Aug 27, 2016

Give Me a Prehistoric Man

When I was a kid in the 1960s and 1970s, my church hated "evil-lution" almost as much as Roman Catholics.  It was not only a big lie, it was the source of every modern problem from hippies to homa-sekshuls,

Adam and Eve were the first people created, about 4000 BC.  They moved directly into a technological civilization that ended with Noah's Flood, 2500 BC, and was rebuilt again in time for Abraham, 2200 BC.

So the history of Egypt, Sumeria, China, and India could not have begun before 2500 BC, and there was no prehistory.

Cave men did not exist.  No ancestors of homo sapiens existed.  Any artifacts were from the civilization before the flood.

We were forbidden to learn about, talk about, or think about evolution, lest Satan brainwash us.

I looked up Darwin's Origin of Species in the school library, but was afraid to open it.  What if just reading the words was enough to damn you for eternity?

But reading about prehistoric people was exciting.  There was a little frisson of evil, some apprehension, like an apprentice magician who picks up a book of forbidden spells.

But where else could I see so much beefcake?  Prehistoric people always went shirtless, even in the frigid glacial ice, and they often had bare butts, too.

Remember the song "Prehistoric Man" from On the Town?

Top hats, bow ties -- he simply wore no ties
Bear skin, bear skin, he just sat around in nothing but bear skin
(I really love bear skin.)

More recently I've been studying the Upper Paleolithic Era (50,000 to 10,000 years ago), when our ancestors began to use symbolic communication and live in villages larger than family units.  It's the period of the vast collections of cave art (they probably never actually lived in caves, but just used them for rituals).

Most of the cave art represents animals, but about 10% represent humans, the men with penises, often erect, a homoerotic link from their culture to ours.

They also produced representational art, like this stone phallus.  The standard texts say it's a fertility symbol with no practical use.

I disagree.