Science in Christian Perspective



Adam, Where Are You? Changing Paradigms in Paleoanthropology

David L. Wilcox*

Eastern College, 10 Fairview Drive
St. Davids, PA 19087-3696


From: PSCF 48 (June 1996): 88-97.                                                                    Response: Morton

 Current physical evidence in paleoanthropology favors the sudden appearance of anatomically modern humans about 150,000 years ago in Africa. Cultural evidence indicates parallel changes in artifacts and behavior. This suggests that the "image of God" was established in these humans at that time.

Paleoanthropology, the study of human fossils, is in a state of crisis.1 In some senses, that crisis began long ago with the impact of the human-centered world view of the Enlightenment, and is only secondarily a product of scientific advance. The common mythology about science held both by the public and by many people in science is that facts (data) alone force us to modify our understanding of reality. What facts mean, however, depends on the patterns within which they are perceived. Some very perceptive comments on this subject have been made by Stephen J. Gould:

First, facts do not come to us as objective items seen in the same unambiguous way by all reasonable people. Theory, habit, prejudice and culture all influence the facts we choose to observe and the way in which we perceive them. Second, the construction of theories is not a "second story" operation in science, an activity to be pursued after constructing a factual ground floor. Theory informs any good scientific work from the very beginning; for we ask questions in its light, and science is inquiry, not mindless collection. Moreover, the sources of theory are manifold; new ideas arise more often by the creative juxtaposition of concepts from other disciplines...than from the gathering of new information within an accepted framework.2

Nowhere has this been more apparent than in paleoanthropology. As Landau documents, there is a pervasive tendency for storytellers' motifs to appear in theories of human origins.3 The central role played in this debate by intensely defended paradigms has also been charted in Lewin's book, Bones of Contention.4 Still, for forty years or more, there has been a generally accepted view of the origin of anatomically modern humans (AMHs), the polygenic hypothesis that we are products of gradual parallel evolution in several archaic hominid populations.5 Now this consensus is being challenged by a resurgence of the monogenic view, the idea that AMHs originated fairly recently in a single location.6 How significant is this challenge, and what does it mean for a Christian understanding of man?

Possibly the strongest advocate of the "traditional" view, Dr. Milford Wolpoff describes his view for the popular audience in the following words, which are quoted in Putman:

Look, everyone knows that all humans alive today have a common origin. And everybody agrees that in some fundamental way that origin was in Africa. No doubt about this. Our closest relatives are chimpanzees...I'm one of many who conclude that modern humans originated in areas all over the worldˇafter Homo erectus had populated that world and provided the basis for further evolution. And that basically, modern Africans originated in Africa, modern Chinese in eastern Asia, modern Europeans in Europe. And this happens to some extent because these populations were interconnected by a flow of genes.7

The primary evidence adduced in support has been the alleged local continuity of specific "racial" characteristics from Homo erectus populations to the modern populations of the same areas.8

Traditional anthropologists might be upset to find their discipline invaded by geneticists and physicists, who (with little training in anatomy) seem to think they can offer better theories without ever looking at a fossilized bone. But, traditionalists are no happier with certain physical anthropologists, who draw different conclusions from the fossil data. The challenges which the traditionalists are facing include: (1) a reinterpretation of the morphology of "archaic" Homo sapiens, (2) new dating methods for evaluating finds of early Homo, (3) reevaluations of the cultural evidence in Europe and Africa, and (4) results from comparisons of molecular sequence which bear on the biogeography and date of AMH origins. This paper evaluates the challenges of the first three areas, which may be viewed as extensions of existing techniques.

Reading the Bones

How well does the evidence support a gradual appearance of AMH? This question hinges on the nature of those hominid forms termed "archaic Homo sapiens," hominids with up to modern sized brains, but with archaic skeletal characteristics. If evidence of ancestry for modern forms (us) exists, it is here that it is most likely to be found, and thus the pressure from the investigators' world views is likely to be high. This is an area of controversy. Apparently there was a tendency for a simultaneous increase in both robustness and brain size in several areas around 200,000 to 300,000 years ago.9 The question is whether these large brained fossils (including the Neanderthals with modern average brain sizes) are different enough from H. erectus to be classified in the same species with AMH, as "archaic H. sapiens," or whether general anatomy rather than brain size should be used for making taxonomic distinctions.

