The Common Propaganda Regarding “Cave Men”

By Wayne Jackson

Our children’s textbooks are filled with references to half-savage “cave men” from whom we allegedly descended. What can we say when our youngsters ask about such teachings?

Evolutionists are consummately skilled at employing distortions, half-truths, and the manipulation of evidence to advance their own philosophical agenda. There is no better example of this than the general evolutionary presentation relative to “cave dwellers.”

Certainly there have been those of the ancient past (and even more recent times) who lived in caves. But the type of domicile in which a being dwells says nothing about his “humanity.” A man who lives in a cave is no more “half-animal,” than is a dog “half-human,” who happens to live in a house. Consider the following facts.

Cavemen in the Bible

The Bible itself speaks of those who lived in caves. After the destruction of Sodom and the other cities of the Plain, Lot and his daughters “dwelt in a cave” (Gen. 19:30). Caves were frequently used as places of refuge in biblical times. (cf. Judg. 6:2; 1 Sam. 14:11; 22:1-2; 23:29; 1 Kgs. 18:4; 19:9; see also other general references, e.g., Num. 24:21; Song of Sol. 2:14; Jer. 49:16; Obad. 3).

Cavemen were human

Anthropological evidence from many cave sites reveals a strictly “human” mode of habitation. There is ample evidence of cooking, sewing, tools, pottery, art work, religious artifacts, and even furniture.

Within the caves of the so-called “Neanderthal” people in the region south of Haifa (Israel), there is an abundance of artifacts which reveal that these people were entirely human. [Note: The name “Neanderthal” is taken from a valley in northwest Germany where skeleton remains were found in a cave in 1856.]

For example, there were articles of personal adornment that were, in the words of one authority, “oddly like costume jewelry on sale today in American shops.” And a “rock-cut divan has been found in the important caves of Ophel” near Jerusalem (see M.S. & J. L. Miller, Encyclopedia of Biblical Life, New York: Harper Bros., 1944, p. 235-236).

Cavemen in modern times

The more isolated and culturally-primitive peoples of our planet have continued to live in caves even in modern times. The Pueblo Indians lived in caves. Were they semi-human? A century ago people were still living in caves in Palestine (see McClintock & Strong, Cyclopedia, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1968, Vol. II, p. 168).

“Stone-age” people living today

There are many tribes today, composed of people who are unquestionably and totally “human,” yet, who are even less civilized than many of the cultures of the past – thousands of years past! Contrast the ancient Egyptians with the modern Tasaday people of the Philippines. The Egyptians were much more sophisticated than the Tasaday folks – who are classified as “stone-age” people.

New theories regarding “Neanderthals”

Over the years evolutionists have contended that the “Neanderthals” were “semi-human brutes.” That viewpoint has been progressively abandoned in recent years.

Dr. Carleton S. Coon, an anthropologist with the University of Pennsylvania, has argued that the Neanderthal race had a high level of culture for its time in history. Neanderthals were superior tool makers, skilled as hunters, employed paint, and had many uses for flint. Some of their artistic carvings were exquisite.

D.T. Dale Stewart of the Smithsonian Institute relates that a Neanderthal skeleton found in Iraq, had undergone surgical amputation of an arm above the elbow (cited by Dr. G. Richard Culp, Remember Thy Creator, Baker, 1975, p. 99).

Many evolutionists no longer make the outrageous claims they once did relative to the Neanderthal cave-dwellers. Dr. Ralph Holloway, an anthropologist who was affiliated with Columbia University in New York, stated that one “can’t see anything that would mark a modern human brain as being superior – or different in any significant way – to that of Neandertal’s” (quoted in: Robert Lewin, In the Age of Mankind, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books, 1988, p. 119).

We simply must not be intimidated, therefore, by the “cave men” propaganda in the evolutionary-dominated textbooks to which our children are exposed. We must study the issues carefully, and provide our youngsters with biblically sound, scientifically accurate information that will answer their sincere questions, and fortify their faith in this age of unbelief.

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.