Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fire Used to Make Better Tools 75,000 Years Ago

Science Daily reports:

Lead author Kyle Brown, a doctoral candidate at the University of Cape Town, and field and lab director in Mossel Bay, South Africa, for ASU's Institute of Human Origins said:

"We show that early modern humans at 72,000 years ago, and perhaps as early as 164,000 years ago in coastal South Africa, were using carefully controlled hearths in a complex process to heat stone and change its properties, the process known as heat treatment," explains Brown.

"Heat treatment technology begins with a genius moment – someone discovers that heating stone makes it easier to flake," says Curtis Marean, project director and a co-author on the paper.

"This knowledge is then passed on, and in a way unique to humans, the technology is slowly ratcheted up in complexity as the control of the heating process, cooling and flaking grows in sophistication," Marean says.


Did they say 72,000 years ago? Did I also hear 164,000 years ago?

Just a second....I'm reaching for the Bible. [he flips through a few pages at the beginning]

Says here that Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Able and they begat....and begat...

[he reaches for his calculator] "Twenty-five years in a generation, times the 'begats' equals 6033. Got it! Adam was 'created' 6,033 years ago give or take a few decades and lunar eclipses.

Part 2: [he clears his calculator] Enter 75,000, hit the subtract sign, enter 6033, hit the equal sign.

Bingo! 68,967 These pyrotechnic tool makers were doing their control burns about 69,000 years before Adam was 'created.'

Too bad there weren't scribes around that neck of the woods so that we could know the names of these ingenious people. I'll bet their fires kept the serpents away from that corner of the world and weren't able to tempt Mrs. Stonefire like they did Mrs. Adam.

Fire- it's a beautiful thing.

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