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Anthropology

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Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel 1563

Anthropology is the scientific study of the origin, development, and social relationships of human beings. Creation anthropology is an effort to study humans from the perspective that we are the result of divine creation. Like other fields of creation science, anthropology relies upon religious texts for insights into the origin and nature of man. Biblical creation-based anthropology holds that humanity was created by God as described in the book of Genesis, and was formed in the "image of God". It acknowledges that humans were affected by key events described in the Bible, and in principle deals with the nature of man both before and after the fall, the global flood, the Tower of Babel, and the Messiah.

Secular anthropologists and archaeologists believe that humans began domesticating animals and plants in the Middle East about 10-12,000 years ago. The earliest known civilization, the Sumerians, developed in Mesopotamia about 7,000 years ago, after humans had developed agriculture sufficiently. This is the same location where many of the early Biblical stories in Genesis are set.

The word (anthropology) is derived from the two Greek terms (ἄνθρωπος, anthrōpos) meaning "man" and (-λογία, -logia) meaning "word" or "study."

Fundamental concepts of creation anthropology include:

Contents

Paleoanthropology

Main Article: Paleoanthropology

Origin of humanity

Evolution-based anthropology, which is known as biological anthropology or physical anthropology holds that humanity evolved from ape-like ancestors, and therefore frequently includes the study of living and extinct primates as part of its study (see paleoanthropology). By contrast, creation-based anthropology holds that humanity was created by God as described in the book of Genesis, and was formed in the "image of God".

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day."Genesis 1:1-31

The "Image of God" is interpreted by most creationists as being allegorical; that we are made in his "Spiritual Image." A few, however, believe that the phrase "Image of Elohim" was meant quite literally.

Origin of Races

Main Article: Tower of Babel

A key Biblical event that factors into the development of human races and language is the Tower of Babel. According to Genesis 11 , all humans spoke the same language immediately following the global flood. Those who migrated to the east and settled in the land of Shinar decided to build a city and a great tower out of baked bricks to make a name for themselves. Because there is no archaeological evidence of buildings from antediluvian civilizations, the Tower of Babel was the first major monument ever built of which any evidence might remain.

God intentionally scattered mankind to retard their technological advancement by confusing their speech. The origin of the various root languages is presumably linked to this event. God apparently created several unique languages to scatter humans throughout the world. This action almost speciated humans into several groups allowing physical differences to develop. All human ancestry traces back to Noah and his family only 4500 years ago, and then even further back to Adam and Eve. We are all close relatives, and the differences that distinguish the human races should be considered superficial at best.

Nature of Man

Within creation anthropology, mankind is viewed as the special creation of God, endowed by God with dignity, honor, authority, and responsibility.

"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:"Psalm 8:4-6 (KJV)
"I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High."Psalm 82:6 (KJV)
"Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection."Luke 20:36 (KJV)
"Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?"1_Corinthians 6:3 (KJV)
Fall of Man by Lukas Cranach the Elder

However, mankind is also subject to corruption and sin; the replacement of Truth with Deception, Light with Darkness, and Justice with Sin. It is this capacity for good and evil that brought about a variety of moral codes.

Evolutionary anthropology sees man as having evolved from previous forms of life to contemporary forms. During this process, humans have developed various behaviours which have given them advantages in surviving in their particular environment and culture. These behaviours depend on the circumstances and what is advantageous in one place may be detrimental in another.

Creation anthropology, however, sees man as having fallen from an original state of Innocence and Righteousness as created by God. After that fall, man developed a number of codes of morality (and often immorality) that deviated from True Morality, resulting in a deterioration of man's condition from that original State of Grace. Mankind is only able to improve his condition to the extent that he practises God's law, namely, to "Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God."

Behavior

Morality

The Biblical creationist worldview holds to the concept of Natural law, that is, that codes of morality are absolute, because they are established by God, and conform to Reason. Actions are not good or bad because of their effectiveness at permitting reproduction, but they are absolutely and objectively right or wrong. Within Creation anthropology, human societies function only as well as they adhere to God's absolute law.

By contrast, mainstream anthropology holds that moral codes are social constructs and conventions which were developed by early human society. These constructs do change over time; they are not immutable. For example, the practice of slavery was once accepted by many people as morally right and possibly beneficial to the slaves; now it is seen as an abomination by most cultures. These moral conventions spread because they effectively organized human society, thereby encouraging reproduction and the spread of those ideas. There is therefore nothing fundamental about these moral codes; they evolved and spread because they helped survival or improved the life of humans who lived under them.

Good and Evil

Creationists hold a spectrum of views regarding the degree to which mankind's nature as "good" or "evil."

  • The tradition of Pelagianism holds that mankind is born good, and free to choose to remain in the good, or choose sin and death.
  • The tradition of Arminianism holds that man is born corrupt, but capable of choosing God's grace.
  • The tradition of Augustinian theology holds that mankind is born into Original sin, and is therefore incapable of redemption without salvation by God.

Mainstream anthropology does not divide human nature into "good" or "evil." Human societies exhibit a wide range of behaviours, some of which, such as cannibalism, may be morally abhorrent to members of other cultures while others are almost universally acceptable. These behaviours evolve due to the particular circumstances of a society and should not be judged by scientists as good or evil.

Determinism

Mainstream anthropologists hold a spectrum of views regarding the degree to which human behavior is determined.

  • Social Darwinism, a minority opinion among anthropologists today, holds that human behavior is determined by genetics.
  • The majority position today holds that human behavior is determined primarily by environment, and secondarily by genetics.
  • Creationists hold a spectrum of views regarding the degree to which mankind's actions are determined, as opposed to being free choice.
  • The tradition of Pelagianism holds that mankind is born with the full capacity to choose.
  • The tradition of Molinism holds that man's free choice and God's predestination are compatible, because God arranges circumstances knowing how mankind will choose to respond, so that the result of both God's plan and Man's choice is the same.
  • The tradition of Augustinian theology holds that mankind's fate is determined, and mankind has no free choice.

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