Two studies published in the journal Nature report what are claimed to be the earliest known fossils of Homo sapiens.1 Previously, the oldest Homo sapiens fossils were found in Ethiopia and claimed to be 195,000 years old. But now fossils of Homo sapiens found in a cave in Morocco are said to be 315,000 years old, pushing back the origin of our species over 100,000 years older than previously thought. The fossils are clearly human, not “ape-men.” But are they really 315,000 years old?
About the only thing new in this study is the claim that humans have been around over a 100,000 years longer than was thought. The fossils themselves are old discoveries that haven’t created much excitement until now. For this study, fossil bones of Homo sapiens found in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, between 2007 and 2011, were combined with other fossil bones and stone tools that were found over a period of time going back to 1960.
A man with two clocks never knows what time it is.
For many years the fossils found at this Moroccan site were claimed to be about 40,000 years old. Then other dating methods were employed that gave a wide range of older dates. Electron spin resonance dating gave an age of 90,000 to 190,000 years, coupled U-series dating gave an age of 160,000 years, and marine isotope stage dating gave an age of 337,000 to 374,000 years. But now, we are told, we finally have the “real” age thanks to thermoluminescence (TL) dating—the fossils are 315,000 ± 34,000 years old. As the old Chinese proverb says, “A man with two clocks never knows what time it is.”
It should be noted that the stated error margin of this claimed TL age is more than ± 10%. Expressed another way, the range of dates within which the possible age of these bones may (or may not) be (that is, 281,000 to 349,000 years) is more than 21% of the claimed age. This is hardly a precise dating method, even by conventional standards. Yet it has been declared the “new” age of these bones because it gives these bones greater antiquity, thus pushing Homo sapiens further back in their claimed evolutionary history, and those reporting this claim the notoriety they seek!
Thermoluminescence dating is typically used to date ancient pottery and figurines. For example, it is often used to discern fake artifacts from authentic ancient artifacts. Even for these objects, which are usually only a few thousand years old, the dating error can be considerable due to a number of factors, including exposure to sun and water. Most minerals have the ability to show TL where energy from radioactive decay in the vicinity of the minerals causes electrons to be trapped in their crystalline structures and later released as light. When pottery is fired, the high heat causes it to lose its existing TL and on cooling the TL begins to increase again, thus acting as a clock.
Given the history of dating the Moroccan Homo sapiens fossils, all the dates should be taken with a bushel basket of salt.
The TL dating method was used to date flint spearheads and tools from the Jebel Irhoud cave site because the technique can work on minerals that have been heated to at least 500°C (Celsius). Some of the flint tools and spearheads appeared to be exposed to fire, presumably making them suitable for TL dating. But note it was not the Homo sapiens’ bones that were dated but rather the spear points and tools assumed to belong to them. Given the history of dating the Moroccan Homo sapiens fossils, all the dates should be taken with a bushel basket of salt. And given the evolutionists’ constant revising of their history of humankind, AiG points out that this find, to use the words of The New York Times today, “rewrites the story of mankind’s origins.”2 The rubbery history of evolutionary research into human origins, which has seen a frequent rewriting of what previously had been established “truth,” has once again been exposed.
The authors conclude that the human body has been essentially the same for 300,000 years and that the real evolution during this time was in the brain. But this claim is backed up by little more than showing that their early humans had a longer and slightly lower skull (brain case) than most people do today. The Bible tells us that from the beginning of creation God made us male and female and that Eve was the mother of all the living. All humans are the descendants of a created, fully human pair. It’s not surprising then that fossil humans of any imagined age look fully human.
In any case, a supposed TL age of 315,000 ± 34,000 years makes these bones those of Homo sapiens (fully human people) who lived during the Ice Age, which biblically occurred after, and as a result of, the global Flood cataclysm. Thus, the real age of these bones is only probably around 4,000 years, and the bones are those of Noah’s descendants.