Origins: Music of the ages

Glenn Morton (
Mon, 21 Oct 1996 21:04:11

Hi Dick,

You wrote:
>Hi Glenn:
>I hesitated to write this for fear of stirring another debate, but I don't
>think the evidence you presented supports your logic train.

I left your name out of the article for the same reason. I too did not want
another debate. But here goes.
>You said,
>>(So what are Christians to think when they find out that Neanderthals
>>80,000 years ago were composing music and making musical instruments 90-
>>100,000 years ago?)
>You also said,
>>Neanderthals made phalange whistles (just like anatomically modern man.
>A simple whistle as you described makes "composing music" problematical.
>Then to conclude that whistling is a religious enterprise is a giant leap
>of faith. How about signaling in the event of danger, calling their kids
>home to supper, etc? A whistle could have lots of non-spiritual uses.

Yes, but you are ignoring the complex multi-hole flute I mentioned came from
the lowest levels of Haua Fteah dated at around 75-85,000 years ago, found
even below the Neanderthal skeletons. It is an important fact that McBurney
found a multihole flute. This is more complex than the Le Placard eagle bone
flute which all would agree was made by anatomically modern, spiritual man. I
quote McBurney [the Gravettian he mentions is ca. 23,000 years B.P.],

"To these may be added a remarkable bone object most plausibly explained as a
fragment of a vertical 'flute' or multiple pitch whistle, from spit 1955/64.
In this position although directly associated only with a few non-diagnostic
chips, splinters and and splinters of bone it is none the less attributable
to the Pre-Aurignacian owing to the clear indications provided by the
overlying spits 1955/61-58, to be discussed in the next chapter. These last
show every affinity with the material culture as described and certainly
indicate the continued existence of the tradition in the area.
"In all important respects preserved the bone tube reproduces the
features of known paleolithic flutes from the European Gravettian both in the
East and West, although older by a factor of at least 2 than any other
specimen known.
"Its measurable features are as follows:
Length of surviving portion 8.9
External diametery 3.5-4
Internal diameter 3.5
Diameter of right-hand perforation 3.4
Estimated diameter of left-hand perforation 3
Distance from supposed mouth piece to first perforation 8
(proximal rim)
Distance from supposed mouth piece to second perforation 17.5
C.B.M. McBurney, Haua Fteah (Cyrenaica),(Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1967), p. 90

This object has one completely preserved hole and one partially preserved hole
in a line with it. The reason McBurney says supposed mouth piece is that the
actual mouthpiece has been lost, which is not unusual even for anatomically
modern man-made flutes.
>Then to make this the driving element to date Adam is another stretch.

I don't think it is a stretch, unless you think non-spiritual apelike
hominids, with no soul, are able to make musical instruments. Remember this
flute is a multi-tone instrument like many (but not all) of the Upper
Paleolithic flutes. If that is your position, then I would have to disagree
that nonspiritual, apelike hominids have those capabilities. I simply do not
find it plausible to say that people who have the same capabilities that I do
are not descendants of Adam. To add to the problem there is the fact that
Homo erectus made a Venus Figurine, the Berekhat Ram figurine, which dates
to greater than 300,000 years (Desmond Morris, The Human Animal, (New York:
Crown Publishing, 1994), p. 186-188.). I have even found one art object in the
literature which dates from 1.7 million years or so.

Similar Venus figurines when found with anatomically modern man are considered
evidence of human behavior and interpreted either as fertility symbols or
fertility goddesses. Of course, because it was H. erectus who made the
thing, some people are reluctant to give H. erectus any human traits, inspite
of the fact that he was the first carpenter, built pavements and huts. And
Christians also ignore these pieces of data. I bet they are not found in your

>>These facts also present a tremendous problem for Christian
>>apologetics. For the old earth people there is the problem of the place
>>of Adam in the human race. Many of these views hold to a recent creation
>>of Adam, in the Upper Paleolithic. The problem is that at the same time
>>the Neanderthals were making whistles in Prolom II, anatomically modern
>>men were just leaving Africa.
>The "problem" derives from trying to start the human race with Adam of
>Genesis who is better situated (7,000 years ago in Southern Mesopotamia)
>to start the chosen race. The "place of Adam in the human race" appears
>to be in the flow not at the apex.

I would agree that "The "problem" derives from trying to start the human race
with Adam of Genesis who is better situated (7,000 years ago in Southern
Mesopotamia) to start the chosen race. " But I that is your difficulty. I do
not believe that it is at all possible to start Adam 7,000 years ago at all.
There is too much evidence of ritual, religion, art, and music which appears
before that time. I have never seen the logical necessity of your choosing
7,000 years for the time of Adam. Why not at least make Adam a Frenchman and
place him temporally at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic?

>>Were there two Adams? A Neanderthal Adam
>>and a anatomically modern Adam? The Bible would support only one,
>>meaning that the one Adam must be considerably prior to this time.
>Or considerably later.

Then Eve is not the Mother of all living and the Bible is erroneous.



Foundation,Fall and Flood