Table of ContentsForeword, Preface, and Introduction
The biblical answer to racism
‘Stone age’ people
Archaeology shows that there were once people who lived in caves and used simple stone tools. Observation shows that there are still people who do the same. We have seen evidence that all people on earth today are descended from Noah and his family. Before the Flood, Genesis indicates there was at least sufficient technology to make musical instruments, to farm, forge metal implements, construct cities and build a very large seaworthy vessel. After the dispersion at Babel, the hostilities induced by the new languages may have forced some groups to scatter rather rapidly, finding shelter where and when they could.
In some instances, the use of stone tools may simply have been a stage until their settlements were fully established, and they had found and exploited metal deposits, for example. In others, the original diverging group may not have taken all the knowledge with them. Ask an average group today how many of them, if they had to start again, as it were, would know how to find, mine and smelt metal-bearing rocks (ore bodies). Obviously, there has been technological (cultural) degeneration/loss in many post-Babel groups.
In some cases, harsh environments may have contributed. The Australian Aborigines have a technology and cultural knowledge which, in relation to their lifestyle and need to survive in the dry outback, is most appropriate. This includes aerodynamic principles used in making boomerangs (some of which are designed to return to the thrower, while others are not).
Sometimes we see evidence of degeneration that is hard to explain, but is real, nonetheless. For instance, when Europeans arrived in Tasmania, the Aborigines there had the simplest technology known. They caught no fish, and did not usually make and wear clothes. Yet recent archaeological discoveries lead us to infer that some generations earlier, they had more knowledge and equipment.
For instance, archaeologist Rhys Jones believes that in the Tasmanian Aborigines’ distant past, these people had equipment to sew skins into more complex clothes than the skins they just slung over their shoulders, according to all descriptions in the early 1800s. It also appears that they were in fact catching and eating fish in the past, but when Europeans arrived, they had not been doing this for a long time.1 From this we infer that technology can indeed be lost or abandoned, and is not always retained and built upon.
Animist peoples live in fear of evil spirits and have many taboos against healthy practices like washing themselves and eating various nutritious things, again illustrating how loss of knowledge of the true Creator-God leads to degradation (Rom. 1:18–32).
- Rhys Jones, Tasmania’s Ice-Age Hunters, Australian Geographic 8:26–45, October–December 1987.
- Jones, Rhys (R.S.V. Wright, editor), Stone Tools as Cultural Markers, ‘The Tasmanian Paradox’, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra, Australia, 1977.
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