February 27, 2017 | David F. Coppedge

Why Was Civilization So Late in Coming?

According to evolutionists, modern man appeared 200,000 years ago, but civilization appeared only 8,000 years ago. We examine their explanations.

An interesting question was asked on Quora and reproduced on Forbes.com: “Why Haven’t We Found Civilizations Older Than 7,000 – 8,000 years?” Taking the bat was Adam Wu, an evolutionary neurosurgeon from Saskatchewan. Here’s a synopsis of his answers:

  1. Civilization requires Edenic conditions with a large food surplus to get started, but there was no such place.
  2. Farming can only produce a food surplus in a very narrow range of environmental conditions.
  3. Civilization also requires a minimum population density.
  4. Early modern humans were coming out of an Ice Age 200,000 years ago, so few places for civilization existed.
  5. Early modern humans were tall and strong, making hunting and gathering preferable to farming in places of low population density.
  6. A genetic bottleneck occurred about 60,000 years ago, possibly due to the Toba supervolcano.
  7. The Ice Age didn’t end until about 20,000 to 12,000 years ago.
  8. As the weather warmed and population grew, conflict and famine created more pressures for humans to “think about” civilization.

It’s not clear that anybody critiqued Wu’s answers, so we will.

This list has all the makings of special pleading and confabulation. Where’s his evidence? The whole account is based on the absence of evidence. It’s a just-so story. He’s determined to preserve Darwin, so he makes things up out of his own head. What we do know is that civilization appears suddenly (see Gobekli Tepe, for instance, to say nothing of Ur), with intelligent people already making artwork, and soon keeping accounts with symbols on clay tablets. The timeline fits the Bible’s Table of Nations, not Darwinian evolution. Let’s reason why from the evidence we have about human capabilities.

If modern humans lived 200,000 years ago, their brains and bodies were fully as capable as ours. Yet evolutionists expect us to believe that for over 20 times the time of all known human civilization, during which people went from simple villages to landing on the moon, these smart, strong, intelligent people did nothing but hunt and gather. Is that credible? Human beings are tremendously adaptable to handle any contingency. They can migrate (and indeed, they did—from Africa to Asia to Europe and beyond). They can build boats. They can make tools. They can skin animals and get comfortable at any temperature. They can invent things. They can look at a horse and think, “Hmmm; what happens if I hop on its back?” They can speak in abstract concepts, and communicate with semantic language (not just the hoots and hollers of apes).

So let’s revisit Wu’s list with some critical thinking.

  1. Civilization does not require Edenic conditions. Humans today build villages in all kinds of habitats: Nepal, deserts, and remote islands.
  2. See #1. People farm in all kinds of conditions. Look at the farms of the southwest Native Americans in 1000 AD. Remember Mesa Verde? Chaco Canyon?
  3. Any family can civilize with a few individuals. Ever hear of the Pilgrims?
  4. Few places during Ice Age? Ridiculous. Africa was not affected, but that’s where Homo sapiens emerged, evolutionists say.
  5. Well, if they were tall and strong, they would have made great farmers. They were also sensible, remember?
  6. Population could recover fairly rapidly after a disaster, and it would not have affected people far from the volcano, e.g. in Africa or Asia. Why doesn’t he apply that excuse to animals and birds? The more reasonable human genetic bottleneck occurred at the Flood (8 people). Soon after, Noah’s descendants were building cities.
  7. Wu can’t keep blaming the Ice Age. Humans are smart enough to move to warmer areas. Egypt was pretty nice before the Sahara sands came.
  8. Conflict and famine has always been with mankind. That is not the motivation to civilize; it certainly is not the only one. There could be many peaceful motivations to civilize. People like to trade. People are inventive. They find new ways to do things and make their lives easier.

Our responses are generous, considering only the time of “modern humans.” But evolutionists tell us that Neanderthals, Homo erectus and other upright large-brained humans were using tools, cooking food over controlled fire, and migrating long distances two million years ago. That’s close to 200 times the history of civilization! During all that time, nobody ever thought to settle down? There are even reports that Homo erectus crossed the ocean on watercraft. Certainly Homo sapiens without benefit of large civilizations made it to all the South Pacific islands in short order. If our ancestors were smart enough to do those things, they were smart enough to construct permanent dwellings, trade, cooperate and invent conveniences.

Written records and artifacts show that civilization began in the Fertile Crescent—in multiple locations in that region almost simultaneously—about 6,000 years ago or less (8,000 years or more requires auxiliary assumptions and questionable dating methods). The tangible evidence fits the record in Genesis of the dispersion after the Tower of Babel, when language groups were motivated to move apart because they could no longer understand one another. They took their city-building skills with them. For more evidence, see the new film Is Genesis History? that airs again on March 2 and 7 in selected theaters.

Quora and Forbes propagate and perpetuate Wu’s ridiculous answer, because no criticism of King Charles is allowed. That’s why we need sites like Creation-Evolution Headlines, to do the work that journalists should be doing. Help improve civilization: make us as influential as Forbes.

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  • John C says:

    If Noah and his family gathered for a selfie, the population density for that moment would be 8 people per square meter. And who in the world says dense population leads to civilization? Anybody seen city-center violence lately in the news?

  • JClark says:

    It gets even more strained when you stretch the history to millions of years with the preceding populations of demi, semi, and near humans. Apes have their own language, society, and tool use, limited as they are. Figuring out simple construction and agriculture doesn’t exactly push the limits of the modern human brain; what’s preventing a bright near-human from having a shot at it?

  • webweb says:

    Most excellent article – a question I have used often. How could several millions of years pass without advancement of human activity and then so much take place in 6 to 8 thousand years. The first chapter of Genesis is clearly the history of the beginnings of mankind.

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