Skip to comments.Are Stone Age Hunter-Gatherers Evolving or Devolving?
Posted on 03/12/2005 6:52:40 AM PST by DannyTN
Are Stone Age Hunter-Gatherers Evolving or Devolving? 03/11/2005
Anthropologists typically view stone age tribes as stuck in an eddy from primitive beginnings, never advancing into civilization. Yet some tribes of hunter-gatherers in Thailand and Laos appear to have been farmers in their past, reports Science Now with apparent surprise:
Traditionally, anthropologists thought that modern hunter-gatherer tribes like the Mlabri descended through the ages unchanged. But an analysis of the tribe led by Mark Stoneking of the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, indicates that these communities are more complex than previously imagined. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Genetic comparisons with other agricultural tribes, as well as studies of tribal myths, indicate that these people reverted to hunting and gathering after years of experience in agriculture.
Stoneking ought to seek election for king of stone, or chief kahuna of the stoned age. He cant stay away from the E word, even though the evidence is against it: hunter-gatherers have changed and evolved, particularly in response to interactions with agricultural groups, he equivocates. All evolution would have to involve change, by definition; but not all change is evolution, in the Darwinian sense. Charlie did not intend to teach that humans were evolving downward into apes. Keep that up and we will all be bacteria in a few hundred million years.
Creationists predict that humans started smart and fell backward because of sin, but have always been fully human, made in the image of God. Evolutionists believe humans are at the end of a long progression toward increasing complexity and intelligence. Whose prediction fit these observations?
The politically-correct view of tribal peoples is that they should be left alone; they are noble savages, in touch with their environment. But if evolution is falsified, the picture changes. Biblical creationists especially see them as descendents of advanced civilizations who once knew how to build ships and cities, mine metals and make musical instruments. If so, it is not merciful to leave them in their lost and degenerate state. Scientists, of all people, should mourn the foolish mythologies and needless diseases that enslave many of these people. They should want to help them learn to test claims by experiment.
This does not imply that civilization is better in every way, or that some civilized nations have inherent superiority over those who choose to live in a simpler manner. But Christian missionaries know that natives are often eager to get modern medicines, for example, and learn more productive ways to find water and food. And for tribes lost in pagan darkness, fear and superstition, the message of a loving and forgiving Creator God is often the most hopeful, joyful, liberating thing they have ever heard. Watch the Ee-taow! films and see.
You'll like this one.
What's the surprise? The Cheyenne in the early 18th century were semi-agricultural, and living near the Misssissippi River. They abandoned that, and moved onto the Plains as hunter-gatherers.
Two things happened ~ Old World disease arrived and killed off almost everybody who knew how to make a "more modern" society work. Secondly, the horse galloped onto the scene!
Eating steak every day beat the heck out of digging for roots too.
After the arrival of the Old World diseases in on the East Coast, the remaining Indians turned to the semi-industrial occupation of meat hunter. They shot wild game for sale to white folks, giving up agriculture in the process. Some groups did hang onto farming, of course, but most Eastern Indians jumped right out of semi-serfdom into large scale animal husbandry.
So, how did they do that? Well, somebody sold them guns and ammo. Some tribes actually figured out how to repair and manufacture their own rifles to beat the price spread with new imports.
The anthropologists always make the mistake of mistaking poverty for culture.
Academia and Secularists live in the Twilight Zone. Every new discovery seems to contradict their reality.
In contrast, Scripture tells us that of Adam's first two sons, one was a farmer, and the other raised livestock. Thus the scriptural model has agriculture in place clearly from the first generation.
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