Bad News for Creationists

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    Feb 28, 2009 3:02 PM GMT
    A new archaelogical finding in east-Turkey sets the clock far back for a sophisticated culture of man. The astonishing finds can be dated back as more than 10,000 years before the pyramids in egypt were built:

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    The solitary Kurdish man, on that summer's day in 1994, had made the greatest archaeological discovery in 50 years. Others would say he'd made the greatest archaeological discovery ever: a site that has revolutionised the way we look at human history, the origin of religion - and perhaps even the truth behind the Garden of Eden.

    A few weeks after his discovery, news of the shepherd's find reached museum curators in the ancient city of Sanliurfa, ten miles south-west of the stones.

    They got in touch with the German Archaeological Institute in Istanbul. And so, in late 1994, archaeologist Klaus Schmidt came to the site of Gobekli Tepe (pronounced Go-beckly Tepp-ay) to begin his excavations.

    As he puts it: 'As soon as I got there and saw the stones, I knew that if I didn't walk away immediately I would be here for the rest of my life.'

    Schmidt stayed. And what he has uncovered is astonishing. Archaeologists worldwide are in rare agreement on the site's importance. 'Gobekli Tepe changes everything,' says Ian Hodder, at Stanford University.

    David Lewis-Williams, professor of archaeology at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, says: 'Gobekli Tepe is the most important archaeological site in the world.'

    Some go even further and say the site and its implications are incredible. As Reading University professor Steve Mithen says: 'Gobekli Tepe is too extraordinary for my mind to understand.'

    So what is it that has energised and astounded the sober world of academia?

    The site of Gobekli Tepe is simple enough to describe. The oblong stones, unearthed by the shepherd, turned out to be the flat tops of awesome, T-shaped megaliths. Imagine carved and slender versions of the stones of Avebury or Stonehenge.

    Most of these standing stones are inscribed with bizarre and delicate images - mainly of boars and ducks, of hunting and game. Sinuous serpents are another common motif. Some of the megaliths show crayfish or lions.

    The stones seem to represent human forms - some have stylised 'arms', which angle down the sides. Functionally, the site appears to be a temple, or ritual site, like the stone circles of Western Europe.

    To date, 45 of these stones have been dug out - they are arranged in circles from five to ten yards across - but there are indications that much more is to come. Geomagnetic surveys imply that there are hundreds more standing stones, just waiting to be excavated.

    So far, so remarkable. If Gobekli Tepe was simply this, it would already be a dazzling site - a Turkish Stonehenge. But several unique factors lift Gobekli Tepe into the archaeological stratosphere - and the realms of the fantastical.

    The first is its staggering age. Carbon-dating shows that the complex is at least 12,000 years old, maybe even 13,000 years old.

    That means it was built around 10,000BC. By comparison, Stonehenge was built in 3,000 BC and the pyramids of Giza in 2,500 BC.

    Gobekli is thus the oldest such site in the world, by a mind-numbing margin. It is so old that it predates settled human life. It is pre-pottery, pre-writing, pre-everything. Gobekli hails from a part of human history that is unimaginably distant, right back in our hunter-gatherer past.

    How did cavemen build something so ambitious? Schmidt speculates that bands of hunters would have gathered sporadically at the site, through the decades of construction, living in animal-skin tents, slaughtering local game for food.

    The many flint arrowheads found around Gobekli support this thesis; they also support the dating of the site.

    This revelation, that Stone Age hunter-gatherers could have built something like Gobekli, is worldchanging, for it shows that the old hunter-gatherer life, in this region of Turkey, was far more advanced than we ever conceived - almost unbelievably sophisticated.





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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 28, 2009 3:18 PM GMT
    This is fantastic. It will be fascinating to hear about what they discover over the years.
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    Feb 28, 2009 3:30 PM GMT
    Great discovery, but let's not forget the paintings in the caves at Lascaux, France, which are 17,000 years old. More recent samples from the Chauvet Cave appear to push that date even farther back, to 30,000 years. The paintings also provide evidence of possible ritual & religion.

    But none of this will phase the Creationists. They'll continue to insist that the dating techniques are faulty, and that nothing exists beyond 5000 years ago, per the dates in the Bible.

