The Antiquity of Man

The Antiquity of Man

By Vern Crisler

Copyright, 2009

1.  Introduction

2.  Endless Forms Most Complex

3.  Naturalism Defeated

4.  Three Ages of Man


1.  Introduction

In the nineteenth century, some clergymen did not see geological theories about the supposedly old age of the earth as threatening to religion.  Some had already accommodated old earth views by compartmentalizing the Bible’s story of creation and the Flood.  They had already compromised with Cuvier’s old earth view, having jumped onto his (sinking) ship.  Thus Dean Buckland spoke of the Flood as a “tranquil inundation”—and that there were also extinct animals who lived before the creation of man.  When Cuvier’s last debacle was replaced with an Ice Age, the biblical Flood no longer had any geological significance for most thinkers.  Soon enough, it would also no longer have any historical significance for a great many Victorian and post-Victorians thinkers.

The triumph of Darwin’s theory regarding the evolution of man is ironic, given the complete lack of any real evidence for it during Darwin’s day (and in ours).  In addition, Darwinism was supposed to be a wholly rational, empirical, non-metaphysical explanation of the origin of all things, but on reflection, it makes key metaphysical assumptions, and leads to irrationalism if not outright skepticism.

Many of those who accepted evolutionary conceptions and vast ages for the earth, could not bring themselves to believe that man was a mere product of natural selection, that he was merely a more highly evolved form of ape.  This led such nineteenth century thinkers as Charles Lyell to make an exception to Darwin’s theory, namely the mind of man.  In the twentieth century, Henry Fairfield Osborn and others refused to accept the idea of a plebian “Ape-Man” as the ancestor of humans and insisted on a more aristocratic “Dawn-Man” as the original ancestor of man.

In the following, we will discuss these ideas and also such things as the three-age system, the Flood/post-Flood boundary, and other matters that Donovan Courville only lightly touched upon in his Exodus Problem volumes.  This is necessary in order to broaden the scope of the New Courville theory beyond Classic Courville.  We also need to address what we regard as errors in how some creationists and Flood theorists have tried to link the Paleolithic and Neolithic to the Tower of Babel incident, or to the age of the Patriarchs.  It will also be necessary to discuss some errors in Courville’s own conception of the Paleolithic.

2.  Endless Forms Most Complex

Darwin was the man who put Lamarck’s transmutation theory on the map, so to speak.  Lamarck had offered up a ridiculous mechanism for how the scale of being came about—inheritance of acquired characteristics.  After doing a lot of study, Darwin concluded that natural selection was really the origin of diversity in the scale of being, not Lamarckian inheritance.  Each slight, little adaptation to the environment might give an advantage to some living creature to help it survive against competitors.   Spread this process of slight change or adaptation out over millions of years and you have “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful,” as Darwin put it.

The theory faced a real problem.  Granted that nature favors the better adapted over the less adapted (almost by definition), why should nature favor the more complex forms over simpler forms?  Why is improvement equated with greater complexity rather than greater simplicity?  Some Darwinists have seen the dangers to Darwin’s theory in this question, and some have even gone on to deny that Darwinism requires any sort of “progress.”

Obviously some of this hostility to the notion of progress is a result of fashionable environmentalism or political correctness.  Man is seen as lower than apes for instance, or as inferior to other animals.  But this view only substitutes attitudinizing or joking for a real understanding of the problem.  Other Darwinists realize that progress is the very thing Darwinism is attempting to explain.  They also realize that the progress in question is progress in complexity, from simple things to Darwin’s endless forms most beautiful.

Since Darwin was attempting to explain the origin of the scale of being, he was therefore attempting to explain what could be called scaler progress.  Does natural selection provide a reason for this scaler progress, this progress up the scale of being?  It does not appear so.  Nature may favor traits in living things that give advantages, yet there is no reason why advantages should always equate to increases in complexity.  Why should complexity rather than simplicity be nature’s favorite child?

The only way Darwinism could get natural selection to work its magic is by defining natural selection in such a way that it favors complexity over simplicity.  That would not be an empirical assumption, however, but rather an a priori metaphysical assumption.  There is absolutely no reason why nature (electrical storms, floods, etc.) should favor complex organisms vis-à-vis simpler organisms.

Darwin tried to answer this problem by saying that organisms improve because nature provides more complex conditions of life.  But this merely shifts the problem over to nature itself.  Why should nature become more complex?  Why not the other way?  In addition, how are thunderstorms more complex than heat waves or vice versa?  Darwin’s appeal to complex conditions in nature begs the question at issue.  For the point is to explain the origins of complexity without appealing to complexity itself as a cause of it.  This would be a petitio—and yet it seems this is what Darwin and many of his followers do.  In fact Darwin says that “the specialization of parts and organs is an advantage to each being.”  Natural selection would then select for specialization.

But obviously, specialization in Darwin’s sense means higher organization, and higher organization is simply what it means to be complex.  So Darwin is really saying that natural selection favors complexity.  In fact he claims that “all physiologists admit that specialization of organs” is “an advantage to each being.”  But specialization in the sense of higher organization (increase in information) was the very point that needed to be demonstrated.  Why should specialization toward complexity be an advantage?  Why not uniformity or simplicity?  Why should nature have a preference for one over the other?

Darwin clearly recognized the possibility of devolution—that in a “few cases” nature favors simplicity.  But he thinks the majority of cases would involve improvement in organization or complexity.  So natural selection did not require, or lead to, improvement in all cases.  But again, why should nature care?  To claim that nature has a statistical preference for complexity over simplicity (most versus few) is simply to adopt the same metaphysical assumption about nature in a different guise.

Natural selection was not a necessary or universal law of advancement, according to Darwin, but he still smuggled the idea in by way of his concept of what is “beneficial” to creatures in “complex relations of life.”  Somehow, Darwin did not see that he was giving a causative role to complexity in his theory.  If natural selection wasn’t an explicitly necessary law of advancement in the theory of evolution by natural selection, it became an implicitly necessary law of advancement concealed under the very terms of the counter-argument.

Again, Darwin denied that his theory required any “innate and necessary law of development,” but he still used terms such as “beneficial,” meaning that nature usually favors beneficial changes.  Beneficial changes are improvements, according to the theory, that help creatures to survive in more “complex” conditions.  Darwin repeatedly stated that natural selection did not necessarily result in improvement.  I believe he said this because he sensed the danger to the putative scientific validity of his theory.  He sensed but did not really deal with the metaphysical issue lurking in the background.  Instead, the attack was directed against another metaphysical assumption that was popular during the day, namely, that life had an inherent tendency toward improvement.

