In a previous article, we looked at the issue of dinosaurs and the Bible. We built a foundation for the whole topic by working through the idea of God, creation and the universe. As promised in that article, we want to address the caveman issue. It was this, do cavemen fit into the biblical account, and if so where?
So, What About Them Cavemen?
When people say “cavemen” a couple things come to mind. Are we talking about some type of “monkey-people” or are we just talking about cave dwelling “you and me” type of humans?
What one believes about this question depends upon one’s view of human origins. Did we evolve from lower primates and ultimately from microbes? Or did God make humans as humans from the beginning, in his image?
The quick answer is that I think the “cavemen” were human, the you and me type, not some sort of “in-between” race. If all we want is cave dwelling people, we have that today. However, these people are still fully human, homo sapiens.
In addition, I’d rather take God at what he said. Sure, it may be fun to think of other scenarios, but if God is telling the truth, I’m not sure why we can’t just take him at his description of how he created humans. God says that he made humans in his image, so if he does not lie, I’m not sure why we should think otherwise.
Made In God’s Image?
However, this brings up another thing, what did he mean by that, being made in God’s image? This is still debated, but I think most think it has to do with how we think, our free will, our creativity, our moral sensibility and our ability to create.
Consider, as well, our ability and interest in complex math does not seem to have a Darwinian grounding. Who really cares about imaginary numbers? How about our desire to make things, just for the sake of making things? What about our complex verbal and nonverbal communication skills and intricate language? Those aren’t things that seem to be needed in the Darwinian sense.
What about this, why are we so interested in the beauty, the beauty of nature and the order of nature? Why are we curious about astronomy, physics, history and geography? Knowledge of these don’t immediately help us in a “tooth and claw” world.
Why is art, literature and music even valuable to us? We don’t need any of this just to survival nor even for reproduction. These just seem like excessive and extras “gifts”.
In addition, these skills and abilities are quite deep in our “blood”. A “uncivilized”, half naked, indigenous person has the same learning potential as one who is in a mansion and has earned terminal degrees.
The Physical As Well…
But that’s not all. We not only have an interest and ability to learn about nature, but we also have the proper physical body and brain to be able to study these things. We have an optimal body and mind that allows us to make and use fire, musical instruments and complex technology. Compared to other, organisms, there is no comparison.
On all these accounts, there really do seems to be stark contrast between humans and the rest of the biological world. Humans really do seem to have unique characteristics that no other creature on earth has. Many of these types of “non-adaptive order” in humans don’t have any Darwinian utility or adaptability advantage in a purely Darwinian evolution sense.
In a future article, I plan on talking about the “cavemen” issue, from a different angle. What about the so called in-between species between the ape like ancestor and us? I would like to address it from an angle you may not have heard before (Update, read it here!). If you would like to find out about that topic, please subscribe so you don’t miss it.
The apostle Peter taught us to have answers for our faith, which is what I try to do here. I would love for you to follow iApologia to get the latest updates to your inbox. Plus, I will send you my Free Quick Guide why that gives 8 reasons science points to God.
Please tell us your thoughts below!
35 thoughts on “Do Cavemen and Dinosaurs Fit into the Bible? Cavemen (Part 2)”
How old do you believe that humans are? Do you believe that God used evolution to create the world or are you a strict Creationist?
I think God created how he said he did. It’s not being a strict Creationist, but rather, if God is God, then he should know how he created us, all of life and the universe. In addition, the Darwinian model is quite void of not out only rational sense, but also evidence: genetic mistakes gave rise to the diversity of life?
How do you know that the creation story in the first two chapters of Genesis is the true story of creation? Many ancient cultures had creation stories.
What are some of the books on evolution that you have read?
When you say evolution, what do you mean?
Darwinian evolution. What books have you read by scientists who believe that life on earth has developed according to Darwinian Evolution?
I’m not trying to play “Gotcha”. I just think it is important that if one is going to argue against a particular belief system one should know something about that belief system and the best way to do that is to read the literature of that belief system.
How do you define Darwinian evolution?
“Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce.”
I take it you have not read any books by scientists who believe in evolution. Let me suggest one: “Why Evolution is True” by biologist Jerry Coyne. It is short, easy to read, and very interesting. You might even consider reviewing the book here on your blog. I think your readers would find it very informative.
So back to my first question: How do you know that the creation story in the first two chapters of Genesis is the true story of creation? Many ancient cultures had creation stories.
So you are saying you define it something to the effect of all of life on earth arose via a universal common ancestor through genetic mutations and filtered by natural selection?
That is not my definition, that is the definition of scientists.
How do you know that the creation story in the first two chapters of Genesis is the true story of creation? Many ancient cultures had creation stories.
Do you agree with that definition, in the sense do you think it is true? If so, what’s your evidence? Like your evidence that you provide. I’ve read plenty of books and articles that claim it, but what about you. What do you find compelling?
Yes, I agree with that definition.
It is my philosophy that it is best for one to trust expert opinion in all fields in which one is not an expert him or herself. A society in which everyone rejects expert opinion and each person considers himself or herself the final authority on all claims of fact is a society in chaos. Such a society cannot function and will not last.
So I trust the overwhelming scientific consensus that evolution is true.
Although evolution is referred to as a “theory” it is considered just as much a fact as is the theory that atoms exist and that microorganisms cause infectious diseases. The evidence gathered by scientists over the last 150 years since Darwin published his book The Origin of Species supports the theory of evolution completely, showing that evolution happened, and that it happened largely as Darwin proposed, through the workings of natural selection. That is amazing! All scientific discoveries since Darwin’s time fit with his theory!
Here is the theory of evolution in a nutshell: Life on earth evolved gradually beginning with one primitive species —perhaps a self-replicating molecule—that lived more than 3.5 billion years ago; it then branched out over time, throwing off many new and diverse species; and the mechanism for most (but not all) of evolutionary change is natural selection (the rest is due to genetic drift).
So what is one of the biggest pieces of evidence for evolution?
Answer: the nested arrangement of life.
The nested arrangement of life was first recognized by Carl Linnaeus in 1735. When he and other biologists attempted to classify animals and plants, they noticed that that the animals and plants consistently fell into what was called a “natural” classification. Different biologists would come up with nearly identical groupings without consulting one another! This means that these groupings are not subjective choices of a human need to classify, but tell us something real and fundamental about the animals and plants and nature itself. But nobody knew what that something was until Darwin came along and showed that the nested arrangement of life is precisely what evolution predicts. Creatures with recent common ancestors share many traits, while those whose common ancestors lay in the distant past are more dissimilar.
This “natural” classification is itself strong evidence for evolution! Why? Answer: Because we don’t see such a nested arrangement if we are trying to arrange objects that haven’t arisen by a process of splitting and descent.
This is definitely not what one should see in a creationist explanation of life. In such a system, organisms would not have common ancestry, but would simply result from an instantaneous creation of forms designed de novo to fit their environments. Under this scenario, we wouldn’t expect to see species falling into a nested hierarchy of forms that is recognized by all biologists.
I guess I’m the type to try to follow the evidence where it leads and not just follow popular opinion, even if it is expert opinion. But we have the freedom to do either.
It seems you are saying that life arose naturalistically and then that life branched out through mainly natural selection. So here is the main question: where did the origin of this massive amounts of information necessary for this to all happen even come from? It would be necessary for the first life and for its diversification.
Also, I’m quite surprised that is your strongest evidence is nested hierarchies, for a number of reasons. First Carl Linnaeus, and many other biologists later who were Darwin’s contemporaries, considered the biblical account as true. In addition, I’m surprised because biologists don’t always agree with grouping, even today there is much flux in systematics, taxonomy, cladistics and phylogenetics. Also I’m quite surprised because it makes just as much or more sense to suggest common designer as common descent. So now we are left with the first question, what best explains the rise of all this information, a designer or natural causes? If natural causes, what would that be?
