Caveman Chemistry Stuns Scientists

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Caveman chemistry stuns scientists, according to an article in The Star, 21 May 2009, p9. Researchers at Wits University have discovered traces of an extremely strong adhesive on stone tools found in Sibudu cave, on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, South Africa. The tools were spear or arrow heads glued to wooden shafts and are dated as being 70,000 years old. The researchers analysed the glue and tried to make some themselves, but “were stunned” by the difficulty of getting it right. The glue is made from a mix of red ochre, acacia gum sand and animal fat and is strong as modern superglue. However, to make it successfully involved getting the mix right, controlling the temperature and drying it under the right conditions. Archaeologist Lyn Wadley commented, "I thought I was stupid, I just couldn't get it right." The ancient people who made the tools had to be “competent chemists, alchemists and pyrotechnologists.” Wadley explained: "The glue-maker needs to pay careful attention to the condition of ingredients before and during the procedure and must be able to switch attention between aspects of the methodology without losing track of the long-term goal. This shows that they were multitasking at some level, and demonstrates the use of complex cognitive abilities.” The researchers eventually made the glue and put together some replica stone tools, which they used to chop wood. Their experience gave them “new respect for these prehistoric people”.

Editorial Comment: Here is another instance of evolutionary theory being a poor predictor of scientific findings. Evolutionary theory says apes moved out of trees and turned into people who moved into caves and used stone tools because they weren’t yet smart enough to build houses or use metal tools. The Bible tells us human being started out highly intelligent farmers and city builders (Genesis 1- 6), but after they had defied God at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) they were scattered in small groups. Their previously high technology became splintered and some were now on the way to the stone-age, but because they were still smart they made the best they could with resources available. The fact that it took a group of university trained scientists to copy stone-age glue, proves making stone tools held together with superglue was a creatively clever thing to do – and is one more evidence that man alone is made in the image of the Creator God. (Ref. anthropology, design, chemistry)

Evidence News 27 May 2009

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