Tuesday, December 25, 2018

How Old Are We?

In answering this question I will present four (4) of the best reasons which I use to show when the earliest humans likely existed, and around which I base my current view that our existence is reasonably dateable to around 6000 to 5000 BCE, or around 7,000 to 8,000 years ago. My four reasons are:

1. Metallurgy;
2. Human Civilization, specifically, human “Structures”;
3. Human Communication, specifically, “Writing”;
4. Knowledge of Astronomy.

Bienkowski and Millard (Dictionary of the Ancient Near East [Philadelphia: University Press of Pennsylvania, 2000], page 294) explain that, as far as metal tools are concerned, they are as early as the “Old Babylonian date” (from 2000 BCE to late 1800 or early 1700 BCE), and that a “group of tenth-century BC iron tools from Tell Taanach in Palestine shows a similar range of implements” (Dictionary of the Ancient Near East, page 294).

Even if we accept that the Hongshan (early Chinese culture from 4500 to 2250 BCE) used copper or possibly iron tools to work their Jade pieces, this puts the use of metal tools by humans resembling our use of the same today to between 3,800 and 6,500 years ago.—See the article, “Hongshan Mysterious Artifacts,” Tripzbit, March 20, 2009).

Of related interest, and in further support of time when humans began to intentionally and with what we consider “intelligence” manipulate and use metal and mixed metal (alloy) tools, the historical record in the Bible names the one who started this as “Tubalcain,” who began “shaping any kind of bronze or iron” (Genesis 4:22). Compare this with Josephus, who references many earlier histories in his works (see Antiquities 1.26; 93-95; 118-121; 131-139; 2.91-94; 176-183), and who in his Antiquities of the Jews (Book I, Chapter 2.2) writes, “But Tubal/Jubel, ... first of all invented the art of making brass.”

Tubalcain is believed to have lived about 875 to 975 years after Adam was born according to my calculation of the information provided in Genesis Chapters 4 and 5. This is consistent with or within the date range for the use of metal tools since 4500 BCE. By contrast, our evidence for metallurgy does not provide dates consistent with how we currently translate and understand the Sumerian King Lists or various Indian histories which appear to claim human existence up to tens and even hundreds of thousands of years ago. But the easier to translate and to understand records in the Bible are, again, more consistent with the dates for our evidence of human metallurgy.

To this we can add between 875 and 975 years of human development from the first human(s) since the Garden of Eden to the first known use of tools according to Genesis 4:22. Based on this evidence, the most I could reasonably conclude along with some consideration for the time from the first humans in Eden to the development of metal tools, is between 6,500 and 7,500 years of human existence.

Human Civilization: Structures
Humans today and throughout our recorded past have built buildings, structures, and cities in which to live and to house their property. While there have been some findings of structures believed to date back approximately 8,000 years (see, “Prehistoric building found in Tel Aviv,” AP January 11, 2010), these are far different from the kinds of buildings or structures that are elsewhere described as having had their “top in the heavens” (compare Genesis 11:2). The oldest of these types of buildings or cities which have come to light through archeological discovery include the Egyptian structures and pyramids (3809 to 2853 BCE) and Stonehenge (2400-2200 BCE), neither of which exceed 6,000 years in age. Even the Tel Aviv structure dates at most 2,000 years earlier than these buildings, or to around 6000 BCE.

Subsequently, after the Flood, the Bible records that humans like us “migrated from the east” and “came upon a plain in the land of Shinar,” or Babylon (in modern-day Iraq), where they decided to build “a city and a tower with its top in the heavens” (Genesis 11:2-4). This “tower” or “ziggurat” (Hebrew: migdal, likely a loan-word from the Akkadian ziqqurat or zaqaru, meaning, “to be high up”) of “Shinar”/Babylon is consistent with archaeological findings of structures in the region of ancient Mesopotamia, such as the remnants of the Tower of Babel itself and the Ziggurat of Ur, which are dated to around 3500 BCE to 2500 BCE, respectively. You can see images of what remains of the Tower of Babel in my video, “The God Jah”(11/25/2018), starting at minute 7:00 and ending at minute 7:45.

Even places like the still-being-excavated Gobekli Tepe, which some date back 10,000 years or more, there is no way to date the stone and attempts to date organic material around the site will produce numerous different dates, none of which indicate when the stone was actually carved and erected, but only when organic material already grown was used at some point at the site. Again, this could have been organic material alive for many years earlier than the completion of Gobekli Tepe, and the material was certainly deposited over a long period, like with any other open site, and then dug up along with the earth and sand.