Earlier archaic fossils classified as Homo erectus appeared in Africa more than 1.7 million years ago, e.g., the boy from the Nariokotome River.10 Then they spread to Europe and the Far East almost immediately.11 The later forms classified as "archaic Homo sapiens" include populations such as the European Neanderthals, which have been cast as a separate robust species by several investigators.12 The European Neanderthals had a distinct and a characteristic morphology which differentiated more than 100,000 years ago. Presumably, they descended from less specialized archaic forms which entered Europe 800,000 years ago.13 Trinkaus characterizes them as having about the same life style as other archaic forms, life spans of 30 to 40 years,14 showing more trauma (injury during life) than fossil populations of more modern aspect, of much higher endurance and strength (much thicker bones and larger muscle attachments), questionable phonetic ability, and more rapid growth and maturation of the brain, teeth, and extremities.15 Neanderthals were contemporaries of AMH for about 65,000 years and were replaced in Europe by the AMH Cro-Magnon people about 35-40,000 years ago.16

In Foley's opinion, most of the differences between archaic H. sapiens and H. erectus are allometric changes (scaling) related to increased robustness.17 Compared to AMH, archaic hominids were more robust, had a relatively flat basi-cranium and thicker skull bones, had larger facial skeletons and larger teeth, lacked the mental (chin) eminence and showed smaller, lower, and more elongated cranial vaults with more buttressing and torus formation. Though the archaic morphology may be very static, the brain size of the Nariokotome specimen (and the half million year old Zhoukoudian specimen) are about 65% of modern levels, whereas Neanderthal brain sizes were slightly greater than those of modern peoples.18 Whether this represents a continuous trend, or stasis and punctuated speciation, is hotly debated, but Foley would identify all the "archaic Homo sapiens" forms as subspecies of H. erectus.19

On the other hand, Foley suggests that skeletal differences between modern and archaic H. sapiens indicate a different adaptive complex. With the appearance of anatomically modern forms, he points out that the trend to robustness is reversed. We now see what has been termed neoteny, the retention of "juvenile" skeletal characteristics in the adult as well as cranial reorganization. Foley identifies the shift away from robustness to a more complex cultural base which possibly includes language. Thus, he stresses the idea that the uniqueness of AMHs is a qualitative difference which separates them from all earlier hominids.20

Traces of Time

The appearance of AMH seems to have occurred during a specific time period which has been a "black hole" as far as physical dating methods are concerned. C14 dating is inaccurate before 30,000 BC and most others inaccurate after 400,000 BC. Thus, time estimates have been based on analysis of anatomical and cultural evidence ˇ which clearly has a circular element. Recent thermoluminescence (TL) and electron spin resonance (ESR) measurements, based on the ability of flint and tooth enamel to collect and retain electrons until heated, close that gap. Also, the tendency of amino acids in ancient proteins to racemization (randomly change from l to d form), and enhanced methods for C14 analysis, help to zero in on specific dates.21

A strong challenge to the polygenic view comes from recent new dates for the earliest anatomically modern Homo sapiens, dates of around 100,000 years ago. The most interesting of the finds have been the fossils of the Qafzeh and Es Skhul caves in Israel. These anatomically modern hominids had been thought to have lived about 50,000 years ago, and to represent a "Proto-Cro-magnon" (AMH) population evolving from earlier Neanderthals (archaic hominids) in the region.22 This evaluation was based on anatomical considerations and on what was considered an advanced form of the typical middle palaeolithic technology (the Mousterian culture). Recent TL and ESR measurements and the associated small mammal fossils indicate instead that these individuals died around 92-115,000 years ago.23 On the other hand, TL dates the presumed "ancestral" Neanderthal remains at Kebara at 60,000 years ago. Thus, AMHs long preceded their supposed Neanderthal "ancestors" in the Levant.

This conclusion has been hotly debated. For instance, Chase and Dibble would identify both sets of fossils as a single polymorphic population evolving in that area.24 But Rak has shown that the Kebara and Qafzeh pelvises are sharply different, with that of Qafzeh indistinguishable from modern peoples and that of Kebara identical to European Neanderthal populations. Rak suggests that those differences relate to posture and locomotion, and are of the same order of magnitude as the differences in the skulls. He therefore concludes that they must represent two distinct species because such anatomical differences could not have remained distinct for 40,000 years in a single polymorphic population.25 The same conclusions have been drawn about the overlap in Europe of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon peoples.26 AMHs of about the same era (perhaps slightly younger) have also been found at Border Cave and the Klasies River in South Africa and Omo-Kibish in Ethiopia. These finds have been thought to be as much as 120,000 years old (by the supporters of the new paradigm), suggesting an "African genesis." Grun et al., however, have reported ESR dates of 70-90,000 years ago for the finds in the Border Cave in South Africa (Zambia), a little more recent than Qafzeh.27

Created in the Image of God

The data seems to suggest that the big brained hominids of archaic morphology were displaced by AMH rather than developing into them, but did those archaic forms deserve to be called "men"? For the Christian, to be called "man" means to be made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26). However, that theological concept has been debated throughout Church history. We cannot solve this debate in this paper, but perhaps we can chart some options.

