Truth That Matters

"What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" - Jesus Christ

Anthropological corroboration of the Bible

Certain aspects of the human race, which come under the study of anthropology, seem arbitrary and difficult to explain from an atheistic or non-Biblical religious standpoint, but are just the conditions to expect in the light of the Bible. This provides proof that the Bible is true.

The number and identity of the gods worshiped in various cultures

Evolutionists would have us believe (in accordance with their theory) that when man got afraid of the dark, he started worshiping spirits, then attributed deity to the forces of nature, and then, in an advanced state of evolution, developed exalted notions about a single, loving God. So the evolutionary sequence is: animism - polytheism/pantheism - monotheism. When evolutionists first made their stories, they could get away with them, but recent anthropological research has indicated that their predictions were false. It is now known that most ancient cultures retain some vestiges of belief in a supreme, just, loving Creator-God. This belief gradually got corrupted into polytheism/pantheism, and then, in some tribes, got further corrupted to spiritism/animism. India is a good case study. Look at this hymn from the Rig Veda, one of the oldest Hindu texts:

"He the primal one, begetter of he universe, begotten in mystery, Lord of created things, Lord of heaven and earth...Who is He? How shall we name Him, when we offer sacrifice? He whose word is eternal, giver of breath and life and power, sole ruler of the universe, swelling alone in his grandeur, to whom the gods bow. Lord of Death, whose path is life immortal! Thou alone canst fathom thy mystery, there is none beside thee." [From a music CD by Gustav Holst titled "Hymns from the Rig Veda"]

The ancient Hindus profess belief in a One True Supreme God. They claim however, that they don't know how to sacrifice to Him. They are in the process of forgetting Him. 

Fast forward a few thousand years, to the present: if you come to India today, you'll see thousands of gods and goddesses, depicted with idols of all shapes and sizes. Whereas the ancient Aryans wanted to revere the One True God, modern Hindu activity consists mostly of appeasing gods of good luck, prosperity, etc. for favors (coupled with abstract philosophy for those who are intellectually inclined) - polytheism. Moreover, if you go to remote areas, you'll see tribesmen worshiping spirits - animism. 

"I suggest that human history can now hesitantly be traced back as an unbroken narrative to 4000 BC. The facts must not, however, be twisted to suit the fallacy of human progress...the picture...is in our period more of degradation than of success; it is also a picture of monotheism breaking down into polytheism and of the struggle to return to monotheism. The establishment view of the history of religion gradually progressing from animism to polytheism, from polytheism to monotheism is the reverse of the facts." – James Bailey, The God-kings and the Titans: The New World Ascendancy in Ancient Times (New York: St. Martin's 1973), p.296.

"In my opinion, the history of the oldest civilization of man is a rapid decline from monotheism to extreme polytheism and the widespread belief in evil spirits. It is in a very true sense the story of the fall of man." – Stephen Langdon, "Semitic Mythology", vol. 5, in Mythology of All Races (Archaeological Institute of America, 1931), p. xviii.

Langdon was professor at Oxford University and universally recognized as one of the greatest scholars in his field. By "oldest civilization" in this quote, Langdon meant the Sumerians. A correlation between the Biblical record and studies of ancient Mesopotamia suggests that the Sumerians were the Babel crowd described in Genesis 11:1 onwards .

Thus, the actual pattern of human worship is monotheism – polytheism/pantheism – animism; this is the opposite of what atheists would expect based on the theory of evolution, and just what to expect from the Bible, which says that the original people knew God, but chose to reject Him for the forces of nature, and God gave them over to depravity (see Romans 1:20-25). Thus, the phenomenon of monotheism decaying to polytheism based on the forces of nature is evidence that the Bible is true.

Further reading:

  • Zwemer, Samuel M. 1945. The Origin of Religion. New York, NY: Loiseaux Brothers.
  • Hislop, Alexander. The Two Babylons
  • Morris, Henry M. The Long War Against God. Master Books.

Blood sacrifices to atone for sin

Animals are sacrificed with the belief that somehow, the death of the animal will atone for the wrong deeds committed by the person offering the sacrifice. This would be a strange belief if people have evolved from lower animals, but makes perfect sense in the light of the Biblical narrative. When Adam and Eve felt ashamed of their nude bodies after they had sinned, God clothed them with animal skins, evidently killing animals for the purpose. Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve offered sacrifices to God.

The sanctity of marriage

Most animals do not take marriage very seriously, often mating with a different partner each season. When modern evolutionists first arrived on the scene, it was natural for them to theorize that as man evolved, he started dragging women he liked to his cave by their hair; several men probably shared the same women, and later on, in recent times, exalted notions about lifelong marital faithfulness began to "evolve".

Recent anthropological studies have shown that this evolutionary theorizing is far from reality. Even "primitive" cultures considered marriage sacred, and monogamy to be the norm. Let me quote a professor of anthropology at the university of London:

"Monogamy is not only the most important form of marriage, not only that which predominates in most communities, and which occurs, statistically speaking, in an overwhelming majority of instances, but it is also the pattern and prototype of marriage...Monogamy is, has been, and will remain the only true type of marriage." [Brunislaw Malinowski, "Marriage", Article in Encyclopedia Britannica, 17th ed. (1949), vol. 14, p. 950]

This of course, makes perfect sense in the light of Genesis 1 and 2, which records that God made man and woman fully intelligent and conscious and instructed them about marriage (Genesis 2:24).

