Shoes in China

on February 11, 2008

Did you know that wearing shoes changes the way you walk? Scientists can study your toe bones and determine if you wear shoes a lot, or if you like to walk around in your bare feet.

Some people groups, such as early Native Americans, didn’t use much in the way of footwear. Their toes were larger and strong. Other people groups, such as Americans today, wear shoes most of their lives. According to the scientists, our toes are “wimpy” compared to the Native Americans. Still others, like the early Inuits, were somewhere in between those that went barefoot and the sneaker-lovers of today.

Recently, scientists studied the foot bones from a body found in a cave in China. When they compared this person’s bones to the Native Americans, today’s Americans, and the early Inuits, they found that the bones were very similar to the Inuits. This shows that this person wore some type of shoes.

The scientists suggested that this person lived 40,000 years ago. However, we know from studying the Bible that the earth is only about 6,000 years old, so the bones can’t be that old. Instead, he (or she) is one of our relatives, a descendant of those who left Babel after God confused the language (Genesis 10–11). The discovery that this person wore shoes simply shows that our ancient ancestors were as intelligent (if not more intelligent) as we are!

Think About It

Many people in the past lived in caves. In fact, there are some people today that still live in caves underground! If you had to live in a cave, like the person in this news story may have done, what would your cave look like inside? How would you heat it? What would your bedroom look like? What kind of shoes would you wear?