Did The African Eve Leave Footprints? | The Institute for Creation Research
 
Did The African Eve Leave Footprints?

There are two popular theories regarding the evolutionary origin of man among evolutionists. One supposes that the Homo erectus type evolved simultaneously in several areas, eventually becoming modern man. They had all descended from Australopithecines, but had maintained enough genetic contact with one another to produce the one species, Homo sapiens.

The other view (there are various opinions within each, of course) is called the "out of Africa" scenario. This idea proposes that while Homo erectus, Neanderthal, and others existed in places around the world, a particular group of humans migrated "out of Africa" some 100,000 to 300,000 years ago, and eliminated or out-competed all others. Even though they were probably interfertile, little mixing is supposed. All humans are thought to have descended from this replacing group.

This view is supported by genetic comparison of all existing human ethnic groups. Of course, the genetic differences are remarkably slight, and all are interfertile. The mitochondrial DNA, passed only from mother to offspring, has been interpreted to point back to one individual mother, as the matriarch of the migrating clan. All humans today go back to this "African Eve." Others were present, but their individual lines died out or merged with hers.

Creationists, as well as many evolutionists, have pointed out the weaknesses in this analytical study, but we would agree that all humans did go back to one woman, the Biblical Eve. While the African Eve idea and the Biblical doctrine are not at all equivalent, creationists are encouraged that secular science is at least thinking in terms of a Biblical vocabulary.

A recent discovery, reported mid-August in newspapers worldwide and in the September National Geographic, consisted of three footprints perhaps made by this hypothetical African Eve. Sure enough they were found in South Africa and dated at 117,000 years old. Assuming the "out of Africa" theory to be correct, the investigators couldn't help wondering if these "right place—right time" prints were hers.

As always, we must separate the data from the interpretation, and certainly from the stories. The prints are fully human, just like yours or mine. They were somewhat small, 8.5" long, thus potentially female. They are impressed into a semi-hardened sand dune, and are so friable they can't be removed, but they show heel, arch, ball, and big toe.

No dating technique exists which can date loose sand or sandstone. Thus the date must be subjective and based on uniformitarian assumptions. The prints were essentially on the surface, exposed as wind and rain had removed topsoil and overlying sand.

Not only are the prints fully human, they are essentially identical to those found in 1978-79 at Laetoli by Mary Leakey. That volcanic stratum, however, was dated at 3.5 million years old, so the prints could not have been human (by evolutionary standards), and so were assigned to Australopithecus, even though the Australopithecus foot looked more like a hand, with opposing thumb.

Modern human footprints, in surface layers—what's the big deal? The big deal is that this evidence is useful to the "out of Africa" faction. It's even more useful when the evidence is clouded by a forced interpretation. Once again the fabricated story can be told that man evolved by natural processes, without being accountable to a Creator-God. And they consider that a big deal!

* Dr. John Morris is President of ICR.

Cite this article: Morris, J. 1997. Did the African Eve Leave Footprints? Acts & Facts. 26 (10).

The Latest
NEWS
Microraptor Ate Mammals But Was Not a Dinosaur
The recent claim of a nearly half-inch mammal foot in the stomach of a ‘dinosaur’ is tainted by evolutionary dogma.1 The fossil...

NEWS
Dr. John Morris Is at Home with His Lord
Dr. John Morris passed peacefully away on January 29, 2023. He was deeply respected and dearly loved by family, friends, and colleagues. Fondly known...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Scripture Memory & Archaeological Evidence | Creation.Live Podcast:...
"Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:11 NKJV). Scripture memory was important thousands of years...

NEWS
Webb Telescope Continues to Challenge Big Bang
Data obtained by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) continue to challenge expectations of Big Bang proponents.1,2 The JWST is designed...

CREATION PODCAST
The Truth About the Chimp Genome (Humans & Chimps: Part 2) |...
Have scientists proven human evolution from a "common apelike ancestor," or are we being told a clever, confusing story filled with farcical...

NEWS
World's Oldest Meal
The Ediacara biota is a sporadic faunal (animal) stage containing unique soft-bodied fossil creatures in sandstone from the Ediacaran System dating...

NEWS
No Microbes on Mars
Mars is a lifeless world. But those holding to a naturalistic worldview continue to have hope—even faith—that the Red Planet was at...

NEWS
Flood Explains Grouping of Ichthyosaurs
The discovery of dozens of ichthyosaur fossils in Nevada was announced in the journal Current Biology.1 Seven 50-foot long ichthyosaurs of...

NEWS
Frog Stripe Evolution?
Color patterns in animals, whether vertebrates or invertebrates, are designed by the Creator for camouflage, warning, courtship, or, simply, for the...

CREATION PODCAST
They Lied to Us? (Humans & Chimps: Part 1) | The Creation Podcast:...
Back in the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin promoted the supposed similarity between humans and chimpanzees. Later DNA studies seemed to support...