Table of Contents
Part II: A Study of the Names in Genesis10
Tbe Widening Circle
IT SEEMS unlikely,
even making all conceivable allowances for gaps in the text,
which some are persuaded must exist, that one could push back
the date of the Flood and with it the date of the events outlined
in this Table of Nations, beyond a few thousand years B.C. At
the very most these events can hardly have occurred much more
than 6000 years ago ‹ and personally, I think 4500 years
is closer to the mark. In this case, we are forced to conclude
that, except for those who lived between Adam and Noah and were
overwhelmed by the Flood and whose remains I believe are never
likely to be found, all fossil men, all prehistoric peoples,
all primitive communities extinct or living, and all civilizations
since, must be encompassed within this span of a few thousand
years. And on the face of it, the proposal seems utterly preposterous.
However, in this chapter I hope to show
that there are lines of evidence of considerable substance in support
of the above proposition. In setting this forth, all kinds of "buts"
will arise in the reader's mind if he has any broad knowledge of current
physical anthropology. An attempt is made to deal with some of these "buts"
in four other Doorway Papers: "Fossil Man and the Genesis
Record", "Primitive Cultures: Their Historical Origins",
"Longevity in Antiquity and Its Bearing on Chronology", and
"The Supposed Evolution of the Human Skull". Yet some problems
remain unsolved. However, one does not have to solve every problem before
presenting an alternative view.
It is our contention that Noah and his
wife and family were real people, sole survivors of a major catastrophe,
the chief effect of which was to obliterate the previous civilization
that had developed from Adam to that time. When the Ark grounded,
* Custance, Arthur, "Fossil Man and the
Genesis Record", Part I and "Primitive Cultures: Their
Historical Origins", Part II and "The Supposed Evolution
of the Human Skull", Part IV, in Genesis and Early Man,in
Genesis and Early Man, vol.2; "Longevity in Anitquity
and Its Bearing on Chronology", Part I in The Virgin
Birth and the Incarnation, vol.5 ‹ all in The Doorway
1 of 23
there were 8 people alive
in the world, and no more. Landing somewhere in Armenia, they
began to spread as they multiplied, though retaining for some
time a homogeneous cultural tradition. The initial family pattern,
set by the existence in the party of three sons and their wives,
gave rise in the course of time to three distinct racial stocks
who, according to their patriarchal lineage, are most properly
termed Japhethites, Hamites, and Shemites, but in modern terminology
would be represented by the Semitic people (Hebrews, Arabs, and
ancient nations such as Babylonians, Assyrians, etc.), the Mongoloid
and Negroid Hamites, and the Caucasoid Japhethites.
At first they kept together. But
within a century or so they broke up into small groups, and subsequently
some of the family of Shem, most of the family of Ham, and a
few of the family of Japheth arrived from the east in the Mesopotamian
Plain (Genesis 11:2). Here it would appear from evidence discussed
elsewhere that the family of Ham, who had become politically
dominant, initiated a movement to prevent further dispersal by
proposing the building of a monument as a visible rallying point
on the flat plain, thus bringing upon themselves a judgment which
led to an enforced and rapid scattering throughout the earth.
This circumstance accounts for
the fact that in every part of the world where Japheth has subsequently
migrated he has always been preceded by Ham ‹ a fact which
applies in every continent. In prehistoric times this is always
found to be true, the earliest fossil remains being Negroid or
Mongoloid in character, but those who followed were not. Indeed,
in protohistoric times whatever cultural advances the pioneering
Hamites had achieved tended to be swallowed up by the succeeding
Japhethites. The record of Japheth's more leisurely spread over
the earth has been marred by the destruction of both the culture
and their Hamite creators wherever the Japhethites arrived in
sufficient force to achieve dominion. This happened in the Indus
Valley, it happened in Central America, it happened to the Indian
tribes of North America, it happened in Australia, and only numerical
superiority has hitherto preserved Africa from the same fate.
The indebtedness of Japheth to Ham for his pioneering contribution
in mastering the environment is amply explored and documented
in Part IV of this volume, "The Technology of Hamitic People,"
and its complement, Part I, "The Part Played by Shem, Ham,
and Japheth in Subsequent World History." The evidence will
not be repeated here.
in spite of South African discoveries of recent years, it still
remains true that whether we are speaking of fossil man, ancient
civilizations, contemporary or extinct native peoples, or the
present world population, all lines of migration that are in
any way still traceable are found to radiate from the Middle
The pattern is as follows. Along
each migratory route settlements are found, each of which differs
slightly from the one that preceded it and the one that follows
it. As a general rule, the direction of movement tends to be
shown by a gradual loss of cultural artifacts, which continue
in use back along the line but either disappear entirely forward
along the line or are crudely copied or merely represented in
pictures or in folklore. When several lines radiate from a single
centre, the picture presented is more or less a series of ever
increasing circles of settlement, each sharing fewer and fewer
of the original cultural artifacts which continue at the centre.
At the same time completely new items appear, which are designed
to satisfy new needs not found at the centre. The further from
the centre one moves along such routes of migration, the more
new and uniquely specific items one is likely to find which are
not shared by other lines, but there remain some recollections
of a few particularly important or useful links with the original
homeland. Entering such a settlement without previous knowledge
of the direction from which the settlers came, one cannot be
certain which way relationships are to be traced. There is, however,
usually some dependable piece of evidence which allows one to
separate the artifacts which have been brought in from those
that have been developed on the site. This is particularly the
case whenever complex items turn up requiring materials which
would not be available locally. Sometimes the evidence is secondhand,
existing in the presence of an article which is clearly a copy
and has something about its construction which proves it to be
so. For example, certain Minoan pottery vessels are clearly copies
of metal prototypes, both in the shape they take and in their
Where the pottery handles of these vessels join the vessel itself,
little knobs of clay are found which serve no functional purpose,
but which are clearly an attempt to copy the rivets which once
secured the metal handle to the metal body of the prototype.
These prototypes are found in Asia Minor, and it is therefore
138. See on this J. D. S. Pendlebury, The
Archaeology of Crete, Methuen, London, 1939, p.68 and V.
G. Childe, Dawn of European Civilization, Kegan Paul,
5th edition, 1950, p.19.
which way the line of
migration is to be traced, for it is inconceivable that the pottery
vessel with its little knobs of clay provided the metal worker
with the clues as to where he should place his rivets.
In the earliest migrations which, if we
are guided by the chronology of Scripture, must have been quite rapid,
it was inevitable that the tendency would be more markedly towards a loss
of cultural items common to the centre as one moves out, rather than a
gain of new items. (139)
Thus the general level of culture would decline, although oral traditions,
rituals, and religious beliefs would change more slowly. In due time,
when a large enough body of people remained in any one place, a new "centre"
would arise with many of the old traditions preserved but some new ones
established with sufficient vigour to send out waves of influence both
forwards and backwards along the line.
Accompaning such cultural losses in the
initial spread of the Hamitic peoples would be a certain coarsening of
physique. Not only do people tend to be in many cases unsuited for the
rigours of pioneering life and be culturally degraded as a consequence,
but the nourishment itself often is grossly insufficient or unsuitable,
and their bodies do not develop normally either. As Dawson has observed,
(140) the more highly cultured
an immigrant is when he arrives, the more severely he is handicapped and
likely to suffer when robbed of the familiar accouterments of his previous
life. This has been noted by those who have studied the effects of diet
on the human skull for example, and this subject is dealt with in some
detail in "The Supposed Evolution of the Human Skull" (contained
in vol.2 of this series); and with respect to culture, in "Primitive
Cultures: Their Historical Origins" (in vol.2) .
The occasional establishment of what might
be called "provincial" cultural centres along the various routes
of migration has greatly complicated the pattern of relationships in protohistoric
times, yet the evidence which does exist, for all its paucity at times,
strongly supports a Cradle of Mankind in the Middle East from which there
went out successive waves of pioneers who were neither Indo-Europeans
nor Shemites. These were Hamitic pioneers, either Mongoloid or Negroid
in type with some admixture, who blazed trails and opened up territories
139. Perry, W. J., The Growth of Civilization,
Pelican, 1937, p.123.
140 Dawson, Sir William, 'I'he Story of the Earth and Man,
Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1903, p.390.
habitable part of the
earth and ultimately established a way of life in each locality
which at a basic level made maximum use of the raw materials
and resources of that locality. The Japhethites followed them,
building upon this foundation and taking advantage of this basic
technology in order to raise in time a higher civilization, sometimes
displacing the Hamites entirely, sometimes educating their teachers
in new ways and then retiring, and sometimes absorbing them so
that the two racial stocks were fused into one.
So much for the broad picture We
shall now turn to a more detailed examination of the evidence
that (a) the dispersion of man took place from a centre somewhere
in the Middle East, and (b) that those who formed the vanguard
were of Hamitic stock.
Before man's evolutionary
origin was proposed it was generally agreed that the Cradle of
Mankind was in Asia Minor, or at least in the Middle East. Any
evidence of primitive types elsewhere in the world, whether living
or fossil, were considered proof that man became degraded as
he departed from the site of Paradise. When Evolution seized
the imagination of anthropologists, primitive fossil remains
were at once hailed as proof that the first men were constitutionally
not much removed from apes. One problem presented itself however,
the supposed ancestors of modern man always seemed to turn up
in tle wrong places. The basic assumption was still being made
that the Middle East was the home of man and therefore these
primitive fossil types, which were turning up anywhere but in
this area, seemed entirely misplaced. Osborn, in his Men of
the Old Stone Age, accounted for this anomaly by arguing
that they were migrants. (141) He asserted his conviction that both the human and
animal inhabitants of Europe, for example, had migrated there
in great waves from Asia and from Africa. He wrote, however,
that it was probable that the source of the migratory waves was
Asia, north Africa being merely the route of passage. This was
his position in 1915, and when a third edition of his famous
book appeared in 1936, he had modified his original views only
slightly. He had a map of the Old World with this subscription,
"Throughout this long epoch Western Europe is to be viewed
as a peninsula, surrounded on all sides by the sea and stretching
westwards from the great land mass of eastern Europe and Asia
-- which was the chief theatre of evolution, both of animal and
141. Osborn, H. F., Men of the Old Stone
Age, New York, 1936, pp.19ff.
in 1930, and contrary to expectations, Prof. H. J. Fleure had
to admit: (142)
No clear traces of the men and
cultures of the later part of the Old Stone Age (known in Europe
as the Aurignacian, Solutrean, and Magdalenian phases) have been
discovered in the central highland of Asia.
remained essentially the same when W. Koppers in 1952 observed:
It is a remarkable fact that
so far all the fossil men have been found in Europe, the Far
East, and Africa, that is, in marginal regions of Asia that are
most unlikely to have formed the cradle of the human race. No
remains are known to us from central Asia where most scholars
who have occupied themselves with the origin of men would place
the earliest races.
It is true that some
fossil men have now been found in the Middle East, but far from
speaking against this area as being central to subsequent migration,
they seem to me to speak indirectly -- and therefore with more
force -- in favour of it. We shall return to this subsequently.
Prof. Griffith Taylor of the University
of Toronto, speaking of migratory movements in general, whether
in prehistoric or historic times, wrote: (144)
A series of zones is shown to
exist in the East Indies and in Australasia which is so arranged
that the most primitive are found farthest from Asia, and the
most advanced nearest to Asia. This distribution about Asia is
shown to be true in the other "peninsulas" [i.e., Africa
andEurope, ACC], and is of fundamental importance in discussing
the evolution and ethnological status of the peoples concerned.
. . .
Which ever region we consider,
Africa, Europe, Australia, or America, we find that the major
migrations have always been from Asia.
with some of the indices which he employs for establishing possible
relationships between groups in different geographical areas,
he remarks: (145)
How can one explain the close
resemblance between such far-distant types as are here set forth?
Only the spreading of racial zones from a common cradle-land
[his emphasis] can possibly explain these biological affinities.
142. Fleure, H. J., The Races of Mankind,
Benn, London, 1930, p.45.
