A Survey of Enigmas
John A. Bloom


Where did we come from: A religious or scientific question?
Do the data clash?


Figure 1

Anatomically Modern Human.
-- In Europe since 35,000 BP (Cro-Magnon), earliest is 92,000 BP in Qafzeh and South Africa.
-- Archaic or "mixed" forms may date back to 300,000 BC.

- In Asia until 60K, Europe until 30K. saoen 6 s

Homo Erectus.
- 1,500,000 to 300,000 BC.

Homo Habilus.
-- 2.3 mill BP to 1.5 mill BP.

Australopithecus afarenis (Lucy).
- 3 to 4 million BP.

Australopithecus africanus
and Australopithecus robustus.
-- Contemporary to Homo Habilus and Erectus.

Before Lucy?
-10 million year gap to Ramapithecus 3.0 (orangutan)
--Only jaw, palate fragments.

Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA.

Nuclear DNA:
-- Find a high percentage of similarity between the primates and man (a few percent difference, micro-evol level).

- Implies a split between chimp and human about 6 million years ago?

Mitochondrial DNA:

-- 0.3% divergence in human mItDNA.
- Estimate about 150,000 years back to "mitochondrial eve."
- Could be a statistical fluke or very small population at that time.

Figure 8-2 Models of Radiation
Diagram from Birdsell, Human Evolution, 1972, p.301.


What makes us human: The problem of defining "culture."

-- tools, fire
-- society/culture
- bipedal anatomy with opposable thumb
- speech
 - cultural change

None are truly unique to man, except in degree.


For Science:

Where are the gorillas?
Gribbin and Cherfas, The Monkey Puzzle

Where is the continuity?
Johanson versus Leakey; gaps.

Controversial interpretations.
Dahl, Bipedalism in pigmy chimpanzees.

Slimness of the fossil data.

For the Bible:

Where was Adam?
4 million at Lucy
to lOOK at AMH -- Mitochondrial Eve

Was there a special creation?
A historical problem which science cannot easily address.

Do the data clash?

- Similar design does not prove descent: Automobiles, computers
- Fossils do not prove a genealogy.
- Anatomy and DNA show that God copied the primate pattern in us.

Why would He do this?

-- Disparity would not be a great proof of special creation.
-- The most flexible design?
-- To keep us humble: we are dust on both cosmological and biochemical levels.
-- Our value as humans is God-given, not biologically inherent.


W. E. LeGros Clark. The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution. 3rd ed. by Bernard G. Campbell. University of Chicago Press, 1978.
-- A bit dated, but a good technical discussion of the data.

Donald Johanson and Maitland Edy. Lucy, the beginnings of humankind. Warner Books, 1981.
- A very readable, non-technical account of Johanson's work and methods.

Roger Lewin. Bones of Contention. Simon & Schuster, 1987.
-- A good historical overview of the personalities in the field and of their clashes and mistakes.

Roger Lewin. In the age of mankind. Smithsonian Books, 1988.
-- The most recent attempt to paint a coherent picture of human evolution. Readable with excellent pictures.

John Wiester. The Genesis Connection. Thomas Nelson, 1983.
-- An excellent textbook-level presentation of the origin of life and of mankind, harmonizing it with the Scriptures.

Roger Lewin and others have frequent review and summary articles in Science magazine which are invaluable for keeping up to date on this topic.

All of the above books (but for Wiester) are secular. The amount of new material discovered in the past decade is quite amazing, and any works much over ten years old need to be checked against the new finds. In general, the field of human evolution has become more candid and less sure of its "assured results" in recent years, which is a very refreshing attitude to see.