By saying that improvement is not necessary, what Darwin meant, as noted, is that it’s not necessary in all cases.  But it still has to be true in the majority of cases in order to bring about the scale of being—this whole panoply of forms most beautiful.  Darwin wanted to avoid the idea that nature was inherently progressive.  After all, nature had no mind, no intelligence, no internal tendencies toward progress.  If so then we ask again, why should nature favor, or have a tendency toward, more complex life over simpler life?  Why for instance should rain have a statistical preference one way or another?  It has no mind to guide it toward one choice as against another.  Appeal to supernatural causation would be metaphysical speculation, and would therefore be illegitimate in the eyes of Darwin and his followers.

Darwin and his defenders have basically assumed evolution as a fact, often appealing to the geological record.  From this, they conclude that there must be direction toward greater complexity in nature through natural selection.  The geological record, however, is filled with systematic gaps, and thus does not furnish confirmation of the theory.  Nevertheless, even if the fossil record did not have so many holes in it, it could only function as a deus ex machina, something brought in to rescue an otherwise sinking theory.  For Darwin’s theory does not really demonstrate why nature should prefer directedness over randomness.  It merely assumes it.   It is merely a metaphysical assumption dressed up in the lab coat of science.

Since Darwin’s day, evolutionists have skirmished over the meaning of progress in evolution, but they have never really provided a satisfying answer to the question of why nature should prefer complexity over simplicity.  Some have merely asserted that it must, which is a good way to win an argument—merely beg rather loudly for your conclusion rather than demonstrate it.  Others have simply denied progress in evolution, though often what is being denied is what might be called “evaluative” progress, e.g., the idea that (say) white Europeans are superior to other races of men (a common evolutionary idea at one time).  Nevertheless, to deny progress in evolution is to deny the very thing that needed to be explained.  If progress is denied, what’s the point of Darwinism?  Still others merely substitute elaborations of the theory of evolution in place of a demonstration of it, which is what is needed.  It is not enough simply to cite progress in complexity in the history of life; one must prove that such progress in complexity is a result of natural selection, and hence of evolution.[1]

Christianity teaches that there is a scale of being, but that it was created by God at the beginning of the world.  Christianity has no problem with a lot of structural similarity between living things, a continuity of being.  Christians need not fear the finding of “missing links.”  In fact, there is probably a lot more continuity out there than scientists have been able to find so far.  Nevertheless, because Christianity teaches the doctrine of biblical creation, it also holds to a scale of non-being.  Creation involves a discontinuity of being, and this is why living things can be divided up into species or genera or fundamental biological types, both in living things today, and in the fossil record of the past.  The basic kinds, or biomins, as I call them, will never change into other biomins.  There will never be inter-biominic change, since there is a fundamental limit to biological change, despite Darwinian claims to the contrary.  There is plenty of intra-biominic variation, however, since such change is a result of genetic potentiality within each biomin.

Many anti-evolutionists have focused on Darwinism’s inability to explain the discontinuity of being, pointing to major demarcations between all living things, as well as gaps in the fossil record.  In the above, I’ve gone over the basic problem Darwin has in even explaining the continuity of being— how to account for its hierarchical nature, and to do so without appealing to the metaphysical assumption of directedness while claiming that natural selection is not inherently directional.

3.  Naturalism Defeated

“No subject,” said Charles Lyell, “has lately excited more curiosity and general interest among geologists and the public than the question of the Antiquity of the Human Race….For the last half-century the occasional occurrence in various parts of Europe of the bones of Man or the works of his hands…associated with the remains of extinct hyena, bear, elephant, or rhinoceros, has given rise to a suspicion that the date of Man must be carried farther back than we had heretofore imagined.”[2]

He went on to say that the transmutation theory (what we would call evolutionary theory) was an “indispensable hypothesis” that was subject to change as more knowledge became available, but would “never be overthrown.”[3]  Despite Lyell’s growing support for Darwin’s new theory of evolution, to the point of defending it against various criticisms while touting its explanatory value, he still pointedly asked, “[W]ill not transmutation, if adopted, require us to include the human race in the same continuous series of developments, so that we must hold that Man himself has been derived by an unbroken line of descent from some one of the inferior animals?”[4]

Lyell willingly admitted a great deal of continuity between human and simian structure.  Speaking of the “negro’s brain” compared to a chimpanzee, he speaks of the “remarkable general correspondence between the chimpanzee brain and that of the human subject in everything save in size.”[5]  Readers must remember that nineteenth century scientists spoke this way about human races, emphasizing continuity of apes with “lower” races of men.  Lyell even cited Huxley to the effect that the cranial capacities of modern races of men differed more with each other than the cranial capacity of the “lowest man” differed from that of the “highest ape.”  So accommodating was Lyell to Darwinism that he was even willing to agree with those who ascribed “soul” or an “immaterial principle” to animals in order to emphasize the continuity of being between man and the lower creation.

This view is not surprising.  An important aspect of Victorian thinking about man was that he was hardly distinguishable from apes.  Even Linnaeus could see little difference between man and ape other than from a moral viewpoint: “But as a naturalist I am concerned with other aspects of his function, and in my study of these I find it most difficult to discover one attribute by which man can be distinguished from apes, except perhaps in the matter of his canines.”

Linnaeus was merely expressing common opinion, which saw apes as merely “forest men.”  Lamarck would later argue that some animals could be transformed into other animals, and Darwin would provide a seemingly plausible mechanism for this in his theory of natural selection.  Haeckel had provided what we now know were fraudulent embryonic illustrations of evolution in action, and Darwin appealed to this “evidence” when he revisited evolutionary theory in his discussion of human descent by way of evolution.

The idea that humans are hardly distinguishable from apes is ludicrous, but we still have modern Darwinists making the same claim.  For instance, Jared Diamond says that if humans were put in a cage, their power of speech taken away and reduced to grunting, people would not be able to tell them apart from chimps.  They would be regarded as “chimps that have little hair and walk upright.” [6]

Apparently, Diamond has never seen the movie Planet of the Apes, where the main character Taylor (played by Charlton Heston) did lose his power of speech.  Yet he was able to do things that marked him out as intelligent, such as building a paper airplane, writing notes on paper, understanding conversation.  Unlike Diamond the “simian” scientists caught on rather quickly.

