What do we know about the earliest men?
In my book Sacred Strands, the Story of a Redeemer Woven Through History, I mention some of the earliest men we find in the Bible in Genesis and I follow the thread found in Genesis 3:15, where God foretells of the “seed of the woman, who would bruise the head of the serpent, but be bruised in the heel.” I look for this symbolism throughout the world and even find a hint among the Aztecs with their god Quetzalcoatl.
Earliest man, in the mind of many, is a very fuzzy, unclear idea. Influenced by a century or more of evolutionist thinking, we may push him back to 250,000 years ago and picture him as brutish and unintelligent.
Two lines of research refute this idea–one is from history and one is from genetics.
First, let’s look at some evidence from historical research. As anthropologists and ethnologists probed the “most ancient” cultures they could find–the Pygmies peoples, the South-end Australian tribes, the North Central Californians, the Samoyeds, the Ainu, and many other very primitive peoples–they were surprised to find a monotheistic belief in a Supreme God. At first they thought it was influence from Christian missionaries, but as that was conclusively ruled out, many historians have noted the phenomenon. A well known historian, Wilhelm Schmidt, wrote extensively regarding these people. In his book The Origin and Growth of Religion, he writes regarding the primitive high God, “the demonstration that a religious stage relatively so high exists among populations so backward was a great surprise for every investigator brought up in the usual doctrine of Evolutionism.” (p. 197)
This belief in a Supreme Being included ideas of eternity, omniscience, morality, and creation, even creation from nothing in one group.
Since these primitive peoples, discovered over a huge area of the world. show belief in a Supreme Being, Schmidt writes that they “must have been deeply and strongly rooted in it at the very dawn of time, before the individual groups had separated from one another.” (p. 261)
Turning now to genetics, we are finding another idea of ancient man which matches Biblical data instead of Evolutionary ideas. In a series called “The New History of the Human Race,” Nathaniel Jeanson, a geneticist with a PhD from Harvard, shows how the Y chromosome can show the path of mankind from the beginning. The Y chromosome is passed from father to son with only a few mutations each generation so a timeline can be extrapolated. Jeanson shows how this timeline matches with the Biblical timeline of thousands of years instead of the evolutionary timeline of 250,000 years. Along the way this timeline can show major events such as the break off points of migrations (the slave trade for example). Take the time to watch this fascinating series, found here or you can find this series, “The New History of the Human Race” on You Tube.
You can order my book, Sacred Strands, the Story of a Redeemer Woven Through History here.