What Will Remain from Our Own Civilization?
Imagine what will be left of today’s great civilizations in hundreds of thousands of years. All our cultural accumulation—paintings, statues and palaces—will all disappear, and barely a trace of our present technology will remain. Many materials designed to resist wear and tear will gradually, under natural conditions, finally begin to succumb. Steel rusts. Concrete decays. Underground facilities collapse, and all materials require maintenance. Now imagine that tens of thousands of years have passed, and they have been subjected to thousands of gallons of rain, centuries of fierce winds, repeated floods and earthquakes. Perhaps all that will remain will be a few giant pieces of carved stone, just like what has come down to us from the past. Or maybe not a trace of our advanced civilizations will be left at all, only from tribes living in Africa, Australia or some other place in the world. If future scientists look at these scattered remains and describe all societies of the period we are living in as “culturally backward,” will they not have departed from the truth?
Or, if someone discovers a work written in Mandarin and concludes, solely on the basis of this text, that the Chinese were a backward race communicating by means of strange signs, will this be any reflection of the true facts?
Consider the example of Auguste Rodin’s statue “The Thinker,” which is familiar to the whole world. Imagine that this statue is re-discovered by archaeologists tens of thousands from now. If those researchers hold their own preconceptions about the beliefs and lifestyle of our society, and lack sufficient historical documentation, they may well interpret this statue in different ways. They may imagine that the members of our civilization worshipped a thinking man, or may claim that the statue represents some mythological deity.
Today, of course, we know that “The Thinker” was a work produced for aesthetic, artistic reasons alone. In other words, if a researcher in tens of thousands of years lacks enough information and holds his own preconceived ideas about the past, it’s impossible for him to arrive at the truth, because he will interpret “The Thinker” in the light of his preconceptions and form an appropriate scenario. Therefore, evaluating the information at hand without prejudice or bias, avoiding all forms of preconception, and thinking in broader terms is of the greatest importance.
Never forget, we have no evidence that societies evolve or that societies in the past were primitive. These suggestions consist solely of conjecture and are based solely on analysis by historians and archaeologists who support evolution. For example, drawings of animals on a 30,000-year-old cave wall were immediately described as primitive drawings by cavemen. Yet these pictures may well say volumes about the aesthetic understanding of the humans at that time. An artist wearing the most modern clothing for the time may have produced them solely for artistic reasons alone. Indeed, many scientists now emphasize the impossibility of these same cave drawings as being the work of a primitive mind.
Another example is the interpretation of sharp-edged stones as the first tools made by “ape-men.” People at that time may have shaped these stones and used for decorative purposes. There is no proof, only an assumption, that the pieces found were definitely used by these people as tools.
Evolutionist scientists have examined the evidence found during excavations from a biased perspective. They have played about with some fossils that, in their own view, prove their theories, and have ignored or even discarded others. Similar games have been played to demonstrate that Mankind’s history evolved as well.i The American anthropologist Melville Herskovits describes how the “evolution of history” thesis emerged and the way that evolutionists interpret the evidence:
Every exponent of cultural evolution provided an hypothetical blueprint of the progression he conceived as having marked the development of mankind, so that many examples of nonlinear sequences have been recorded. Some of these progressions were restricted to a single aspect of culture, as has been indicated. ii
One of the most important examples to confirm Herskovits’ view is one study carried out by the evolutionist ethnographer Lewis Henry Morgan, who examined the phases a society undergoes to achieve the patriarchal and monogamous structure that, he claimed, had “evolved” from the primitive to the more developed. But in carrying out this research, he used for his examples different societies from all over the globe, entirely unconnected from one another. He then set them out in accord with the result he wanted to achieve. It’s clear that from the hundreds of thousands of cultures in the world, he selected only those compatible with his preconceived thesis.
Then Herskovits illustrates how Morgan re-arranged history to validate his ideas. Starting with the very primitive matrilineal Australians, he drew a line leading to the patrilineal American Indians. He then moved his sequence to Grecian tribes of the proto-historic period, when descent was firmly established in the male line, but with no strict monogamy. The last entry in his ascending scale was represented by modern civilization—with descent in the male line and strict monogamy.
Herskovits comments on this imaginary sequence:
But this series, from the point of view of a historical approach, is quite fictitious… iii
The Advanced Art in Caves
Evolutionists maintain that some 30-40,000 years ago in Europe, and in a rather earlier period in Africa, so-called ape-like humans experienced a sudden process of transition, and suddenly acquired the ability to think and produce things, just like modern human beings. This is because archaeological findings from that period offer significant evidence that the theory of evolution cannot explain. According to Darwinist claims, the technology of stone implements, which had remained unchanged for almost 200,000 years, was suddenly replaced by a more advanced and rapidly developing hand-crafted technology. So-called primitive man, who had descended from the trees and begun to modernize only shortly before, suddenly developed artistic talents and began carving or painting pictures of extraordinary beauty and sophistication on cave walls and produced exceedingly beautiful decorative objects such as necklaces and bracelets.
Scientists carrying out research in caves evaluate these pictures as some of the most important and valuable works in the history of art. The shading in these pictures, the use of perspective and the fine lines employed, the depth of feeling expertly reflected in the reliefs, and the aesthetic patterns that emerge as the sunlight strikes the carvings—all evidence a development that evolutionists are unable to explain because, according to the Darwinist view, such features should have emerged very much later.
The painting techniques employed also show that they did not live under primitive conditions at all. In addition, these paintings on cave walls are no evidence that people of the time lived in those caves. The artists may have lived in elaborate shelters nearby, but chose to create their images on the cave walls. With what emotions and thoughts they selected what to represent is something known only to the artist. Much speculation has been produced regarding these pictures, of which the most unrealistic interpretation is that they were made by beings who were still in a primitive state. Indeed, a report published on the BBC’s Science web page on 22 February, 2000, contained the following lines regarding cave paintings:
… we have always marvelled at them, but thought that they were made by primitive people … But according to two scientists working in South Africa, this view of the ancient painters is totally wrong. They believe the paintings are evidence of a complex and modern society. iv
If many of our present-day artworks were to be analyzed with the same logic in thousands of years’ time, a number of debates might arise over whether 21st-century society was a primitive tribal one or an advanced civilization. If undamaged pictures by modern artists were discovered, 5,000 years on, and if no written documentation regarding the present day had survived, what would people of the future think about our own age?
If people of the future discovered works by Van Gogh or Picasso and judged them from an evolutionist perspective, how would they regard our modern society? Would the landscapes of Claude Monet inspire comments like “Industry had not yet developed, and people led an agricultural way of life,” or comments along the lines of “People still unable to read or write communicated by way of exaggerated blocks of color”? Would the abstract pictures of Wassily Kandinsky lead them to any insights about our present-day society?
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i Abram Kardiner, extract from “Posthumous Essays by Branislau Malinowski,” in Scientific American, June 1918, p. 58.
ii Melville Herskovits, Man and His Works, New York: Knopf, 1950, p. 467.
iii Ibid., p. 476.
iv Claire Imber, “Ape-Man: Origin of Sophistication,” BBC News, 22 February 2000, online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/650095.stm