As we’ve seen Lyell was willing to sing paeans to continuity, just like Diamond, but he still pointed to the “enormous gap which separates Man from the brutes.”[7]  This gap involved man’s moral faculty, enabling him to know good and evil, right and wrong, or virtue and vice, and also a religious faculty that enables man to believe in a world beyond our own, and in a Being higher than himself.  In addition, man has an intellectual faculty, endowed with “improvable reason.”  While the “lowest” races of men can progress in reason, religion, and morals, this is not true of apes, who are confronted with an impassable barrier to further advancement.

Thus Lyell could not bring himself to believe that there was an “insensible passage from the highest intelligence of the inferior animals to the improvable reason of Man.”  He instead believed in the possibility of “anomalous events” or “leaps” that constituted “breaks in an otherwise continuous series of physical changes.”  According to Lyell:

“If, in conformity with the theory of progression, we believe mankind to have risen slowly from a rude and humble starting point, such leaps may have successively introduced not only higher and higher forms and grades of intellect, but at a much remoter period may have cleared at one bound the space which separated the highest stage of the unprogressive intelligence of the inferior animals from the first and lowest form of improvable reason manifested by Man.”[8]

On the basis of this saltational or leap-in-being concept, Lyell was able to leave room for divine causation:  “The whole course of nature may be the material embodiment of a preconcerted arrangement; and if the succession of events be explained by transmutation, the perpetual adaptation of the organic world to new conditions leaves the argument in favour of design, and therefore of a designer, as valid as ever….”[9]

Darwin was not happy with this conclusion or with Alfred Wallace’s similar idea.  Darwin wanted no place for leaps of being or divine causation in his evolutionary project, including man’s origin.  Man himself, and his moral, religious, and intellectual endowments, must be seen as the result of small, imperceptible steps up the chain of being.

Let us look at a basic weakness of Darwin’s view and indirectly provide a belated defense of Lyell.  Suppose there was a thunderstorm in the ancient past.  Suppose organism x found shelter from the storm in a cave.  Suppose further that x entered the shelter out of pure instinct.  Now consider organism y who also took shelter there because it had the first glimmer of a true proposition p—“my chances of survival will increase if I go into the cave.”  Finally, take organism z who entered the cave because of false glimmer q—“the Pumpkin god lives in the cave and if I’m to die in this storm, I want to die with him.”

In all three situations, entering the cave was the right thing to do, and all three organisms survived the storm.  In each case, the organisms had an advantage over other organisms that did not enter the cave.  The question that confronts Darwin’s theory is why should natural selection favor y over x or z?  In our example, y was the organism that had a true belief, whereas x was motivated by instinct, and z by a false belief.  Why should nature have a preference for rationality over instinct?  Or why should nature have a preference for true belief over false belief?  As long as the behavior conferred survival value, it did not matter whether it was caused by instinct, by true belief, or by false belief.

If survival value has no necessary relation to rationality or truth, natural selection should not have cared one way or another whether rational beings evolved.  To claim otherwise is to make the same sort of metaphysical assumption we discussed earlier, that nature has a preference for rationality and truth in the same way it has a preference for complexity.  But in fact nature has no preference for either because it has no intelligence or planning.  As long as it gets appropriate behavior, it does not care what caused the behavior, whether non-rational instinct, or true or false belief.

This problem has been brought to the attention of philosophers in recent years by Alvin Plantinga.  He has put forth a much discussed argument in an essay titled, “Naturalism Defeated.”  (Available on the Internet.)  The gist of the argument is that if evolutionary theory is combined with naturalism, then the naturalist has little reason to believe his cognitive faculties are reliable.  If that’s true, then he has no grounds for thinking any of his beliefs are rational, including his belief in the conjunction of evolutionary theory and naturalism.

Natural selection rewards appropriate behavior, but such behavior can be caused by emotions, or a mixture of beliefs and emotions.  That means belief in general, or true belief in particular, is invisible to natural selection.  Or to put it another way, truth does not necessarily confer any adaptive advantage for an organism’s developing cognitive faculties.  Plantinga illustrates this with probability calculus.  R refers to the reliability of our cognitive faculties, and N refers to naturalism, and E refers to our cognitive faculties as products of evolution.  The probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable over the conjunction of naturalism and evolutionary theory has the following result:

P(R/N&E) is low or cannot be determined

The conjunction of naturalism with evolutionary theory defeats the belief that one’s cognitive faculties are reliable.  Because this latter situation defeats the rationality of all beliefs, and also defeats the rationality of the specific belief in the conjunction of evolutionary theory and naturalism, N&E are a self-stultifying combination.

In a way, Plantinga is making use of a transcendental argument.  A skeptic may argue that none of our cognitive functions are reliable.  From this he deduces that none of our beliefs are true.  Unfortunately for the skeptic, the latter deduction would undermine the initial claim, for it too would not be true.  At the least, the skeptic would have to show in a non-arbitrary way why his initial claim should not be included in the scope of his subsequent claim, but since there is no way to do this, his skepticism is self-referentially incoherent.

Plantinga is essentially arguing that evolution combined with naturalism reduces the Darwinists to the status of the above skeptic.  He refers to what he calls “Darwin’s Doubt” wherein Darwin himself expressed the skeptical conclusion: “[T]he horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”

Given that this doubt would also self-refer to evolutionary theory, as well as to Darwin’s Doubt itself, it is self-refuting.  However, not every evolutionist need follow Darwin down this skeptical path.  Many in fact might hold to the claim of unreliable cognitive faculties without deducing skepticism about the convictions of man’s mind.  So it would need to be shown that the Darwinist who commits to the first claim must also commit to the second.

It appears that Plantinga’s way of doing this focuses on the problem of whether evolutionary theory can relate content with causation.  The problem for the evolutionist is that there are so many ways in which behavior can be caused by non-rational factors.  Thus the causal link between content of belief (true or false belief) and appropriate behavior (survival behavior) is not easy to correlate on an evolutionary basis.  From this Plantinga argues that Darwinists are left with various views of the relation of mind and matter.  For instance, on some naturalistic construals belief may be merely a shadow cast by biochemistry, and is the source of adaptive behavior.  For others, desire rather than belief might produce adaptive behavior.   Natural selection would thus favor these at least as much as any behavior based on rationality.  This would undermine the naturalist’s confidence in the reliability of his belief-forming faculties, and would also undermine any claims made on the basis of such faculties, including naturalism.