    They even contend that dinosaur fossils are no older than that, and merely prove that the Great Flood wiped out all the creatures that Noah didn't save on the Ark, their remains becoming buried in all that rock. Carbon 14 dating and geologic stratigraphy be damned! Gimme that ole-time relijun, it's good enuf fer me!
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14342

    Feb 28, 2009 3:40 PM GMT
    This is an excellent discovery which proves that creationism is nothing more than an ancient fairy tale. The origins of man, other living creatures and the entire universe is much more complex than previously thought but don't waste valuable time trying to educate these right wing fools because they still insist that their archaic beliefs that the world was creating in six days and God rested on the seventh is true fact. Oh well, hopefully this will be the final nail in the coffin for creationism based education.
  • GQjock

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    Mar 01, 2009 10:19 AM GMT
    The problem with the Creationist team and the bunch of loonies that brought us that "Intelligent Design" roadshow is that they don't deal with Scientific data

    They're like Hebrew National hotdogs .... they work for a higher power icon_rolleyes.gif
    No matter how much proof and how much data you show them
    that man has evolved just like every other animal on this little rock we call earth they will keep singing the same old tune
    because they have been inflicted with the "god" virus

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    Mar 01, 2009 10:24 AM GMT
    Anyone wanna smoke a bowl and watch "Left Behind" with me? Nothin like religious nuts and getting wasted! Yeah! If Kirk Kameron gets too crazy, we can put in some Miyazaki instead.
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    Mar 01, 2009 10:49 AM GMT
    Since when have facts ever been bad news for creationists? If facts and scientific discoveries had any impact on how creationists saw the world, then religion would no longer have the grip on society that it still has. The bible would be looked upon as part history, rather than the spoken word of God.
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    Mar 01, 2009 11:03 AM GMT

    It's so amazing to remove the cover off these anceint times and learn more about them.. people at these times were'nt so primitive and stupid ..

    From our time to the next 10000 years people will not need to dig anymore to replay the history , everything in this world has been recorded and filmed ..
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    Mar 01, 2009 12:16 PM GMT
    I don't care about all the scientific evidence from C-14 and K-40 dating.

    I will still revolve my life around something with no crediable evidence or data.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go to church now... my fear of God needs to be revived once more.
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    Mar 01, 2009 12:37 PM GMT
    Wasn't Caslon born in 13,895 BC?

    That should be proof enough.
  • coolarmydude

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    Mar 01, 2009 1:21 PM GMT
    Silly McGay. Facts don't convince the willfully ignorant. icon_wink.gif
  • Aquanerd

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    Mar 01, 2009 1:42 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidSilly McGay. Facts don't convince the willfully ignorant. icon_wink.gif


    Creationist and "Global Warning Zealots;" Separated at birth?
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    Mar 01, 2009 1:46 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidSilly McGay. Facts don't convince the willfully ignorant. icon_wink.gif


    It didn't take long for someone to show up and prove you correct. See above.
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    Mar 01, 2009 1:55 PM GMT
    Matterych saidAnyone wanna smoke a bowl and watch "Left Behind" with me? Nothin like religious nuts and getting wasted! Yeah! If Kirk Kameron gets too crazy, we can put in some Miyazaki instead.


    I'll gladly smoke a bowl with you. :-)

    But you guys are a bit wrong. Creationists don't deny all science. If they can find one tiny bit of scientific evidence, no matter how much they have to stretch the interpretation, that supports their beliefs, they will cling to it.
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    Mar 01, 2009 2:05 PM GMT
    True - if there's any reaction to this find by creationists, it's going to go like this:

    "See? We told you so! Man and dinosaurs did walk the earth together 12,000 years ago! See? See? Nyah nyah."
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    Mar 01, 2009 2:06 PM GMT
    Didn't ya'll watch the last Indy Jones movie... this is the work of ALIENS. Duh.
  • Aquanerd

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    Mar 01, 2009 2:12 PM GMT
    McGay said
    coolarmydude saidSilly McGay. Facts don't convince the willfully ignorant. icon_wink.gif


    It didn't take long for someone to show up and prove you correct. See above.


    icon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 01, 2009 2:54 PM GMT
    Matterych saidAnyone wanna smoke a bowl and watch "Left Behind" with me? Nothin like religious nuts and getting wasted! Yeah! If Kirk Kameron gets too crazy, we can put in some Miyazaki instead.


    Great idea, Matterych. If Idaho and NH were closer, I know where I would like to spend my Sunday afternoon!
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    Mar 01, 2009 3:32 PM GMT
    GQJock> The problem with the Creationist team and the bunch of loonies that brought us that "Intelligent Design" roadshow is that they don't deal with Scientific data

    They can't even bother to read their mythos properly:

    http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0101.htm

    Gensis 1:14> And God said: 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years;

    So days weren't created until the 4th "day". How then were "days" measured before that?

