Origins: Neanderthal Flutes, Art and Hugh Ross

Glenn Morton (
Wed, 11 Dec 1996 20:42:47

In September, I met Hugh Ross when he came to Dallas. His organization had
specifically e-mailed me asking me to come to the meeting. I have read a lot
of Hugh's stuff over the past few years and generally liked a lot of it, but
not the anthropology views he was propounding. I went an hour early to see if
I could talk to him. I was concerned however, about what he was saying in the
area of Anthropology and wanted to try to influence him to change what he was
saying or leave the area alone. I chose to bring and give him a picture of
the Neanderthal flute which was found this year in Slovenia.

I was lucky. I was able to talk to him for about 15 minutes. I gave
him a picture of the flute and told him that he was wrong in what he was
saying about anthopology. I told him about the possible existence of an even
earlier flute which I had at that time not been able to document. He told me
that information like this was why he never got into the
anthropology issues; it was way out of his field. I wanted to tell him that
someone was writing about anthro in his newsletter. But I was polite. Maybe
too polite and let it pass.

Anyway, I got my copy of Facts & Faith today.
'There is an article on the Neanderthal Flute, and since I had been the one to
tell Ross about it I was very curious to see what he had written.The article
touches on both the flute and the 75,000
year old art work found in Australia. There are several factual problems.

First,I would like to clarify something about High's treatment of the flute.
Hugh has NO anthropological expert who supports his suggestion that the flute
is a fire-lighting tool. Hugh writes:

The three Slovenian archaeologists who made the discovry addressed, and
reasonably dismissed, the idea that the holes might have been bored by the
teeth of a large carnivore rather than by a bipedal primate. However, they
seem to overlook some more obvious considertions. The bone was found near a
hearth with charcoal and many burnt fragments of animal bones. One of these
holes goes all the way through the bone and the other does not. These facts
suggest at least some liklihood that the bone was an instrument for lighting
fires (by twirling a twig in or through one of the holes with a bow). The
holes may result from the bone's use as a hammer head or an ax head. Other
possibilities abound." "The Meaning of Music and Art", Facts & Faith, 10:4,
4th qtr. 1996, p. 11.

Fact: the burnt bones which are found near the flute are known to be burnt
because they are scorched and blackened. There is none of that on the flute
and there should be if it was used with fire.

Fact: None of the holes "go all the way through the bone" as Ross contends.
The back part of the bone is totally missing behind the hole Ross claims is
bored all the way through. There is a total lack of evidence for a hole
having been drilled all the way through.

Fact: Take a shank bone, cut off the joint part and use it as a hammer. It
will NOT produce circular holees. It will cave in one side of the hollow
bone. The pattern is quite different from what is seen from drilling a hole
in a bone.

Notice what has happened over the past couple of years. In today's article
Hugh acknowledges that there is a drawing of an animal that dates to 75,000
He writes:

"Australian researchers claim to have found art twice that old, an enormous
carved wall nearly 300 miles southwest of Darwin(the City). By carved they
mean hundreds of circular holes about three centimeters across arranged in
patterns, one possibly depicting a large four-footed animal, the others so
abstract as to be undecipherable.""The Meaning of Music and Art", Facts &
Faith, 10:4, 4th qtr. 1996, p. 6

and then he concludes:

"The conclusion that art expression can only come from the spirit of man is
the one I would debate.""The Meaning of Music and Art", Facts & Faith, 10:4,
4th qtr. 1996, p. 6

But just a little over a year ago he wrote that art was a sign of spiritual

"In the case of the cave drawings and pottery fragments, the
degree of abstractness suggests the expression of something more
than just intelligence. Certainly no animals species other than
human beings has ever exhibited the capacity for such
sophisticated expression. However, the dates for these finds are
well within the biblically acceptable range for the appearance of
Adam and Eve -- somewhere between 10,000 and 60,000 years ago
according to Bible scolars who have carefully analyzed the
genealogies. Since the oldest art and fabrics date between
25,000 and 30,000 years ago, no contradiction exists between
anthropology and Scripture on this issue." Hugh Ross, "Art and
Fabric Shed New Light on Human History," Facts & Faith, 9:3
(1995)p. 2

Why is the drawing of a 4-footed animal not considered a sophisticated
expression except when it is done by archaic Frenchmen in the years after
30,000 years B.P.? Such contradictions are an indication of a poorly thought
out theory.

Hugh Ross further writes:

"Debate continues among anthropologists over primitive art's reliability as an
indicator of spiritual characteristics.""The Meaning of Music and Art", Facts
& Faith, 10:4, 4th qtr. 1996, p. 6

I have never read of any anthropologists arguing over man's
"spiritual characteristics". In fact I have never even seen "spiritual
characteristics" in the index of any anthro book.

And further,like the Young earth creationists, Hugh is forced in this article
to question the dating processes in order to save his hypothesis that man was
not created more than 60,000 years ago. (see page 6)

The final issue I want to address is the statement

"On the other hand, we may question to what degree of certainty MUSIC can be
declared a manifestation of the spirit. Some MUSIC may simply express the
soulishness we share with bird and mammal species." "The Meaning of Music and
Art", Facts & Faith, 10:4, 4th qtr. 1996, p. 11 (Caps my emphasis.)

I think it is apparent that Hugh is saying what he is saying, not because
the data supports his assertions, but because IF he allows Neanderthal to be
human, then evolution has indeed occurred. Humanity becomes defined by that
which Homo erectus and Neanderthal do not do. Because of this whatever
Neanderthal or any other hominid is found doing or is found to do in the
future, is going to be re-defined as not being indicative of humanity.

Re-read the last quote replacing MUSIC with any of the other Neanderthal
activites such as building huts, making clothes, making whistles, subterannean
mining, making jewelry, or constructing pavements and you will see how
ludicrous such a statement is. (references for these upon request.)


Foundation,Fall and Flood