Monday, 4 May 2015

Agnostic About God, Very Dogmatic About Neanderthals

1) Creation vs. Evolution : How Smart Was Ancient Man? · 2) New blog on the kid : Agnostic About God, Very Dogmatic About Neanderthals

Someone in India wrote this, not to me, but to Lita Cosner on CMI:

You say that because evolutionists cannot give a proper theory on how universe was created, it means that god created universe (which is indeed possible). However, the extent to which evolutionists can speculate about the creation of universe is limited by our intelligence as a race. Just like a Neanderthal could only imagine (if he could) more sophisticated beings to be more formidable hunters and better tool maker, while being unable to conceive arts, diplomacy, metaphysics, etc, the way we see them. My point is-the concept of creation of universe could be something that is way beyond our level.* So it doesn’t mean that god created the universe because that’s the only explanation we have currently.

If you want to read HER answer to the enquiry, go to where I found this above text:

CMI : Feedback 2015
Answering agnostic arguments
Published: 2 May 2015 (GMT+10)

My own is given in title.

K. S. from India supposes that, just because we found Neanderthal bones in caves, united with very frugal clothes of animal skins, no pottery, but red ochre used in burials, we can from that deduce how the Neanderthals thought.

Indeed, if they used red ochre in burials, we can validly deduce that they paid attention to burial of their dead. What we can't do is deduce things like what they did NOT pay attention to or could NOT imagine.

"while being unable to conceive"
each of following three items, which I separate by my answers:

We have burials with red ochre, we have also a flute of some animal bone, so they certainly had music and used colour, and perhaps they refrained from painting walls because they had a religious ban on using colours on other things than dead people or perhaps rather on other things than people : as we haven't found their skins, we don't know if they used tattoos or not. We do know that they used red ochre in a way that was not immediately utilitarian.

We do not have their written documents or oral traditions, except insofar as they are contained in such we have but don't often consider as theirs.

That does not add up to their having no diplomacy, it adds up to us not having records identified as their diplomacy.

I'd prefer some agnosticism about fellow men! At least over the kind of dogmatism which bashes their humanity.

When it comes to the Metaphysics of Einstein, we both have access to texts containing his erroneous metaphysics and to his portrait and know they belong together.

When it comes to Mr. Neander or Mr. Thal and their wives and children we can reconstruct a portrait from the bones with some possibility of exactness (however, see Cuozzo's caveat on how they appear to lack protruding chins because the cranium and the lower mandible have been fitted together the wrong way), but we do not have an extensive bibliography as to what they did or did not write or as to what they did or did not transmit orally.

We have no reason to suppose their metaphysics was radically different from that of all who live today. They may have, for all we know, agreed with large parts of Plato, Varro, St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas, for all we know. If they did, we don't know it, that does not mean anything like the enquirer's apparent "we know they didn't".

"etc, the way we see them."
And that depends very much on whether you are a normal person or a very over sophisticated modernist looking down on most of not just historic but also contemporary humanity. It might be that YOUR particular metaphysics is so abnormal that you feel very sure no one outside the closest century to you ever shared it. Like if you agree with Lawrence Krauss, you might have a point. Though considering how deeply pre-Flood humanity had fallen and possibility Neanderthals were pre-Flood or very soon post-Flood, I would not bet on it.

But when it comes to normal persons, we might be indeed agreeing with the Neanderthals who might be among our ancestors, though certain of their genes are now diluted by other tribes.

That is MY answer to the enquiry of K. S. And since he is from India, I can nearly imagine he or she is high cast and looking down on both Christians and Neanderthals as caste-less, pariahs.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Monica

* Apart from his being over confident about knowing the past, and overpessimistic on what he consders known about it, he is also overoptimistic about an unknown future. He considers unknown future races of higher developed men, or perhaps machines (which cannot think at all) so much closer to being "God Omniscient" that he feels a need to bow down to him. He is worshipping at the Altar of the Unknown God, alas not an altar which can in any way be considered an alias for the True God. He's worshipping the future and thereby worshipping the unknown. Mellontolatry is a fuddled religion.

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