Re: Origins:Music of the Ages

Glenn Morton (
Wed, 23 Oct 1996 21:10:45

John Zimmer wrote:
>For Glenn, I think that one may claim protohuman status for
> Homo erectus and Neanderthal, but not fully human status. After
>all, artistic objects are rare for these types. So far, no
>earlier cultural transition has been found comparable in magnitude
>to the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition. Is it coincidental
>that this transition occurs during a demographic transition
>that begins with Neanderthal as predominate and ends with the
>dominance of anatomically modern humans?

I am afraid I must disagree with your facts concerning, well, almost all of
the above. Lots has changed in anthropology over the past few years and
Christian apologists have not kept up.

Anatomically modern man first appears at Klasies River Mouth at around
120,000 years BP and at Qafzeh circa 100,000 years ago. At neither place do
these modern men make lots of art, jewellry or music (as far as I can find).
In fact, they make tools relatively similar in style to the Neanderthals and
live like Neanderthals. But it has been documented that Neanderthals from
this time were making music. It has not been documented that modern man made
music at this time.

The cultural transition you mention is quite different than is commonly
believed. The earliest Upper Paleolithic culture is the Chatelperonnian and
it is a NEANDERTHAL culture, not a culture of modern men (which is believed to
be the earliest Aurignacian culture)!!! At St. Cesaire and Arcy-sur-Cure, two
Chatelperronian sites dating from around 35,000 years ago, neanderthal
skeletons are found at these two sites and no anatomically modern skeletons
have been found. If you can still get a look at the front cover of Nature May
16, 1996, there is a picture of a Chatelperronian necklace from Arcy-sur-Cure.

The manufacture of jewellry may go back to the Homo erectus or archaic homo
sapiens. Bednarik writes:

"Similarly, the idea that the advent of personal ornamentation coincides
with that of the Aurignacian is attributable only to insufficient knowledge of
the relevant material. Drilled animal teeth and other objects that are
several times as old as that 'transition' (up to 300,000 years have been known
to exist for many decades."~Robert G. Bednarik, "Concept-mediated Marking in
the Lower Palaeolithic," Current Anthropology, 36:4(1995), pp. 605-634, p. 606

I might point out that even in the earliest Aurignacian culture (called
Aurignacian I) NO human fossils have ever been found. It MIGHT be a
neanderthal culture. But more importantly, Modern man in Palestine did not
create art until AFTER the Neanderthals in Europe had created art. If an
invading army of modern, art-making men, swept out of Africa, why did they
make no art on their way to Europe through Palestine? Randall White remarks,

"However, in many respects the Aurignacian is irrelevant to the question,
since dates for the Near Eastern Aurignacian are substantially later than the
earliest Aurignacian dates for Europe. Thus, the early Aurignacian must be
viewed as a completely European phenomenon, with some later spill-over into
the Levant."~Randall White, "Comments" Current Anthropology, 31(1990):233-
261, p. 250


"The cultural developments of the Aurignacian, including the first known
representational art and personal adornment, took place at least 50,000 years
after the first anatomically modern humans appeared in Africa. Therefore, as
I have previously emphasized, the developments across the Middle/Upper
Paleolithic transition are not susceptible to neurological/biological
explanations but may be understood solely in cultural evolutionary
terms."~Randall White, "Comments" Current Anthropology, 31(1990):233-261, p.

I might also point out that even later, modern humans in Palestine failed to
produce much art. Maybe they weren't human either. Hovers writes:

"Non-utilitarian art objects from the early Epi-Paleolithic (19,000-14,500
B.P) of the southern Levant are practically unknown. The discovery of an
engraved pebble at the site of Urkan e-Rub IIa is therefore of special
interest and significance."~Erella Hovers, "Art in the Levantine Epi-
Palaeolithic: an Engraved Pebble from a Kebaran Site in the Lower Jordan
Valley," Current Anthropology 31:3, June 1990, pp 317-322, p. 317.

The problem is that the view you are using is about 20 years out of date but
is still taught by Christian apologists.

>To me, the protohuman status of H. erectus and Neanderthal resembles
>the Genesis verse 26..."Then God said, "Let us make man..."
>The physical appearance and the apparent behavior of individuals
>of these species would give an impression of not quite human.
>Along the same lines, verse 27 (the creation of humans) images
>the rather undramatic appearance of anatomically modern humans.
>Verse 28, God's blessing, images the sudden spurt of cultural
>innovation and population expansion that began around 50,000
>years ago. In Europe, that was the Upper Paleolithic.

Then since Neanderthals were the people who first made art in Europe and
indeed were the first Upper Paleolithic peoples, I would suggest that that
must imply that Adam was a Neanderthal.

>To me, this resemblance makes Fischer's point of view -
>that Adam has something to do with Sumerian prehistory -
>more aesthetic pleasing.

If your view of European history and the advent of anatomically modern humans
were correct, I would probably have to agree with you.


Foundation,Fall and Flood