According to Anderson, the characteristics generally discussed include reason, righteousness, relationship, and rule. He views each characteristic as a facet of a complete scriptural description of God's design for humanity, with the additional complication that the image has been defaced by the fall.28

The first facet is reason, the concept that as a "rational soul" man mirrors the thought of Godˇ that he can understand God and the world which he has made. Thus, man can communicate with, fellowship with, and worship his Maker. This view has been especially important to theology (such as that of Aquinas) which has been influenced by the Greek concept of eternal reason. It is held today by such men as Carl F.H. Henry and Gordon Clark. "The image must be reason or intellect. Christ is the image of God because he is God's Logos or Wisdom. This Logos enlightens every man that comes into the world. Man must be rational to have fellowship with God."29

The second facet is righteousness (especially favored by the reformers Calvin and Luther), the idea that man is to mirror the holy character of God in thought and in life. Unlike the rest of creation, man can choose to obeyˇor to disobeyˇbeing fully conscious of his own selfhood. Hence, the teaching of the Fall in Eden would imply a defacement of the image, though not its complete destruction. The fallen man still knows righteousness and can still reason. However, he freely rejects the right, refuses to perceive the evidence of God, and abuses his reason to support his rebellion. "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile (reason, understanding) and their foolish hearts were darkened (perception, will)" (Rom. 1:21).

It is not appropriate to base [whether an ancient hominid was in God's image] primarily on physical anthropology, for the image is not physical.

A third facet of the image of God is relationship, the idea that humans mirror God (who is a trinity, three persons in one being) in the way they form relationshipsˇwith God, with husband or wife, between humans (human society), and finally, with the rest of the creation. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Gen. 1:27). Thus, Barth would suggest that the image lies in the human capacity for relationship, for we reason or rationalize, show righteousness or selfishness, in community.30 The image of God is not fully expressed in a solitary life. "The preservation of humanness has often been interpreted as the preservation of understanding and will, but actually it manifests itself in a much deeper and more important way in the various sorts of relations between man and fellow man."31

A fourth facet is rule, the idea that man images God by the office which he was given at his inception, the dominion over the earth. Thus, his intellectual and physical abilities equip him for that office. "You made him a little lower than God and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet" (Psalm 8:4,5). The concept of rule views the human species as mirroring the kingly activity of God, as it obeys its creational commission; to govern under God and to further realize his purposes in the creation. In human cultural activity and development, the human community was to reflect the activity, intentions, and character of God to act in a pattern of governance which would increase the goodness of the creation ˇ to tend and extend the garden of God (subdue the earth) and to build the City of God (the community of Shalom).

My intent in the above discussion was not to resolve this ancient discussion, but simply to sketch out its dimensions, to provide check points for evaluating anthropological data. How are we to evaluate whether an ancient hominid was in God's image or not? Clearly it is not appropriate to base this primarily on physical anthropology, for the image is not physical. What sort of fossil evidence can exist for reason, righteousness, relationship, and rule? These are, in a sense, behavioral questions; and all we have to look at are the remains of tools, burial practices, rates of cultural change, indications of their way of life, etc. Of course, as we look at such remains, we tell stories. In recent years, those stories have been changing.

The Cultured Neanderthal?

There is a considerable debate about cultural conclusions. According to Trinkaus, archaic types of Homo all maintained about the same mode of life throughout their tenure ˇ scavengers and small game hunters doing a great deal of endurance running, a style of life comparable to that of the modern chimp.32 But, others have considered them virtually identical to AMHs in cultural capacity.33 What is the evidence?

As measured by tool making, the archaic cultural pattern certainly seems different. The only "cultural" evidence we have of Homo erectus is the Acheulian bifacial "handaxe" industry which appeared suddenly and remained more or less unchanged by time and location for a million years. Is this culture? It depends on definition. If culture means learning to make a specific sort of tool from another individual, then chimps have culture.34 The question is: were the archaic hominids and hominoids more like chimps in their tool making, or more like modern humans? The shape of the triangular "axes" seems to have been determined by the material used, and the evidence is that they were made when needed and then discarded (the edges seldom show wear marks)ˇrather as chimps make and discard tools such as termite mound probes.35 Morin et al. suggested that 1.57 million years were required to produce the "cultural" differences between two subspecies of chimpanzee.36 There is no evidence of symbolic art (cognitive significance?) or of burial (religious significance?) at H. erectus sites.