I agree that it is good to try to educate oneself on as many of topics as one can, but one cannot be an expert in everything. Our advanced, modern society depends upon the general public trusting experts. We place our trust in experts all the time. If you drive a vehicle on public streets and public bridges, you place your trust in the expertise of engineers and others that they have constructed these entities meeting expert standards of safety. You do not get out and inspect each bridge yourself. The same with the food we eat. We trust the experts who tell us that our food is safe. The same with flying in commercial airplanes. We trust that the experts have established sufficient standards that commercial airplanes are safe. So why distrust the experts regarding just one issue: evolution? I suggest that the reason that you and others do not trust scientists on this one issue is because the views of the experts on this issue contradict the teachings of an ancient book written prior to the invention of the Scientific Method. Which source is more reliable? The collective opinion of all the world’s scientists (most of whom are theists) or the writings found in an ancient middle eastern holy book?
The fact that Linnaeus and other biologists were Christians is irrelevant. The majority of Christians today believe in evolution.
Evolution does not tell us how life began. That question is still a mystery. But I suggest that instead of throwing up our hands and saying, “A God must have done it”, we have some patience, continue to investigate, and accept the evidence regardless of whether it agrees with ancient holy books or does not.
I have no problem with the possibility that a God created the universe, but the evidence overwhelming indicates that if a Creator God exists, he (she, they, or it) used evolution to diversify life over billions of years. The evidence is overwhelming. That is why even the Roman Catholic Church, which much believes in the supernatural, miracles, and the existence of God, teaches that evolution is true.
I agree, we have to trust others to some extent. However, I try not to be a blind faith type of person. As a biologist, I want to know the truth. “Experts” have over and over been wrong. Many times it just takes one person with one good question to advance our scientific understanding.
Strangely, the middle eastern holy book that you referenced helped kick start the scientific revolution. The scientific method assumes a Christian worldview. In other words, Christianity birthed the scientific revolution.
And to your point that the majority of Christians today believe in evolution, I’d go one step farther. Anyone who knows anything at all about biology would think that biological evolution is true. Every biologist on earth, including every Christian biologist, holds to the standard definition of biological evolution: change in allele frequency in populations over time.
However, many biologist, including myself, question the Darwinian model because it seems to be found wanting. It has not giving a solid explanation on the origin of the necessary information for the diversity of life.
Also, I agree that “A God must have done it” type of argument would be illegitimate. I don’t make that type of argument, rather the evidence points to God doing it.
In addition, I have yet to see overwhelming evidence that God used some type of Darwinian evolution to create life’s diversity. The fact is I’m still trying to find how the Darwinian model explains the massive amounts of functional and meaningful information in living organisms.
What is your education and training in biology?
“It [Darwinian evolution] has not giving a solid explanation on the origin of the necessary information for the diversity of life.”
To me, Darwin’s theory of natural selection simply and effectively explains the origin of life’s diversity. If individuals within a species differ genetically from one another, and some of those differences affect an individual’s ability to survive and reproduce in its particular environment, then in the next generation the “good” genes that lead to higher survival and reproduction will have relatively more copies than the “not so good” genes.
If having a particular color improves that individual’s chances of surviving in his environment, over time, that color will become dominant in individuals of that species. If growing a bigger plummage better attracts females, over time, the males of that species will grow bigger plummage.
So how did individuals of one species eventually become a completely different species? There are many theories but one of the most obvious is that something happened to separate members of the original species into two different environments. This could have been due to a flood or a volcanic eruption. The two different environments placed different pressures on individuals, favoring characteristics in one group which would have been detrimental in the other environment. These differences would become more pronounced over time until the two groups can no longer breed with one another, the very definition of what separates two different species.
It really is very simple.
At first glance it may sound simple, but it just ain’t. The “good” genes vs. “not so good” genes again does not explain the rise of the complex, meaningful and functional information found within the diversity of life.
