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HOW OLD IS LIFE ON EARTH ?


In 1996, 'Enigma" reported:

Since Ignatius Donnelly's "Atlantis - The Antediluvian World" came out in 1882, one of the main arguments, used by skeptics, against the existence of Atlantis has been that there is no evidence of any advanced civilization that far back in time - 9000 BC.

However, practically every year new discovers are made which continue to push back the dates of the beginning of civilization. The discoveries keep showing us that ancient man was more sophisticated than previously believed.

Discovered in Nevada in 1940, a mummy, named the Spirit Cave man, was originally thought to be 2000 years old. Recent radiocarbon dating has pushed its age back to 9,400 years (7,400 BC).

The most intriguing facts is that the mummy was wearing moccasins and shrouds of woven marsh plants. The weave of the shrouds indicates that it was made on a loom. If these findings turn out to be true it would mean that the there were people in North America more than 9,000 years ago with the knowledge and technology to weave cloths on looms.

Such a level of sophistication again pushes back the dates of early civilization and should makes us question some long held assumptions about the primitiveness of ancient people.

This certainly doesn't prove the existence of Atlantis, but it does push accepted science closer to the possibility.

However ....
In 2003, the BBC reported ....

Three fossilised skulls unearthed in Ethiopia are said by scientists to be among the most important discoveries ever made in the search for the origin of humans.

The crania of two adults and a child, all dated to be around 160,000 years old, were pulled out of sediments near a village called Herto in the Afar region in the east of the country. They are described by Professor Tim White as the oldest known fossils of modern humans, or Homo sapiens.

However ....
Less than 2 years later, Australian scientists determined that these skulls are actually closer to 195,000 year old - 40,000 years older than any other existing modern human remains. Australian geochronologist Ian McDougall said volcanic ash around the fossils allowed the skulls to be aged. The findings are published in the Nature journal.

However .....
In 2005 New Scientist reported ...

The fossilised skeleton of a four million-year-old human ancestor able to walk on two legs were found in north-east Ethiopia.

The discovery was made about 60 kilometres (37 miles) from where the fossilised remains of a hominid called Lucy were found in 1974. This skeleton is bigger and had longer legs than Lucy.

It has surprised the scientists and remains unexplained. "This is the world's oldest biped," says Latimer. "It will revolutionise the way we see human evolution."

And also consider ....
According to the BBC in October 2003 ....

A sheep farmer in Australia discovered a fossil of the world's oldest vertebrate - the common ancestor of all animals with a backbone. Sheep station owner Ross Fargher found the fossil among a number of strange shapes embedded in sandstone slabs on his farm.

At 560 million years old the fossil is around 30 million years older than the next oldest vertebrate remains found so far.

 
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