What about the larger brained "archaic H. sapiens"? The most complete cultural evidence is that of the Neanderthals. Their characteristic "tool kit,"ˇ termed the Mousterian culture ˇ used flakes, scrapers, and wedge-shaped hand axes produced by the Levallois technique (a prepared core off which predictable flakes could be struck). It appeared around 100,000 years ago and remained uniform across Europe, unchanged for 65,000 years. In contrast, the Aurignacian evidence of the AMH Cro-Magnon people shows rapid continuous change.37

The extended period of Neanderthal cultural stasis is not true of any AMH population, including modern "stone age" groups such as the native people of Australia. It is far closer to the stasis seen in H. erectus than to the continuous change of the Cro-Magnon culture. As Mellars puts it,

It is tempting to see the sharply increased morphological "complexity" and "structure" of Upper Paleolithic tool forms as one further manifestation of this "symbolic explosion" in the Upper Paleolithic, paralleling ˇ and no doubt closely associated with ˇ the simultaneous development of language and art.38

In less than half the tenure of the Neanderthals, AMHs were walking on the moon! Compare that to one of the most diagnostic anatomical features of the Neanderthals; mid-facial prognathism (along with increased nuchal musculature) was apparently an adaptation to facilitate the use of the anterior teeth as a vise.39 If so, the physical structure of the Neanderthal changed under the selective pressure of their culture, which means that their morphological genome was more labile than their culture.

The evidence for artistic or religious expression among the Neanderthals is almost nonexistent.

The evidence for artistic or religious expression among the Neanderthals is almost nonexistent. There is debate over whether (and for what reasons) they may have occasionally buried their dead,40 over whether they used ocher as paint, and over their hunting methods ˇ for instance, did they use cliff fall techniques to hunt large game? However, there is no evidence of art, no ornaments, no symbolism, no indication of graving tools or sewing, and no clear indication of permanent settlements or trade of raw materials.41 Mellers states:

Lastly, many if not most Upper Paleolithic tool forms display a significant degree of `imposed form' during the process of shaping tools, which is largely if not entirely lacking in at least the majority of Lower and Middle Paleolithic tools.42

Culture at Qafzeh

Was there a difference in the culture of the very early AMH at Qafzeh and Es Skhul? Burials, for one thing, had grave goods associated with them. Also, although the Qafzeh people used a "Mousterian" tool kit (Levallois technique), it is considered relatively "advanced," similar to those found at subsequent African sites and reminiscent of the Upper Palaeolithic.

The early Levantine Mousterian (phase 1) is characterized by elongated Levallois points, a preponderance of "Upper Palaeolithic" tool types like burins and endscrapers, and a blade technology. This phase has been dated to ca. 90-80 kyr B.P. at Tabun, Layer D... 43

This use by a modern, rather than an archaic, population is possibly the earliest appearance of the Mousterian technique. Also, the archaic populations which lived at Tabun (layer C) for the next 40,000 years used a "typical" Mousterian style. At more northern Levantine sites (in Lebanon and Syria) and on across Europe, such typical "Tabun C" assemblies date from 90,000 years ago. Again, note that layers D and C differ more in the intended use of the tools rather than in tool manufacturing technique. This implies that greater cognitive control was exercised in their manufacture...the tools in level D show higher levels of intent or design.44

Further, at the K'sar Akil rock shelter (Lebanon) and Boker Tachtit in the Negev, technologies of the later "Tabun B" type begin with "advanced" forms like "Tabun D." They are transformed in stages, by a series of major changes in technique, into the Aurignacian culture characteristic of the Cro-Magnon.45 Since these sites are 47,000 to 50,000 years old, and since the Aurignacian culture may have reached Spain as early as 40,000 years ago, those 5,000 years represent a technological "explosion" at the rate of change typical of AMH "stone" cultures of 15,000 to 35,000 years ago.46 Meanwhile, the contemporaneous Neanderthals enjoyed a 65,000-year period of cultural stasis!47