One final note on Gobekli Tepe, I believe this place is potentially a site used by Noah in the pre-Flood world to contain and to keep the animals possibly for up to 100 years before entering the ark, a story told in various forms throughout the ancient world and consistent with archaeology (Genesis Chapters 6 through 8). Further, Gobekli Tepe is not far from the biblical “mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4) and it was buried by tons of sand, sand that could likely only have been moved by massive amounts of water, as in the Great Flood.—See my video, “The God Jah” (11/25/2018), starting at minute 2:25and ending at minute 4:45 (see the images of Gobekli Tepe shown in the last part of this segment of the video).

Human Communication: Writing
The oldest evidence of any form of written (and, hence, likely spoken) language is believed to be on pottery from Harappa, in southern Egypt, which contain “primitive words” at the tomb of the “Scorpion king” dated to between 3300 and 3200 BCE, as well as the writing of the Sumerians from “the Mesopotamian civilization around 3100 BCE.—See “‘Earliest writing’ found,” Dr.David Whitehouse, BBC News (May 4, 1999).

The earliest of the Sumerian writings are believed to date between 3500 and 3000 BCE (see Dan Vergano, “Ancient writing system getsInternet update,” USA Today [May 21, 2002]). This is also around the time (3500 to around 2200 BCE) when the Tower of Babel and other, similar structures were likely built. In fact, this is the precise area (southern Mesopotamia) where the division of human language is said to have occurred according to the record in Genesis 11:7-9, and which is supported by the best available evidence as I show in part also in my video, “The God Jah” (11/25/2018), starting at minute 6:00 and ending at 7:45.

Knowledge of Astronomy
Other evidence of human existence is surely the understanding of the movements of our moon, other planets, and the sun and other stars. The best available reasons from our history indicate we have only kept “time” in these ways from between around 5000 BCE to 3000 BCE. For example, the Goseck Circle is presently dated to between 5000 and 4600 BCE. It is considered to be the earliest sun observatory found to date.—See “Goseck Circle, The Oldest Solar Observatory in the World,” Charismatic Planet(July 19, 2017).

After this, we find other similar objects being used by humans for measuring or marking time and season, such as the Nebra Disk, which was found 25 kilometers (about 15.5 miles) away from the Goseck Circle, and which is believed to be “the oldest concrete representation of the cosmos.”—From an article comparing the Goseck site to the Nebra Disk published on DW.com as “Archaeologists Unearth GermanStonehenge” (August 8, 2003).

Dated to around 1600 BCE (about 3,000 years younger than the Goseck Circle), the Nebra Sky Disk was found near Goseck and appears to have an image similar to what we find represented by part of the Goseck Circle. The dates for both the Goseck Circle and the Nebra Sky Disk are consistent with the date ranges for other types of cosmic representations intelligently designed and built by other humans. For example, the dates for the building of the three Egyptian Pyramids of Giza, Khafra, and Menkaura are not older than 3000 to 2500 BCE. Together these three pyramids represented the constellation known as the Belt of Orion.

The Goseck Circle, the Nebra Sky Disk, and the Giza Pyramid and other pyramids of Egypt represent clear human understanding of cosmic objects and of their position relative to the earth and to humans on it. As noted already, the earliest date of these three items is the Goseck Circle, which takes us to around 5000 BCE, or about 7,000 years ago. To this we might add up to another 500 or even 1,000 years (but not with hard evidence, like we have for up to 7,000 years) to account for certain development in understanding of astronomy from the first humans to the point of the Goseck Circle, if we accept the 5000 BCE or 4900 BCE date for it. More likely in my view, it was built after the Flood (around 4500 to 4000 BCE), when we see many other monuments dedicated to astronomy appearing all over the world.

So here is what we get from a consideration of these four undisputed evidences of human existence:

Evidence of Metallurgy: (4500 to 2250 BCE) = 6,500 years ago (max.);
Evidence of Human Civilization: Structures: (6000 to 3500 BCE) = 6,000 years ago (max.);
Evidence of Human Communication: Writing: (4000 to 3500 BCE) = 6,000 years ago (max.);
Evidence Showing Knowledge of Astronomy: (5000 to 3000 BCE) = 7,000 years ago (max.);
+ Development Allowance: up to 1,000 years.
= Human existence is: up to / around 8,000 years old.

It is also possible some of the max dates given for the above evidence are younger (or older) than I accept here. All things considered, I feel safe accepting up to between 7,000 and 8,000 years after reviewing these four credible means of defining human existence. In the end, I find the Bible, even with its pre-Flood lengths of some human lives in the hundreds of years, to be far more consistent with this mostly objective evidence than the current understandings of Sumerian King Lists and various Indian histories which do not have anywhere near the same level or quality of objective evidence supporting the dates they appear to allege.