June 8, 2018 | David F. Coppedge

Origin of Agriculture Defies Evolutionary Long Ages

Evolutionists are at a loss to explain why agriculture arose suddenly in many regions relatively recently.

At the University of Colorado, postdoc Patrick Kavanaugh does his best to tip-toe around an evolutionary conundrum: If modern humans were around for hundreds of thousands of years, why did agriculture arise so quickly just a few thousand years ago? The University press release promises new clues but no credible answers. We’ll see why when we think about their proposal.

Vineyard below ancient Lachish (DFC)

The invention of agriculture changed humans and the environment forever, and over several thousand years, the practice originated independently in a least a dozen different places. But why did agriculture begin in those places, at those particular times in human history?

Using a new methodological approach, researchers at Colorado State University and Washington University in St. Louis have uncovered evidence that underscores one long-debated theory: that agriculture arose out of moments of surplus, when environmental conditions were improving, and populations lived in greater densities.

The first-of-its-kind study, “Hindcasting global population densities reveals forces enabling the origin of agriculture,” published in Nature Human Behaviour, lends support to existing ideas about the origins of human agriculture. In contrast, they found little support for two other, longstanding theories: One, that during desperate times, when environmental conditions worsened and populations lived at lower densities, agriculture was born out of necessity, as people needed a new way of getting food. And two, that no general pattern exists, but instead the story of agriculture’s origins is tied to unique social and environmental conditions in each place.

Senior author Michael Gavin, an associate professor in CSU’s Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, said the findings and the general methodological approach may help explain other watershed events in human history.

But it doesn’t explain it. According to evolutionary theory, modern humans identical to us emerged from “antique humans” up to 315,000 years ago, and lived in a variety of climates and habitats. Are we to believe that not a single man or woman had an entrepreneurial thought one day, figuring that life could be simpler by planting seeds?

The press release and the paper are both remarkable for dodging that question. We know they are evolutionists, because they refer to natural and artificial selection in the paper (artificial selection, we note, is a form of intelligent design).

Agriculture began with a critical innovation: the domestication of plants and animals for food production. Specifically, the pathway to agriculture started with low-level food production, including the cultivation of wild-type species. This cultivation continued for a number of generations, and in some cases thousands of years, before natural and artificial selection resulted in domesticated species used for food production.

As Darwinians are in the habit of doing, they attribute everything to the environment. The climate got nicer. Populations got denser. Poof! Instant agriculture! What a shame that nobody thought of that earlier.

Orchard, California (DFC)

Update 6/08/18: A rare mention of the Garden of Eden made a press release reprinted by Phys.org. It comes from Prof. Achim Walter, professor of agricultural science at ETH Zurich. His article, “A brief history of agriculture,” is remarkable in that it does not mention evolution or long ages, either.

The Garden of Eden has long since gone. Somewhere in Mesopotamia in the 8th millennium B.C. a cultural and technical revolution took place that presumably formed the context for the biblical fall of mankind and still today brings sweat to our brow. In a settlement between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, somebody came up with the idea of cultivating collected seeds so that they could produce a grain yield. And so began the domestication of useful plants.

Humans changed from hunter-gatherers who, so to speak, helped themselves in the Garden of Eden, to farmers who had committed the sin of behaving rather like God in intervening in the course of nature. It was a transition that bore fruit in the truest sense of the words, yet also created hardship – just as God had ordained.

The planned cultivation of useful plants probably didn’t stem from any conscious desire to create a better society, but was born of necessity, as the high population density meant that hunting grounds were depleted. Archaeological findings show that the first arable farmers were smaller and less long-lived than the neighbouring clans of hunter-gatherers. Indeed illness and malnutrition were widespread among the farmers.

Dr Walter does not seem to be promoting either Biblical history or evolutionary history, since his emphasis is on the downsides of agriculture (pollution, over-exploitation, wars, diseases etc.). His theology of the Fall and sin is unorthodox as well.

We need tolerance and acceptance to appreciate that in one situation one solution offers advantages, and in another situation, another. Diversity in the field requires diversity of thinking and thorough analysis. We have tasted of the Tree of Knowledge and learned that there are no simple solutions. And so, some 10,000 years ago, we initiated a process that forces us time and again, by the sweat of our brow, to take good care of what is happening next with our nutrition.

Undoubtedly Dr Walter is employing these Biblical references only as metaphors. Nevertheless, his only mention of evolution is “co-evolution” of crops and humans, presumably by artificial selection—a form of intelligent design as humans select the breeds they prefer.

Except for Dr Walter’s very rare exception in the media, readers only get a choice of evolutionary theories embedded in long-age Darwin Years. It’s like having only three choices on the menu: fish sticks, fish balls, or fish cubes. What if you want salad, steak or chicken? Why must we always be offered three bad choices, none of which makes any sense?

