Mungo Man

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Mungo Man is the name given to a controversial fossil of a human being found in the dry Lake Mungo in New South Wales, 90 kilometres north east of Mildura in Victoria. Mungo Man is described as being "fully modern".[1]

The fossil was found in 1974 by Professor Jim Bowler, a geologist with the University of Melbourne.[2]

Five years earlier and 500 metres away, he had found the charred remains of another human, dubbed Mungo Woman. These remains comprised 175 fragments, and were dated with supposedly reliable[3] carbon dating to between 24,500 and 26,500 years old.[4]

When he was found, Mungo Man was dated via the same carbon dating method to be 28,000 to 32,000 years old. This was later revised to be 40,000 years old.[5]

In 1999, Professor Alan Thorne of the Australian National University concluded in research published in the Journal of Human Evolution that the remains were 62,000 years old, plus or minus 6,000 years.[2][5] This was based on three different dating methods: uranium series, electron spin resonance and optically stimulated luminescence.[5]

In 2003, Nature published a study of the sediments in which Mungo Man was found. The study, led by Professor Bowler, concluded that the graves were 40,000 years old.[2]

Both Thorne and Bowler have criticised each other's techniques.[2]

Creationists Stacia McKeever and Jonathan Sarfati comment on this:

Which is the correct age for Mungo Man—40,000 or 62,000? The criticisms—by evolutionists!—just show that all ‘dating’ methods, like all claims about the past, have problems because scientists who weren’t there have to make certain assumptions.[6]

A Thorne team member, Professor Rainer Grun, observed, "We now have two data sets that are contradictory. I do not have a plausible explanation."[2]

Mungo Man remains controversial even among evolutionists, as it confounds their theory of man originating in Africa. Professor Thorne is Australia's "leading opponent of the Out of Africa theory."[2]


  1. Mungo Man, quoting the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's 7:30 Report of 9 January 2001. (Retrieved May 4, 2007.)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Dawn in our Garden of Eden, Sydney Morning Herald, 22 February 2003. (Retrieved May 4, 2007.)
  3. "Radiocarbon dating has proven itself as a strong and reliable method.", Halloran, Ross, More Carbon Confusion
  4. Mungo Man, quoting a News Ltd. newspaper report dated January 13, 2001 (Retrieved May 4, 2007.)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Mungo Man, quoting a report in the Age newspaper of 21 May 21, 1999. (Retrieved May 4, 2007.)
  6. McKeever, Stacia, and Sarfati, Jonathan, Was Adam from Australia?, January 2001.