In 2008, excavations in a South African cave uncovered two red-stained abalone shell bowls along with various tools in what was evidently a workshop where ochre and other ingredients were mixed, most likely for use as paint. Researchers examined the artifacts and have published a study in which they say the artifacts are 100,000 years old. Could they really be that ancient?

According to standard evolutionary dogma, mankind did not start evolving advanced cognitive abilities until about 70,000 years ago. Christopher Henshilwood, lead author of the study that appeared in Science, told Nature News that these artifacts “push back by 20,000 or 30,000 years” the imagined advent of “complex cognition,”1 or the time when humans finally had the brainpower to prepare and use paint.

In 2001, Donald Johanson, the famed discoverer of the fossil primate “Lucy,” wrote, “The archaeological picture changed dramatically around 40-50,000 years ago with the appearance of behaviorally modern humans.”2 But Henshilwood said that his date for these paint-processing materials “suggests conceptual and probably cognitive abilities which are the equivalent of modern humans” (emphasis added).1

So, did man evolve modern thought capacities 40-50,000, 70,000, or 100,000 years ago? Are any of these numbers trustworthy? Not only does the 100,000-year date assignment conflict with prior evolutionary notions, but also with the straightforward 6,000 or so years of world history recorded in the Bible.

The study authors performed three different dating techniques on the remains.3 Curiously, however, they did not carbon-date any artifacts. Some of the tools included cow, seal, and dog bones, and the abalone shells must still contain protein. All of this material should have datable carbon. Why were they not carbon-dated?….

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