If the naturalists and Darwinists were right about the evolution of humankind, we would expect both the quantity and quality of human artwork to increase gradually over time. New research, however, shows that the opposite is the case. Anthropologists have discovered what they call the “big bang” of artistic expression. Previous to about 40,000 years ago, art appears to have been both rare and “rough,” or crude.10 Such “art” (if it can really be called that) reflects the expressive ability we see in some advanced mammalian and avian species. After that date, art becomes suddenly ubiquitous and intricate, art that only humans—spiritual creatures—can produce.
For example, life-like animal drawings elaborately adorning cave walls date back to 30,000 B.C. If we consider the availability of pigments and art tools, this wall compares favorably with artwork hanging in respected galleries the world over—paintings created in relatively recent history. During the past two years, ancient art has been found in nearly a dozen French and Spanish caves with dates spanning the range from 14,000 to 32,000 years ago. The quality and quantity of art in each cave is nearly identical.
Such findings yield no hard and fast conclusions, but they do fit the inferences of a Christian worldview, in contrast to other worldviews. They support the biblical doctrine of humankind, the belief that human beings—the same species alive today—are not merely randomly-evolved animals but rather unique, recently-created (within a few tens of thousands of years) beings bearing “the image of God” and, thus, the capacity for creative expression.
10. Tim Appenzeller, “Art: Evolution or Revolution,” Science, 282 (1998), pp. 1451-1454.