No one’s questioning the formation of new species, that is quite simple and not a big deal. What that does not explain is the diversity, the total tree of life. Again, the hitch pin is the origin of this said information, and good vs. not so good genes don’t account for it.
But what do you think explains the fact that the overwhelming majority of experts in biology disagree with you? And it is not just atheist biologists. The overwhelming majority of Protestant and Roman Catholic biologists also believe that Darwinian evolution is true.
So why should a reader of this blog believe that you are correct, someone with a graduate level education in biology, and that tens of thousands of biologists all over the world with PhD’s after their names and years of research experience are wrong?
I realize that my last question probable made you uncomfortable but it is a question I would encourage you to ask yourself: Why should the public trust you and distrust tens of thousands of biologists who have more education, training, and experience than you?
Those are two great questions, but both are based upon logical fallacies. First, to make an argument because I’m a biologists would be a logical fallacy – Argument from authority. Nor am I going to just base my opinion upon the majority of biologists, that be another logical fallacy – Argumentum ad populum.
Rather, I asked a central question in biology, where does cellular information come from? This central question grounds all other questions, including the origin of life, the appearance of design in biology and the origin of the hundreds of thousands of various types of molecular machines within the diversity of biological organisms.
That, my friend, is the question.
You are asking me to tell you how the first living cell came into existence? I have no idea.
Neither does anyone else on the planet…at the current time. There are a lot of theories but there is currently no scientific consensus on the issue. That is why I suggest that we all take a “wait and see” attitude on this issue. Maybe a Creator created the first living cell, and maybe there was some other cause. Too many times in history humans have jumped to “a god did it” to only find out later that there is a very natural explanation for the issue in question.
If there is an issue on which the experts are divided, such as the origin of the universe or the origin of life, I see no problem with you or I taking one side or the other, even if we take a position that is held by a minority. However, when nearly ALL experts have taken a position on an issue, I personally believe that it is foolish for someone who is not an expert to disagree with the consensus.
I am sure you are very intelligent, but you only have a graduate degree in biology. Why should the general public, who is for the most part naive regarding biological research, trust you and not the tens of thousands of biologists who have much more education, training, and experience that you do? Creationism is not a significant minority in science. It is a very, very, very small fringe.
If someone argues that the earth is flat and I respond that the overwhelming majority of experts say it is a sphere, I am not using poor logic (argumentum ad populum). I am using the standard of determining truth/facts used by our educated, industrialized society: trusting expert consensus opinion.
Actually, no, I’m not asking you how it came into existence. Rather, the information problem is huge, and that points to the Creator. And to say that no one knows now how it came about is not really true. I, along with many others, would argue with good evidence, that there needed to be a Creator. Now, you may not hold to that, but that does not mean that what I say is not true or I don’t know.
As said before, the consensus does not necessarily mean truth. Again, I would encourage you to follow the evidence and not commit the argumentum ad populum logical fallacy and the argument from authority. And again, I’m not asking the general public to believe me for my degree, you are the one who asked about it, I’m advocating following the evidence. Is that not your goal too?
Also, I’m no flat earther, I try to follow the evidence. Humorously, it would be much better of a comparison to the Darwinian enterprise or even the naturalistic hypotheses for life’s origin. The evidence is quite lacking for both, just like the flat earth view.
And again, yet another logical fallacy is being presented, the straw man fallacy. I’m not jumping to “a god did it” argument as if it is a “God of the gaps” idea. Rather, the evidence points to God. It seems to me that I’m hearing a naturalism of the gap idea, you holding out for a naturalism theory. However, there is no evidence at all for that, unless you know of some. Science does not operate in a “wait and see” manner, rather it operates on hypothesis and the evidence that supports those hypothesis manner.
As of now, it seems the discussion is just spinning. So I come back to what my main point, if you want to give me a naturalistic mechanism for the rise of the massive amounts of functional and meaningful information within life, I’d be more than happy to discuss it with you. However, if not, I may just move on.
