On April 3, 2017, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published a study concerning areas in Indonesia where some of the oldest cave art has been found on the island of Sulawesi. In 2014, cave art was found that dated back to 40,000 years ago. The new study reports on remarkable pieces of handmade jewelry found in the same area dating back to 30,000 years ago. Jewelry pieces include beads and pendants.
The biblical definition of humans involves our being created in the image of God. That doesn’t refer to our physical appearance, but our capacity to engage in spiritual things–worship, music, art, using symbolism, feeling guilt, and being sympathetic. Artwork shows spiritual events and practices. Finding these artifacts so early in human history is a strong indication that it was not something that evolved as culture moved into the modern era. It was present in the earliest days of human existence.
The “image of God” in humans cannot be observed directly because it is not a physical image. However, the evidence of a spiritual image is present in the earliest artifacts of human creations.
Reference: USA Today, April 5, 2017, page B-1, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online.
–John N. Clayton © 2017