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 Tubalcain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron. (Genesis 4:21–22)
Over my many years of traveling and speaking, I’ve realized that even many Christians (mostly unwittingly) have adopted an evolutionary view of man’s intelligence and achievements over the millennia.
Because of the technologically advanced world we live in, with smart phones that connect to the world in astounding ways, jet planes, and spacecraft that land on Mars, we often think we are so much more intelligent today than our ancestors who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago. Most of us tend to think that people of past societies were somewhat “primitive.”
We read that in the decades and centuries after the first two humans (Adam and Eve) were created by God, people invented and played musical instruments. And from the verse above, we know that there were talented people who worked with brass and iron prior to the Flood.
Now, Genesis 4 doesn’t give us many details, but this section of the Bible tells us that these people had a high degree of sophistication in a certain technology. I know I don’t have anywhere near that ability myself!
The fantastic technology we enjoy today is the result of an accumulation of knowledge gained over the past few hundred years. Think how far technology has advanced in just 200 years! The beginnings of the technologies to build automobiles go back to the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and airplanes were invented just over 100 years ago.
The Genius of People Before/After the Flood
I often try to imagine what many people must have invented by the time of Noah, about 4,400 years ago (about 1,600 years after Creation). Who knows what remarkable things were created by geniuses when Noah was building the great Ark? Those are questions we are dealing with as we design our Ark Encounter outreach.
After the global Flood, there would have been a catastrophic loss of technology. And we don’t know what kinds of technological items, tools, and machines were brought on board the Ark by Noah. But after the Flood, and as people increased in numbers on the earth, no doubt technology once again exploded.
AiG’s board chairman, Pastor Don Landis, together with a team of researchers, has carefully collected some intriguing information—from all around the world—that reveals how ancient people, going back thousands of years, were highly skilled and inventive. They have published their findings in a fascinating new book entitled The Genius of Ancient Man.
Primitive or Advanced?
From an evolutionary perspective, most people today believe that ancient man originally communicated with grunts, eventually developed language, and then over time went from making “primitive” items (e.g., stone tools) to working with bronze and iron. But the evidence Don and his researchers have collected from around the globe refutes this false evolutionary view of human history.
The Bible, the true history of the universe, has revealed that truth to us in Genesis.
Instead, the evidence they have gathered confirms what we would expect based upon reading God’s Word about the world: humans have been highly intelligent from the beginning and could quickly gain knowledge to create sophisticated technology. The Bible, the true history of the universe, has revealed that truth to us in Genesis.
Certainly there have been times when wars, catastrophes, or maybe even God’s judgment on wicked rebellion have hindered knowledge and inventiveness. Some accumulated knowledge would have been lost. But afterward, humans would begin to accumulate information that allowed them to be inventive once again and develop new technologies.
Not only is it fascinating to learn of man’s incredible achievements of the past (think of the remarkable Egyptian pyramids), but there is something more important to learn—the vital message concerning man’s continual rebellion against his Creator. As we see nations remain on the path of wicked rebellion against the One who created all things and who owns us, we should be reminded that God has provided a way of salvation from our sin and a rescue from eternal separation from God.