    Of course there are other problems, such as trees coming before the sun, but I'm sure that's just a reversal on the part of a story-teller some 4,000 years ago. (:

    So-called "intelligent Design" is just a scientific-sounding euhpemism for Creationism (the New Republic had a few really good articles on it a few years ago, including one titled "The Faith That Dare Not Speak Its Name").


    Setting all that aside, this is indeed a great discovery and in that sense the title is unfortunate as it draws away from it and has made this a topic about Creationism.
  • reliable1

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    Mar 01, 2009 3:39 PM GMT
    One of the most important things about gobekli tepe is it predates agriculture. It is speculated that it had something to do with supporting the development of agriculture post hoc however. It's because this is the work of hunter-gatherers that it is so important (among other things).
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    Mar 01, 2009 3:49 PM GMT
    GQjock saidThey're like Hebrew National hotdogs .... they work for a higher power

    I think I understand the point of your reference, but please, let's not inadvertently slam those great hotdogs in the process! I think they're a super product, and I'm not Jewish myself, just recognize something good when I taste it. icon_wink.gif
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    Mar 01, 2009 4:31 PM GMT
    Just to emphasize the importance of this discovery:

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/gobekli-tepe.html?c=y&page=2

    || Scholars have long believed that only after people learned to farm and live in settled communities did they have the time, organization and resources to construct temples and support complicated social structures. But Schmidt argues it was the other way around: the extensive, coordinated effort to build the monoliths literally laid the groundwork for the development of complex societies.

    || The immensity of the undertaking at Gobekli Tepe reinforces that view. Schmidt says the monuments could not have been built by ragged bands of hunter-gatherers. To carve, erect and bury rings of seven-ton stone pillars would have required hundreds of workers, all needing to be fed and housed. Hence the eventual emergence of settled communities in the area around 10,000 years ago. "This shows sociocultural changes come first, agriculture comes later," says Stanford University archaeologist Ian Hodder, who excavated Catalhoyuk, a prehistoric settlement 300 miles from Gobekli Tepe. "You can make a good case this area is the real origin of complex Neolithic societies."
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    Mar 01, 2009 4:37 PM GMT
    GQjock saidThe problem with the Creationist team and the bunch of loonies that brought us that "Intelligent Design" roadshow is that they don't deal with Scientific data

    They're like Hebrew National hotdogs .... they work for a higher power icon_rolleyes.gif
    No matter how much proof and how much data you show them
    that man has evolved just like every other animal on this little rock we call earth they will keep singing the same old tune
    because they have been inflicted with the "god" virus


    To argue the contrarian position for a moment, if anything, discovering civilized culture circa 10,000 BC could be used as an argument against macro evolution, in so much that it indicates that humans were far more advanced back then than the scientific community had previously surmised. Maybe the creationist's dates are just off. One might also argue that the urgency of subsistence living precluded ancient man from developing extensive cultural expression until such time as the human food supply became more stable by way of agricultural development and a more collaborative society. Hence, humanity's capacity for culture may simply have been suppressed by its preoccupation with survival. Humanity's capacity to learn and adapt, which might be considered as micro-evolutionary in nature, enabled us to eventually reach the pinnacles of 21st century technology.

    I get it. The Bible contains a lot allegory and poetry, and hyper-literalism is a seductive poison. I also get that there is plenty of evidence in favor of evolution. However, what does the gay community have to gain by casting aspersions on those whose creationist beliefs persist? Why is it necessary to trash the opposition instead of working to elevate society's understanding and appreciation for gay life and culture?

    I've got my asbestos armor on, so bring on the flames.
  • GQjock

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    Mar 01, 2009 9:41 PM GMT
    However, what does the gay community have to gain by casting aspersions on those whose creationist beliefs persist? Why is it necessary to trash the opposition instead of working to elevate society's understanding and appreciation for gay life and culture?

    Unfortunately, and I'm surprised that I need to spell this out for anyone
    Fundamentalism in any form of religion seems to take direct aim at homosexuality hence the hateful speech of the Baptists and the reason why the Episcopal church is splitting apart
    Anything that goes against scripture debunks their lies and the verses that they hide behind when they spout their vile

    As far as man's early use of civilization going against "macro"-evolution as you call it?
    How so?
    Civilization is basically a tool of survival ... no different evolutionarily as a seagull's use of a rock to open up the shell of a crab
    or the Chimp's use of a blade of grass to extract termites from a mound
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    Mar 01, 2009 10:01 PM GMT
    I don't get it . How does this disprove creation? The Bible never says how old the earth is. Neither evolution nor carbon dating disproves a creator behind it all. It would be virtually impossible to prove there is no creator just as much as proving there is.