Our own view is not over the issue of whether true belief causes appropriate behavior, or whether Darwinism must commit to epiphenomenalism with respect to mind.  These are certainly difficult problems for naturalistic views.  Our point is that Darwinism has no empirical warrant for the claim that nature has a preference for true belief over false belief.  The only way  this claim can get off the ground is by assuming it as part of theory.  It thus becomes a metaphysical axiom for Darwinism that nature has a more than 50% preference for true belief over false belief.  It is only by making this metaphysical assumption of 50%-plus that Darwinism can account for the evolution of truth-conducive cognitive faculties.

Much of Plantinga’s philosophy presupposes the validity of reliabilist epistemology, but we have reason to doubt reliabilism as a good account of epistemology.  For criticism, see our paper, “Notes on Plantinga,” as well as Susan Haack’s Evidence & Inquiry, 1993.  To us, one can have a justified true belief (knowledge) even if it is not produced by a reliable cognitive mechanism.  Reliabilism is more appropriately related to the question of our status as knowers, not to the question of knowledge itself.  Plantinga’s argument shows that the naturalist must have low confidence in his belief in the conjunction of evolutionary theory and naturalism, but I don’t know how persuasive this would be to a naturalist working within traditional epistemology vis-à-vis reliabilism.  In addition, the idea of interpreting probability in terms of subjective belief rather than objective possibility is part of the Bayesian program, which has come under criticism in recent years.  (See Mario Bunge, Chasing Reality: Strife Over Realism, p. 112.) 

If we separate out any reliabilist assumptions that may be in Plantinga’s argument, there is still a powerful objection to evolutionary naturalism.  Once one calls into question any necessary relation between adaptive advantage and true belief, one has pinpointed a major weakness in Darwinism—nature simply doesn’t care what causes adaptive advantage, whether true belief, false belief, or pure instinct.  Yet Darwinism needs to give nature a preference for true belief, else there would be no foundation for the evolution of truth-apt cognitive faculties.

The bottom line is that not only can the Darwinist not explain the origin of life in general on evolutionary, naturalistic grounds, neither can he explain the origin of man on evolutionary or naturalistic grounds.  For if there is one defining trait about man, it is that he is a rational creature, and Darwin’s theory has no convincing resources to account for this trait.

If we were to accept an evolutionary account of the development of life in general, we would still have the problem of accounting for the origin of man’s rationality or mind in particular.  To borrow an illustration from Michael Behe (though greatly altered), the evolution of the scale of being by chance and natural selection would be like a blind knight entering a castle, who must ascend a nearly infinite number of stories to arrive at the top of the castle.  Unfortunately, at each level the blind knight must choose to go through a nearly infinite number of doors, almost all of which would lead to dead ends, and to the subsequent elimination of the hapless knight.  By sheer luck, if he passes through the right door—an advantageous door, so to speak—he can go up the steps to the next story.  He leaves a trail so that any knight who comes after can follow.

This latter point would be illustrative of natural selection, preserving favorable outcomes.  But even with natural selection involved, when a successful knight makes it through the right door, he will be confronted by a room similar to the first: a nearly infinite number of doors is again open to him.  The problem of finding the right door by chance meets him once again, as well as whoever might follow.  This illustrates the implausibility of life arising through chance and natural selection.

The problem is even more acute than this.  Life on earth often consists of interacting, irreducibly complex systems, ones that do not work unless all the components are in place from the start.  To illustrate this, Behe’s blind knight would have to go through all the correct doors on first try.  This is really asking a bit much of natural selection and chance.

But let us grant the scenario, no matter how absurd or improbable.  Darwinism is confronted by another difficulty, even greater than the first two.  Consider the fact that the blind knight has somehow managed by chance to stumble through all the correct doors on first try.  The difficulty is that the castle is missing many floors.  That means there are not enough steps for the blind knight to traverse.  In order to arrive at the next story, the blind knight would have to jump to the next level.  The problem corresponds to the problem of the genetic boundary that separates major types (biomins) of plants and animals.  In order for our blind knight to jump, he would need some innate or internal power that enables him to hop up high enough to reach the next level.  Or he would require aid from an outside source.  Darwinism, however, rejects any sort of innate or external causation for the origin of biological life.  Fundamental to Darwin’s theory is the idea of descent by modification, not descent by miracle.  But how does the knight reach the next floor when all the intermediate steps have been denied him?

Even if this were not such a devastating problem, there is another that dwarfs all others, the gap between man and the lower creation.  Consider our very lucky knight who managed to find his way almost to the top of the castle.  He did so all in one stroke, even jumping by natural means all of the missing floors.  Before he can complete his journey, however, he faces one last hurdle.  The top of the castle exists in a separate dimension!  This problem corresponds to the problem of explaining the evolution of rationality and mind by way of chance and natural selection.  The difference between mind on the one hand, and the instincts, emotions, and perceptual awareness of animals on the other, is not merely quantitative.  It is not a matter of merely traversing the requisite steps up the chain of being.  Rather, it is in fact a qualitative difference.  As Lyell recognized long ago, this is a problem that simply cannot be solved on a naturalistic basis.

We conclude therefore that the evolution of man is impossible.  So then, how should we handle the evidence of human culture existing with extinct animals?  Or what about stone tools and weapons?  Or fossilized humans?  What are we to make of all this if man has not evolved?  This brings us to a discussion of the three-age system, and how it was developed, and how it fits into biblical history.

4.  Three Ages of Man

We are often treated by Darwinists to sneering accounts of Bishop Samuel Wilberforce and Archbishop James Ussher.  Wilberforce may have been guilty of a facetious quip about ancestry at the British Association meeting, and opened himself up to Huxley’s innuendo, but aside from the impolite quip, his argument against Darwinism was based on scholarly grounds.  What convinced many of Darwinism was not Huxley’s retort to Wilberforce, which was hardly heard, but Joseph Hooker’s arguments on behalf of Darwinism.[10]

Ussher is vilified for dating the age of the earth to 4004 BC.   Here is what he wrote:

“The beginning of time, according to our chronology, happened at the start of the evening preceding the 23rd day of October (on the Julian calendar), 4004 BC….”[11]

Now, Ussher was a learned scholar, and used several sources for his conclusions, the Bible’s record of the passing of years, Chaldean history, the astronomical canon, and astronomical tables.  Most of his book is actually a record of secular history.  He was adopting Joseph Scaliger’s approach, who first expanded the writing of ancient history to include more than just the Greek or Roman periods, but also Jewish, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian history.  In no way could Ussher be described as an ignorant and narrow prelate, but was in fact liberal (in the good sense) for his time.  In fact, despite political differences, he was esteemed by both King James I and by Oliver Cromwell, no small accomplishment.