The reason is evolutionists’ hatred of Biblical chronology. All the problems evaporate if you accept the Genesis time frame: people have not been on the planet for hundreds of thousands of years or millions of years, but just for a few thousand. Our ancestors were smart. They didn’t need millions of years to learn how to make tools and plant seeds. They were agronomists from the beginning. Even after being cast out of Eden, they knew what to do, but it was harder work after sin entered the world. In just a generation or two they were building cities, using metals, and making music. Agriculture was all in a day’s work from the beginning. Noah’s family knew what to do again after leaving the Ark. He planted a vineyard.

We know that evolutionists love to mock the Genesis account. Let them mock. We have some counter-mocking to do. To accept the evolutionary story, you have to dramatically underestimate human intelligence. Do you think for a minute that over 300,000 years, human beings who knew how to hunt, migrate, make tools and even travel on boats never ever, once in their lives, figured out that plants grow from seeds? Surely they gathered plants and saw the seeds in fruits and vegetables they favored. Surely they saw seedlings sprout from the ground. Who can possibly believe that they were so dumb that they never put two and two together? ‘Say, if I put this seed in a hole, and water it, my favorite food will come up!’ Nobody ever thought, ‘Say, if I hitch a pointed stick to this horse, it can carve a furrow to put the seeds in.’ Nobody thought, ‘Hey, maybe I could hop on this horse and let it take me longer distances! I think I’ll build a corral and keep several of them handy.’ Agriculture could have been born in one person’s lifetime.

To accept the evolutionists’ theory, you also have to believe that the weather was terrible until just about 10,000 years ago (plus or minus). Humans, social though they are, had to live in small isolated populations as they hunted and gathered in the gloom of storms or drought. The sun didn’t smile on them till roughly 10,000 years ago. (We know that isn’t true from Neanderthal evidence alone, which stretches from southern Africa all the way to Asia.) Once the climate improved, then—and only then—human societies grew, and finally, finally, after all those hundreds of thousands of years, somebody thought of agriculture.

What absolute lamebrains evolutionists make our ancestors out to be! The Bible teaches that humans were fully human, smart and creative from the beginning. They were probably better endowed with physical and mental powers than we are. Our only advantage is the collective learning over generations, and the ability to store it in writing. In just 6,000 years, we went from huts made of sticks to flying spacecraft to Pluto. Who can possibly believe that the invention of agriculture took 50 times that long? Absurd!

The evolutionary story gets worse when you consider that their so-called archaic human species (Homo erectus, Neanderthal man and the lot) essentially had the same capabilities as Homo sapiens— tool making, controlled use of fire, long-distance migration, and more, even further back in their mythical time. This makes the long fuse before agriculture’s big bang even longer. How can anyone believe their tale? Long, long ages. Same old, same old. Every day the same diet. Boredom. Mammoth stew again. Jimmy wants his own cave bedroom. One day, not that long ago, instant agriculture! Maybe little Jimmy got hit by a cosmic ray and got the Farmer mutation. ‘Woo-hoo! Now we can feast!’

Why aren’t we all laughing at the University of Colorado’s ‘scholarship’ that presents such ideas under the guise of science? This stuff propagates around the web, regurgitated by reporters around the world. Ooo. Aah. Such wisdom. Science. Like terrified North Koreans, the peasants don’t want to be the first to stop clapping, even when their hands are bleeding and calloused. Dear Leader Charlie might be watching.

The only motivation to believe these absurd notions is to glorify Darwin and Lyell (Charlie & Charlie) and their beloved millions of years. Charlie worshipers cannot ignore the fact that agriculture is recent, but they need a long time period to collect enough random mutations to get an ape to evolve a brain big enough to figure out farming. Do YOU need the long time period? We’re turning the lights on, folks! Read the paper. Read the press release. Evolutionists have NO ANSWERS. We give you the whole menu. With them, you only get the putrid, spoiled fish cubes. Spit them out and feast on the Biblical chronology, which has verifiable archaeological evidence.

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  • Buho says:

    “Humans changed from hunter-gatherers who, so to speak, helped themselves in the Garden of Eden, to farmers who had committed the sin of behaving rather like God in intervening in the course of nature.”

    This sounds very close to the main thesis of Daniel Quinn’s book “Ishmael.” Tribal “leavers” are morally superior to modern “takers,” and he draws from a distorted picture of Genesis 3-4 to make his case. Did Prof. Walter read “Ishmael”?

  • Buho says:

    “‘Say, if I put this seed in a hole, and water it, my favorite food will come up!’”

    It’s worse than that: browse social media long enough and you’ll find suburbanites delighted that the avocado pit from lunch they tossed is now sprouting. You don’t even have to water a seed to discover what it does.

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