For those of you keeping up with this blog, I recently wrote about the discovery of fire being controlled by hominins 1 million years ago, ~700,000 years earlier than previously thought. For those of you not keeping up (or simply fancy a refresher), here is a link.
However, it turns out even this latest figure isn’t completely accurate. Ground-breaking work by Creation Revolution suggests the scientific figure may be wrong.
Prior to this discovery, evolutionists placed the earliest known use of fire to be around 300,000 years ago. The new find pushes that date back to one million years ago, that is you believe their dates.
If you believe their dates? The author sounds skeptical, I wonder why. Maybe there is more to the discovery than I picked up on and I missed some aspect of taphonomy that casts doubt on the 1 million year old date of of the find.
When I wanted to find out when man first used fire, I turned to the only reliable source and that is the Word of God. From God’s Word, there is a hint of the use of fire not after God created man.
Oh no wait, it’s just the Bible. Which is the only reliable source of information on the origin of fire, apparently.
I include the “apparently” because he offers no justification for the acceptance of the biblical chronology over any other, no reason the original scientific paper on the subject might be flawed. It is literally just “science says that, it is wrong.”
Which is rather disappointing. The Institute for Creation Research (ICR), another creationist organisation, at least try to provide some justification for why their ideas are correct. Granted they horrifically mangle the science in the process, but at least they try.
Creation Revolution just seems lazy. Or at least, their interests lie elsewhere. Namely in describing the earliest references in Genesis to fire.
Whenever animal parts are used as an offering to God, it is always placed in a fire so that the sweet aroma will lift to the skies and so that it is not left to rot and draw bugs. So while we are not told that Abel used fire, there would be a significant argument to say that he did, placing the first record of man using fire just under 6,000 years ago.
However, identifying when fire was first used is only half the battle. As I explained in my post on the subject (seriously, go read it if you haven’t. My ego demands the pageviews) finding out when people were able to control fire is just as important.
6,000 years ago they may simply have been using naturally occurring fires to burn offerings for God, maybe they couldn’t make their own yet. Thus there is still room for disagreement even within the creationist framework.
But for the skeptics that may doubt that Abel used fire, there is a definite reference later on in the chapter when it talks about Cain’s descendants.
Tubal-cain was six generations from Cain which places him approximately 280-320 years after Creation or about 5,700 – 5,740 years ago. As a forger of bronze and iron, he had to work with fire to smelt the ore in order to get the iron and copper and tin used to create the bronze.
But the disagreement they choose to deal with is theological in nature, providing answers to people skeptical of their particular Biblical chronology. If you’re skeptical of why the Bible is a good source on the development of fire use; or whether people using fire in the Bible means they were able to start their own fires then tough luck. No answers for you.
Again, I think this is because their priorities are elsewhere. By focusing on theological issues they get to advertise their theological sources in the reference section. Sources whichCreation Revolutionjust so happens to sell.
However, now I might have my own skeptics. Just because they refer to something they sell doesn’t mean the article is just a glorified advert. True, but the reference section of this article includes an advert for the books detailing all the cool features.
Hell, the advert they disguise as references is actually longer than the article itself! 547 words discuss how early references to fire in the Bible, 648 words explain how amazing the books (which they sell) from which they derived this information is.
So we’re left with a glorified advert disagreeing with the science for no identifiable reason.