A sense of shame at nudity

Evolutionists insist that they are just a collection of molecules. They also acknowledge that chimpanzees and gorillas know nothing of modesty. Nevertheless, evolutionists are ashamed to walk around naked, just like other human beings. Talk of differences between profession and practice! If you’re an evolutionist, don’t protest that you wear clothes just because it suits the weather or because nudity is socially unacceptable. Although it is, the fact remains that you (and everyone else) is ashamed of nudity at an individual level. There are other socially unacceptable things that individuals indulge in, because an inner sense of shame is not there. You don’t keep your clothes on only because nudity is socially unacceptable, but because, deep down, you are -ashamed- of the real you - just what is to be expected if you and I are sinners like the Bible claims. This shame is so ingrained that we can be sure that it is not a cultural construct. Probe this matter deeper: Which parts of your body are you ashamed of the most? Answer: Your reproductive organs. Moreover, our sense of shame depends on age. You would not be embarrassed to see a naked toddler, but it's different if you see a person naked who's past his/her puberty (development of reproductive organs).

The Bible declares that humans were originally unashamed when God created them (Genesis 2:25), but that they became ashamed of their bodies when they rebelled against God (Genesis 3:6-7). The Bible also tells us that this rebellious sin nature became hereditary (Psalm 51:5, Romans 5:12) - thus the "center of shame" would have to be our springs of life - our reproductive organs.

Thus, our shame regarding nudity proves not only that a personal God exists, but that we have offended Him.

The nature of man

The Bible is unique in that it explains features about human nature that we sometimes take for granted because they are intuitively obvious:-

The dominion of humans: We try to scale mountain peaks and reach the South Pole. We run conservation/research projects on lions and dolphins. They don't do it on us, so what business do we have doing it on them? According to evolution theory, nature progresses via the extinction of weak species, so trying to conserve a species would be going against the order of nature. According to Islam, Allah banished humans to the earth after they sinned. What business do we have trying to "manage" this place and its other inhabitants? The Bible however provides the basis for conservation and research - God made humans to be responsible caretakers of the earth (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 2:15).

The worth of humans: It is better to give antibiotics to a human to kill the pathogens inside, than to let the human die and let the pathogens live. This is because a human is more valuable than a pathogen. Only the Bible tells us how and why: God made humans in His own image (Genesis 1:27); no other organisms were made in His own image. Moreover, it was God's intention that humans exercise dominion over nature (Genesis 1:28).

The sinfulness of humans: Everyone knows that you don't need to teach toddlers to lie and steal - it comes naturally to them. They must be taught to behave themselves. Bad behavior by humans cannot be explained as merely a survival instinct. Fraudsters who siphon millions are not trying hard to survive. Why can't the whole world abandon arms once and for all? It is evident that something has gone fundamentally wrong with the human race. The Bible tells us what: when our first ancestors sinned, they became sinful, and ever since, all humans have been born with a sinful nature. Not only does the Bible identify the problem, it also presents The solution that God has provided for sin.

The capability of humans: Some humans have extraordinary capabilities. Kevin Richardson (dealing with animals), Harry Houdini (performing stunts) and Arthur Benjamin (mathematical calculation) are a few examples. Most of us have ordinary capabilities and some people who are extraordinary in some ways are clumsy in others (idiot savants). Do these observations fit with evolution theory? No. One among a million humans making friends with lions does not contribute to individual or group survival. Rather, these observations suggest that an amazingly capable God must have made humans with an amazingly grand purpose; something has gone wrong with the race as a whole, but we see glimpses of greatness in a few individuals here and there. This is exactly what the Bible teaches us. God made man in His image, to reflect His glory (Genesis 1:27), but man sinned (Romans 3:23), and this resulted in death and decay (Romans 5:12).

Time keeping

All over the world, we see similar patterns in man's efforts to keep track of time. Some units of time, such as the day or the year have obvious astronomical significance, so we should not read anything more into these ubiquitous concepts. What about the week? Why are there seven days in a week? Why is one day of the week a holiday? Some people see astrological significance - if one day each is devoted to the sun, moon and the five visible planets, we get seven days for a week. But this does not explain the origin of the seven day week because it existed (especially among the Jews) even before this astrological connection was made. This phenomenon of a seven day week with one day off makes NO SENSE in the light of evolution theory or any other worldview except the Bible. God told the Jews through Moses:-

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, and the seventh day is the Sabbath of Jehovah your God. In it you shall not do any work; you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore Jehovah has blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it." – Exodus 20:8-11

Like the other commandments, this one must also have been well known among the ancients outside Israel, and although the significance was lost, the practice continued. It is worth noting that the two greatest atheistic regimes in history, the revolutionary governments in Russia (1929) and France (1792) tried to eradicate the seven-day week by introducing a five-day and ten-day week respectively. Both experiments failed after a few years. More on the seven day week

It is also interesting to see how years are numbered. The Jews number their years as A.M. (anno mundi), that is year since the world was created, according to their calculated date of 3761 BC for the creation of the world. The Mayan calendar also numbers the years serially, and year # 1 corresponds to about 4000 BC, the creation date according to the Bible! This also reminds me, that BC and AD are becoming unpopular today (in favor of BCE and CE). What are people trying to hide from?!

