Fresh Kiwis | The Institute for Creation Research
Fresh Kiwis

Ancient dates have once again been reevaluated and found to be less than accurate. Instances from every isotopic dating technique have been routinely rejected for decades. Typically, the newest “date” is pronounced superior, and post hoc caveats are invented to explain the inferiority of the old dates. One standard has remained consistent, however—the belief in millions of years. The recent revision of the accepted date of human arrival in New Zealand is refreshingly different.

Science News reported Dr Janet Wilmhurst from Landcare Research as saying, “As the Pacific rat or kiore cannot swim very far, it can only have arrived in New Zealand with people on board their canoes....Therefore, the earliest evidence of the Pacific rat in New Zealand must indicate the arrival of people.”1 In 1996, Nature published that carbon dating of rat bones from archaeological sites in New Zealand revealed their ages to be approximately 200 B.C.2

Dr. Wilmhurst has re-performed carbon dating of rat bones from the same sites, but has added dates from other sources, including over one hundred seeds. She concludes that “the earliest dates for rat and human arrival are strikingly consistent with the oldest dates from archaeological sites, the first large clearances of forest by fire, and declines or extinctions of marine and land-based fauna. It now seems certain that the first Maori settlers arrived in New Zealand sometime about 1280 A.D.”1

This is a case study in quality origin science. The way to investigate a question about the past is to overlay a variety of evidences from many angles and draw conclusions straight from the data. In this case, research indicates that 1,000 years needs to be removed from the previous date of the arrival of the New Zealand colonizers.

This fits well with a biblical timeline. If the Deluge occurred near 2348 B.C.,3 if a single Ice Age followed that by about 500 years, then—given time for ocean levels to stabilize according to Psalm 104:6-8—the New Zealand coastline would have been prepared for discovery well before 1280 A.D.


  1. New Zealand’s Colonization 1000 Years Later Than Previously Thought? Science News. Posted on June 4, 2008, accessed June 5, 2008.
  2. Holdaway, R.N. 1996. Arrival of rats in New Zealand. Nature. 384: 225-226.
  3. See “Chronology for everybody” by Ruth Beechick, available at

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.

Article posted on June 10, 2008.

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