Ussher’s date for creation was not uncommon, and similar dates were given by Lightfoot, Scaliger, and Kepler.  Darwinists are picking up on the overly precise nature of Ussher’s date, so that by ridiculing it, they can also ridicule Christians.  Our view is that Ussher should not have attempted such precision, and should also have recognized the possibility of textual loss, meaning that more years may have passed than was calculated under his chronology.  But biblical chronology cannot be stretched too far, and for those who still believe the Bible, creation cannot have been too far removed from Ussher’s date.  The same could be said for the Flood.

Ussher’s book on history also followed the traditional “six ages” division of history, adopted since St. Augustine’s day.  It would seem at first glance that this is a stage theory of history, whereby man progresses through different stages or ages.  This concept of stages in history has certainly been abused (e.g., Hegel, Marx, and others).  Nevertheless, Reformed philosopher Cornelius Van Til points out that Christian theism does not necessarily reject stage theories of history.  What is rejected is the evolutionary conception in which “men think they can find the origin of religion in history.”[12]  In the secular view, man is seen as gradually, over time, evolving into a moral or religious being, moving up from primitive stages into more advanced (superior) stages.  Van Til describes the consequences of this view: “And what is true of religion in particular is true of all the intellectual categories of man in general.  The idea that there is an absolute truth has itself appeared only gradually.”[13]

Christian stage theories of history can be simple, as in the stages of Creation, Fall, and Redemption, while others might be more complex, creating more divisions within these periods.  For instance, the division between the Old Testament and the New Testament is a stage concept.  In Christian thought, the New Testament succeeds and replaces the Old Testament.  Geerhardus Vos’s theory of development is more complex and involves different stages of revelation.  These are the Mosaic Epoch of Revelation (divided into pre-redemptive special revelation, etc.), the Prophetic Epoch of Revelation, and the New Testament revelation.  Vos wanted to study the “actual self-disclosures of God in time and space.”[14]  This is not meant in the Hegelian sense of the unfolding of the Mind of God in history since Vos does not identify the Mind of God with history.  Rather the unfolding of the mind of God is through special revelation, i.e., the Bible.  

Such progressive revelation also presupposes stages of historical development.  Vos calls them epochs but we can just as well call them ages.  Thus, the issue regarding stage theories of history is not whether history can be so divided, but that it be done so correctly.  Unfortunately, some Christians, in their writing on creation and Flood issues, have failed to do justice to the evidence of stages in historical development.  This is especially true of the three-age concept.

Besides Christian stage theories of history, there have also been non-Christian stage theories.  For instance, Hesiod’s Works and Days provided a five-age system, starting with a Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Heroic Age, and finishing up with an Iron Age.  With the exception of the Heroic Age, these divisions were materials-based.  Other writers adopted or modified this scheme.  (In the nineteenth century, Mark Twain could speak satirically of a Gilded Age.)  In Works and Days, Hesiod told us that a bronze age had preceded his own Iron Age, an age he deplored, yet he does not tell us how he knew this.  It seems that for Hesiod and others these ages were mainly speculative philosophical schemes, though based on some memory of the earlier bronze age civilization.[15]

The three-age concept is a stage theory of history which involves the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age.  This system was not originally designed as an evolutionary classification, but rather as a museum classification.  It was a reasonable assumption that technology would begin with stone, and then move forward into metals.  In addition, another reasonable assumption was that people who used metal weapons would hardly go back to using stone.  Even if poverty forced metal-using people to subsequently put aside their metal productions and resort to stone, this would only affect local cases.  But the “ages” of stone or metal are defined in terms of generality of use, i.e., when the stone or metal was in widespread use.

The epoch of stone tools and weapons was regarded as the first age of man, while the metal ages (bronze & iron) were regarded as the second age, and so on.  This was a good idea but not many accepted it until later excavations demonstrated its reality.  Some Christians still have not been able to provide a proper interpretation of these ages in light of the Bible.  As an example, Michael Oard has developed a theory of man’s history during the Ice Age that almost completely ignores the three-age system, as well as archaeology.[16]

Oard rightly rejects the evolutionary view that the Ice Age was a time when man was supposedly evolving through a series of missing links, but then he says, “Biblical history records events during or soon after the Ice Age.  This epoch includes the Book of Job and the life and times of the Jewish patriarchs.”[17]

On Oard’s theory, man never left the Middle East until after the Tower of Babel incident.  This means that all of the Paleolithic through the Neolithic cultures must be viewed as post-Babel.  The reason why men supposedly lived exclusively in the Middle East is that they “chose to not spread out from there in disobedience to God.”[18]  Oard believes that some of the people who left Babel spread south while others spread northwest.  Those who went south encountered the Sahara while it was still teeming with life, while others journeyed as far away as New Zealand or Australia. Those who went north encountered the Scandinavian ice sheet, but endured the cold of the Ice Age because of plentiful game.  Some entered the land of the woolly mammoths while others chose to live in caves.

Oard believes these travelers were Neanderthal men and later Cro-Magnon men.  Of these men he says, “They, along with the Neanderthals, used stone tools, probably because any metal tools they possessed upon leaving Babel had worn out.”[19]  Some tribes of Paleolithic and Neolithic men also left the Tigris-Euphrates Valley going east and northeast, moving into Siberia, or crossing the Bering Strait into North America.

There are some problems with Oard’s theory.   First, it is based on an incorrect interpretation of the Bible.  Second, it suffers from a failure to properly locate the Tower of Babel incident in the archaeological levels of Mesopotamia and Southern Asia.  Third, there is very little interaction with the three age system, or with archaeology.

In the first case, the Bible doesn’t say that all men disobeyed the command to fill the earth.  It only refers to those men who migrated to southern Mesopotamia, viz. men who journeyed from the East and settled in the plain of Shinar.  And it wasn’t their migration that was the problem, but rather their attempt to find unity on an irreligious basis.  They were scattered for their religious sins, not for their geographical preferences.  There is then no need to restrict human migration in the post-Flood era only to the Middle East or to the Fertile Crescent region.  This means that Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic populations can be post-Flood but also pre-Babel.

