…THE BIBLE SAYS.