Cultural Devolution

Adapted from The Death of Evolution by Wallace Johnson

The present size of the world's population should suggest that mankind cannot have inhabited the earth for millions of years. In this light, several authorities have examined population growth, some with the aid of computers programmed to allow for difficult factors (wars, famine, plagues, etc.) Results vary, but the overall picture is clear. Allowing a rate of increase much smaller than today's (and starting from one family, say Noah's), our present world population figure would be reached in roughly 5,000 years or less.

Such figures are disastrous for the evolutionist claim that man has been on earth for at least a million years, which would mean at least 25,000 generations. It has been calculated that an average family size of 2.5 children during 25,000 generations would produce a present population of 102100. This fantastic population figure can be appreciated when we compare it with the number of electrons in the entire known universe, estimated at only 10130. Population statistics make the time span for man's evolution look absurd, but support the Biblical time span.

The popular modern idea is that the human race spent a million years or more, slowly improving itself from primitive level to high culture. This idea runs into a bad problem with stone-age men. The problem is this: Why is it that intelligent stone-age men scarcely improved themselves at all?

Stone-age men had all the intelligence that we have. Except where a high culture is on the decline, man will improve his culture rapidly. Stone-age man (according to the evolution story) was man on the way up. How then could these highly intelligent men have gone on and on, scarcely improving their cultural level at all, not just for thousands of years, but for hundreds of thousands of years according to evolutionists?

Evolutionists say that the human race began with many brutish first men and women coming from animal parents, and that from these brutish beginnings mankind slowly, over enormous time spans, climbed the cultural ladder. On the other hand, the Bible says that man began when Adam and Eve were created in a high state, and that mankind was civilized and cultured from the start.

History and archaeology support the Bible account that mankind's story is a short one. And only a few families lived in caves, as some do today. Most people then, as now, lived in cities and towns. These ancient people were highly skilled and cultured, perhaps more so than our own present culture.

Artist's Conception of Sumerian City The archaeological record shows this: the Middle East was the cradle of civilization and there never was a savage in that area. In this cradle, not many thousands of years ago, starting from a primitive settlement near Mount Ararat, there quickly flowered in Mesopotamia the great prehistoric civilization of Sumeria – a high culture from nowhere.

The subject of prehistory is deep, confused water; nevertheless, according to the testimony of archaeology and the views of numerous scientists and scholars, culture starts, ready-made, in the very center of the world – the Middle East. All radiations of culture are from this central cradle. Then, as men migrated away from the center of culture and mainstream of tradition, so did their culture deteriorate. There is impressive evidence that the post-flood era begins at Mt. Ararat where the Ark is believed to have grounded. When Noah stepped out of the Ark, there were only 8 people alive in the world, and they were cultured people. They had the culture and the technology of a civilized world that had just been wiped out.

It is impossible to fix dates before written history, but Sumerian civilization flourished perhaps 3,000 to 4,000 years before Christ, and it did not evolve up from savagery. There never was a savage in this land. The Sumerians were a fully civilized people, living in prosperous cities and using metals. The high point of Sumerian culture was its early period with artistry that amazes us with its beauty.

This Sumerian culture was carried to Egypt. Migrants moved to India and then China before 2,000 B.C.; then through Europe to Britain. The early Britons brought with them an impressive technology which we are only now beginning to realize and fully appreciate. 1,000 years before the glory of Greece, men were building monuments to their genius like Stonehenge. Some of this precise workmanship is surpassed today only in the most specialized types of surveying. From that culture came a decline to the Britons that the Romans found.

Crete received its culture from Egypt. From Crete it passed to Greece and thence to Rome. Through all these links, the culture which appeared in Sumer, near Mt. Ararat, had been handed down to us.

It may be observed that a culture does not automatically evolve up or devolve down. It flowers from a fusion of three enlightenments: 1) spiritual, 2) intellectual, and 3) technological. If one of these three declines, the whole civilization begins to decay and decline. It is popular to talk about culture evolving up from savagery. But the evidence shows the reverse. It shows culture degenerating down to savagery; this means that primitive tribes in the modern world are not man on the way up – they are sad evidence of man's tendency to go down culturally.

Let this be noted well: there is not one example in history where a savage people, left to itself, has civilized itself or even improved itself. On the other hand, whenever a high civilization has fallen, its descendants, if left to themselves, have never risen up again to their former level.

According to the evidence, the story of man starts with a high culture around the Middle East; then zones of descending culture radiate further out. As men migrated outwards from the center, or were pushed out, and as they became more cut off from the mainstream of tradition, so also was their culture reduced. So we find descending grades of culture right out to Tasmania. The Tasmanian aborigines have been said to rank near the bottom of the cultural scale. But this is not yet the bottom. There is another stark proof that man, when left to himself, will not rise but will sink – even to animal levels.

Feral Children

Over the past few centuries, certain wild children have been captured. These include children who had been abandoned in infancy but somehow survived in the wild, cut off from all human contact. Some of the many reported cases are well authenticated, but we need look at only one. In 1920, two little girls, aged 8 and 1½, were found in the den of a she-wolf in India. They were rescued and brought to an orphanage, where they crouched in a corner. Their only vocabulary was howling. Food had to be left on the floor, and they would take it in their mouths. The younger died soon after. The older, named Kamala, was almost incapable of conversing. After six years she had learned about 45 words, could make sentences of 2 or 3 words, but never spoke unless spoken to.

Feral children make manifest human nature deprived of cultural teaching. Their resistance to learning indicates that the gift of language, once lost, is more or less irrecoverable. Humanity has not that something within its genes whereby, unaided, it can raise itself up culturally. It needs a culture gifted to it, infused into it. Wild children highlight the mystery of human speech – the great chasm between man and beast. Man is unique. By language, sounds and symbols, men exchange information and ideas, material and abstract. The theory that men evolved from animals led to the theory that animal grunts and cries evolved into human speech. Such a theory assumes a natural progression from animal sounds to human words. The feral children prove that man, in the company of animals, remains dumb, with no instinct or inclination to utter any word. If speech and language really did evolve, we should find, among primitive tribes, languages in various stages of imperfection. Instead, and to the bafflement of the evolutionist, it is found that every race, every tribe – cultured or savage – has its perfect language. The case of the feral children tells us that man does not evolve culturally; that man was designed to have a culture as a birthright; and that man must have a teacher. But there was no man to teach the first man – no one, except his Maker.


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