Second, Oard has not taken the time to study issues regarding the proper chronology of the Bible in relation to ancient near eastern archaeology.  He does not seem to be aware of Courville’s theory that the Tower of Babel incident should be located at the Jemdet Nasr level, or the New Courville theory that it should be located at the end of the Late Uruk phase.  In our opinion, this latter point in the archaeological record is about the only place the incident could have occurred.  In terms of archaeology, the Paleolithic through Neolithic levels occur prior to the Ubaid and Late Uruk levels.  In fact, in Mesopotamia, the Neolithic corresponds to the Hassunah culture, which is followed by the Halaf culture, both occurring before Ubaid and Uruk.  Neither the Hassunah nor Halaf cultures show any settlement in southern Mesopotamia.[20]

This in itself would rule out Oard’s placement of Paleolithic and Neolithic peoples after the Tower of Babel incident.  Since the Tower of Babel incident happened in southern Mesopotamia, it could only have happened after the Hassunah and Halaf periods.  In addition, the next culture, the Ubaid period, has settlement in both the north and south of Mesopotamia, thus making it unlikely the Ubaid people were the men who migrated from the East and settled in the plain of Shinar (southern Mesopotamia).  The only cultural level that makes sense is the Uruk period (which is mainly in the south), and only the Late Uruk level shows evidence of city-state unity under a powerful political leader (Nimrod in our opinion), and a subsequent dispersion into the surrounding lands.[21]

The third problem is with respect to Oard’s almost complete disregard of the three-age system, which means an almost complete disregard of archaeology.  Oard shares this failing with other Christians who write on this subject.  For instance, Kurt Wise says, “Preserved in post-Flood sediments older than any Neanderthals and Hobbits are Homo erectus fossils.  Aside from the skull, Homo erectus skeletons are virtually indistinguishable from modern humans, so the evidence indicates they are human.  And, since humans did not disperse across the world until after Babel, the distribution of Homo erectus across the Old World (Java, China, Africa) suggests they not only date from after the Flood, they also date from after Babel.”[22]

Jonathan Sarfati also believes that Homo erectus and Neanderthals were post-Babel and that the concept of the Stone Age only has cultural rather than chronological value: “The notion of a ‘stone age’ is fallacious—rather, it’s a cave/stone technology stage of different people groups.”[23]

Since paleoanthropologists think that Homo erectus fossils came before Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon fossils, Wise and Sarfati’s ideas would suffer from the same problem that Oard’s suffers from, namely, that there was no settlement in southern Mesopotamia until at least the Ubaid levels, which are certainly later than Paleolithic levels (i.e., Homo erectus through Cro-Magnon).

For the New Courville theory, the Tower of Babel incident took place at the end of the Late Uruk period in southern Mesopotamia, just before the beginning of the Bronze Age.  Hence, Paleolithic and Neolithic levels must be placed before the Tower of Babel since they are at lower (earlier) levels than the Late Uruk.  It follows that Homo erectus people, Neanderthal people, and Cro-Magnon people must have spread out from the Fertile Crescent some time before Babel, not after.  We have also come to accept the view that the Paleolithic levels are post-Flood.  This would put us at odds with Classic Courville, which sees the post-Flood period as starting with the Mesolithic culture.  We will have to save a discussion of the post-Flood boundary to a later point.  Right now, we need to discuss the three-age system, for it is important that Flood theorists get a handle on it.

As we said, the three-age concept was not originally conceived as an evolutionary scheme.  The earliest age of stone tools and artifacts was not associated with any “fossil men” or “hominids” until much later.  There is then nothing preventing us from the view that the makers of these tools were early descendants of Noah, who migrated to Asia and Europe and other places.  Those who went north found themselves having to cope with glacial and interglacial conditions.

Before the development of the three-age system, discussion about archaeological matters was antiquarian in nature.  As historian Glyn Daniel says, it was the age of “collectors.”  He reports that Horace Walpole in the 1770s complained that the antiquarians were producing a “cartload of bricks and rubbish.”  “Bishop Lyttelton,” said Walpole, “used to torment me with barrows and Roman camps.”  When not talking about barrows, antiquarians talked about wandering Trojans and Greek heroes, about Phoenicians in Cornwall, about Druids and more Druids, and the Lost Tribes of Israel searching for the Ark of the Covenant.  In short, as Rasmus Nyerup complained, prehistory was enveloped in a thick fog.

The first relatively modern thinkers to theorize about a three-age system (Stone, Bronze, and Iron) were eighteenth century French antiquarian Nicholas Mahudel, and English antiquarian William Borlase.  They were followed by Vedel-Simonsen in 1813, then finally by Christian Thomsen around 1819.  Thomsen is the one who finally took prehistory out of the hands of antiquarians and placed it on the road to scientific archaeology.

He was the son of a wealthy merchant and grew up learning his father’s business.[24]  In time, an appointment to the Danish National Museum led to the job of classifying a huge backlog of antiquarian objects.  It does not appear that Thomsen knew about the ideas of Mahudel or Vedel-Simonsen.  In fact, his arrangement of the antiquities at the Danish museum into Stone, Bronze, and Iron was a technological classification, not a chronological one.  It was only later that he realized the system could also be chronological.  In 1836 he published his Guide to Scandinavian Antiquities.  It was a popular book but it also met with opposition.

Boucher de Perthes (pronounced Booshay day Pearth), a customs bureaucrat living in Abbeville, found flints from the Somme drift gravels associated with extinct animals.  He did not think post-Flood humans lived at the time of these extinct animals, so the human tools obviously had to be antediluvian.  Darwinists believe de Perthes proved that man was in existence before the time he was supposedly created on the Genesis chronology, but de Perthes does not appear to have been motivated by any anti-Christian animus.  At most, the discoveries disproved the idea that man came about late in the geological record.  Most modern Flood theorists believe Cuvier’s idea of successive epochs and multiple catastrophes seriously compromised the biblical narrative—which knows of only one major catastrophe.  They would thus interpret geological strata as being successively laid down at one time (i.e., during the Flood year) rather than as representing eons of time.

Early nineteenth century geologists still believed in the Bible, but they also believed in the unbiblical idea that the strata of the earth showed separate geological epochs.  In this view, the creation of man was only in recent times, and man could therefore not have lived in those vast ages, could not have lived with extinct animals.  There is really nothing in de Perthes’ work that is incompatible with a proper interpretation of the biblical narrative of the Flood, but it does conflict with compromised positions, such as Buckland’s.

In 1846 William Pengelly, a self-educated educator, found flint instruments at Kent’s Cavern, which he believed were associated with extinct animals.  Father John MacEnery’s earlier work at the site had made the same association, but because Buckland questioned the correlation, nothing came of it.  Buckland’s view could not be reconciled with de Perthes and Pengelly’s association of man with extinct animals, so both MacEnery and later Pengelly met with resistance.  In 1858, however, Pengelly was appointed to head up the Brixham excavations.  Several respected geologists accompanied Pengelly and confirmed that the bones of extinct lions, bears, mammoth, wooly rhinoceros, and reindeer were found in conjunction with flint tools made by man.  It was because of the excavations at Brixham Cave that scholars finally accepted the work of de Perthes and Pengelly regarding the antiquity of man (i.e., the association of man with extinct animals).

