Reasons to Believe

A Burst of Creativity

The Earth is filled with music, all kinds of music, from the new “ambient” sounds to the more familiar genres, such as bluegrass. (Don’t forget I’m from West Virginia.) Music permeates all populated areas of the world, and not just today, but apparently for the entirety of human history.

The growing body of archeological evidence for music as well as visual art seems consistent with a creation perspective rather than an evolutionary one. Advances in prehistoric archeology have led to widespread recognition that musical and artistic expression virtually exploded onto the scene roughly 40,000 to 50,000 years ago. Scientists often refer to this sudden surge as the “cultural big bang.” And it coincides with the appearance of modern humans, the only creatures God describes as being made “in his image.”

A team of German archeologists discovered one of the world’s oldest musical instruments in a cave near Ulm in southern Germany. It’s a flute about 18 inches long, some 30,000 to 37,000 years old.  The instrument’s composition is especially remarkable—instead of using bird’s hollow bones, its crafter carved the flute from solid ivory! This artisan had to shape and hollow the flute, then fit and glue its two halves together. She or he also carved finger holes at certain intervals, giving the instrument the capacity to produce melodies and harmonic tones. In other words, this flute represents a high level of musical sophistication early in the history of Homo sapiens sapiens (modern humanity).

The same can be said of painting. The 30,000-year-old artwork discovered in the Chauvet Cave in France shows the same level of sophistication seen in much later paintings, including those in museums of modern art today. Such findings led anthropologist Anthony Sinclair to make this comment:

“As new materials and new techniques were developed, we should see this pattern of evolution in the archaeological record. Yet for many outlets of artistic expression—cave paintings, textiles, ceramics, and musical instruments—the evidence increasingly refuses to fit. Instead of a gradual evolution of skills, the first modern humans in Europe were in fact astonishingly precocious artists.”

A creation model allows us to give credit where credit is due to these pioneering artisans.

Subjects: Image of God

Dr. Fazale Rana

In 1999, I left my position in R&D at a Fortune 500 company to join Reasons to Believe because I felt the most important thing I could do as a scientist is to communicate to skeptics and believers alike the powerful scientific evidence—evidence that is being uncovered day after day—for God’s existence and the reliability of Scripture. Read more about Dr. Fazale Rana

For further reading on this topic, see Who Was Adam?

Glossary

ar•che•o•lo•gy (n.) The systematic study of past human life and culture by the recovery and examination of remaining material evidence, such as graves, buildings, tools, and pottery.

an•thro•po•lo•gy (n.) The scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans.