Re: Origins:Music of the Ages

John Zimmer (
Fri, 25 Oct 96 12:56:32 CDT

Glenn wrote:

>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.
>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.

After Raymond 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 agree that anatomically modern humans appear in the fossil
record as early as 100,000 years ago. Also, there are indications
of art in Europe predating the Middle to Upper Paleolithic
transition. I agree with Randall White's comments that the
transition ought to be explained in terms of cultural evolution.
However, from what I see in the literature, the emphasis seems
to be on anatomically modern humans as the purveyors of cultural
change, rather than the Neanderthals.

Certainly, Neanderthals could have produced art in open sites -
so their products were not preserved. In terms of stone tools,
their tenure in Europe was not marked by tool innovation on the
scale seen during the Upper Paleolithic. Also, anatomically
modern humans did not seem innovate during the period of 100,000 to
50,000 years ago. During this time, human and Neanderthal tools
were indistinguishable. But anatomically modern humans did
start changing, enough that the idea that something important
happened is attractive. Anthropologist have debated whether this period saw
the origin of language. A slew of articles were written on the
importance of this transition in conjunction with an exhibition
of Paleolithic art in New York or DC in 1986.

On another note, I don't get the impression when reading recent books by
archaeologists that the Neanderthals are the ancestors of anatomically
modern humans. Excavations in Isreal suggest coexistence between 100,000 and
40,000 years ago. How does this fit into your picture?

Finally, could you tell me about the out of date view I'm using when I
say that the Gen 1:28, where God blesses humans, resembles the cultural
transitions such as the Upper Paleolithic in Europe? It seems like
an aesthetically pleasing correlation to me.

J. Raymond Zimmer