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Tools Makyth Man

  • Kenneth Oakley (a1)

Benjamin Franklin appears to have been the first to call Man the ‘tool-making animal’ while Thomas Carlyle in Sartor Resartus (1833)declared : ‘Without tools he is nothing.’ In pre-Darwinian days the definition of Man was no more than philosophical exercise. That Man might have evolved from lower animals was in the minds of very few people in those days. Certainly the question of how to draw a boundary between pre-human and human had not yet become a practical issue. Even the conception that Man had a long unrecorded past had barely taken root a hundred years ago, although the seeds of the idea had been sown by a few men far ahead of their time, such as Isaac de la Peyrère, who published a book in Pans in 1655 on Primi Nomines ante Adamum, and John Frere whose discovery of flint tools in brickearths at Home in Suffolk led him to infer in 1797 that they had been ‘ used by a people who had not the use of metals ’, and ‘ belonged to a very ancient period indeed, even before that of the present world ’.

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