In fact, one could speculate that the Neanderthal use of Mousterian techniques was imitation rather than invention, for it could have been invented by the Qafzeh people, and passed on (in part) to their Neanderthal neighbors (and thence on into Europe) to be used without change. Consider this in light of Mellars' evaluation of the Chatelperronian industries of Roc de Combe. Modern man and Neanderthal alternated in residence at this location for a few hundred years around 34,000 years ago. Mellars suggests that after modern humans arrived with their Aurignacian tool-making techniques, the local Neanderthals picked up some of the Aurignacian techniques and modified their Mousterian "tool kit," producing the Chatelperronian industries. (These levels are also the only Neanderthal remains showing a few bone and antler artifacts). To Mellars, this suggests an acculturation phenomenon, which implies Neanderthals were capable imitators (like AMH) but not creative inventors (unlike AMH).48 This might also be compared with the acculturation of Kanzi, the pygmy chimp that makes stone tools.49 Of course, the anthropological community has not completely accepted Mellars' conclusions!50

Despite their rather human appearance, it seems unlikely that the group of fossils called "archaic Homo sapiens" meet the criteria which the Scriptures set for humanness.

To summarize, recent evaluations of the European cultural evidence have suggested that two very different species of hominid existed, and that one displaced the other. The Neanderthals apparently did not show the niche diversity of AMH (dominion over the earth?), but simply an extension of the archaic Homo niche.51 Despite their large brains, they showed cultural stasisˇno indications of representational art or record keeping, and no sign that language was part of their "adaptive complex"ˇthings which the Cro-Magnon sites following them showed from the start.52 It is hard to believe that their reasoning capacity was of the same order as man as we know him today (including modern hunting and gathering societies). The only indications of "religious" thought are a few possible burial sites, the significance of which are much debated.53 I conclude that despite their rather human appearance, it seems unlikely that the group of fossils called "archaic Homo sapiens" meet the criteria which the Scriptures set for humanness. Like apes, they were simply creatures which resembled humans in some ways, but not in others.

Early African Culture

The above description is a contrast between Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon around 35,000 years ago in Europe. Still, if AMH appeared about 100,000 years ago, why is there a 65,000-year gap in the development of human culture? Perhaps because we have looked in the wrong place. After the Qafzeh people, there is no further evidence of AMH in Europe or Asia until about 50,000 years ago in the Levant and in Australia.54 In Africa, it is a different story. Around the 70-100,000 year range, there are finds which range from Omo-Kibish in Ethiopia to the Klasies River in South Africa. The monogenic view typically holds that modern man arose at one of these locations and spread across the savannahs of eastern Africa.55 What cultural evidence is associated with these early African finds?

One significant difference (from the European Mousterian) in the African cultural record is its high level of variability in place and time, which implies a dynamic, changing culture. Further, at scattered sites throughout eastern and southern Africa, "middle stone age" assemblages "reveal a number of features which in a European context would be more at home in an Upper than in a Middle Palaeolithic context... "56 For instance, recent finds by Yellen in Zaire indicate that the people of the Upper Semliki River were making tools, such as barbed bone harpoons and fish hooks, more than 90,000 years ago in a pattern which "reminded him of harpoon hooks made in Europe some 14,000 years ago."57 These tools indicate that they thought of bone as a "plastic media which could be used for very many different things."58 Also impressive are the "Howieson Poort" industries characterized by "microlithic forms" (tiny blades) designed as replaceable components of complex hafted tools, a feature characteristic of tools found in Europe about 15,000 years ago.59 These finds have been ESR dated at 45-75,000 years old.60 Both finds are especially significant since the manufacture of such tools requires a high level of prior conceptualization and the control of precise form.

Deacon has also reported "anachronistic" behavior among early Africans. He argues that they used fire to maintain and exploit "geophyte" patches of slow growing root crops, a form of "agriculture" supplemented by hunting and shellfish collection. Deacon concluded that anatomically modern people at Klasies were "using artifacts as symbols to cope with stress,"61 i.e., that they were behaviorally modern. In Zambia, Border Cave contains evidence of a 90,000-year-old (mesolithic), red hematite (ocher) mine which apparently had continuous usage for tens of thousands of years.62 Over 60,000 worn mining tools have been found, including "picks," "cleavers," "hammers," "wedges," and "chisels," associated with modern skeletons.63 The only known use of ocher is as a decorative and ceremonial material, usually in burials and religious rites. One cannot observe its use 90,000 years ago, but it seems reasonable to view the early modern peoples of Africa, like the later Cro-Magnon people, as fully human in every sense.

But, where did first AMH appear? The new paradigm opts for Africa, some place between South Africa and Ethiopia, or possibly the Levant, at the northern end of the continuous east African savannahs. Further, the material industry at Qafzeh (in Israel) was less advanced than the African finds, and the ESR dates at Qafzeh at somewhat earlier than the African dates. Indeed, the 50-60,000 year date for Australia is almost as old as that at Klasies River.64 When we remember that man was "placed" in the garden planted eastward in Eden, we seem free to consider an African genesis.

