Revisiting Human Origins

IIT Roorkee, 17 October 2016: NSS IIT Roorkee on 17 October 2016 organized a guest lecture by an eminent American Researcher Dr. Michael A. Cremo on “Revisiting Human Origins-Studying Archaeological Evidences for Extreme Human Antiquity”, in the O.P. Jain Auditorium of the Civil Engineering department. The speaker was very well received, with a huge turnout, both from the students and the faculty, with people resorting to sit on the steps when empty seats could not be found.
The event began with the NSS faculty coordinator Dr. Smita Jha welcoming Dr. Cremo. She then proceeded to explain the importance of lectures. This was followed by the presentation of a bouquet to Dr. Cremo. The audience was then told about Dr. Cremo. He has given talks at various eminent institutions like the Royal Institution in London, Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, MIT, Stanford,and IISc Bangalore and is a member of the World Archaeological Congress & the European Congress of Archaeology.
Dr. Cremo began his talk by thanking people for coming to hear him. He informed the audience that his work is inspired by studies in Vedic literature, especially the Puranas. The crux of his talk was the question of how old the human species are. The current paradigm believes the modern humans to have originated 200,000 years ago, whereas the Puranas, according to him, hint at the number being in the millions. He proceeded to explain the primary and secondary scientific literatures and told that he had two major findings:

  • There is no report of evidence of extreme human antiquity in secondary scientific literature.
  • Primary scientific literature has evidence of extreme human antiquities, both the ones in the past and the present.

He put forward “Knowledge Filtration” as the cause of this anomaly. He quoted Thomas Kuhn, “…With a paradigm, there is a basis of judging evidence…” and “…Normal Science often suppresses fundamental novelties because they are subversive of its basic commitments…”. He has collected his findings in his book “Forbidden Literature”. He then followed this up with citing various archaeological findings that support his claim of extreme human antiquity:

  • Virginia Steen McIntyre discovered weapons made of animal bones from a site dated to 245,000 years old, below a layer of volcanic ash 270,000 years old. Because it did not fit the current paradigm, archaeologist denied the reports and she lost her teaching position when she published independently.
  • In 2015 in Happisburgh, UK, footprints 780,000 to 1,000,000 years old were discovered whose foot index matched those of the modern man.
  • An OH-86 finger bone was discovered in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania in 2015. It was dated to 1,840,000 years old.
  • In 1979, Mary Leakey found footprints at Laetoli, Tanzania in a layer of solidified volcanic ash which was 3,700,000 years old. The footprints were indistinguishable from modern human footprints.

He told of his book “Forbidden Archaeology”, which has been translated into 20 languages, that is designed to demolish the case of biological and cultural evolution and advance the cause of a Vedic alternative.
The questions were then invited from the audience. There was a healthy participation. One of the questions was that since the dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, does Dr. Cremo claim that humans walked with the dinosaurs. He replied that he simply does his research and reports it to the public. People can form various opinions from it and draw appropriate conclusions.
The next question was whether there is any genetic evidence for supporting his claims, to which he answered that genetic extrapolation is based on a lot of assumptions and based on paradigms. Since our paradigms are in question, genetic evidence might not prove helpful. The last question was whether there is something in the Puranas which mentions something tangible validating its claims. His response was the example of the river Saraswati, which is mentioned in the Puranas, but is dried up today, disappearing somewhere 5000-7000 years ago. Thus, the Puranas must have been written before that time. Moreover, they follow a cyclical concept of time, consisting of 14 brahmas, each one lasting 300 million years with a huge devastation between them. According to the Puranas, we are in the seventh Brahma. Modern geologists and archaeologists agree on the fact that since its inception, there have been 6 major extinction events on Earth.
The session came to a conclusion on this note. He was honoured by Dr. Smita Jha with a shawl and a memento. The audience were thanked for the overwhelming response by the NSS General Secretary Somesh Mohapatra and audience were provided with refreshments while leaving.