“Give me a naturalistic mechanism for the rise of the massive amounts of functional and meaningful information within life.”
Answer: Natural selection and genetic drift over a period of millions of years.
Richard Dawkins has done an interesting demonstration using a computer program to demonstrate how natural selection can start very simple and over time build into very complex structures. Instead of trying to reproduce it here, I would suggest reading Dawkin’s book, “The Blind Watchmaker”.
Excellent! I’m not sure, however, how natural selection and genetic drift over millions of years will solve the problem. Both natural selection and genetic drift only remove organisms from a population, they don’t add information to the population. One weeds out the unfit and the other randomly removes individuals. Also, millions of years is still not enough time for the rise of the massive amounts of information that we see within the diversity of life. Thus, we are back to the information problem. Where did all this massive amounts of meaningful and specific information come from in the first place?
Concerning Dawkins program, there are a number of flaws in his argument, it does not seem to show Darwinism at all. It was a goal directed program; the criteria and final requirements were pre-specified. The final product necessitates a reader to use it in a meaningful way. Strangely, this all does not seem to support the naturalistic argument. It was rather an intelligently designed software with intelligently designed criteria with intelligently designed hardware ran by an intelligent being. Actually, this seems to be an excellent example that shows the necessity of an intelligent mind.
So again, as I said above, we are back to the information problem. Where did all this massive amounts of meaningful and specific information come from in the first place?
I’ve been looking for a naturalistic mechanism for years that can create all the information we just talked about, and have come up empty handed. You seem like a reasonable, evidence driven person, do you have any other ideas?
I have a question for you, Daniel: How much of your beliefs regarding the origin of life and the origin of the universe is based on objective scientific evidence and how much is based on your own personal (subjective) intuition, experiences, and feelings (the testimony of the Holy Spirit)?
I guess I have not really focused on my feelings in my arguments so far. The reason is because that is not my nature and second my background is in the sciences/technology world. Thus, I’m much more comfortable with that…so I would much rather discuss the scientific evidence.
However, to your question on “intuition” and “experiences”, I guess this is what I have to say. As I already noted, I also have a technology background in things like computer technology, graphic design and industrial design. My experience in these areas are incorporated into some of my arguments. If that is what you mean by “intuition” and “experiences”, OK. So yes, I do see evidence from the world of technology and how that relates to the designs in biology because of my experiences. These experiences include designs in general, design methods, fine tuning (engineering) of structures and the difficulty of design. These experiences do give me a vantage point that many don’t think that much about.
Concerning intuition, if you mean have intuition of design and information, because of my background, sure. I, from “experience” and “intuition” can spot intelligent designed attributes.
However, to your question is some sort of funny feelings or “the Holy Spirit” whispering in my ear, no. I have no experience of such. Have you had such experience?
However, since my background is more in the sciences, I would much rather stick with that subject. So, I go back to my main question, where did the massive amounts of meaningful and useful information come from that is found in living creatures? Where does the evidence point too: naturalism or intelligent design?
So far you have not given me a naturalistic mechanism that can do the job (that is not a jab at you, rather I know of none too). That leaves us with the only explanation, some designer. But even more than that, the evidence points to it too.
The only source of such designs, such as machines, and the only source that we find for this type of information, as we find in language, technology and engineering, always comes from intelligent beings Always.
However, we find they same types of machines and the same types of information within living organisms. This is very powerful. We know of no other mechanism besides intelligence for such things.
So we have two arguments here, one is negative (there is no known naturalistic mechanisms that can do it) and the second is positive (we do know of one type of mechanism that can do it, intelligence). So this makes a very powerful case for a Creator…unless you deny that there is no Creator. If so, you are only left with blind faith in a totally totally unknown process. To me I don’t have enough faith for that.
So I guess I’ll ask you this in response to your questions too, how much of your views are from your emotions and how much is it from evidence? If it is from evidence, I’d be still happy to hear you give some.