In Conclusion

Where among the various hominids will we find the "adaptive barrier" between typical ape and typical human? Which forms shall we consider man (called to image God)? Which shall we consider beast (not so called)? Creation-wise, at the point (if it is a point, as I believe it to be) of human emergence, how did God act? Based on the evidence cited, we have tentatively suggested a few answers. Biologically, as Foley suggested, AMH show a distinctive adaptive anatomical complex, as well as a diverse ecological niche, both of which point to a high ability to control the environment. Based on this, I judge the anatomically modern Homo sapiens of Africa and the Levant (which appeared about 100,000 years ago) as a unified species, differentiated from the archaic groups of "H. sapiens" which preceded and paralleled him.65 Theologically, what evidence we have concerning cognitive ability, symbolic behavior, religious activities, burials, and evident dominion over the earth (diversifying life styles) would indicate that modern man (AMH) has clearly shown the image of God wherever he has been found. What then of archaic Homo sps.? I would suggest that investing archaic Homo sp. with these qualities reflects, not a clear pattern in the data, but a commitment to the idea of the gradual appearance of human qualities. Both cultural and physical evidence suggest an abrupt establishment of the image about 100,000 years ago.

What evidence do we have for how God acted as he created us in his own image? The reader may have already decided what is implied by the evidence presented above. But, such material evidence does not force us to accept any particular conclusion. The appearance of AMH is abrupt, but so are the appearances of most species.66 The problematic "archaic" specimens can be viewed as transitional, but their significance is the hottest conflict in Paleoanthropology. Passionate disagreement is certain. Nowhere in science are world view assumptions more likely to influence which patterns are seen in the data. But perhaps we can try to narrow the options.

For instance, if the evidence suggests that the image of God appeared within genus Homo, the idea that God made man from other Homo species seems more likely. However, if the evidence of the image appears when genus Homo first appears, it would suggest a fossil and cultural barrier between Homo and the Australopithecines, increasing the plausibility of the idea that God did not use existing hominoids in such creation.

For the Christian, Yahweh is the Governor of history, and that must also include all evolutionary history. There is no autonomous "natural" background against which to pick out divine action.

As Christians, we must accept the fact that God created man in his image, and that this creative act is an eternal fiat command, a part of his eternal decree for all of reality. This decree is the word of his power which calls the whole temporal order into obedient existence at every point. Therefore, of necessity, if humanity arose by material processes, those processes were ordained to bring our species forth before the foundations of the world. In that case, the eternal creation ordinance for man must have shaped the causal chains of the universe back to its very beginning. Gould speaks of our existence and fundamental nature as contingent on "happenstance piled on happenstance."67 Well enough for an atheist, but for the Christian, "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord" (Prov. 16:33). Wilson views man as simply the result of evolutionary processes.68 Again, material processes may indeed be involved. But for the Christian, Yahweh is the Governor of history, and that must also include all evolutionary history. There is no autonomous "natural" background against which to pick out divine action. God is never constrained by the material processes which he includes in that which he ordains and reveals. Rather, he always constrains them. On the other hand, although he does not need to include material processes to unroll his created order, he is always absolutely free to do so. Equally, he is absolutely free to act without them.

In our speculations, we must be limited by God's self-revelationsˇboth by Scripture and in his created (natural) world. As we seek to be guided by these two sources of truth, let us humbly acknowledge that our interpretations of both sources of knowledge are world view guided and fallible. We will always need to be guidedˇand correctedˇby the Spirit of Truth, in science or in theology. And when we get home...won't we have a good laugh at ourselves?!



1C. B. Stringer and P. Andrews, "Genetic and Fossil Evidence for the Origin of Modern Humans," Science, 239 (1988): 1263-1268.

2S. J. Gould, "Is a New and General Theory of Evolution Emerging?" Paleobiology, 6.1 (1980): 119-130.

3M. Landau, "Human Evolution as Narrative," American Scientist, 72 (1984): 262-268.

4R. Lewin, Bones of Contention, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987).

