The hidden history of human evolution

Taken from a paper given to the Royal Institution by Michael Cremo, the historian of archaeology at the Bhaktivedanta Institute in America

Share
Related Topics

Recently archaeologists have come to recognise that the way we see the past is to a large extent influenced by our present conceptions, particularly our present conception of time. They have therefore come to see the value of looking at the past through different time lenses.

I proposed to examine the entire archaeological record through a time lens derived from the ancient Sanskrit writings of India, especially the Puranas, or histories. The writings contradict the dominant view that anatomically modern humans arose between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago from more ape-like ancestors.

An examination of the entire archaeological record accumulated since the time of Darwin should reveal two things: extensive archaeological evidence for extreme human antiquity, and a process of knowledge filtration whereby this evidence was edited from the record because it violated evolutionary conceptions. Both predictions came true. Here is a representative case. In 1880, Harvard University published a monograph by geologist JD Whitney titled the "The Auriferous Gravels of the Sierra Nevada of California". In this work, Whitney recorded discoveries of anatomically modern human bones and artefacts in the California gold mines. According to modern geological reports, the oldest of the discoveries come from layers of rock more than 50 million years old. We do not hear much about these discoveries today because of the process of knowledge filtration.

William B Holmes, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution, said in the Smithsonian Institution Annual Report (1899), "Perhaps if Professor Whitney had fully appreciated the story of human evolution as it is understood today, he would have hesitated to announce the conclusions formulated, notwithstanding the imposing array of testimony with which he was confronted." In other words, if the facts did not fit the theory of human evolution, they had to be set aside. And that is what happened.

In the 1970s, American archaeologists were conducting excavations at Hueyatlaco in central Mexico and uncovered stone tools and weapons, including projectile points. They were the kinds of artefacts archaeologists attribute to humans like us, not any kind of ape-man.

To date the site, the archaeologists called in a team of American geologists, including Virginia Steen-McIntyre. Using several of the latest methods, the geologists arrived at an age in excess of 250,000 years for the site. The archaeologists refused to publish the date. Steen-McIntyre, operating independently of the archaeologists, eventually found a scientific journal (Quaternary Research) that would publish the dates she and her colleagues from the United States Geological Survey had obtained.

On 30 March 1981, Virginia 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 realise 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."

Multiply these two cases by several hundred, some of which go back tens of millions of years (as I have documented in my book The Hidden History of the Human Race), and we can begin to sense the true dimension of the problem.

Only the other day, I saw a BBC report that archaeologists were puzzling about evidence for aesthetic painting found in Zambia at a site thought to be perhaps 400,000 years old. Too old for humans like us? Maybe not.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Relations Officer

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: IT Help Desk Support

£14500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An IT Help Desk Support individ...

Recruitment Genius: Interim HR Advisor

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are going through an excitin...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£37500 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced Quantity Surveyor r...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Craig Oliver, David Cameron’s Director of Communications  

i Editor's Letter: Poultry excuses from chicken spin doctors

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Women come back from the fields to sell vegetables at a market in Bangui, Central African Republic  

International Women's Day: Africa's women need to believe in themselves and start leading the way

Sylvia Bongo Ondimba
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable