The Problem with Facts
Facts, as proclaimed by unknowing supporters of modern archaeology and anthropology, particularly the massive evolutionist wing of it, aren’t facts. Facts are things that are, at least in the historical field, very likely to be true, usually coming with no serious alternative arguments against them and having much evidence to support them. The problem with the assumption that facts, or better stated ideas and hypotheses of modern scholars, are subject to change whenever new evidence is considered or found that hadn’t been in the picture before.
An example is dating the reign of Sargon of Akkad. Most today would say that Sargon of Akkad reigned from 2334 B.C. to 2284 B.C. Currently, most use that date, but there are other views on when to place his reign (and other events up until the Kassite rule in Babylonia). The widely popular Short (Low) Chronology was used especially in the 1970s and 80s, until dendrochronological findings (tree-ring counting in wooden artifacts) and radiocarbon dating, favored the Middle Chronology, which was used in the set of dates supplied above. These chronologies differed by 64 years, the Short Chronology having placed Sargon’s reign from 2270 – 2220 B.C. There are other chronologies too. Currently the most serious challenger is the Ultra-low chronology, which uses historical records to match up eclipses in order to establish a chronology whose dates differ from the Middle Chronology by 96 years! The dating of Sargon’s reign, as well as other kings such as Naram-Sin and Hammurabi, are entirely dependent on what chronology is used. How can the dates of Sargon of Akkad’s reign be fact if they’ve changed in the past forty years?
But let’s just say that, for the sake of argument, the date of anything no longer counts as a fact. There are still problems with this assumption. For example, when archaeological digs were first done in the Near East, many doubted the existence of a certain king Belshazzar as mentioned in the Book of Daniel. Before the discovery of a few writings, most thought that either Belshazzar didn’t exist or that Belshazzar and Nabonidus were the same person. That was until two writings, the Nabonidus Cylinder and the Nabonidus Chronicle, were found and translated. The first piece of evidence comes from the Nabonidus Cylinder, where it is stated that Nabonidus’ oldest son was in fact named Belshazzar. Our second piece of the puzzle then comes from the Nabonidus Chronicle. According to the chronicle, Nabonidus was an absentee king who spent ten years in Arabia. While he was gone he had the prince in charge of the Empire. We know that Belshazzar was the oldest son of Nabonidus, and that the oldest son of a monarch usually becomes the chosen successor to the king, also called a prince (viceroys were usually the chosen successor as well). Logically it seems very likely that Belshazzar was in fact the de facto king of Babylon near, and at, the empire’s end. Facts don’t change, so how can Belshazzar go from being a myth only mentioned in the Bible to being a legitimate person who at one point probably held sway over the Babylonian Empire?
Lastly, what about things that aren’t facts but just hypotheses or theories, such as evolution itself? No matter how hard one tries it is impossible to prove evolution as fact. The only real way to do that is to go back in time and see for one’s self. Now scientists may point out that the stratigraphy of fossils shows a clear trend of evolutionary progress as animals adapt to their environments, but the same stratigraphy could also reflect the abilities of animals to escape a worldwide flood before all (except the ones on the ark) would perish. Another example is Neanderthals. All we have is their bones. Evolutionist thought holds that Neanderthals may have went extinct due to a warming climate, disease, and being out-competed by Homo Sapiens (the species every human alive is a member of). However one could also say that the Neanderthals may have been dark-skinned people in a cold environment and as a result they were unable to produce enough vitamin D, leading to their slow death from diseases and afflictions. Both interpretations for both problems make sense. However we, once again, cannot prove either of these ideas to be fact. We do not have the skin of Neanderthals and we can’t go back in time and see how Neanderthals went extinct.
As presented here, there are few facts in the study of Ancient parts of history as well as prehistory. Most of what unknowing supporters of modern archaeology and anthropology assume to be facts mistake them for ideas. Some ideas, such as the existence of a certain person or the dating of someone’s reign are more likely to lead to a factual answer than others, such as the theories of Creationism and Evolution. And so that leads to one final question; how does one know which idea is right? Nobody knows. One only believes based on the evidence and materials at hand.