As yet, however, all of these stone implements were lumped under one category, and there were as yet no divisions within the Stone Age itself.  This was to change with the work of Edward Lartet and Henry Christy (a lawyer and a banker).  In 1863, they teamed up to excavate in Les Eyzies, and came up with the idea of stratification as a way to differentiate between older materials and newer materials.  This stratification could also be used to link up geographically distant cultures.  Bibby says, “Once a sequence had been established by this method at any one site, it could be extended to others where artifacts of the same type were found in association with the bones of the same fauna.  And in that way a gradually extending sequence could be worked out which eventually could cover the whole extent of the Old Stone Age….”[25]

Lartet and Christy were able to divide the Stone Age into three different cultures.   The level containing polished stone tools was associated with bison and auroch.   The cave level was associated with reindeer, and another level was associated with mammoth and woolly rhinoceros.  During the 1860s and 70s, Gabriel de Mortillet, an atheist and political radical, recognized that it was not a good idea to correlate the Stone Age based on faunal remains, as animals could live at different latitudes and men often used sites on a seasonal basis.

For this reason, de Mortillet used type sites to name the various levels.  He named a period associated with Hippopotamus after Chelles, a suburb of Paris, hence Chellean (pronounced Shellean).  For the mammoth period, the site of Le Moustier gave the name Mousterian and the site of Aurignac gave the name Aurignacian.  The period of Reindeer was called Solutrean and Magdalenian.[26]  Through the influence of Mortillet and others, a Prehistoric Congress began to hold sessions, which had the effect of distinguishing pre-historians from antiquarians, and defining archaeology as a scientific and professional discipline.[27]

The practical value of the three-age system was shown by the excavations of Jacob Worsaae, who excavated the Danish bogs.  The vegetation of these bogs began with aspen and Scotch fir, then a layer of oak, alder, and birch, with beech showing up in the third layer.  Daniel says, “Only stone implements were found in the lowest or fir level, they persist into the oak-alder-birch level where bronze implements were found; iron implements were for the most part found only in the beech level.”[28]

These excavations proved that the three-age system was not merely a cultural or technological classification, but also had chronological value.  Worsaae and others continued to divide the stone, bronze, and iron ages into more and more levels.  In 1865, John Lubbock agreed with French archaeologists that the Stone Age needed to be distinguished into earlier and later periods which he then proceeded to call the Paleolithic and Neolithic.  His book Prehistoric Times popularized the three-age system, though in fact his division is a four-age scheme.  Only later would archaeologists realize that another period, called the Mesolithic, came in between the Paleolithic and Neolithic levels.

There were some critics of the three-age system such as John Kemble, James Fergusson, and Thomas Wright.  Wright believed stone, bronze, and iron were all used together and that poverty was the explanation for the use of stone.  This was an explanation that refused to accept the validity of stratigraphy in archaeological explanation.[29]  Wright was correct to criticize the three-age system, but for the wrong reason.  It is not that prehistory cannot be distinguished into successive phases.  In fact, this was amply confirmed by the stratigraphy of prehistoric sites.  The three-age system is correct as a general description of human cultural history prior to the Greek and Roman periods.  Even though pottery has now replaced metal as the primary criterion of stratification, the metal terminology is still useful.  The mistake was in seeing these epochs as being exclusively linear, whereas archaeologists now recognize a great deal of overlapping and some contemporaneousness between certain levels.  The problem was further aggravated by simplistic evolutionary schemes which saw different technological states as reflecting stages of mental development.  Man was seen as starting from a primitive culture or morphology, then developing or evolving into more civilized or more complex forms.

Because of the influence of these ideas, many refused to accept the existence of Paleolithic art.  Marcelino de Sautuola discovered Paleolithic paintings in a cave at Altamira, but so great was the evolutionary opposition to the idea of prehistoric man as being anything other than primitive and savage, that he was accused of being a fraud.[30]  According to Glen Daniel, the idea of prehistoric art was:

“[A] blow to any idea of prehistory which made the archaeological record the same everywhere, and assumed that there was progress everywhere on parallel lines….Prehistory had to absorb the idea, now perhaps a commonplace to us, of the regional flowering of cultures and to realize that there were cultures, civilizations, societies—call them what you will—in prehistory with different distributions in time and space….Prehistory was now becoming a record of cultural achievement set out in parallel columns and not in one evolutionary sequence.”[31]

It then became necessary for archaeologists to give some explanation of cultural change that did not assume a simple evolutionary sequence.  The best explanation seemed to be the view that external ideas played a causative role in cultural change.  Diffusion theories, involving invasions or migrations, became a favored explanation, and seem to be correct for the most part.  Some thinkers, like Eliot Smith, took it to extremes, tracing everything back to Mother Egypt, while others tracked everything back to wandering Mycenaens, and so on.  These thinkers had a hard time with the idea of independent cultural progress.  Archaeologists overreacted to this extreme view (as some still do) and tried to keep everything in-house.  All cultural progress had to be native with no outside influences.  But hyper-nativism is no adequate response to hyper-diffusionism.

The corruption of the three-age system by evolutionary schemes can be seen in the work of Edward Tylor and Lewis Morgan.  Tylor distinguished man’s past into a simple evolutionary sequence of savagery, barbarism, and civilization.  Unlike most Darwinists, however, he traced these differences to educational rather than mental development.  Morgan came up with seven stages of cultural evolution.  These were lower, middle, and upper savagery, leading to lower, middle, and upper barbarism, then finally civilization.  Other Darwinists traced the origins of institutions such as marriage, family, religion, morality, economy, or government to various stages of man’s development.  This can be seen in Engels (one of the founders of modern Communism) who adopted Morgan’s views in his Origin of the Family (1884).

The notion of evolutionary sequences also gave rise to the belief that one could discern laws of human progress.  The purpose of this “universalist” concept was to drive out a) “degenerationist” theories of human development (which explained primitivism as degeneracy rather than as a first cultural step up the ladder of evolutionary progress); or b) to undermine diffusionist ideas.  Thinkers such as Adolf Bastian attempted to explain widely dispersed but common cultural features as the result of the psychic unity of the human mind rather than as a result of external contact.  This was to have an influence on later thinkers such as psychologist Carl Jung and structuralist Claude Lèvi-Strauss.  One can still see the idea in those who attempt to explain, e.g., religion on the basis of a common physiological structure of the brain.