143. Koppers, W., Primitive Man and His World Picture,
Sheed and Ward, New York, 1952, p.239.
144. Taylor, Griffith, Environment, Race and Migration,
University of Toronto Press, 1945, p.8.
145. Ibid., p.67.
subsequently, in dealing with African ethnology, he observes:
The first point of interest
in studying the distribution of the African peoples is that the
same rule holds good which we have observed in the Australasian
peoples. The most primitive groups are found in the regions most
distant from Asia, or what comes to the same thing, in the most
inaccessible regions. . . .
Given these conditions its seems
logical to assume that the racial zones can only have resulted
from similar peoples spreading out like waves from a common origin.
This cradleland should be approximately between the two "peninsulas,"
and all indications (including the racial distribution of India)
point to a region of maximum evolution not far from Turkestan.
It is not unlikely that the time factor was similar in the spread
of all these peoples.
In a similar
vein Dorothy Garrod wrote: (147)
It is becoming more and more
clear that it is not in Europe that we must seek the origins
of the various paleolithic peoples who successfully overran the
west. . . . The classification of de Mortillet therefore only
records the order of arrival [my emphasis] in the West
of a series of cultures, each of which has originated and probably
passed through the greater part of its existence elsewhere.
So also wrote
V. G. Childe: (148)
Our knowledge of the Archaeology
of Europe and of the Ancient East has enormously strengthened
the Orientalist's position. Indeed we can now survey continuously
interconnected provinces throughout which cultures are seen to
be zoned in regularly descending grades round the centres of
urban civilization in the Ancient East. Such zoning is the best
possible proof of the Orientalist's postulate of diffusion.
in writing about the possible cradle of Homo sapiens, gives a
very cursory review of the chief finds of fossil man (to that
date, 1932), including finds from Pekin, Kenya Colony, Java,
Heidleberg, (Piltdown), and Rhodesia, and then gives a map locating
them; and he remarks: (149)
146. Ibid., pp.120, 121.
147. Garrod, Dorothy, "Nova et Vetera: A Plea for a New
Method in Paleolithic Archaeology," Proceedings of the
Prehistoric Society of East Anglia, vol.5, p.261.
148. Childe, V. G., Dawn of European Civilization, Kegan
Paul, London, 3rd edition, 1939. In the 1957 edition, Cllilde
in his introduction invites his readers to observe that he has
modified his "dogmatic" orientation a little but he
still concludes at the end of the vohlme (p.342), "the primacy
of the Orient remains unchallenged."
149 Field, Henry, "The Cradle of Homo Sapiens," American
Journal of Archaeology, Oct.-Dec., 1932, p.427.
not seem probable to me that any of these localities could have
been the original point from which the earliest men migrated.
The distances, combined with many geographical barriers, would
tend to make a theory of this nature untenable. I suggest that
an area more or less equidistant from the outer edges of Europe,
Asia, and Africa, may indeed be the centre in which development
It is true that
these statements were written before the recent discoveries in
South Africa, or in the Far East at Choukoutien, or in the New
World. Of the South African finds little can be said with certainty
and there is no unanimity as to their exact significance. The
finds at Choukoutien, as we shall attempt to show, actually support
the present thesis in an interesting way. As for the New World,
nobody has ever proposed that it was the Cradle of Mankind. Thus
the Middle East still retains priority as the probable original
Home of Man. Nevertheless, as to dating, it must be admitted
that no authority with a reputation at stake would ever propose
it was a homeland so recently as our reckoning of only 4500 years
ago. The time problem remains with us and at the moment we have
no answer to it, but we can proceed to explore the lines of evidence
which in all other respects assuredly support the thesis set
forth earlier in this chapter.
Part of this evidence, curiously,
is the fact of diversity of physical type found within what appear
to have been single families. This has been a source of some
surprise and yet is readily accounted for on the basis of a central
dispersion. Some years ago, W. D. Matthew made the following
Whatever agencies may be assigned
as the cause of evolution in a race, it should be at first most
progressive at its point of original dispersal, and it will continue
this process at that point in response to whatever stimulus originally
caused it, and will spread out in successive waves of migration,
each wave a stage higher than the preceding one. At any one time,
therefore, the most advanced stages should be nearest the centre
of dispersal, the most conservative stages the furthest from
is in order on this observation because there are important implications
in it. Lebzelter (151) pointed
out that "where man lives in large conglomerations, race
(i.e., physical form) tends to be stable while culture becomes
specialized: where he lives in small isolated groups, culture
is stable but
150. Matthew, W. D., "Climate and Evolution,"
Annals of the New York Academy of Science, vol.24, 1914,
151. Lebzelter: quoted by W. Koppers in his Prirnitive Man,
p.220. His view was sustained by LeGros Clark, JRAI (Journal
of the Royal Archaeological Institute), vol. 88, Pt. 2, July-Dec.,
Fig. 3. The approximate locations of the
fossils remains or primitive peoples in this volume.
| 1. Neanderthal Man (in
|| 4. Cromagnon Man
|| 7. Kangera
|| 13. Obercassel
|| 19. Folsom
| Palestine), M. es Skhul,
|| 5. Solo Man
|| 8. Florisbad
|| 14. La Chapelle
|| 20. Lagoa Santa
|| 9. Fontechevade
|| 15. Grimaldi
|| 21. Olduvai
| 2. Swanscombe Man,
|| 6. Pekin Man,
|| 16. Krapina
|| 22. Canstadt
|| 11. Mauer Jaw
|| 17. Talgai
| 3. Rhodesian Man
|| 12. La Quina Woman
|| 18. Hotu
specialized races evolve."
According to Lebzelter, this is why racial differentiation was
relatively marked in the earlier stages of man's history. The
explanation of this fact is clear enough. In a very small closely
inbreeding population, genes for odd characters have a much better
chance of being homozygously expressed so that such characters
appear in the population with greater frequency, and tend to
be perpetuated. On the other hand, such a small population may
have so precarious an existence that the margin of survival is
too small to encourage or permit cultural diversities to find
expression. Thus physical type is variant but is accompanied
by cultural conformity, whereas in a large and well-established
community, a physical norm begins to appear as characteristic
of that population, but the security resulting from numbers allows
for a greater play of cultural divergence.