5M. H. Wolpoff, W. X. Zhi, A. G. Thorne, "Modern Homo sapiens origins: a general theory of hominid evolution involving the fossil evidence from East Asia," in The Origin of Modern Humans, editors, F. Smith, F. Spencer. (New York: A. R. Liss, 1984), 411-85. M. H. Wolpoff, "Multiregional Evolution: The Fossil Alternative to Eden," in The Human Revolution: Behavioral and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans, editors, P. Mellars, and C. B. Stringer. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 62-108. C. P. Groves, "A Regional Approach to the Problem of the Origin of Modern Humans in Australasia," in The Human Revolution: Behavioral and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans, editors, P. Mellars, and C. B. Stringer. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 274-285.

6 C. B. Stringer,"The Dates of Eden," Nature, 311 (1988): 565-566. ˇˇˇ "The Origin of Early Modern Humans: A Comparison of the European and Non-European Evidence," in The Human Revolution: Behavioral and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans, editors, P. Mellars, and C. B. Stringer. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 232-244. P. Mellars, "Technological Changes at the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic Transition: Economic, Social and Cognitive Perspectives," in The Human Revolution: Behavioral and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans, editors, P. Mellars, and C. B. Stringer. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 298-320. M. Stoneking and R. L. Cann. "African Origin of Human Mitochondrial DNA," in The Human Revolution: Behavioral and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans, editors, P. Mellars, and C. B. Stringer. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 17-30.

7J. T. Putman, "The Search for Modern Humans," National Geographic, 174.4 (1988): 463.

8M. H. Wolpoff, W. X. Zhi, A. G. Thorne, "Modern Homo Sapiens Origins," 411-85; Walpoff, "Multiregional Evolution," 62-108; Groves, "Regional Approach," 274-285.

9G. P. Rightmire, "The Tempo of Change in the Evolution of Mid Pleistocene Homo," in Ancestors: The Hard Evidence, editor, E. Delson. (New York: Alan R. Liss, Inc., 1985), 255-264.

10F. Brown, J. Harris, R. Leakey and A. Walker, "Early Homo erectus Skeleton from west Lake Turkana, Kenya," Nature, 316 (August, 1985): 788-792.

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12E. Trinkaus, "The Neanderthals and Modern Human Origins," Annual Review of Anthropology, 15 (1986): 193-218.

13E. Carbonell, J. M. Bermudez de Castro, J. L. Arsuaga, J. C. Diez, A Rosas, G. Cuenca-Bescos, R. Sala, M. Mosquera, and X. P. Rodriguez, "Lower Pleistocene Hominids and Artifacts from Atapuerca-TD6 (Spain)," Science, 269 (1995): 826-832.

14Trinkaus, "Neanderthals," 193-218.

15H. L. Dibble, "The Implications of Stone Tool Types for the Presence of Language during the Lower and Middle Paleolithic," in The Human Revolution: Behavioral and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans, editors, P. Mellars, and C. B. Stringer (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989).

16P. Mellars, "Major Issues in the Emergence of Modern Humans," Current Anthropology, 30.3 (1989): 349-385.

17R. Foley, "The Ecological Conditions of Speciation: A Comparative Approach to the Origins of Anatomically Modern Humans," in The Human Revolution: Behavioral and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans, editors, P. Mellars, and C. B. Stringer (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989). 298-320.

18D. Falk, "Hominid Paleoneurology," Annual Review of Anthropology, 16 (1987): 13-30.

19Foley, "Ecological Conditions," 298-320.


21E. Marshal, "Paleoanthropology gets Physical," Science, 247 (1990): 798-801.

22K. F. Weaver, "The Search for Our Ancestors," National Geographic, 168.5 (1985): 560-623.

23H. P. Schwarcz, R. Grun, B. Vandermeersch, O. Bar-Yosef, H. Valladas, and E. Tchernov, "ESR Dates for the Hominid Burial Site of Qafzeh in Israel," Journal of Human Evolution, 17 (1988): 733-737; C. B. Stringer, R. Grun, H. P. Schwarcz, and P. Goldberg, "ESR Dates for the Hominid Burial Site of Es Skhul in Israel," Nature, 338 (1989): 756-758; H. Valladas, J. L. Reyss, J. L. Joron, G. Valladas, O. Bar-Yosef, and B. Vandermeersch, "Thermoluminescence Dating of Mousterian 'Proto-Cro-Magnon' Remains from Israel and the Origin of Modern Man," Nature, (1988): 614-616.

24P. G. Chase, and H. L. Dibble, "On the Emergence of Modern Humans," Current Anthropology 31 (1990): 58-66.

25Y. Rak, "On the Differences between Two Pelvises of Mousterian Context from the Qafzeh and Kebara Caves, Israel," American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 81 (1990): 323-332.

