Who Are We?
Reflections on Worlds Before Our Own
by Brad Steiger
I find myself now in the seventh decade of life still asking two questions that in one way or another the great majority of my 165 published books have sought to answer: 1.) Who are we as a species? 2.) What is our destiny?
The basic reason that I wrote Worlds Before Our Own (G.P. Putnam�s Sons, 1978; Anomalist Books, 2007) is that I have always found it incredible that such sophisticated people as we judge ourselves to be, do not really know who we are.
Archaeologists, anthropologists, and various academicians who play the "origins of Man" game, reluctantly and only occasionally acknowledge instances where unique skeletal and cultural evidence from the prehistoric record suddenly appear long before they should -- and in places where they should not. These irritating artifacts destroy the orderly evolutionary line that academia has for so long presented to the public. Consequently, such data have been largely left buried in site reports, forgotten storage rooms, and dusty archives where one suspects that there is a great deal of suppressed, ignored, and misplaced pre-historical cultural evidence that would alter the established interpretations of human origins and provide us with a much clearer definition of what it means to be human.
There is now a basic academic consensus that the "homo" lineage goes back at least three million years, and that an ancestor of modern man evolved about one million years ago. Homo Sapiens, the "thinking man," (our own species), became the dominant planetary life form on a worldwide basis, about 40,000 years ago.
It is difficult enough to explain the sudden appearance of Homo Sapiens at that time, but it is an even more complex question to ponder why Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man correspondingly disappeared. And academic warfare rages unceasingly over whether or not Neanderthal and our ancestors were two separate species or whether they interbred.
And just as scientists are adding to a growing body of evidence that humankind developed in Africa, a Hungarian excavation surrenders a Homo Sapiens skull fragment in a context more than 600,000 years out of alignment with the accepted calendar of man's migrations across the planet. Hominid fossils are unearthed in Dmanisi, Georgia, indicative of 1.77 million years old; and a homind tooth found in Niocene deposits near the Maritsa River in Bulgaria is dated at seven million years old.
What happens to Darwinian evolution when there are such sites as the one in Australia, which yielded Homo Sapiens (modern man), Homo erectus (our million-year-old ancestor), and Neanderthal (our Stone Age cousin) in what appears to be a contemporaneous environment? Then there is the Tabun site where Homo Sapiens fragments were found in strata below (which means older than) classic Neanderthal bones. In August 2007, scientists dating fossils found in Kenya challenged the conventional view that Homo Habilis (1.44 million years) and Homo erectus (1.55 million years) evolved one after the other. Dating of new fossil evidence revealed that the two species lived side by side in Africa for almost half a million years.
Somewhere, in what would appear to be a biological and cultural free-for-all, there must lie the answer to that most important question: Who are we?
But just as we are trying our best to fit skeletal fragments together in a manner that will be found acceptable to what we believe we know about our origins, footprints are being found in stone, which, if they are what they appear to be, will make a total shambles of our accepted evolutionary calendar. In Pershing County, Nevada, a shoe print was found in Triassic limestone, strata indicative of 400 million years, in which the fossilized evidence clearly revealed finely wrought double-stitching in the seams.
Early in 1975, Dr. Stanley Rhine of the University of New Mexico announced his discovery of human-like footprints in strata indicative of 40 million years old. A few months before, a similar find was made in Kenton, Oklahoma. At almost the same time, a discovery of a footprint in stone was revealed in north-central Wisconsin.