Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Gramps,

I have been wondering what time frame Neanderthal man or (Cave Man) were on the Earth? I’ve studied Anthropology and they make it out like it was millions of years ago? But I know what it says in the scriptures when Heavenly Father asked Jesus and Michael if man was found on the earth. Are they even classified as human in the sight of our Heavenly Father?

Flynn from Powell, Wyoming

Dear Flynn,

It sounds like you are taking what you learn in school as the truth and are trying to rationalize that truth with the scriptures. We learn from archeology and anthropology that Homo neanderthalensis lived from about from about 200,000 years ago until about 30,000 years ago, when they suddenly disappeared. Modern humans are dated from about 100,000 years ago. They began to spread across Europe at about the time that the Neanderthals disappeared.

In spite of various interpretations by various religious experts on the biblical time line for the human family, only relative dates are given for events before the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden. But, as you mentioned, this we know from the scriptures—

And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul; the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also (JST Gen 2:8).

So the truth of the matter is that Adam was the first flesh upon the earth. Now, if science differs from that revealed information, who do you think is wrong? Since we don’t have a definitive time line from the scriptures you might say that there is no conflict. However, science teaches us that evidence for the existence of single celled animals dates from the beginning of the Precambrian era about 4.6 billion years ago; life in the seas began about 570 million years ago; land creatures such as crabs, insects and spiders are dated from about 408 million years ago; amphibians from about 362 million years ago; crocodiles and other reptiles from about 290 million years ago; dinosaurs from about 248,000 millions years ago, until their sudden demise about 60 million years ago; and modern man appeared last of all about 100,000 years ago.Now the question–How are these prehistoric time lines established by the scientists? To answer that question let me repeat an answer we gave to a question similar to yours not too long ago submitted by Ntando, from Durban, South Africa–“There is one and only one way of dating any geological, anthropological or paleontological event, and that is by the potassium-argon decay rate. Potassium, the most prevalent element in the earth’s crust, has a radio-isotope, K40, found in a concentration of the order of .01%. The half life of K40 is 1.8 times 10 to the 9th years, and it decays to the stable A40, which is a gas. While any rock is molten, any argon produced from K40 escapes, but if the rock is solid the argon is captured. The only dating process ever used to place a time line on any geological, anthropological or paleontological event is to measure the K40/A40 ratio in a sample of rock taken from the site. In the first place the date thus established does NOT measure the age of the site. It measures the age of the rock found at the site! Secondly, this measurement technique is highly unreliable, but its unreliability is never taken into account since it is the only possible way of dating into the distant past. So the method is accepted without question, as shown by the following experiment—“Two samples of volcanic rock were submitted for dating by the K/A decay method. One sample measured to be 65 million years old and the other, 2.5 billion years old. These two samples were taken from the lava flows from two volcanoes in Hawaii. The eruption from which the first sample was taken occurred in 1800 AD, and the eruption from which the second sample was taken occurred in 1802 AD.!!! When confronted with this data the researchers concluded that the two rocks could not have been part of the lava flow, but were picked up as debris while the flow was yet molten! This demonstrates the tenacity with which any currently held scientific theory or method is held. Data that are contrary to the currently held theory are merely discarded. In truth, it takes a veritable scientific revolution to change the currently held theories of science. Each of the proponents of the theories of past ages, beginning with the Greeks, knew that they had the ultimate truth. But each was finally proven to be completely wrong and was replaced by the succeeding theory, in the same manner that the theories currently held to be true will also find their way into the dustbins of history.”There is an extremely strong tendency to accept scientific information as factual, and therefore use it as the basis for judging all else. However, the scientific method itself is flawed, and ALL SCIENTIFIC THEORIES are extremely questionable. One could write a book about the topic. But to consider just a couple of pertinent points. All scientific theory, data and supposed fact are related only to telestial conditions–the physics of the earth in its present transitory telestial state. That state or condition of the earth did not occur until after the fall of Adam and Eve. Our science has no possible way of interacting with the environment and the physical conditions of a terrestrial world, that was the status of the earth prior to the fall.Concerning the scientific method itself; it is based on a philosophy of doubt. No information can be accepted as being true until after it has been proven to be so. Scientific methodology comprises attempts to discredit theories. If they cannon be proven to be false they are accepted as true. But the fact that we cannot prove a theory to be false does not necessarily mean that it is true. It could just as well mean that we haven’t exhausted the possibilities of testing. It could also mean that our equipment is not sufficiently refined to identify the inaccuracies or the errors in the proposition under test. It could also mean that current scientific philosophy is not designed to address the question in the light of its true nature.

So, we strongly recommend that the proper approach to judging any perceived difference between a supposed scientific truth and a religious truth would be to judge the professors by the prophets rather than the other way around.

Gramps

Copyright © 2019 Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit LDS.org or Mormon.org.

Pin It on Pinterest