At the very beginning, we might
therefore expect to find in the central area a measure of physical
diversity and cultural uniformity: and at each secondary or provincial
centre in its initial stages, the same situation would reappear.
The physical diversity to be expected on the foregoing grounds,
would, it is now known, be exaggerated even further by the fact
(only comparatively recently recognized) that when any established
species enters a new environment it at once gives expression
to a new and greater power of diversification. Many years ago,
Sir William Dawson remarked upon this in both plant and animal
From a study of post-Pliocene molluscs and other fossils, he
concluded that "new species tend rapidly to vary to the
utmost extent of their possible limits and then to remain stationary
for an indefinite time." An explanation of this has been
proposed recently by Colin H. Selby in the Christian Graduate.
(153) The circumstance
has been remarked upon also by Charles Brues, (154) who adds that "the variability of forms is slight
once the population is large, but at first is rapid and extensive
in the case of many insects for which we have the requisite data."
Further observations on this point were made by Adolph Schultz
in discussing primate populations in the 1950 Cold Springs Harbor
152. Dawson, Sir William, The Story of
the Earth, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1903, p.360.
153. Selby, Colin H., in a "Research Note," in the
Christian Graduate, IVF, London, 1956, p.99.
154. Brues, Charles, "Contribution of Entomology to Theoretical
Biology," Scientific Monthly, Feb., 1947, pp.123ff.,
quoted at p.130.
155. Schultz, Adolph, "The Origin and Evolution of Man,"
Cold Springs Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology,
Thus we have in reality three factors, all of which
are found to be still in operation in living populations, which
must have contributed to the marked variability of early fossil
remains particularly where several specimens are found in a single
site as at Choukoutien for example, or at Obercassel, or Mount
These factors may be summarized as follows:
(a) A new species is more variable when it first appears; (b) A smal1
population is more variable than a large one; (c) When a species or a
few members of it shift into a new environment, wide varieties again appear
which only become stable with time. To these should be added a fourth,
namely, that small populations are likely to be highly conservative in
their culture, thus maintaining many links though widely extended geographically.
Fossil remains constantly bear witness to
the reality of these factors, but this has meaning only if we assume that
a small population began at the centre and, as it became firmly established
there, sent out successive waves of migrants usually numbering very few
persons in any one group, who thereafter established a further succession
of centres, the process being repeated again and again until early rman
had spread into every habitable part of the world. Each new centre at
the first showed great diversity of physical type but as they multiplied
a greater uniformity was achieved in the course of tine. Where such a
subsidiary centre was wiped out before this uniformity had been achieved
but where their remains were preserved, the diversity was, at it were,
captured for our examination. At the same time, in marginal areas where
individuals or families were pushed by those who followed them, circumstances
often combined to degrade them physically so that fossil man tended toward
a bestial form -- but for secondary reasons. On the other hand, in the
earliest stages of these migrations cultural uniformity would not only
be the rule in each group but necessarily also between the groups. And
this, too, has been found to be so to a quite extraordinary degree. Indeed,
following the rule entunciated above, the most primitive groups -- those
which had been pushed furthest to the rim ‹ might logically be expected
to have the greatest cultural uniformity, so that links would not be surprising
if found between such peripheral areas as the New World, Europe, Australia,
South Africa, and so forth, which is exactly what has been observed.
Such lines of evidence which we
shall explore a little further, force upon us the conclusion
that we should not look to these
marginal areas, to primitive
contemporaries or to fossil remains, for a picture of the initial
stages of man's cultural position. It is exactly in these marginal
areas that we shall not find them. The logic of this was
both evident to and flatly rejected by E. A. Hooten who remarked:
The adoption of such a principle
would necessitate the conclusion that the places where one finds
existing primitive forms of any order of animal are exactly in
the places where these animals could not have originated. . .
But this is the principle of lucus
a non lucendo, i.e., finding light just where one ought not
to do so, which pushed to its logical extreme would lead us to
seek for the birthplace of man in that area where there are no
traces of ancient man and none of any of his primate precursors
has written at some length on the fact that, as he puts it, "all
the visible footsteps lead away from Asia.'' (157) He then examines the picture with respect to the
lines of migration taken by the "Whites" and surmises
that at the beginning they were entrenched in southwest Asia
"apparently with the Neanderthals to the north and west
of them." He proposes that while most of them made their
way into both Europe and North Africa, some of them may have
travelled east through central Asia into China, which would possibly
explain the Ainus and the Polynesians. He thinks that the situation
with respect to the Mongoloids is pretty straightforward, their
origin having been somewhere in the same area as the Whites,
whence they peopled the East. The dark skinned peoples are, as
he put it "a far more formidable puzzle." He thinks
that the Australian aborigines can be traced back as far as India,
with some evidence of them perhaps in southern Arabia. Presumably,
the African Negroes are to be derived also from the Middle East,
possibly reaching Africa by the Horn and therefore also via Arabia.
However, there are a number of black-skinned peoples who seem
scattered here and there in a way which he terms "the crowning
enigma," a major feature of which is the peculiar relationships
between the Negroes and the Negritos. Of these latter, he has
this to say: (158)
They are spotted among the Negroes
in the Congo Forest, and they turn up on the eastern fringe of
Asia (the Andaman Islands, the Malay Peninsula, probably India,
156. Hooten, E. A., "Where Did Man Originate?"
Antiquity, June, 1927, p.149.
157. Howells, Wm., Mankind So Far, Doubleday Doran, 1945,
158. Ibid., pp.29S, 299.
formerly in southern China), in the
Philippines, and in New Guinea, and perhaps Australia, with probable
traces in Borneo, Celebes, and various Melanesian Islands.
All of these are "refuge"
areas, and undesirable backwoods which the Pygmies have obviously
occupied as later more powerful people arrived in the same regions.
. . .
Several things stand out from these
facts. The Negritos must have had a migration from a common point.
