Comparing Biblical and scientific timelines

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Comparing Biblical and scientific timelines

Postby mitchellmckain on June 26th, 2018, 3:47 am 

This is kind of an addenum to the discussion: Evolution of human consciousness.

First, about 6000 years ago a man and a woman "walked in the Garden with God." The story seems to be explaining how we got the way we are now with evil in the world and a separation from God. There is much in the story that need not be taken literally -- for example, nothing in the Bible sounds more symbolic than the names of the two trees in this story. But no matter how you understand the events told of there, the Bible gives us a timeline placing this event around 6000 years ago. But there very little reason to take seriously the idea that an ancient necromancer created the earth and all living things in only 7 days around that time.

Then, about 4000 years ago, there is the story of a family surviving a flood. That this really represents a near extinction event for the species is rather unlikely, but there might have been an event wiping out what represented human civilization in some area of the world. After this the story tells of a dispersal around the world and a multiplication of human language (and a diversity of culture usually goes along with this). A more likely explanation is that this only represent a spread of ideas into a population already there (including the story of this flood).

Starting from about 2000 years ago we see the split of the theism of Judea into a multiplicity of religions incuding Judaism, Christianity, Islam. This is included here becomes many of the reasons for this division is found in the Biblical narrative of this time also.

The Earth dates from 4.543 billion years ago, and the evolution of life began very soon after this. The evolution of the human species took millions of years, with some evidence of tool usage going back 3 million years.

Evidence suggest a near extinction of the species occurring 125,000 to 200,000 years ago, with a remnant surviving on the southern coast of Africa during an ice age where much of the rest of the earth was scoured by glaciers. As one might expect, the so called "mitochondrial Eve" and "chromosomal Adam" date from around this time (though of course these do not represent individual people who lived at the same time, like Adam and Eve in the Biblical story). Also, anatomically modern humans seem to arise from this same time which agrees with the idea that near extinction brings the fastest evolutionary changes.

There is evidence of successive human migrations from Africa, spreading into Asia by 90,000 years ago, all the way to southeast Asia and Australia by 50,000 years ago, Europe by 40,000 years ago, and the Americas by 12,000 years ago.

There are cave paintings going back some 35,400 years ago.

Then we have evidence of communities or cities going back some 11,000 to 13,000 years ago.
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