Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Oldest stone tools found at 3.3 mya

arroba Email

From Scientific American

A happy accident led to the discovery of the ancient tools. Sonia Harmand of Stony Brook University and her team had been en route to a known fossil site on the western shore of Lake Turkana one morning in July 2011 when the group took a wrong turn and ended up in a previously unexplored area. The researchers decided to survey it and by teatime they had found stone artifacts. They named the site Lomekwi 3, and went on to recover dozens of tools—including flakes, cores and anvils–from both the surface and below ground. Harmand described the findings April 14 in a talk given at the annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society in San Francisco.

“The cores and flakes we recovered are clearly knapped and are not the result of accidental or natural rock fracture,” Harmand said. “The Lomekwi 3 knappers were able to deliver sufficient intentional force to detach repeatedly series of adjacent and superposed flakes and then to continue knapping by rotating the cores.” The team determined the age of the tools based on their stratigraphic position relative to two layers of volcanic ash and a magnetic reversal of known ages. More.

Those who made them, 700k years earlier than thought, are labelled “primitive.”

See also: The search for our earliest ancestors: signals in the noise

Follow UD News at Twitter!

Here's a nice photo: http://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/5768/20150419/worlds-oldest-stone-tools-discovered-kenya.htm There are instances where purported "stone tools" are controversial, but this one does look knapped. There have been efforts to try to date stone based on rock varnish, but it seems that the technique is problematic: http://www.geopor.pt/GPnov/gsc.html -Q Querius
I don't actually think natural forces have the combinatorial resources to produce "any shape". As for traces of humanoids... you mean the artifacts in question? Or do you mean fossilized remains? Depending on population size (and myriad other conditions), the latter may be unlikely. bloodymurderlive
Paleoarchaeologists cannot date stone tools. They can only date the strata in which they were found. I seem to remember reading about something like this discovery occurring in Mexico, except that it conflicted with the current narrative, destroying the careers of the people who found the artifacts. Lessee, here's a link that I found that has the basic information along with photographs: http://beforeitsnews.com/beyond-science/2012/10/hueyatlaco-250000-year-old-settlement-in-mexico-found-under-volcanic-ash-2439498.html Notice how everything that found was immediately disputed, unlike the contemporary finds in Africa. There are some interesting quotes in the article, including this one:
On March 30, 1981, Steen-McIntyre wrote to Estella Leopold, the associate editor of Quaternary Research: “The problem as I see it is much bigger than Hueyatlaco. It concerns the manipulation of scientific thought through the suppression of ‘Enigmatic Data,’ data that challenges the prevailing mode of thinking. Hueyatlaco certainly does that! Not being an anthropologist, I didn’t realize the full significance of our dates back in 1973, nor how deeply woven into our thought the current theory of human evolution had become. Our work at Hueyatlaco has been rejected by most archaeologists because it contradicts that theory, period.”
So, apparently there are some important lessons to be learned here about how science works. -Q Querius
In the multiverse, there are so many universes that there will be some in which stone tools are produced by chance. Jim Smith
“The cores and flakes we recovered are clearly knapped and are not the result of accidental or natural rock fracture,”  But how can you say this? Where is the evidence that this is not an accident? We can see no traces of humanoids near these supposed tools yet we are to believe as if by magic some being purposefully designed these as tools? That is ridiculous. After all, everyone knows after millions of years rocks can virtually change into any shape or pattern in a purposeless and random accidental way. Dr JDD
Young Earth Creationism? Mung

Leave a Reply