. . . And it is hopeless to assume that their point of origin
was at either end of their range. . . . It is much more likely
that they came from some point midway, which is Asia.
There is, then, a very
wide measure of agreement that the lines of migration radiate not from
a point somewhere in Africa, Europe, or the Far East, but from a geographical
area which is to be closely associated with that part of the world in
which not only does Scripture seem to say that man began peopling the
world after the Flood physically, but also where he began culturally.
Looking at the spread of civilization as we have looked at the spread
of people, it is clear that the lines follow the same course. The essential
difference, if we are taking note of current chronological sequences,
is that whereas the spread of people is held to have occurred hundreds
and hundreds of thousands of years ago, the spread of civilization is
an event which has taken place almost within historic times.
One might postulate that those
whose migration took place hundreds of thousands of years ago
and whose remains supply us with fossil man and prehistoric cultures
(Aurignacian, etc.) were one species; and that those who initiated
the basic culture in the Middle East area -- the watershed of
all subsequent historic cultures in the world -- were another
species. Some have tentatively proposed a concept such as this
by looking upon Neanderthal Man as an earlier species or subspecies
who was eliminated with the appearance of so-called "modern
man.'' (159) The
association of Neanderthals with moderns in the Mount Carmel
finds seems to stand against this conception. (160) And indeed, there is a very widespread agreement
today that, with the exception of the most recent South African
finds, al1 fossils, prehistoric, primitive, and modern men are
one species, Homo sapiens.
Ralph Linton viewed the varieties
of men revealed by fossil
159. Weidenreich, Franz von, Palaeontologia
Sinica, whole series No.127, 1943, p.276; and see F. Gaynor
Evans in Science, July, 1945, pp.16, 17.
160. Romer, Alfred, Man and the Vertebrates, University
of Chicago Press, 1948, pp.219, 221.
finds to be due to factors which
we have already outlined. As he put it: (161)
If we are correct in our belief that
all existing men belong to a single species, early man must have
been a generalized form with potentialities for evolving into
all the varieties which we know at present. It further seems
probable that this generalized form spread widely and rapidly
and that within a few thousand years of its appearance small
bands of individuals were scattered over most of the Old World.
These bands would find themselves in many
different environments, and the physical peculiarities which were advantageous
in one of these might be of no importance or actually deleterious in
another. Moreover, due to the relative isolation of these bands and
their habit of inbreeding, any mutation which was favorable or at least
not injurious under the particular circumstances would have the best
possible chance of spreading to all members of the group.
It seems quite possible to account
for all the known variations in our species on this basis, without
invoking the theory of a small number of distinct varieties.
Viewed in this
light, degraded fossil specimens found in marginal regions should
neither be treated as "unsuccessful" evolutionary experiments
towards the making of true Homo sapiens types, nor as "successful,"
but only partially complete phases or links between apes and
men. Indeed, as Griffith Taylor was willing to admit, (162) "the location of
such 'missing' links as Pithecanthropus in Java, etc., seemed
to have little bearing on the question of the human cradleland."
He might in fact also have said the same on the question of human
origins. He concludes, "They are almost certainly examples
of a . . . type which has been pushed out to the margins."
Thus the way in which one studies
or views these fossil remains is very largely coloured by one's
thinking whether it is in terms of biological or historical processes.
Prof. A. Portmann of Vienna remarked: (163)
One and the same piece of evidence
will assume totally different aspects according to the angle
-- palaeontological or historical -- from which we look at it.
We shall see it either as a link in one of the many evolutionary
series that the paleontologist seeks to establish, or as something
connected with remote
161. Linton, Ralph, The Study of Man,
Student's edition, Appleton, New York, 1936, p.26.
162. Taylor, Griffith, Environment, Race and Migration,
University of Toronto, 1945, p.282.
163. Portmann, A., "Das Ursprungsproblem," Eranos-Yahrbuch,
historical actions and developrnents
that we can hardly hope to reconstruct. Let me state clearly
that for my part I have not the slightest doubt that the remains
of early man known to us should all be judged historically.
This same approach
toward the meaning of fossil man has been explored in some detail
by Wilhelm Koppers who thinks that "primitiveness in the
sense of man being closer to the beast" can upon occasion
be the "result of a secondary development." (164) He believes that it would
be far more logical to "evolve" Neanderthal Man out
of Modern Man than Modern Man out of Neanderthal Man. He holds
that Neanderthal was a specialized and more primitive type, but
later than modern man, at least in so far as they occur in Europe.
Such a great authority as Franz von Weiderlreich
(165) was also prepared
to admit unequivocably, "no fossil type of man has been discovered
so far whose characteristic features may not easily be traced back to
modern man" [my emphasis]. This agrees with the opinion of Griffith
Taylor, (166) who observed,
"Evidence is indeed accumulating that the paleolithic folk of Europe
were much more closely akin to races now living on the periphery of the
Euro-African regions than was formerly admitted." Many years ago,
Sir William Dawson pursued this same theme and explored it at sorne length
in his beautifully written, but almost completely ignored work, Fossil
Man and Their Modern Representatives. Though at one time the unity
of man was questioned, we see that it was not questioned by all.
On almost every side we are now
being assured that the human race is, as Scripture says, "of
one blood," a unity which comprehends ancient and modern,
primitive and civilized, fossil and contemporary man. It is asserted
by Ernst Mayr, (167)
by Melville Herskovits, (168) by W. M. Krogman, (169) by Leslie White, (170)
164. Koppers, W., Primitive Man and His
World Picture, Sheed and Ward, New York, 1952, pp.220, 224.
165. Weidenreich, Franz von, Apes, Giants and Man, University
of Chicago Press, 1948, p.2.
166. T'aylor, Griffith, Environment, Race and Migration, University
of Toronto, 1945, pp.46, 47.
167. Mayr, Ernst, "The Taxonomic Categories in Fossil Hominids,"
Cold SpringsHarbor Symposium, vol15, 1950, p.117.
168. Herskovits, Melville, Man and His Works, Knopf, New
York, 1950, p.103.
169. Krogman, W. M., ''What We Do Not Krow About Race,"
Scientific Monthly, Aug., 1943, p.97, and subsequently,
Apr., 1948, p.317.
