I have a question about American Indian origins. Why do scientists think that they came here 15,000 years ago when archeological evidence points to their civilizations thriving from 1000BC to 1500AD?
Thank you for your question about the American Indians a.k.a. Paleoamericans and their migration to the American continent. The traditional theory held that the first Americans crossed the land bridge from Siberia to Alaska around 11,500 years ago and followed an "ice-free corridor" between two large Canadian ice sheets (the Laurentide and Cordilleran) to reach unglaciated lands to the south. These first inhabitants, whose archaeological sites are scattered across North and South America, were called the Clovis people, named after the town in New Mexico where their fluted spear points used for hunting mammoth were first found in 1932.
Today there are many other theories about the migration of the Indian population to the Americas. Some theories include a migration from the islands in the Pacific to Central and South America as well as the northern crossing from Siberia to Alaska. Evidence for diverse migrations into the New World also comes from Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) research on living American Indian populations. These studies have consistently shown similarities between American Indians and recent populations in Asia and Siberia, but also unique American characteristics, which the very early crania have also shown.
Studies of the language of the Native American Indians have shown them to be extremely diverse. Language in general has not been a friend to Darwinian Theory. The distinct differences of languages even where geography might imply an evolutionary link, has not been clearly demonstrated. In fact, the biblical account of the Tower of Babel and the confusing of languages are more reflective of the biblical model of language development than its evolutionary counterpart.
What is important to remember is that the time frames being used by most anthropologists will conform to the evolutionary timeline of Darwinian Theory. What needs to be considered when examining this subject is the biblical timeframe of approximately 6,000 years and the evidence of the worldwide cataclysmic Flood also fits well into archeological and anthropological evidence we see.
For more information on this subject please refer to http://www.icr.org/article/108/ for a biblical overview of this subject.
Pastor Steve Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D. (c)
Chief Technical Advisor
Creation Studies Institute