For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.. (Matthew 5:18)
Someone wrote to me with the following question: “Just wondering if you have done any research into the first civilization, according to science, known to man the Sumaritans [sic]. Their writings contain the original creation story that Moses and many others passed down?”
This is a common question that stems from the study of early world history that is based on evolutionary thinking. The inquirer is assuming that because the Sumerians wrote on clay tablets which have been preserved for thousands of years, that theirs is the oldest known written language, and that other cultures were incapable of writing.
The people before the Flood where highly intelligent people (Genesis 4:22-24) and probably had other methods of writing. It is quite possible that Noah had written records handed down from Adam, who died only a few hundred years before Noah was born. Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, was alive around 250 years before Adam died. It is very possible that pre-Flood people wrote on papyrus or something like it so the genealogical record could be passed on. We might also consider the fact that God only gave Noah some general instructions for constructing the Ark (Genesis 6:14-16). I am sure you would agree that drawing out floor plans on clay tablets would have been rather cumbersome. So it seems reasonable that Noah had something more functional on which to draw his plans for the Ark.
The inquirer’s suggestion is based mostly on assumptions made by secular archeologists. Archeology is not an exact “science;” it is a “forensic” science that is highly subjective. Most secular archeologists are biased on the side of evolution, which influences their perception of what they discover. They assume that man “evolved” 100,000 years ago, and did not become “civilized” until sometime around 10,000 B.C. to 8000 B.C.
Since these “scientists” make assumptions based on evolutionary thinking, it is only fair that I be allowed to make some assumptions based on the biblical record. I am going to assume that Noah carried some sort of “paper” records on the Ark and continued to copy those records using the same medium. Paper records would not last thousands of years like those written on clay tablets, therefore, from our perspective, it “appears” that the Sumerian clay tablets are the oldest written record when in fact they are not, and they were actually pretty crude methods of writing even for their time. I will further assume that Noah and his descendants through Shem had more advanced methods of writing, albeit less durable than clay tablets. Writing on paper (papyrus) would require continual copying in order for the records to be preserved. Now, since no one can really corroborate either assumption, I will suggest that my assumption is just as valid as that of the evolutionary archeologists.
Having said that let me also suggest that the Sumerians, by the time they recorded their origins account and Flood story, had a distorted memory of those events. It is often suggested that Moses borrowed the Flood account from the Epic of Gilgamesh. But when one compares the Ark of Gilgamesh with the Ark of Noah, the two are completely different vessels. In fact, Gilgamesh’s Ark is built in the shape of a cube which would render the vessel extremely unseaworthy, while Noah’s Ark (or a model of it) has been laboratory tested and shown to be incredibly stable. What this shows is the Sumerians got it wrong and the Bible got it right.
The nature of such questions is the result of Satan’s unchanged tactic revealed in Genesis 3:1-5: (1) Create doubt in God’s Word: “Yea, hath God said …?” (2) Deny the veracity of God’s Word: “Ye shall not surely die,” and (3) Accuse God of keeping one from something better: “For God doth know that … ye shall be as gods.” His methods have not changed in over 6000 years, and sadly, even Christians fall for his lies. But the Author of the Bible says, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot [the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet] or one tittle [the smallest distinguishing mark of a Hebrew letter] shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). So, who got it right? Would you rather believe the words of men, or the Word of God?
8 responses to “Who Got It Right?”
Whilst many ideas are based on assumptions the key thing is to make sure the ideas themselves remain testable and have the potential to be proven wrong. That way even if you’re assuming certain things to be true you can check to see if your ultimate conclusion is actually true.
Evolution is falsifiable and has been tested (and vindicated) thousands of times. Meanwhile the assumptions your making about Noah are deliberately unfalsifiable (you base them around paper, a piece of evidence that would not be detected today).
So your assumptions are bad and your argument is bad as a result.
Adam, Thank you for your comment; however, whereas your assumption that evolution is falsifiable is true, all attempts to test it have failed and there is no undeniable observable evidence that it is true. Even ardent evolutionists admit that. As for my assumption that Noah had paper records, I clearly stated that it was an assumption based on the fact that God created man with intelligence, and man did not evolve from knuckle-dragging primates. The biblical record indicates that pre-Flood men where skilled in art and metallurgy. That being the case, they certainly could have developed more sophisticated methods of writing other that making dents on soft clay. And, if they did have the skill to make paper-like material for writing, those would not have lasted thousands of years as clay tablets did. So, I stand by what I have written, but thank you for your input.
Actually, we can’t really draw a link between writing and metallurgy. There were many groups that had yet to develop writing, but were still impressive craftsmen and artists. The Ancient Britons, for example, were one of the first cultures to develop a Bronze-based economy and made some really beautiful pieces of metal. Yet they didn’t write anything down until they were introduced to the idea by the Romans. And then there’s the groups that developed writing, but not metalworking. The Mesoamericans were writing things down as early as 900 BC, yet didn’t start using metal until 600 AD. The relationship between intelligence, art, writing and metal is far from solid; so your assumption is ultimately unjustified.
As for the notion that all tests of evolution have failed, that’s simply wrong. It’s been vindicated many times. In fact a prediction of evolution was proven true just today (actually yesterday, it’s gone past midnight now). The team that discovered Australopithecus sediba used evolution and geology to predict where more human fossils should be found, and they just found a skull and jaw where they were looking! Keep an eye on the “Rising Star Expedition” for more. Although surprise discoveries are important (like the recent Dmanisi finds that made it into the news, which were stumbled on by archaeologists looking at the Medieval town); a large portion of sites are discovered by making predictions based on evolution. Another famous example would be Tiktaalik, whose location (down the rock layer it would be found in) was predicted based on evolution. This alone provides a bounty of evidence for evolution, not even counting what the fossils themselves tell us!
Thank you, Adam. I won’t engage in tit-for-tat with you over evolution; the topic of evolution was not the point of this post. However, I will reiterate: I clearly stated that I was making an assumption; I was not making a declarative or dogmatic statement. I will say that your logic is faulty in that just because in the examples you offered, the cultures either had metallurgy or writing but not both does not preclude that a culture could develop both simultaneously, so, from my perspective “your assumption is ultimately unjustified.”
By the way, Australopithecus Was a Well-Adapted Tree Climber: http://www.icr.org/article/7104/
Sure, it’s perfectly possible a culture could develop writing and metallurgy. Many did. But we can’t infer one from the other, so making that leap can only be done with assumptions. Props to you for recognising it for what it is though; too many people don’t spend enough time examining their beliefs and where they originate from. Nevertheless, its unfalsifiable and lacks any anthropological or archaeological evidence, so it remains a bad assumption.
I shan’t say much about Australopithecus since you don’t want to dwell on. I’ll just point out that whilst it was an adept climber, they were also becoming increasingly adapted to life on the ground. They mark the transition between earlier species that predominantly lived in the trees (like Ardipithecus) and later ones which predominantly lived on the ground (like modern humans and Homo erectus).
Your assessment about Australopithecus, my friend, is an equally bad assumption, especially with the scant evidence, and that is precisely my point.
What I said is not an assumption, it is evidence based. Although our understanding of Australopithecus is far from complete we have found plenty of fossils. Whilst they don’t tell us everything, we do know that they were terrestrial biped that still spent a lot of time in the trees.
For example, in every skull we’ve found the hole in the skull the spine passes through is located on the bottom, like in humans. This shows they had a vertical, human-like spine and thus walked upright. On the other hand, as the article you linked notes, their shoulder was orientated in a way that would’ve made them a very capable climber.
Interesting. I didn’t realize that you were involved in the discovery.