Yet another interesting feature is the time of the New Year.  While trying to figure out when the world was created, Archbishop James Ussher noticed that most ancient peoples celebrated the New Year around October. This would certainly make sense if God created the world in a certain October, and made people intelligent enough to keep time from the start. This calendar having the New Year in October (commemorating the creation) was also followed by the Jews; the Bible records God asking them to change it to Abib (~April) to celebrate their redemption from Egypt (see Exodus 12:1 onwards). Creation and redemption are the two grand themes in the Bible!!

Thus, the ubiquitous seven-day week, with a weekly holiday, suggests that such a system was ordained at the beginning, when all humans were living close to each other, and thus authenticates the Bible's teaching about God.

The Tower of Babel

After the flood, God wanted people to spread out all over the world. However, Genesis 11 tells us that virtually all the descendants of Noah rebelled against this commandment of God and stayed together in a single place (Shinar, Southern Mesopotamia). Considering the location and the antiquity of this group, it seems like these people were the Sumerians known from archaeology. These rebels also decided to build a great tower – the purpose was to “reach out to heaven”, that is, engage in two (then new) activities: idolatry and astrology. When God saw what they were up to, He confused their language. Whereas initially, everyone spoke the same language, people now began to speak in different languages. This was God’s way of forcing people to migrate all over the earth. The place was called Babel - "confusion" in Hebrew. The image shows the site of "Birs Nimrud", that is, "The Tower of Nimrod" in Iraq, a possible site of the Tower of Babel. Anthropological corroboration of this Biblical account consists of the following:-

  1. Some similarity in the languages of various peoples, even though they may be separated today by large distances
  2. The sudden appearance of advanced civilizations in around 2500-2000 BC at different locations in the world
  3. Similar themes in the religions of the various ancient civilizations – in particular, some myths based on Nimrod 

An aside: Notice that globalization is a resurrection of the desires of Babel. How will the world end?

Human population

The world population is now doubling once every 39 years. Earlier the rate was slower (a conservative estimate is once in 200 years). This implies a single digit population about 6000 years ago, just like the Bible claims. Evolution theory on the other hand, claims that man came on the scene about a million years ago. With a doubling rate of once every 200 (or even 1000) years, evolution theory predicts an astronomically higher population than the actual world population. Further discussion

Genetics

Mitochondria are little compartments within cells. These contain strands of DNA that are inherited only from one's mother. Similarly, the set of genes in the Y chromosome is passed on only from father to son. These two sets of genes make it possible to develop a family tree of every person in the world. What should we expect to observe from the Biblical account of Noah's Flood and the Tower of Babel (Genesis 6:1 to Genesis 11)?
  • Unless there was a mutation when Noah's sons were born, there was only one Y chromosome on Noah's Ark. Thus, there is likely to be only one Y chromosome lineage among today.
  • There were three future mothers on board the ark. Depending on whether these women were closely related or not, there would be less than three or three mtDNA lineages. Thus, we expect to see three mtDNA lineages today.
  • All of these three lineages should be traceable to a single ancestor (Eve).
  • After the Flood, God confused the language of the people at the tower of Babel according to paternal, not maternal family lines (Genesis 10:32). Different families migrated in different directions.
  • Thus, the three mtDNA lineages should be spread out all across the world
  • The amount of genetic diversity in humans today should be consistent with thousands, not millions of years of mutations.

The observations are:-

  • Y chromosomes are indeed similar worldwide.
  • There are indeed three lineages of mtDNA, referred to by evolutionists as M, N and R.
  • These three mtDNA lineages are indeed spread all across the world.
  • There is not much difference between these three lineages, and so they must have originated in a single female ancestor, whom evolutionists refer to as "Mitochondrial Eve".
  • The amount of genetic diversity is indeed much less than evolutionists predicted. It is consistent with a few thousands of years of mutations.

As you can see, these observations fit naturally with the Biblical account. In contrast, evolutionists have to invent just-so stories to make the evidence fit – "there was a population bottleneck in which humanity almost got extinct - the population was down to between 1000 and 10,000. Although many women lived in that time, only the line of one of them - Mitochondrial Eve - survived. Similarly, only one male Y chromosome lineage survived"

More details

Another genetic study has proven that Jews and Arabs have a common ancestor who lived around 2000 BC, just like the Bible says (his name was Abraham). Bryan Sykes, author of The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry. W.W. Norton, New York, N.Y., 2001. believes that all Europeans currently alive can be traced back to one of seven women. The Bible records Japheth (Noah's son who became the ancestor of all Europeans) having 7 sons.

Thus, human genetics corroborates the Bible.

Conclusion

The Bible is the only book in the world that provides a basis for the reality of human nature that we see and experience all the time. This suggests that it is exactly what it claims to be: the message from our Creator.