Monday, July 20, 2015

The Big Misconception about Pre-Historic Man



I have a real interest in Pre-Historic/Ancient Man. (However you want to call them.) If you've read my various artcles for the Genius of Ancient Man Blog or checked out the awesome book I was able to be a part of, you know I can get pretty deep into it sometimes. This week though I wanted to keep it simpler. Keep it light and tasty for those who may not have read much about this topic from a Biblical perspective before. Whenever I bring Pre-Historic Man up in a conversation I hit an immediate road-block. The big misconception about Pre-Historic Man that's been promoted throughout the media for years: the Caveman Stereotype. It looks like this....




The Caveman Stereotype

Now don't get me wrong here! I love the Croods movie! It's got awesome characters, tons of gripping drama, and a warm family-centered lesson. What I'm pointing out is the caveman stereotype promoted in the Croods movie and in most every other representation of pre-historic man out there today: a dumb, subhuman creature still on it's evolutionary journey to humaness. The Crood family live in a cave because they lack the "brain" to know better. They eat like animals, run like animals...overall they behave like animals and that's what the stereotype is all about. If pre-historic man is ever brought up in conversation it's the caveman stereotype that's going to pop into people's heads. Okay, I promise I'm done picking on the Croods now. Moving on.




The Subhuman Caveman

"Caveman" doesn't just denote one type of human ancestor in the scientific realm. The term caveman just becomes a "catchall for people who lived in prehistoric times." (Ken Ham said that) That word in our everyday vernacular could be referring to what evolutionary scientists call Cro-Magnon Man, Neanderthal Man, or any other ancient person you dig up. But according to evolutionary scientists those ancient people aren't really human at all. They're like the Croods; animal-like and subhuman. Well, that's what evolutionary scientists think about them. As a Christian who looks at history, even pre-history, from a Biblical perspective, I think of cavemen a little differently. Please enjoy the succinct comic below which I think sums up my perspective perfectly.




The Real Men who Lived in Caves

There is evidence all around the world that pre-historic man was created to be intelligent. From impressive feats of engineering to mapping the world to painting works of art. From the very beginning man was capable of speech, organization, tool-making, music, name it! If you don't believe me check out Genesis chapters 1-11. The point is that man started out as fully human and intelligent, the complete opposite of the caveman stereotype. When I talk to others about pre-historic man that's the image I want popping into their heads.

So why were men living in caves in the first place? What were they doing there? Well there are lots of good answers to that question and none of them have to involve evolution in order to be logical. In short, after the dispersion at Babel, (where different languages were born and people started leaving in different directions) there were masses of migrating people moving across the globe. How fast or slow they went is beside the point. At any rate there would have come a time when a cave was the only possible shelter. It could have provided a temporary home until the people moved on or built actual homes. A cave could also have become a permanent home without making the people inside it any less human. Yet another option is caves became ceremonial centers for the people living near them. That would explain evidence of fires, food, paintings, and even burials in and around caves. (Wanna read some other awesome articles about cavemen from a Biblical Perpective? Check out these articles about human ancestors and neanderthals)

Have I lost you yet?


Sometimes talking about my interest in pre-historic man can hit a roadblock because of this big misconception that pre-historic man was some kind of stereotypical caveman. When I tell people about my perspective I feel a bit like I'm not making any sense to them. I hope I've made some sense to you in talking about all this.


Have you encountered examples of the caveman stereotype before? What did you think of them? You don't have to agree with me about prehistoric man to share your thoughts, I'd love to hear what you have to say! I'm not aiming to start a debate, just to share my perspective. Is there anything you've always wondered about prehistoric man? Or does this topic not mean a whole lot to you?





  1. I totally agree! Thank you for talking about the real thing and not the stereotype. When I think of caveman I think of the Flintstones honestly. XD Good read!

    1. Ah the Flintstones :) I loved that cartoon as a kid. I just picked the Croods because they were a more recent addition to the stereotype. Have you seen 10,000 BC? Now that I think about it I should do a review of that film. Pretty awesome all things considered. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I love to study ancient man as well. I am also a Christian and believe that God gave us our souls. However, I believe that evolutionary processes gave us our bodies, foreseen by God from the beginning. I believe it is incredibly unjust and ignorant to call prehistoric humans and human relatives no more than simple animals. A lot of evidence points out that they were equally sophisticated in culture and intelligence as their Homo sapien sapien neighbors. Another important point is that most living people are descendants of mixtures between both groups, who all share a more ancient common ancestor. Our DNA reflects that. Is it right to judge them as less because they are no longer alive or because we know less about them than ourselves? And I have a very hard time believing our more recent Homo sapien sapien ancestors would be inclined to interact with wild animals on an intimate level. Is it not possible that Neanderthals and Denisovians were blessed with immortal souls like us? Who decided that Adam and Eve lived 10,000 years ago and looked like you and me? The timeless power, greatness and wisdom of God has no limits. Limitations are entirely human.


I'm very eager to hear your thoughts or questions. Please use the comment section to encourage good conversation for curious readers and fellow writers. Thank you for commenting! I try to reply to most comments so make sure to check back!