Flabbergast: Primitive Human Ancestors Were Sailors
Could the headline be any more shocking if it read, “iPod found in King Tut’s tomb”? Heather Pringle began a report in National Geographic News with, “It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.” Stone tools alleged to be up to 130,000 years old have been found on the island of Crete.
Since Crete is believed to have been surrounded by Mediterranean waters for five million years, this means that human ancestors thought to be too primitive to show modern behavior were intentional seafarers. Moreover, the hundreds of stone tools found at nine locations suggest that groups of them came over to set up sustainable populations. They did not drift out there accidentally. This implies intent, purpose, “curiosity, and the desire for exploration.” How will this affect current theories on the origin of humans?
It’s been thought that the early humans of this time period were not capable of devising boats or even simple rafts—technology considered an expression of modern behavior. Homo sapiens practicing modern behaviors, such as wearing jewelry and making art didn’t begin to appear until around a hundred thousand years ago.
But the new discoveries hint that these human ancestors were capable of much more sophisticated planning, cooperation, and construction—in this case, boat building—than their simple stone tools would suggest.
“I was flabbergasted,” [Curtis] Runnels [Boston U] said. “The idea of finding tools from this very early time period on Crete was about as believable as finding an iPod in King Tut’s tomb.”
According to the evolutionary timeline, the sailors must have been Homo neanderthalensis or even Homo erectus. Human ancestors were thought to have walked out of Africa. Now, it shows they could have boated, too. The find will no doubt buttress controversial claims that Homo erectus was capable of boat-building (see, for example, 10/20/2003), and that the “Hobbits” arrived on the island of Flores over sea.
Anthropologists who never thought to look for evidence on islands may have to start looking. “If ancient humans were crossing the Mediterranean, Runnels said, then they certainly could have crossed other water barriers, such as the Red Sea or the Gulf of Aden,” Pringle wrote. Runnel added, “And that means that the assumptions that we have had—that the peopling of Eurasia was done by early hominins moving overland through the Near East, into India and down—will have to be revisited.”
Enough surprises like this are equivalent to a Precambrian rabbit (02/11/2010). If evolutionists won’t pay attention to the elephant in the room, don’t expect them to notice the rabbits hopping all around their feet, let alone the pharoahs with iPods.
A simple application of Bayes’ Theorem can assess the fate of the evolutionary hypothesis in light of this new evidence. The hypothesis is that modern man emerged from primitive ancestors over millions of years. The prior probability of this hypothesis has been deemed high by most evolutionary anthropologists. The evidence is stone tools on an island requiring sophisticated seafaring skills. The probability of the evidence is one, since it is observed. The probability of this evidence given the hypothesis is very low. The probability of the hypothesis has just been substantially reduced. Therefore, the posterior probability of the hypothesis, given the evidence, being the product of the probability of the evidence given the hypothesis and the probability of the hypothesis, divided by the probability of the evidence, has been substantially reduced. The Darwinian hypothesis is rejected.
Using the same updating of probabilities, we can assess the likelihood of the creation hypothesis. It states that man has always been intelligent and capable of purposeful, symbolic behavior. An adjunct of the creation hypothesis is that human technology suffered a substantial setback during the Flood, so would have shown slow advancement wherever it is found – having had to start from scratch again. Because the probability of the evidence given the hypothesis is high, the probability of the hypothesis given the evidence is increased. The posterior probability of the creation hypothesis has then increased by the new evidence. The creation hypothesis is confirmed.