Cave Men

by Glenn Conjurske

We have all heard of the “cave men,” who belonged to the “stone age,” who “millions of years ago” lived in caves, and hunted with stone clubs and axes, before men had learned to build houses, or discovered the use of iron, or risen to any of the advancements of modern times. We have all heard of such things, and I suppose most of us were once upon a time gullible enough to believe them. The matter seems to be rather universally assumed. When I was but a very small boy my mother read to us a book about primitive cave dwellers, mostly concerned with a set of twins, a boy and a girl, named Fire-top and Fire-fly. I (susceptible as I always was in that direction) promptly fell in love with Fire-fly. Her charms were short-lived, however, and I recovered from them long before I recovered from the charms of those theories of the “cave men.” Those theories no doubt held sway over my mind until I learned the truth, and until I learned to think. There is one grand myth at the bottom of all of these tales—-one grand myth of “science, falsely so called.” That myth supposes that man began his existence on a low plane of intelligence and refinement, and has been steadily advancing.

This is the fundamental falsehood of all the theories of the cave men. It is the opposite of the truth, and it is difficult to dignify such notions with the name of science, for their real basis is actually philosophy, though alas, it is philosophy falsely so called, for it is not the love of wisdom, but just the reverse. Modern man wishes to believe in the steady advancement of the race. It pampers modern pride, and the devil is no doubt willing enough to lead his willing disciples into these elysian fields of self-gratulation. I really have no doubt that the devil and his hosts are the real authors of these theories of “cave men.” Such theories suit his purposes exactly. Not that there have never been any real “cave men,” but these were the result not of the advancement of the race from its primitive ignorance, but of the degradation of the race from its primitive refinement.

What, then, is the truth of the matter? I suppose it a simple matter of fact—-an axiom, if you will—-that the man has never lived who equalled Adam in intelligence, understanding, refinement, and ability. Not that Adam knew all that modern man knows. No, for radio waves and electrical power had probably not been discovered in Adam’s day, nor internal combustion engines invented. Nevertheless, the men who originally inhabited the earth were no “cave men,” and they lived in no “stone age.” We read of the first generations of men on the earth,

“And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he BUILDED A CITY, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.” (Gen. 4:17). Here is the first man ever born on the earth, building a city. Surely he was no “cave man.”

Of the generations which immediately followed we read, “And unto Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begat Mehujael; and Mehujael begat Methusael; and Methusael begat Lamech. And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other was Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron.” (Gen. 4:18-22). No “cave men” here, and no “stone age,” but workers in brass and iron, and musicians with harps and organs. And all of this but seven generations from Adam, and doubtless during the lifetime of Adam himself, who lived 930 years. The stories we have heard about modern man coming up from “cave men,” then, are just myths. They are “science fiction.” They are one of the many proofs that when men do not like to retain God in their knowledge, nor to glorify him as God, God gives them up to an unsound mind, they become vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart is darkened.

Well, but is there not factual evidence of the “cave men” and the “stone age”? Have not caves been discovered containing the actual relics of the ancient primitive men who once inhabited them? I suppose they have, but this no more proves the “stone age” theory than a cloudy day proves that the sun does not shine. And let it be understood that we have evidence nearer to hand than any ancient caves discovered by the geologists. When missionaries went to the South Sea Islands they found men living in the “stone age,” knowing nothing of the use of metals, all of their tools and weapons being made of stone, or bone—-and this not “millions of years ago,” but less than two centuries ago. When Robert Moffat went to South Africa, he found men dwelling, not in caves, but in mere depressions in the earth, with neither walls about them nor roof over their heads—-and this less than two centuries ago. If, therefore, geologists or explorers have discovered caves inhabited by human beings at a more remote period—-if they have discovered the remnants of societies which knew nothing of the use of metals—-this should hardly surprise us. But what does it all prove? Certainly not that the whole race was thus sunk in degradation. Certainly not that this was one step in the upward progress of man from his primitive ignorance and brutishness. Nothing of the kind. Did Moffat’s discovery of men who had no dwelling but a little open hollow in the earth, which gave them neither protection nor privacy, did this prove that the whole race was thus degraded? No more does the discovery of the relics of ancient “cave men” prove that the whole race ever lived in such a state. The primitive ignorance and brutishness of man exists only in the vain imaginations of those whose foolish hearts are darkened. Those ancient cave dwellings, and those ancient instruments of stone, are rather a proof of how far certain segments of the race had descended from its primitive understanding and refinement. But that there was any universal descent of mankind into such a degraded state, that there was ever any world-wide “stone age,” is what we absolutely deny—-and what no man can prove. They may assert that their “stone age” and their “cave men” represent one stage in the upward progress of the whole race from its original brutality—-indeed, they may assert that the race rose from a monkey or a puddle of slime—-and, for all that, they may assert that the sky was once green and the grass blue—-but they have not an iota of evidence for any of it.

The same “science” which tells us of the “stone age” tells us also of a supposed “ice age,” in which glaciers “came down” from the Arctic regions, and, among other wonders, “scooped out the Great Lakes.” So I was taught in grade school, and so numerous intelligent folks believe today. These glaciers were very selective in their scooping, and managed to leave islands in the Great Lakes, and mountains in their vicinity. But the greatest wonder is the coming “down” of the glaciers at all. We all know that glaciers flow “down” the sides of steep mountains, by the force of gravity, but it seems that gravity did not yet exist in the “ice age,” for these glaciers came “down” from North to South, flowing sometimes down, sometimes up, and up and down the sides of the mountains which they failed to “scoop” away. Those who believe such tales may well believe the stories of the “stone age”—-but they ought to be careful how they impugn the intelligence of the “cave men.” As for the scientists who invented these tales, they might have done better to tell us that the glaciers came “down” from heaven, for such a tale would at any rate leave the law of gravity intact. But they do not believe in the existence of heaven. Nevertheless, apt as all their disciples are to swallow tall tales, and defiant as their glaciers were of all the known laws of gravity, they would doubtless find believers enough if they told us that the glaciers went up to heaven.

Meanwhile, back on earth, there have been real “cave men” of which these scientists know nothing. These were no degraded and brutish specimens of humanity, but the noblest of the noble, “of whom the world was not worthy,” for “they wandered in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” (Heb. 11:38). The same faith which put Abraham in a tent put David in a cave. “David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam.” (I Sam. 22:1). Here he dwelled while patience had its perfect work. Such a “cave man” we may gladly acknowledge as our ancestor.

Glenn Conjurske

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