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Antediluvian Civilizations

Introduction

'''Antediluvian civilizations''' are civilizations believed to have existed before the Great flood of Noah. If the fossil record is indeed the result of the Biblical flood as described in the Bible, then it is somewhat expected for evidence of antediluvian (pre-flood) civilizations to exist. It is assumed by many that humans reached advanced stages of technological development before the flood. Such presuppositions are usually based on the Biblical genealogy, which states that ancient people lived to approximately 10 times our current life span.  Also it is frequently mentioned that Adam and Eve would likely possess higher than normal intelligence since they were created as adults, with knowledge that subsequent humans obtain from their parents. Another theory states that the antediluvian race called the Nephilim was superior to other humans in this respect.

All accounts of the Great flood from civilizations around the world indicate that there were civilizations before the flood. However, as a result of the destruction during the flood and the passage of time, the remaining evidence is scanty. As a result of the flood, the earth was covered in hundreds of feet of sediment, and very little of the antediluvian horizon has been exposed. It is also problematic that the scientific community is quick to dismiss any artifacts that dispute their presupposed interpretation of the fossil record. Nevertheless, any truly advanced civilization would have left durable traces or constructions that would likely surface during excavations or by erosion. Relatively insightful accounts can be drawn from the Bible, apocrypha, and ancient Babylonian and Greek accounts of antediluvian civilization. Lets examine whether it is really logical to expect monuments such as the pyramids or better from the civilizations that lived before the flood?

Longevity and the Written Word

Our technological development has only occurred as a result of an ability to store and access large quantities of preexisting data. The knowledge possessed by any one person or even a hundred is insignificant in comparison to the libraries of previous learning that have now been obtained, and without which advancement to our level would not have happened. These libraries of knowledge did not begin to develop until the written word was invented, and no archaeological evidence of even the most primitive forms of writing have been discovered earlier than ancient Babylon which followed the tower of Babel.  Even several hundred years later, during the time of the Egyptians, only hieroglyphics were in use.

The development of symbolic language seemingly coincides with the decline in human longevity. Perhaps it was the shortened human lifespan that caused people to feel the need to write down their experiences or what had been learned. There had become a sense of urgency to preserve ones essence in some permanent form. It may have been this reduction in life expectancy more than anything else that induced the formation of the written word and ultimately the technological achievements we have made. Back when people lived to be 1000 years of age there was little need to archive knowledge. Most people would prefer to talk rather than write letters. If we could still talk to Galileo or Sir Isaac Newton, why would they bother to write down what they could more quickly say?

Implications of the Tower of Babel

We can not dispute the existence of atypical knowledge possessed by Adam and Eve, however, we should also consider the tower of Babel curse as it relates to human accomplishments to that date. Monumental constructions are a great source of pride for humans. It was most likely this type of technological development that God attempted to retard by creating the language barriers at the tower of Babel.

The Babel event suggests that the tower was the first major monument that mankind had ever built. It was the first construction that had no purpose but to be a monument to human achievement. The tower was not a particularly important technological development. It was built out of bricks, and was therefore incomparable to even the limestone pyramids. In comparison to our modern building it was hardly more than a mud mound. Many better monuments would be built afterwards, but given God's reaction, it is logical to propose that nothing like it had been built prior to the flood.

Why do Men Construct Buildings?

Most people are puzzled why antediluvian buildings have not been found. After all the construction of cities is clearly referred to in the Bible.

Genesis 4:17  And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

The construction of dwelling space is driven almost exclusively by our need to shelter ourselves from the weather. Prior to the flood, the atmosphere is thought to have been much more stable than it is today, providing an almost globally uniform temperature. It is believed that there were no dramatic seasonal temperature fluctuations, or even significant differences in temperature between the polar and equatorial regions. This is evident by the discovery of fossilized ferns and amphibians on Antarctica. It is also believed that it had not rained prior to the flood, but the earth was instead watered by free-flowing springs and mist. Given that this type of perfect environment likely existed before the flood, it might be better to ask why people would build houses if they needed no shelter from the elements? One answer would be: to protect ourselves from wild animals and other humans. The earth was a violent place before the flood.

Genesis 6:5  And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Nevertheless, any constructions during this period were likely made of wood or dried mud. These materials are simply not expected to stand up well under catastrophic flood conditions. Even baked clay will dissolve if saturated for prolonged periods. This type of material has historically only been used to extremely arid regions for this reason.  If they did not need to build shelters from the weather, and had never built a monument before the tower of Babel, what would we expect to find? Perhaps some protective fencing or walls might still remain if they could have survived a raging onslaught greater than the dam breech that hollowed-out the Grand Canyon. There may also be some clothing made of animal skins or stone tools, but no reason to expect anything more significant. Given the presuppositions of evolutionists and the certainty of their belief, any trace evidence of a antediluvian civilizations would likely be dismissed outright and we would never hear about it.

Additional Resource

Creationist Perspectives on Antediluvian (Pre-flood) Civilizations

Antediluvian Artifacts

 



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