Friday, 15 May 2020

Human Remains From 40,000 Years Before Creationists Say God Created Earth!

Stone artefacts found at Bacho Kiro cave in Bulgaria
Longer overlap for modern humans and Neanderthals - BBC News

A couple of papers published a few days ago, here and here, show that modern (Homo sapiens) humans entered Eurasia at least 46,000 years ago. This is some 2,000 years earlier than previous finds suggest and mean that moderns had much longer to interact with their cousin species, the Neanderthals, H. neanderthalensis, before the latter went extinct.

Human remains, found in a the floor of a Bacho Kiro cave in northern Bulgaria, including multiple bone fragments, and a tooth, have been dated to between 46,000 and 43,000 years old. Analysis of the DNA recovered by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, shows that they were the remains of H. sapiens. This places them within the IUP.

Artifacts such as pendants made from a bear tooth found at the site, resemble similar artifacts normally associated with Neanderthals. This could indicate that modern humans were influencing Neanderthal culture. Neanderthals are believed, based on morphological variations and DNA evidence, to have lived in small, scattered extended family groups. As such it is believed they would have had little need for the complex social symbols and codes that jewellery represents. It is possible then that social coding and symbolism could have become more important as social networks developed between the expanding H. sapiens population and the Neanderthals, with occasional interbreeding.

However, there is evidence that Neanderthals were making jewellery long before the IUP. It is also possible that Neanderthals could have occupied this cave immediately prior to the arrival of Moderns, of course.

Neanderthals went extinct some time between 41,000 and 39,000 years ago, although there is some evidence that they may have hung on for much longer - in Gibraltar, for example. This means that for some 5,000 years two different species of humans co-existed and interacted in Eurasia. Other evidence suggests that a third - the Denisovans and possibly a mysterious fourth species known only from unexplained DNA found in some Modern groups, coexisted and interacted in Eurasia in relatively recent history.

There is also evidence of earlier forays into Europe much earlier than this, such as a 210,000 year-old H.sapiens skull fragment found in Apidima cave in Greece, but this cave was later occupied by Neanderthals, indicating that this incursion was short-lived and unsuccessful, possibly one of several tentative moves out of Africa by anatomically modern humans.

This find presents creationists with a few awkward questions:
  1. Why did all this take place some 40,000 years before Earth was created, according to creationist mythology?
  2. Why was this cave debris, along with similar deposits in other caves, not washed away in the Biblical flood?
  3. How does this evidence of a pre-existing but not directly ancestral species of humans, which interbred with Moderns, fit with their narrative of a founding couple, when for all non-African humans there was not even a founding species?
  4. And the most important question: how best to ignore and dismiss this evidence that the mythology in the Bible is wrong about human origins and the age of Earth?

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