26D. Gambier, "Fossil Hominids from the Early Upper Paleolithic (Aurignacian) of France," in the Human Revolution: Behavioral and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans, editors, P. Mellars, and C. B. Stringer (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 298-320; Stringer, "Origin of Early Modern Humans," 232-244; G. Brauer, "The Evolution of Modern Humans: A Comparison of the European and Non-European Evidence," in The Human Revolution: Behavioral and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans, editors, P. Mellars, and C. B. Stringer (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 123-154.

27R. Grun, P. B. Beaumont, and C. B. Stringer, "ESR Dating Evidence for Early Modern Humans at Border Cave in South Africa," Nature, 344 (1990): 537-539.

28R. Anderson, On Being Human (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 1982).

29G. Clark, "Image of God," Baker's Dictionary of Christian Ethics, editor, C. F. H. Henry (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973), 313.

30Anderson, On Being Human.

31G. C. Berkouwer, Man: The Image of God (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 1962), 87.

32Trinkaus, "Neanderthals," 193-218.

33Weaver, "Search for Our Ancesters," 560-623.

34C. Boesch, P. Marchesi, N. Marchesi, B. Bruth, F. Joulian, Journal of Human Evolution, 26 (1994): 325.

35C. Boesch, and H. Boesch, "Tool Use and Tool Making in Wild Chimpanzees," Folia Primatol, 54 (1990): 86-89.

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38P. Mellars, "Major Issues in the Emergence of Modern Humans," Current Anthropology, 30.3 (1989): 359-360.

39Trinkaus, "Neanderthals," 193-218.

40R. H. Gargett, "Grave Shortcomings: The Evidence for Neanderthal Burial," Current Anthropology, 30 (1989): 157-190; L. P. Kooijmans, "On the Evidence for Neanderthal Burial," Current Anthropology, 30 (1989): 322-330.

41P. Mellars, "Major Issues in the Emergence of Modern Humans," Current Anthropology, 30.3 (1989): 349-385; White, "Visual Thinking," 92-99.

42P. Mellars, "Major Issues," 358.

43G. A. Clark, and J. M. Lindley, "Modern Human Origins in the Levant and Western Asia: The Fossil and Archaeological Evidence," American Anthropologist, 91 (1990): 962-985.



46L. G. Straus, "Age of the Modern Europeans," Nature, 342 (1989): 476-477.

47White, "Visual Thinking," 92-99.

48Mellars, "Major Issues," 349-385.

49R. Lewin, "Birth of a Tool-Maker," New Scientist, March 11 (1995): 38-41.

50Chase and Dibble, "Emergence of Modern Humans," 58-66.

51Mellars, "Major Issues," 349-385.

52Dibble, "Implications."

53Gargett, "Grave Shortcomings," 232-244.

54R. G. Roberts, R. Jones, and M. A. Smith, "Thermoluminescence Dating of a 50,000 Thousand-Year-Old Human Occupation Site in Northern Australia," Nature, 345 (1990): 153-156.

55Stringer, "Origin of Early Modern Humans," 232-244.

56Mellars, "Major Issues," 367.

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58Ibid, 553-555; A. S. Brooks, D. M. Helgren, J. S. Cramer, A. Franklin, W. Hornyak, J. M. Keating, R. G. Klein, W. J. Rink, H. Schwarcz, J. N. Leith Smith, K. Stewart, N. E. Todd, J. Verniers, and J. E. Yellen, "Dating and Context of Three Middle Stone Age Sites with Bone Points in the Upper Semliki Valley, Zaire," Science, 268 (1995): 548-553; A. Gibbons, "Old Dates for Modern Behavior," Science, 268 (1995): 495-496.

59R. Singer, and J. Wymer, The Middle Stone Age at Klasies River Mouth in South Africa (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1982).

60Grun, et al., "ERS Dating," 537-539.

61H. J. Deacon, "Late Pleistocene Palaeoecology and Archaeology in the Southern Cape, Africa," in The Human Revolution: Behavioral and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans, editors, P. Mellars, and C. B. Stringer (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 561.

62Grun, et al., "ERS Dating," 537-539.

63P. B. Beaumont, H. de Villers, and J. C. Vogel, "Modern Man in Sub-Saharan Africa Prior to 49,000 years B.P.," Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (1978): 101-129.

64Roberts, et al., "Thermoluminescence," 153-156.

65Foley, "Ecological Conditions," 298-320.

66S. M. Stanley, Macroevolution: Pattern and Process (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1979).

67S. J. Gould, Wonderful Life (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1989).

68E. O. Wilson, On Human Nature (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978).