“where did the massive amounts of meaningful and useful information come from that is found in living creatures? ”
I answered that question; Natural selection and genetic drift over a very, very, very long period of time. Please explain why this answer is false. You may not believe it, but please prove it is false.
I do have an emotional passion for my beliefs. However, I did not deconvert from Christianity due to my emotions. I was VERY happy as a conservative Christian. I was dragged kicking and screaming from my supernatural based beliefs by the evidence.
Great. To your comment on natural selection and genetic drift over long periods of time….not only did I already answer that (please go back and reread my reasons), but also I don’t know of any biologist who would argue how you did. Dawkins doesn’t in the Blind Watchmaker. It comes down to this, those two process, by definition, can’t be the driving mechanisms that gives rise to information with in living organism.
Also, it would be interesting to hear the evidence that you encountered that dragged you kicking and screaming from Christianity.
—the Bible contains stories that were not part of the original (the stories of the Woman Caught in Adultery, the Angel Stirring the Water at Bethesda Story, the Johannine Commae, etc.).
—the majority of scholars do not believe that eyewitnesses or the associates of eyewitnesses wrote the Gospels.
—the majority of scholars believe that the Gospels are Greco-Roman religious biographies, a genre of literature that allowed for extensive embellishments (fiction).
—The overwhelming majority of archaeologists believe that the Exodus Story is fictional. No archaeological evidence has been found to confirm (in the minds of most experts) that this story is historical. Jesus believed that this story was true.
—the concept of an afterlife is not present in the first 2/3 of the Old Testament.
—the Old Testament, if read at face value, is full of scientifically ignorant claims, such as the claim that a solid dome (a firmament) exists above the earth. At one time all or at least most Christians believed these passages literally only to reinterpret their meaning after science proves them false. Over and over again, science forces Christians to reinterpret their holy book. If the holy book is inspired by the Creator, it should be the holy book correcting science and not the reverse.
Do you want responses to each of these? And if you do, are you open to changing your mind? I ask the second question because I’ve powerfully pointed out how the neo-darwinian model does not hold up, but it does not even seem as if you are open to accepting my arguments…
Sure. If you’d like to respond to those points, I would be interested in reading them. Yes, I am always open to the truth, whatever and where-ever it may be.
You may believe that you have “powerfully” pointed out how the neo-Darwinian model does not hold up but I am not convinced. The fact that you believe that you as a non-expert know more than the tens of thousands of experts on this subject appears to me as arrogant foolishness. Let me remind you of my worldview: I accept as FACT the consensus opinion of all experts in scientific fields in which I am not an expert. The overwhelming majority of experts in biology believe that Darwinian evolution is fact. I therefore believe that Darwinian evolution is fact. I do not feel qualified to examine “evidence” and then disagree with these experts. I consider any layperson who does this to be foolish, regardless of how much time and effort they have spent studying the issue. That is the difference between you and me.
So it seems that you are saying you are not open to reason and evidence. If you ever change your mind, I’d be open to dialogue. Have a great weekend!
False. Indeed God has made man in his image. There still are a few things why cave men don’t look like what we look like today. Also no it’s not because of Darwin’s theory. Plenty of scientist and archeologists have proven major evidence about dinosaurs and early man living on our Earth. So that obviously means that the Earth has been here for billions of years. In the Bible they say Lucifer was thrown out of heaven and bound to live of Earth. So that means Earth was there when Lucifer was thrown out of heaven. There is a possibility that God has already made life on Earth and man too. The men though are not in his image which explains why caveman look different. How do I know this? In the days before Adam there is a special line God says it’s quiet famous too. “Let there be light.” Now the word “let” is a not a word used for creation, but a word used for permission. So this can mean when God casted Lucifer to Earth he “turned off” the sun. Which could also mean why there was a long Ice-age and why we have proof of mammoths and other animals that are exotic. And when God thought it was long enough he “restarted” the Earth again and created the famous couple Adam an Eve. And as you know when God created Adam he made him in his image. Which leads to say that caveman have no resemblance to God.
However, Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning,…”