Letter to the Editor


Noah, From Whence Art Thou?

Glenn Morton, ASA Member
Ramsden House
105 Malcolm Road
Peterculter AB14 0XB Scotland

From: PSCF 53 (June 2001): 137

While my views can be validly criticized on several grounds, they can not be criticized for the reasons listed by Carol Hill's article, "A Time and Place for Noah" (PSCF 53 [March 2001]: 24-40). On page 38, the article claims my hypothesis cannot be true by saying, "Not even hominids existed in the Late Miocene (~10-6 million years ago), let alone a man who had the technology to build a boat the size of the ark." My views are based on the observation that the hominids (modern humans are also hominids) behaved in a very characteristically human manner several million years ago, and I hypothesize that Adam, Eve, and the flood were that long ago. This would mean that the anthropological record was the repopulation of the earth after the flood's devastation. So, if Hill's claim that hominids did not exist is true, then obviously that would be detrimental to these views. But Hill's claim is factually false on several grounds.

First, since the mid 1980s the genetic data has clearly shown that apes and hominids split between five and seven million years ago.1 Secondly, the fossil evidence has shown that hominids existed that long ago. The 1965 find of a hominid mandible at Lothagam has been dated to between five and six million years ago.2 Finally, in a discovery that Hill could not have been aware of at the time of writing, a new hominid called Millennium Ancestor but scientifically named Orrorin tugenensis, has been discovered.3 This creature is six million years old, is morphologically closer to us than any of the younger australopithecines, and has a more humanlike body size than that of an australopithecine. Thus, the claims that hominids did not exist simply is not true.


1Bernard G. Campbell and James D. Loy, Humankind Emerging (New York: HarperCollins, 1996), 165.

2Andrew Hill, et al., "Anatomy and Age of the Lothagam Mandible," Journal of Human Evolution 22 (1992): 439-51; Donald Johanson and Blake Edgar, From Lucy to Language (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997), 39-40.

3Claire Ainsworth, "The Oldest Strider in Town," New Scientist (Dec. 16, 2000): 5.