Preserved wood was recently found in Kalambo Falls, Zambia, where evolutionary anthropologists from Aberystwyth University and the University of Liverpool suggest “early humans intentionally shaped and combined two logs, showcasing the deliberate crafting of logs to fit together.”1 The designed pieces were dated at almost a half-million years (476,000 years ago).
The article stated that, “dating these ancient artifacts was a challenge.”1 Aberystwyth University used a dating technique called luminescence dating that involves the last ultraviolet light exposure of feldspar and quartz minerals (the key constituents of mineral soils and sediments). Like other dating techniques, most luminescence dating methods rely on assumptions, such as sufficient “bleaching” of the mineral grains in sunlight. Indeed, all dating methods critically depend on assumptions.
Finding wooden material that remained in fairly pristine condition for 476,000 years is a stretch. Could Kalambo Falls and its high water levels protect these wooden artifacts for all these years? Would there not have been any times of low water levels or drought? Are we to believe that when the wood was exposed there was no degradation by insects, mold, fire, fungi, or extreme weather for all that time?
Wood that attains 20% or more moisture content and is not able to dry out is an ideal candidate for wood rot caused by fungi. Indeed, the Nature article addressed the “waterlogged deposits at the archaeological site of Kalambo Falls, Zambia...”2
Professor Larry Barham from the University of Liverpool stated the significance of the discovery of these logs, saying, “They [‘Stone Age humans’] used their intelligence, imagination, and skills to create something they’d never seen before, something that had never previously existed.”1
How does he know these people never saw crafted logs or that they had never previously existed? The creation model states Noah and his family constructed the Ark via skills, imagination, and intelligence. As people migrated out from the Mt. Ararat region after the Flood, they took with them the needed skills to use trees and shape the lumber for making shelters. Indeed, Barham et al. stated in Nature, “The finds show an unexpected early diversity of forms and the capacity to shape tree trunks into large combined structures.”2
These were 100% humans who did the cutting and shaping. It was clearly not done by “ancient human ancestors, predating Homo sapiens, [who] were already engaging in advanced woodworking.”1 According to the creation model, people have always been people,3,4 and it is maintained that fully human humans made these structures sometime after the Flood that occurred about 4,500 years ago, possibly early in the dispersion from Babel.
We read in Genesis that man was created in God’s image thousands of years ago. Evolutionary naturalism rejects the Genesis account and must rely on unending variations of human evolution: “The recent human evolution story is a quagmire of ever-changing speculations that vary and conflict in their dates and geographical specifics with each new paleoanthropological or archaic DNA sequence discovery.”5,6
This unexpected discovery of woodworking in Africa shows once again that man is smart from the start, and the start couldn’t have been that long ago.7
- Not Built by Homo sapiens – Scientists Discover “Extraordinary” 476,000-Year-Old Wooden Structure. University of Liverpool via ScienceTechDaily. Posted on sciencetechdaily.com October 9, 2023, accessed November 11, 2023.
- Barham, L. et al. 2023. Evidence for the earliest structural use of wood at least 476,000 years ago. Nature. 622:107-111.
- Tomkins, J. et al. 2022. Human Origins. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research.
- Rupe, C. and J. Sanford. 2017. Contested Bones. Livonia, NY: Feed My Sheep Foundation, Inc.
- Tomkins, J. More Unique Human Genes Defy Evolution Narrative. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org March 14, 2022, accessed November 10, 2023.
- Tomkins, J. 2020. Out of Babel, not Africa: genetic evidence for a biblical model of human origins. Journal of Creation. 34 (1): 79-85.
- Sherwin, F. 2021. Man: Smart From the Start. Acts & Facts. 50 (8): 13.
Stage image: Kalambo falls at Rukwa Region Tanzania
Stage image credit: Copyright © Humphrey Kaburu, 2022. Used in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holder.
* Dr. Sherwin is science news writer at the Institute for Creation Research. He earned an M.A. in zoology from the University of Northern Colorado and received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Pensacola Christian College.