Re: Origins: Music of the ages

Glenn Morton (
Tue, 22 Oct 1996 20:30:41

Garry wrote:

>I think, Glenn, that you are guilty of an equivocation here. Grant
>that early hominids made significantly complex musical instruments. Does
>that prove they were "spiritual" in the sense of having knowledge of God
>or being able to relate to God? Your evidence would only support a sense
>of "spiritual" meaning something like "able to express emotions."

First let me note that I am arguing against Hugh Ross's rather popular view
that spiritual man was capable of art, worship etc. and that this first
appears in the Upper Paleolithic about 35,000 years ago.

Technically, you are correct. Music does not at all prove a spiritual life
and neither does any statue carved by anyone. But if christians are to be
consistent in our application of how we treat the data, we can not say that
flutes and art prove the spirituality of Upper Paleolithic man and Neolithic
(ca.10-5000 BC). And neither do the earliest temples known to man (Malta 4000
B.C.) prove that Maltese had a spiritual life. However, that being said, do
you believe that the Maltese temples are not indicative of a spiritual life?
Does a man who makes flutes and draws better than most people not belong in
our family?

>The Venus figurine is of no help either. Isn't it possible that early
>hominids with a sufficiently evolved mind would do just what Christians
>are often charged with doing--"inventing" God? That these people "had
>religious beliefs"--still a conclusion only weakly supported by the
>evidence, in my opinion--does not entail that they "have the same
>capabilities as I do." *That* they had religious beliefs entails nothing
>about *what* they believed.

If they had religious beliefs, then I would suggest that they have become
human. I do not see The First Church of Chimpanzees advertised in my Saturday
religion section. Lots of people have wrong religious beliefs yet they are
still human and descendants of Adam.

> It is certaily possible to agree with you
>about their capabilities, and still deny that they were descendents of
>Adam, because we just don't know (and, in the nature of the case, very
>likely never will) *what* they believed.

I never knew that what you believed is a valid definition for personhood. Do
Buddhists believe the correct thing to be considered human?

Idolatrous practice does not
>entail Adamic descent; I find nothing implausible about this.

What is your definition of humanity?

Foundation,Fall and Flood