170. White, Leslie, "Man's Control over Civilization: An
Anthropocentric Illusion," Scientific Monthly, Mar.,
by A. V. Carlson, (171) by Robert Redfield, (172) and indeed by UNESCO.
(173) At the Cold
Springs Harbor Symposium on "Quantitative Biology"
held in 1950, T. D. Stewart, (174) in a paper entitled, "Earliest Representatives
of Homo Sapiens," stated his conclusions in the following
words, "Like Dobzhansky, therefore, I can see no reason
at present to suppose that more than a single hominid species
has existed on any time level in the Pleistocene." Alfred
Romer (175) observed
in commenting on the collection of fossil finds from Palestine
(Mugharet-et-Tabun, and Mugharetes-Skubl), "While certain
of the skulls are clearly Neanderthal, others show to a variable
degree numerous neanthropic (i.e., "modern man") features."
Subsequently he identifies such neanthropic skulls as being of
the general Cro-Magnon type in Europe ‹- a type of man who
appears to have been a splendid physical specimen. He proposes
later that the Mount Carmel people "may be considered as
due to interbreeding of the dominant race (Cro-Magnon Man) with
its lowly predecessors (Neanderthal Man)." Thus the picture
which we once had of ape-like half-men walking with a stooped
posture, long antedating the appearance of "true" Man,
has all been changed with the accumulation of evidence. These
stooped creatures now are known to have walked fully erect, (176) their cranial capacity
usually exceeding that of modern man in Europe (if this means
anything); and they lived side by side with the finest race (physically
speaking) which the world has probably ever seen.
As an extraordinary example of
the tremendous variability which an early, small isolated population
can show, one cannot do better than refer to the finds at Choukoutien
in China, (177)
from the same locality in which the famous Pekin Man was
171. Carlson, A. V., in his retiring address
as President of the American Association of Advanced Science,
Science, vol.103, 1946, p.380.
172. Redfield, Robert, "What We Do Know About Race,"
Scientific Monthly, Sept., 1943, p.193.
173. UNESCO: Provisional draft: given as of May 21st, 1952, in
Man, Royal Anthropological Institute, June, 1952,
174. Stewart, T. D., "Earliest Representatives of Homo sapiens",
Cold Springs Harbor Symposium, vol.15, 1950, p.105.
175. Romer, Alfred, Man and the Vertebrates, University
of Chicago Press, 1948, pp.219, 221.
176. Neanderthal erect: first reported by Sergio Sergi in Science,
supplement 90, 1939, p.13; contrast with M. C. Cole, The Story
of Man, Chicago, 1940, frontispiece facing p.13: and note
that Cole's reconstruction of a stooped Neanderthal, for popular
consumption, appeared one year later than the report in Science.
177. For a useful and early summary report, see "Homo sapiens
at Choukoutien," News and Notes, Antiquity, June,
found. These fossil
remains came from what is known as the Upper Cave, consisting
of seven individuals, who appear to be members of one family:
an old man judged to be over 60, a younger man, two relatively
young women, an adolescent, a child of five, and a newborn baby.
With them were found implements, ornaments, and thousands of
fragments of animals.
Study of these remains has produced
some remarkably interesting facts. The most important in the
present context is that, judged by cranial form, we have in this
one family a representative Neanderthal Man, a "Melanesian"
woman who reminds us of the Ainu, a Mongolian type, and another
who is rather similar to the modern Eskimo woman. In commenting
on these finds Weidenreich expressed his amazement at the range
of variation: (178)
The surprising fact is not the
occurrence of paleolithic types of modern man which resemble
racial types of today, but their assemblage in one place and
even in a single family, considering that these types are found
today settled in far remote regions.
Forms similar to that of the "Old
Man" as he has been named, have been found in Upper Paleolithic,
western Europe and northern Africa; those closely resembling
the Melanesian type, in the neolithic of Indo-China, among the
ancient skulls from the Cave of Lagoa Santa in Brazil, and in
the Melanesian population of today; those closely resembling
the Eskimo type occur among the pre-Columbian Amerindians of
Mexico and other places in North America, and among the Eskimos
of western Greenland of today.
Weidenreich then proceeds
to point out subsequently that the upper Paleolithic melting-pot of Choukoutien
"does not stand alone.'' (179)
In Obercassel in the Rhine Valley were found two skeletons, an old male
and a younger female, in a tomb of about the same period as the burial
in Choukoutien. He says, "The skulls are so different in appearance
that one would not hesitate to assign them to two races if they came from
separate localities." So confused is the picture now presented that
he observes: (180)
Physical anthropologists have
gotten into a blind alley so far as the definition and the range
of individual human races and their history is concerned. . .
But one cannot push aside a whole
problem because the methods applied and accepted as historically
sacred have gone awry.
178. Weidenreich, F., Apes, Giants, and Man., University
of Chicago Press, 1948, p.87.
179. Ibid., p.88.
This extraordinary variability nevertheless still
permits the establishment of lines of relationshlip which appear
to crisscross in every direction as a dense network of evidence
that these fossil remains for the most part belong to a single
Griffith Taylor links together Melanesians,
Negroes, and American Indians. (181)
The same authority proposes a relationship between Java Man and Rhodesian
Man. (182) He relates certain
Swiss tribes which seem to be a pocket of an older racial stock with the
people of northern China, the Sudanese, the Bushmen of South Africa, and
the Aeta of the Plilippines. (183)
He would also link the Prednost Skull to Aurignacian folk and to the Australoids.
(184) Macgowan (185)
and Montagu (186) are convinced
that the aboriginal populations of central and southern America contain
an element of Negroid as well as Australoid people. Grimaldi Man is almost
universally admitted to have been Negroid even though his remains lie
in Europe, (187) and indeed
so widespread is the Negroid type that even Pithecanthropus erectus was
identifed as Negroid by Buyssens.(188)
Huxley maintained that the Neanderthal
race must be closely linked with the Australian aborigines, particularly
from the Province of Victoria; (189) and other authorities hold that the same Australian
people are to be related to the famouls Canstadt Race. (190) Alfred Romer relates
Solo Man from Java with Rhodesian Man from Africa. (191) Hrdlicka likewise relates
the Oldoway Skull with LaQuina Woman; LaChapelle and others to
the basic African stock, (192) and holds that they must also be related to
181. Taylor, Griffith, Environment, Race
and Migration, University of Toronto, 1945, p.11.
