Farming Came Too Late in the Evolutionary Timetable
Even with generous dates of 10,000 years for the origin of farming, what were modern humans doing for tens of thousands of years or more?
Take the latest date for the arrival of “modern humans” in Europe, some 43,000 years ago for Cro-Magnon Man. If farming did not begin till 13,000 years ago (the most generous date mentioned in an article on Science Now), what were modern humans doing for 30,000 years? That’s well over three times as long as “recorded history,” when humans of equal body and mind went from mud huts to the moon.
Michael Balter, in his article on Science Now, “Farming was so Nice, It was Invented at Least Twice,” ignores that looming question. Instead, he focuses on archaeological sites along the Fertile Crescent (Israel, Iraq and Iran) that have been radiocarbon dated to 10,000 years, plus or minus a few thousand depending on the site. He begins,
The invention of farming some 10,000 years ago set the stage for the rise of civilizations in the Near East. Yet archaeologists disagree about how it happened. Some say it arose in a single spot near the Mediterranean, and spread from there. Others argue it had multiple independent origins, a view that is getting new credence, thanks to findings from an early farming site in Iran.
The multiple origin theory, though, makes the problem worse. It discounts the idea that farming was the dream of a lucky individual at one location who decided they could save a lot of work by planting and growing the plants they like. It means the idea hit several towns in widely separated areas independently. Why, then, didn’t fully modern humans ever get that idea tens of thousands of years earlier?
The problem is exacerbated when including the members of the Homo genus prior to Cro-Magnon. Most paleoanthropologists concede that members of Homo (whether neanderthalensis, erectus, habilis or the like) used fire and made weapons, sailed boats, created art and musical instruments, understood semantic communication, and were for all practical purposes just like us before the Cro-Magnon arrived. If they could do all these other things, why didn’t any of them think of planting a crop or riding a horse throughout 1.9 million years?
Some tribes in South America, when discovered before they had been influenced by Western culture, were planting their favorite crops as well as building villages. It seems to be a natural thing for humans to do: organize a society, plan ahead, and take control of the powers of nature. Yet Balter says, “Whether farming arose once or a hundred times, it happened first in the Fertile Crescent, a broad region stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to Iran.” Did a genetic mutation turn hunter-gatherers into farmers? If they “invented” farming, did they do it by intelligent design?
Regular readers know we’ve been driving this issue for a long time. The Science Now article provides another occasion to remind readers of the huge credibility gap in the evolutionary timeline. Look at how quickly people spread around the globe. Everywhere they went they built monuments with inscriptions and built cities. Some of their technology, whether of the Mayans, Egyptians, Stonehenge builders, Incas, still arouses awe.
It’s the most natural thing in the world for humans to find ways to make life easier. If it rains, build a hut. If foot travel is too far, find an animal to ride (horse, elephant, camel). If a plant tastes good, plant it and grow lots of it. We shouldn’t presume that Neanderthals and the other mythical pre-humans evolutionists place in their mythical prehistory were any less capable of doing these things, considering what other technologies they employed.
Biblical creationists have a clear advantage on this point. According to Genesis, humans were farming right after Eden. They were making musical instruments, forging metals, and raising livestock. They were using their God-given mental abilities to eke out an existence in a newly cursed world, finding ways to make it not so hard. Within Adam’s lifetime they were building cities. The Table of Nations in Genesis 10 provides a credible history of the spread of mankind after the Flood and after the confusion of tongues at Babel. It matches archaeological finds with remarkably accurate names, genealogies, and dates that can be checked (note: creationists question the accuracy of radiocarbon dates before the Flood). The creationary explanation is about real historical people using intelligent design with minds created in the image of God by the ultimate intelligent Designer, Yahweh-Elohim — the uncreated, eternal, all-wise Creator God. He is the Eyewitness. He has revealed what happened. Eyewitness testimony from someone who cannot lie is to be preferred over empty speculation by those who imagine humans emerging from bacteria by random processes.
Evolutionary dates are inflated to force key observational data points into their predetermined old-age timeline. If science is to be directed by observations and logic, then let’s use the Guidebook from the One who knows everything and was there. It’s time to play hardball with the evolutionists in their own Fantasyland. Dunk an evolutionist into the credibility tank today, so everyone can tell they are all wet.
OLD MAN DARWIN HAD A YARN
1. Old Man Darwin had a yarn, D-O-D-O-Woe.
And in that yarn he had no farm, D-O-D-O-Woe.
With a spear tip here and a bone flute there,
Here a pot, there a fire, everywhere a thought but
In that yarn he had no farm, D-O-D-O-Woe.
2. Old Man Darwin had a yarn, D-O-D-O-Woe.
And in that yarn he had no horse, D-O-D-O-Woe.
With a nay nay here and a nay nay there,
Here a nay, there a nay, nobody could ride a mare,
In that yarn he had no horse, D-O-D-O-Woe.
3. Old Man Darwin had a school, D-O-D-O-Woe.
And in that school they had a rule, I-D, I-D, No!
With a D-D here and an O-O there,
Here a DO, there a DO, everywhere a DODO,
In that school they had a rule, D-O-D-Or else!