The Only Missing Link—It’s Spiritual

Despite popular opinion to the contrary, ancient "cavemen" were completely human and in need of a Savior, Jesus Christ.

by Ken Ham on April 1, 2012; last featured September 4, 2021
Featured in Answers Magazine

We’ve all heard about “missing links”—supposed races of human-like people who were similar to us but not as intelligent or skilled. While differences among people do exist, the only important difference has nothing to do with body shape, intelligence, or skill.

When many people hear the term cavemen, they think of primitive-looking, hairy (even ape-like), cave-dwelling brutes. That is how they are often depicted in secular museum dioramas illustrating man’s supposed ancestors or ancient relatives. For instance, Neanderthal man is often depicted this way.

Because of this evolutionary type of propaganda, many people are confused about cavemen. However, there is a very simple definition for this term: “Cavemen” are people who live (or lived) in caves!

After Noah’s Flood, eight people came off the Ark, and from Noah’s three sons and their wives came all the people who have lived on this earth. The genealogies in Genesis make it very clear that these eight people descended from the first couple, Adam and Eve. This means that every person who has ever lived is a relative of everyone else. We are all members of the one human race—Adam’s race.

Now consider what happened at the time of the Flood. A massive amount of technology was lost. Except for what Noah took on the Ark, the pre-Flood world’s technology, architecture, and other expertise were completely destroyed.

It took time for humans to restore knowledge and rebuild technology after the Flood. For instance, the Bible tells us that Noah initially lived in a tent (Genesis 9:21).

As time progressed and the population increased on the earth, perhaps some people built homes out of stone. Some may even have taken pieces of the Ark to build wooden structures to live in. Others may have found or dug caves to live in.

Throughout history, people have lived in different types of structures, depending on the available natural resources, the talents of individuals, and the amount of accumulated knowledge for technological advances.

Good News for All

God's good news of salvation through Christ is timeless and for all peoples.

God has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord” (Acts 17:26–27).

“Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men” (Romans 5:12).

“Through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men” (Romans 5:18).

“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Because of the indoctrination of evolutionary beliefs, people believe that man evolved from slime, and as he did, he first learned to grunt, and then eventually speak. Then he developed stone tools that gradually became more sophisticated as he supposedly evolved.

However, from a biblical perspective, man was highly intelligent right from the start. Adam’s immediate descendants were soon inventing musical instruments and working with brass. No doubt Noah and his family began reinventing some of the technology lost at the Flood. As time went on, their descendants developed new technologies as knowledge about the elements and laws of nature increased.

Some people (such as the group we call Neanderthals) probably became isolated from other humans. They lived in caves, invented musical instruments, made jewelry, and buried their dead. Yes, they were “cavemen,” but they were our relatives—descendants of Noah.

They certainly had some external features that made them look a little different from people today, but they were still members of the human race. They may have looked slightly different on the outside, just as Australian Aborigines look different from northern Canada’s Inuit, but their genetics clearly show they are all members of the human race.

This brings us to the most important point. In 2000, the Human Genome Project announced to the world that all humans biologically belong to one race. Although the people heading this project did not acknowledge it, they confirmed the Bible—that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve and all belong to one biological race.

Now, because of the immense variability God placed into the genome of each kind of creature, including humans, there is enormous potential for differences on the “outside”—e.g., physical traits. Sadly, many people see these outside differences as major and important—whereas in reality, these differences only reflect the differences that God placed in the genes of each type of creature.

However, humans have a difference inside that is vitally important. There are actually two “races” of people! There is only one race biologically, but there are two races spiritually. You are either for Christ or against Him (Matthew 12:30); you either walk in light or in darkness (1 John 1:5).

The Bible makes it clear that the two spiritual “races” can be distinguished ultimately only by what is on the inside.

In 1 Samuel we read the account of Samuel going to anoint a king. He did not know God had chosen David. From the text, we are given the impression that Samuel saw one of David’s brothers and was convinced that he would be the king because of his physical characteristics. However, that was not to be.

In 1 Samuel 16:7 we read, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”

This reminds us all that it is not the outside that matters, but the state of your heart.

It is easy to focus on the outside as we look at a person, but God reminds us the inside makes all the difference.

It is easy for us as humans to focus on the outside as we look at people—their physical characteristics, their clothing, their lifestyle—but God reminds us that the inside makes all the difference.

As we think about all this regarding the Great Commission, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), we need to remember that the saving power of the gospel is for all our relatives—every human being.

So whether they live in apartments in New York City or in caves in Coober Pedy (real cave-people who have TV sets) in Australia, or in caves in France, or in ice houses in the Arctic—all humans are descendants of Adam and are thus sinners in need of salvation.

The next time we hear the term cavemen, it will make a difference if we consider the fact that all humans are our relatives. What a reminder that, regardless of where people live or what they look like, they are all our relatives!

Everyone has a heart problem (sin) that needs attention. From what we know about many past cultures (including many cavemen), it would seem that many did not deal with their heart problem, and so they died as a member of the wrong spiritual race.

Let that remind us, as Christians, that we need to do our best to obey the Great Commission so that the good news of the gospel will reach the hearts of every human being. We need to lovingly challenge others to deal with their heart problem and become members of the spiritual race of the Lord Jesus.

Ken Ham, a former public school science teacher, is the founder and CEO of Answers in Genesis–USA. He has edited and authored many books about the authority of God’s Word and the impact of evolutionary thinking on our culture, including the recent best seller, Already Gone.

Answers Magazine

April – June 2012

Now’s your chance to answer every question you ever had about cavemen! This issue is chock full of the latest information about Neanderthals, Homo erectus, “the Hobbit,” and other media stars. Were they like us? How did they die? Also learn about the wonders of the sun, creatures that glow in the dark, and the reason all Hebrew scholars agree that Genesis 1 says creation was six literal 24-hour days!

Browse Issue Subscribe


Get the latest answers emailed to you.

I agree to the current Privacy Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA, and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390