182. Ibid., p.60. His argument here is based on head form,
which he considers conclusive.
183. Ibid., p.67. He feels only a "common cradle-land"
can possibly explain the situation.
184. Ibid., p.134.
185. Macgowan, K, Early Man in the New World, Macmillan,
New York, 1950, p.26.
186. Montagu, Ashley, Introduction to Physical Anthropology,
Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, 1947, p.113.
187. Weidenreich, Franz, Apes, Giants, and Man, University
of Chicago Press, 1948, p.88.
188. Buyssens, Paul, Les Trois Races de Europe et du Monde,
Brussels, 1936. See G. Grant McCurdy, American Journal of Archaeology,
Jan.-Mar., 1937, p.154.
l89. Huxley, Thormas, quoted by D. Garth Whitney, "Primeval
Man in Belgiurn," Transactions of the Victoria Institute,
190. According to Whitney, see above, p.38.
191. Romer, Alfred, Man and the Vertebrates, University
of Chicago Press, 1948, p.223.
192. Hrdlicka, Ales, "Skeletal Remains of Early Man,"
Smithsonian Institute, Miscellaneous Collections, vol.83,
Indian, Eskimo and Australian
races. Even the Mauer Jaw is held to be Eskimo in type. (193)
We cannot do better than sum up
this general picture in the words of Sir William Dawson who,
far in advance of his time, wrote in 1874: (194)
What precise relationship do
these primitive Europeans bear to one another? We can only say
that all seem to indicate one basic stock, and this is allied
to the Hamitic stock of northern Asia which has its outlying
branches to this day both in America and in Europe.
While it is perfectly true
that the thesis we are presenting has, in the matter of chronology, the
whole weight of scientific opinon against it, it is nevertheless equally
true that the interpretation of the data in this fashion makes wonderful
sense and, indeed, would have allowed one to predict both the existence
of widespread physical relationships as well as an exceptional variableness
within the members of any one family. In addition to these physiological
linkages there are, of course, a very great many cultural linkages. As
a single example the painting of the bones of the deceased with red ochre,
a custom which not so very long ago was still being practiced by the American
Indians, has been observed in prehistoric burials in almost every part
of the world. Surely such a custom could hardly arise everywhere indigenously
on some such supposition as that "men's minds work everywhere pretty
much the same. . . ." It seems much more reasonable to assume it
was spread by people wlo carried it with them as they radiated rapidly
from some central point.
This brings us once more to the question
of the geographical position of this Cradle. Evidence accumulates daily
that as a cultured being the place of man's origin was somewhere in the
Middle East. No other region in the world is as likely to have been the
Home of Man, if by man we mean something more than merely an intelligent
ape. Vavilov (195) and others
(196) have repeatedly pointed
out that the great majority of the cultivated
193. Ibid., p.98. And see William S.
Laughton, "Eskimos and Aleuts: Their Origins and Evolution,"
Science, vol.142, 1963, p.639, 642.
194. Dawson, Sir William, "Primitive Man," Transactions
of the Victoria Institute, London, vol.8, 1874, p.60-61.
195. Vavilov, N. I., "Asia, the Source of species",
Asia, Feb., 1937 p.113.
196. Cf. Harlan, J. R., "New World Crop Plants in Asia Minor,"
Scientific Monthly, Feb., 1951, p.87.
plants of the world,
especially the cereals, trace their origin there. Henry Field
Iran may prove to have been
one of the nurseries of Homo sapiens. During the middle or upper
Paleolitllic periods the climate, flora, and fauna of the Iranian
Plateau provided an environment suitable for human occupation.
Indeed, Ellsworth Huntington has postulated that during late
Pleistocene times southern Iran was the only [his emphasis]
region in which temperature and humidity were ideal, not only
for human conception and fertility but also for chances of survival.
exist as to the routes taken by Caucasoids, Negroids, and Mongoloids,
as the world was peopled by the successive ebb and flow of migrations.
Taylor, (200) Goldenweiser,
(203) Cole, (204) and others, (205) have tackled the problem
or have expressed opinions based on the study of fossil remains;
and of course, Coon's Races of Europe is largely concerned
with the same problem. (206) Not one of these can really establish how man originated,
but almost all of them make the basic assumption that western
Asia is his original home as a creature of culture. From this
centre one can trace the movements of an early migration of Negroid
people followed by Caucasoid people in Europe. From this same
area undoubtedly there passed out into the East and the New World
successive waves of Mongoloid people. In Africa Wendell Phillips,
(207) after studying
the relationships of various African tribes, concluded that evidence
already existed making it possible to derive certain of the tribes
197. Field, Henry, "The Iranian Plateau
Race," Asia, Apr., 1940, p.217.
198. Howells, Wm., Mankind So Far, Doubleday Doran, New
York, 1945, pp.192, 203, 209, 228, 234, 238, 247, 289, and 290.
199. Braidwood, Robert, Prehistoric Man, Natural History
Museum, Chicago, 1948, pp.96, 106.
200. Taylor, Griffith, Environment, Races and Migration,
University of Toronto, 1945, pp.88, 115, 123, 164, and 268.
201. Goldenweiser, Alexander, Anthropology, Crofts, New
York, 1945, pp.427, 492.
202. Engberg, Martin, Dawn of Civilization, University
of Knowledge Series, Chicago, 1938, p.154.
203. Weidenreich, Franz von, Apes, Giants, and Man, University
of Chiccago Press, 1948, p.65.
204. Cole, M. C., The Story of Man, University of Knowledge
Series, Chicago, 1940.
205. See, for example, Boule, M. and H. V. Vallois, Fossil
Man, Dryden Press, New York, 1957, pp.516-522, an evaluation
of various views.