Nevertheless, complicated schemes of unilinear cultural progress were collapsing at the end of the nineteenth century.  Continued archaeological research found that what had formerly been thought of as different “epochs” (such as Azilian and Tardenoisian) were in fact contemporary.[32]  Archaeologists began to think more in terms of assemblages of culture rather than epochs.  Gordon’s Childe’s modified diffusionism in his Dawn of European Civilization (1925) signaled this new awareness.  Daniel says, “[F]or the simple evolutionary sequence we begin to get, instead, Beaker Cultures, Food-vessel Cultures, Passage-grave Cultures, Rinyo-Clacton Cultures, and when suitable geographical or taxonomic names ran out, we reverted to letters and numbers and there appeared Neolithic A and B, and Iron Age A, B, and C.”[33]

In addition, Franz Boas’s influence undermined universalist concepts of cultural evolution, though his methodology of cultural relativism led in turn to overreactions among some of his students (in a Freudian direction).

Evolutionary schemes also led to racist ideas of development.  The classic view of racial superiority was developed by a Frenchman named Comte de Gobineau.  He was developing the idea that the French aristocracy was made up of Arians, a master race, from which all that is good and excellent and civilized arose.  The composer Richard Wagner helped spread Gobinism in Germany, with baneful consequences.  Americans were not long in taking up the cause.  In 1917 Madison Grant wrote The Passing of the Great Race, in which the master race turned out not to be French nor German but American!  It is noteworthy that Henry Fairfield Osborn, promoter of Piltdown man and opponent of William J. Bryan, wrote a preface for the book.[34]  This should not be surprising.  We Americans have always excelled at reproducing third rate imitations of second rate European ideas.

Nevertheless, none of these problematic consequences should be laid at the feet of the three-age system itself.  It is a highly useful system of classification, and despite modifications, and difficulties with regional applications, it has stood the test of time.  There is a clear progression in the rock record from the general categories of Paleolithic to Mesolithic to Neolithic, then to the Chalcolithic, then to Ubaid and Uruk levels, and then to the Bronze and Iron ages.

Proper recognition of these periods does not require them to be interpreted along the lines of a simplistic evolutionary ascent.  The progression is real, to be sure, but there is no need for creationists or Flood theorists to reject it simply because evolutionists have used it to back up their claims.  In fact it provides some powerful background evidence for the major events recorded in the Bible, as we have discussed in our essays on the New Courville theory.  The main issue is not whether there is a progression in the history of life, but what sort of progression is revealed in the rock record.  In the next section, we will discuss various types of human fossils associated with the first part of the three-age system, namely, the Stone Age.

Next: Ancient Man


[1] For an overview of how evolutionists have tackled the problem of complexity, see Timothy Shanahan, The Evolution of Darwinism, Cambridge University Press, 2004, passim.  Often, Darwinists have merely asserted that evolution is about “reproduction” or “stochastic shift” or some other thing, not complexity.  For instance, Richard Leakey said, “Because complexity is built on complexity, the emergence through time of more elaborate forms is a mechanistic inevitability, an evolutionary ratchet.  But it is not a general progression.”  (Origins Reconsidered, 1992, p. 345.)  This, however, is incoherent.  For what is an elaborate form other than a more complex form?  And what is complexity built on complexity other than a general progression of complexity over time? To deny that evolution is about the origin of general complexity is simply to deny the heart of Darwinism.

[2] Charles Lyell, The Geological Evidence of the Antiquity of Man, Dover edition, 2004, [1863], p. 1.

[3] Ibid., p. 316.

[4] Ibid., p. 368.

[5] Ibid., p. 375.

[6] Jared Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal, 1992, p. 2.

[7] Lyell, Ibid., p. 385.

[8] Ibid., pp. 392-93.

[9] Ibid., p. 393.

[10] For a discussion of some of the myths surrounding the Huxley-Wilberforce exchange, see: J. R. Lucas, “Wilberforce and Huxley: A Legendary Encounter,” at

[11] James Ussher, The Annals of the World, 1658; 2003 edition by Larry & Marion Pierce.

[12] Cornelius Van Til, Psychology of Religion, 1976, p. 82.

[13] Idem.

[14] G. Vos, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments, 1948, p. 5.

[15] For a modern evolutionary stage theory see Merlin Donald, Origins of the Modern Mind,1991; discussed by Colin Renfrew, Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind, 2007, pp. 95ff.  Donald’s stages are episodic, mimetic, mythic, material-symbolic, and theoretic.  The Christian philosopher, Herman Dooyeweerd, traced the history of philosophy in terms of different stages such as form-matter, nature-grace, and nature-freedom, cf., A New Critique of Theoretical Thought, 1969, [1935].

[16] Michael Oard, Frozen in Time, 2004, pp. 127ff.

[17] Oard, p. 127.

[18] Idem.

[19] Ibid., p. 129.

[20] See Ann Perkins, The Comparative Archaeology of Early Mesopotamia, 1949, p. 46.

[21] For further discussion, see our essays on the ShallowTime Blog, “The Tower of Babel.”

[22] Kurt Wise, “Lucy Was Buried First: Babel Helps Explain the Sequence of Ape and Human Fossils,” Answers in Genesis website, February 13, 2008.

[23] Refuting Compromise, 2004, p. 306.  It is not easy to tell, but Morris & Whitcomb appear to accept a post-Babel stone age, cf., Genesis Flood, p. 487.

[24] For standard accounts of the development of archaeology, see Glyn Daniel, A Hundred and Fifty Years of Archaeology, 1950, 1975; Glyn Daniel, The Idea of Prehistory, 1963; and Geoffrey Bibby, The Testimony of the Spade, 1956.

[25] Geoffrey Bibby, The Testimony of the Spade, p. 37.

[26] Ibid., p. 52.

[27] Tim Murray, Milestones in Archaeology: A Chronological Encyclopedia, 2007,  p. 241.

[28] Glen Daniel, A Hundred Years of Archaeology, p. 78.

[29] Daniel, Ibid., p. 84.

[30] Glen Daniel, The Idea of Prehistory, p. 72.

[31] Ibid., pp. 73-74.

[32] Ibid., p. 97.

[33] Ibid., pp. 99-100.

[34] Ibid., p. 142.