A Web site of Focus on the Family
July 7, 2003
Ethiopian Man Raises Question How Old
A recent archeological find in Ethiopia has two camps of biblical creationists at odds over what the discovery means.
The remains of what looks to be a modern human have been unearthed in Ethiopia and tagged by scientists at 160,000 years old. Dr. Tazman Walker, a geologist and radioactive-dating expert with Answers in Genesis, challenges the age of the remains, contending that radioisotope date-determination is known to be flawed.
"Because of that particular date, it's said to give credibility to the idea that humans evolved in Africa and came out of Africa," Walker said. "Lava which has been observed to erupt in the last ten, twenty, fifty years has given ages on the order of millions of years old."
Answers in Genesis says the 160,000-year figure discredits "progressive creationism" — the theory that the universe is millions of years old and that the creation of Earth came much further back than "Young Earth" proponents believe. Dr. Hugh Ross, founder of Reasons to Believe — an organization which is Christian and in the progressive creationism camp — says "not so."
"We believe the dates are quite good — a hundred-fifty-four thousand years to a hundred-sixty thousand years ago," Ross said. "That puts it in the same context as the Neanderthals, which are found farther north."
Both Christian theories can apparently fit the Ethiopian find into the Book of Genesis.
"We take the position that God created a spate of bipedal primate species that were not human, before he created Adam and Eve," Ross said.
Said Walker: "These human-like remains are the remains of people who most likely dispersed from the Tower of Babel, or after that event."
The two competing creationist views are also known by the terms "Old Earth" and "Young Earth."
FOR MORE INFORMATION
The Reasons to Believe Web site (http://www.reasons.org/index.shtmloffers ) more information
on the Old Earth theory.
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