206. Coon, C. S., The Races of Europe, macMillan, 1939,
see especially Chapter 5.
207. Phillips, Wendell, "Further African Studies,"
Scientific Monthly, Mar., 1950, p.175.
single racial stock
(particularly the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest and the Bushmen
of the Kalahari Desert), which at a certain time must have populated
a larger part of the African continent only to retreat to less
hospitable regions as later Negroid tribes arrived in the country.
Prof. H. J. Fleure held that evidence of similar nature towards
the north and northeast of Asia and on into the New World was
to be discerned by a study in the change of head forms in fossil
Wherever tradition is clear on the matter, it invariably points
in the same direction and tells the same story.
Thus we conclude that from the
family of Noah have sprung all the peoples of the world -- prehistoric,
protohistoric, and historic. And the events described in connection
with Genesis 10 and the prophetic statements of Noah with respect
to the future of his three sons together combine to provide us
with the most reasonable account of the early history of mankind,
a history which, rightly understood, does not at all require
us to believe that man began with the stature of an ape and only
reached a civilized state after a long, long evolutionary history.
then, what we have endeavoured to show in this chapter is as
(1) The geographical distribution
of fossil remains is such that they are most logically explained
by treating them as marginal representatives of a widespread
and in part forced dispersion of people from a single multiplying
population established at a point more or less central to them
all, and sending forth successive waves of migrants, each wave
driving the previous one further toward the periphery;
(2) The most degraded specimens
are those representatives of this general movement who were driven
into the least hospitable areas, where they suffered physical
degeneration as a consequence of the circumstances in which they
were forced to live;
(3) The extraordinary physical
variability of fossil remains results from the fact that the
movements took place in small, isolated, strongly inbred bands;
but the cultural similarities which link together even the most
widely dispersed of them indicate a common origin for them all;
(4) What I have said to be true
of fossil man is equally true of living primitive societies as
well as those which are now extinct;
208. Fleure, H. J., The Races of Mankind,
Benn, London, 1930, pp.43, 44.
(5) All the initially
dispersed populations are of one basic stock -- the Hamitic family
of Genesis 10;
(6) The initial Hamitic settlers
were subsequently displaced or overwhelmed by Indo-Europeans
(i.e., Japhethites), who nevertheless inherited, or adopted,
and extensively built upon Hamitic technology and so gained an
advantage in each geographical area where they spread;
(7) Throughout the great movements
of people, both in prehistoric and historic times, there were
never any human beings who did not belong within tle family of
Noah and his descendants;
(8) Finally, this thesis is strengthened
by the evidence of history which shows that migration has always tended
to follow this pattern, has frequently been accompanied by instances of
degeneration both of individuals or whole tribes, usually resulting in
the establishment of a general pattern of cultural relationships which
parallel those archaeology has revealed.
The tenth clapter of Genesis
stands between two passages of Scripture to which it is related in such
a way as to shed light on both of them. In the first, Genesis 9:20‹27,
we are given an insight into the relationship of the descendants of the
three sons of Noah throughout subsequent history, Ham doing great service,
Japhet being enlarged, and Shem's originally appointed place of responsibility
being ultimately assigned to Japheth. We are not told here the nature
of Ham's service, nor how Japheth would be enlarged nor what special position
Shem was ultimately to surrender to his brother. In the second passage,
Genesis 11:1‹9, we are told that there was but a single language spoken
by all men until a plan was proposed that led to the dramatic scattering
of the planners over the whole earth.
In the centre stands Genesis 10, supplying
us with vital clues to the understanding of these things by tclling us
exactly who the descendants were of each of these three sons. With this
clue, and with the knowledge of history which we now have, we can see
the significance of both passages. We now understand in what way Ham became
a servant of his brethren, in what way Japheth's spread over the earth
could be called an enlargement rather than a scattering, and in what circumstances
Shem has surrendered his position of special privilege and responsibility
to Japheth. We could not fully perceive how these prophetic statements
had been fulfilled without our knowledge of who
among the nations were
Hamites and who were Japhethites. And this knowledge we derive
entirely from Genesis 10.
Furthermore, the real significance
of the events which surrounded and stemmed from the abortive
plan to build the Tower of Babel would similarly be lost to us
except for the knowledge that it was Ham's descendants who paid
the penalty. This penalty led to their being scattered very early
and forced them to pioneer the way in opening up the world for
human habitation, a service which they rendered with remarkable
success but no small initial cost to themselves.
Moreover, if we consider the matter
carefully, we shall perceive also the great wisdom of God who,
in order to preserve and perfect His revelation of Himself, never
permitted the Shemites to stray far from the original cultural
centre in order that He might specially prepare one branch of
the family to carry this Light to the world as soon as the world
was able to receive it. For it is a principle recognized in the
New Testament by our Lord when He fed the multitudes before He
preached to them and borne out time and again in history, that
spiritual truth is not well comprehended by men whose struggle
merely to survive occupies all their energies.
Thus where Ham pioneered and opened
up the world to human occupation, Japheth followed at a more
leisurely pace to consolidate and make more secure the initial
"dominion" thus achieved. And then -- and only then
-- was the world able and prepared to receive the Light that
was to enlighten the Gentiles and to cover the earth with the
knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea.
Footnote on the time taken for early migrations.
Kenneth Macgowan shows that with respect
to a Middle East "Cradle of Man," the most distant settlement
is that in the very southern tip of South America, 15,000 miles approximately.
How long would such a trip take? He says that it has been estimated that
men might have covered the 4000 miles from Harbin, Manchuria, to Vancouver
Island, in as little as 90 years (Early Man in the New World, Macmillan,
1950, p.3 and rnap on p.4) .
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
Previous Chapter *
End of Part II * Next
Chapter (Part III)
What about the rest of the distance
southward? Alfred Kidder says, "A hunting pattern based
primarily on big game could have carried man to southern South
America without the necessity at that time of great localized
adaptation. It could have been effected with relative rapidity,
so long as camel, horse, sloth, and elephant were available.
All the indications point to the fact that they were." (Appraisal
of Anthropology Today, University of Chicago Press, 1953,