there a "Man" in the previous world?
The answer is No, there was not a "Man" in the previous creation. Some have said there was a fully human being in the previous creation, like us in every way yet lacking an immortal soul. These were people with lanuage, spears, metalurgy, building communities much like people today, perhaps even boats and ships, merchantry, monetary systems and the like. I do not agree, and I feel scientific evidence does not support that opinion. It is not until the Human Being of this present creation that we find traces of buildings and furnishings, ruins of megolithic structures, evidences of farming, advanced tools, variety of tools to form a kit, advanced use of fire and other evidences which would indicate the presence of civilization. The picture to the top left comes from our chart which shows Homo erectus in the period designated "An Ancient Cenozoic Earth." I will explain a few things about him here in this article.
There are two views which I regard as holding merit. The first, as represented in the writings of Arthur C. Custance, which I recommend very highly, is that all fossils resembling man are to be regarded as the Human Being, and that some of the stranger forms are to be regarded as "deviant peripheral isolates."
The second view, to which I tend to lean, is that there was a bipedal creature in the previous creation, known as Erectus, but that he was a mere creature with no immortal soul and not to be regarded as Man in the proper sense. Just how human-like Erectus may have been is unclear. But what we do know of him is that his stone tool was a primitive hand axe. No blades, spearheads, etc. were used by him. Likewise, his use of fire was extremely primitive, if he even was able to use fire at all. It is debatable. There is no evidence he knew how to start fire, no evidence of cooking meat and such, etc. If he gathered burning branches from natural brushfires to generate independent campfires, we really can't tell, and the matter rests entirely upon carbon dating of burnt clay anyways. He didn't build or furnish any structures, didn't bury his deceased, and basically didn't do anything Human at all.
Now, as to why some would differ with Custance on the existence of an org-like creature in the previous creation, the reasoning is usually based in overconfidence in the dating methods used by scientists. Dating methods are notorious for inaccuracies in a variety of ways. Oftentimes the dates produced by these methods are discarded because they don't produce the expected results. Contamination is cited as the reason, which is probably true, but what is also true is that contamination is far more extensive and constant than one may expect. Dating methods are secondary in the wider scope of things, and only strenthen a conclusion which is already based upon stronger, real hands-on evidences. A further trouble I have with our dating methods is the simple fact they cannot account for certain "unknowns" which I feel are very real. If divine judgments retard the elements, then our dating methods will always be somewhat, if not wildly inaccurate. Events such as the warping of reality (Genesis 3:7a), fire from heaven, the deluge, etc., "bend" the fabric of our creation which would strongly effect our dating methods in unexpected ways which can't be understood in a lab. I plan on writing on this issue in a future article.
But this is not to say the dating methods should just be tossed right out altogether. Although you will find an allowance for error (such as "±" with corresponding estimate), when materials come in at an utterly striking difference it should at least be noted as having possible significance. Something I've told friends, as for example, is that we have rocks that clock in at over three billion years old. Now I don't buy that number at all, and nobody can ever prove it is accurate becasue it isn't real. It isn't hand-on sorts of evidence like the fossil record where we do indeed have before us a collection of real data to be analyzed and pondered over as to how it came about. Yet at the same time, I find it doubtful that our methods could be so fantastically off-base that rocks of six to eight thousand years in age mysteriously clock in at the whopping numbers we find.
In the diagram you see here, you will notice that Erectus and friends are distinctly placed at a prior time to the existence of modern man. In this diagram, I have colored Homo sapiens and Neanderthal the same "peach" color because they are both Human Beings. Scientists would like to regard them as utterly different, but they simply are not and there even exists evidence of interbreeding between Neanderthal and Homo sapiens. See Homo floreseinsis there up near the top? I colored him brown because he is just a bipedal tailess monkey. We know he was a monkey because of his wrists, shoulders and feet, and his tiny size. Homo habilis is colored brown as well, because he was just an ape. Many evolutionist scientists regard him as an Australopithecus, not a Homo, and he is just an ape in my book. Now these three colored in green, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergeinsis and Homo ergaster are all really just Homo erectus. Some want to break them into the several groups due to utterly minor differences, I suppose because this may give a nice impression that some sort of "evolution" is going on here. But some evolutionist scientists regard them all as Homo erectus.
As you can see, there appears to be a true marking point where Erectus ends and the history of the Human Being begins. If you look in to this matter and compare other peoples' charts you will see the same basic idea I've illustrated here. There are some rather striking differences between the different charts you'll find, because personal preferences and understandings come into play, but a general similarity can be seen. My personal opinion, as illustrated in my chart, is that Erectus ended at Genesis 1:2 and that Neanderthal (the "Nephilim" of Genesis 6) ended at the Noahic deluge. I hope to write upon the identification of Neanderthal with the Nephilim in a future article.
So, there you have it. The explanation of that org-like creature I drew in the "Ancient Cenozoic Earth" section of the chart. As I mentioned above, I see both views as having merit. Custance may be correct that Erectus is a deviant peripheral isolate, but I think the dating of Erectus, though not accurate, is at least sufficiently differing from us so as to suggest his existence in a much more distant time in the past. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via the Feedback form.
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