>From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On
>Behalf Of Richard Kouchoo
>I am a newcomer here (actually I've been here a few times in the
>past) and have
>been following a few discussion threads quite intently.
>I found John Burgeson's take on the creation of soul very interesting:
>_Perhaps, just perhaps, the creation of
>humans-in-the-image-of-God did not take place as an event -- but as a
>process. If one allows that it may be a process, rather than an
>event-at-a-moment-of-time, then that process may well have started prior
>to both Neandertal and Homo-sapiens_
One of the things that really struck me when I started studying anthro was
the large amount of evidence for behaviors which we would call 'human' among
the N.'s and H. erectus. In my mind, the existence of possible religious
sites clearly shows that the human soul (however we define it) was in
existence prior to the building of those altars. And given the age of the
altars (or what I most assuredly beleive were altars, this means that the
human soul was around at least 400,000 years ago.
At Bruniquel, France, archeologists have excavated a square stone structure
dating to more than 47,000 years ago (prior to the advent of modern man in
Europe) in which the Neanderthals burned a bear. Bednarik (1996, p. 104)
"The cave of Bruniquel in southern France has just produced fascinating new
evidence. Several hundred metres in from the cave entrance, a stone
structure has been discovered. It is quadrilineal, measures four by five
metres and has been constructed from pieces of stalagmite and stalactite. A
burnt fragment of a bear bone found in it was radiocarbon analysed, yielding
a 'date' of greater than 47 600 years BP. This suggests that the structure
is the work of Neanderthals. It is located in complete darkness, which
proves that the people who ventured so deep into the large cave system had
reliable lighting and had the confidence to explore such depths. Bruniquel
is one of several French caves that became closed subsequent to their
Pleistocene use, but were artificially opened this century."
This appears to have been the ritual sacrifice of a bear. It is also the
first proof that man went deep into caves long before they painted the
walls. (Balter, 1996, p. 449)
Homo erectus example:
There is an even earlier altar, which is not controversial, found at
Bilzingsleben, Germany. The excavators, Dietrich and Ursula Mania have found
a 27-foot-diameter paved area that they say was used for "special cultural
activities" (Mania et al,1994, p. 124; See also Mania and Mania, 1988, p.
92). Gore writes:
"But Mania's most intriguing find lies under a protective shed. As he opens
the door sunlight illuminates a cluster of smooth stones and pieces of bone
that he believes were arranged by humans to pave a 27-foot-wide circle.
"'They intentionally paved this area for cultural activities,' says Mania.
'We found here a large anvil of quartzite set between the horns of a huge
bison, near it were fractured human skulls.'" (1997,p. 110)
I would contend that the symbolism here, if found in a modern village, would
be enough to cause one to turn and flee for his life. Such an arrangement of
objects would immediately be interpreted as evidence of religion, and a
hostile religion at that.
for lots of creation/evolution information
personal stories of struggle
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Jan 30 2002 - 01:19:59 EST