Young earth creationists claim, with no thought whatsoever, that the entire world was flooded approximately 4000 years ago, and that our present society arose since that time. This idea is based upon two very mistaken ideas. The first is that humans are infinitely inventive, and the second is that a small number of people can bring a world of technology with them. This essay will dispute that notion.
For a small while, I was essentially the research department for a company. I was told, in effect, go in that room and think deep thoughts. The idea was that I was not to be bothered by day to day activities so I could think. I got no phone calls, was asked to no meetings and consequently, I thought of no new ideas. There was no stimulus. It was boring. I quickly begged my way out of that job. The lesson here is that technology and invention requires intellectual stimulations.
You can see this same phenomenon with the Tasmanians. The Tasmanians were Australian aborigines at the time that the seas rose and cut them off form Australia 8,000 years ago. The small island could really support only about 4000 hunter-gatherers. So these 4000 people were isolated for 8,000 years. Josephine Flood said:
“No other surviving human society has ever been isolated so long or so completely as were Tasmanian Aborigines over the last 8000 years. (The land bridge was gradually inundated between 12000 and 8000 BP?….)” (Flood, 1989, p. 173)
What was the effect of this isolation? A decline in technology. There is an infamous article by William McGrew, an anthropologist, who compared Tasmanian technology with that of the chimpanzee. Mithen writes:
“Bill McGrew, author of the most comprehensive study of chimpanzee material culture, firmly believes that chimpanzee tool use is of considerable complexity. Indeed, in an (in)famous article written in 1987, he directly compared the toolkits of chimpanzees to those of Tasmanian Aborigines and concluded that they were at an equivalent level of complexity. For this comparison McGrew chose to measure complexity by counting ‘technounits’, which is simply an individual component of a tool, whatever material that component is made from and however it is used. So a hoe used by, say, a peasant farmer, comprising a shaft, a blade and a binding, has three technounits, while the suite of computerized robots operated by a modern car worker has perhaps three million technounits.
“When McGrew measured the technounits in the tools of the Tasmanian Aborigines and those of the Tanzanian chimpanzees he found that the mean number of technounits per tool was not substantially different. All chimpanzee tools and most of the Aboriginal tools were made from a single component. The most complex Aboriginal tool, a baited hide, had only four technounits.”(Mithens, 1996, p. 75)
Did the Tasmanians start out this way when the waters rose? No.
“Bone tools were also present at Rocky cape. Seven thousand years ago people here were using a considerable number and variety of bone artefacts: large, rounded tipped points or awls made from macropod shin bones, small, sharp needle-like points (without an eye), broad spatulae, and an assortment of split slivers of bone fashioned ot a point at one end. The people were using one bone tool to every two or three stone ones.
“A remarkable change took place over the next four thousand years: bone tools dropped out of use. By 4000 years ago only one bone tool was being used for every fifteen stone ones, and by 3500 years ago they had disappeared from the Tasmanian toolkit altogether. This disappearance of bone tools in Tasmania about 3000 years ago has been confirmed by the evidence of several other sites in both the north-west and east of the island.” (Flood, 1989, p. 176-177)