Decline of humanity
The Decline of humanity refers to the belief that ancient humanity originated at a high and noble state, and later declined in intelligence, health, lifespan, and morality. This view of the decline of humanity is directly contrary to the evolutionary view that man began at a lower state and has slowly risen over millennia.
Archaeological evidence of the decline of humanity
The pyramids were constructed over 4500 years ago in Egypt. The Pyramid of Khufu, first and tallest of the pyramids, was the tallest building in the world for 4,000 years, until the 13th century saw the creation of the Lincoln Cathedral. Many of the stones in the great pyramid weighed 9,000 pounds (~4.082 kg) or more. Many of them are cut and positioned within less than a millimeter of each other. It is not known how the Egyptians were able to move such enormous stones, and the ability to do so was obviously lost to later generations which forgot how to do it. The later pyramids, Khafre and Menkaure, were both shorter and of conspicuously lower quality and workmanship. Later, there were no pyramids at all. Later still, there remained no civilization capable of building them.
Giant lines, triangles, trapezoids, circles, spirals, birds, a spider, a monkey, and flowers are drawn into the desert of Nazca. These Nazca lines and shapes are totally invisible from the Earth, but remarkably clear from the sky. It is not known how the ancient Nazca carved these lines, nor how they knew what they looked like from the sky, nor why they would draw pictures visible only from the sky. Some have speculated that it was actually a sophisticated astronomical observatory. Later inhabitants of Peru were not only unable to perform such feats, but totally unaware that they had occurred
The Mayan civilization had a complex and sophisticated civilization, constructed massive pyramids, art, writing, and studied astronomy. They had highly advanced knowledge in mathematics and astronomy, particularly equinox precession. Then, for some unknown reason, they abandoned their cities, art, and culture, and returned to a life of poverty in the jungle.
Stonehenge is a massive astronomical observatory constructed over 4,000 years ago out of ten-ton blocks of granite that were quarried, moved several miles, and set in perfect position to track the days and years. Later generations had absolutely no idea what it was. Now we know what it was, but we don't know how it was made.
The Hawaiians somehow traveled 4,000 miles across empty sea thousands of years ago with the abilities to find the islands and necessary supplies to settle on them. No one knows how they got there, although it has been shown that ancient Polynesians had a sophisticated knowledge of navigation by the stars and finding islands by use of ocean currents. These abilities were later lost, of course, and Hawaiians became isolated from the mainland.
The Biblical genealogy of Genesis indicates that during antediluvian times, humans routinely lived several hundred years. After the Great flood, however, the genealogies report that human lifespans dropped steadily and precipitously for the next several hundred years, from Noah to Abraham, and then again from around 180 years down to 70 after the time of Moses. Creation biology indicates that this decline was due to inbreeding and genetic drift during the population bottleneck after the flood. It could also be a result of far less favorable conditions on earth after the flood, such as increased exposure to radiation.
About 2,000 years ago, the ancient inhabitants of Easter Island somehow traveled at least 2,000 miles by sea with the necessary crops and supplies to begin a civilization. This civilization thrived for over a thousand years, and the inhabitants were able to build and erect over 200 enormous statues which weighed between 15 and 182 tons, called Moai. The tallest Moai ever erected (named Paro) was 9.80 meters (32.63 feet) tall, and weighed 74.39 metric tons. No one knows how they built, moved, or erected these statues. A NOVA special was able to lift a 10-ton replica of a moai over the course of a month, but did not even attempt to move and lift an 80-ton replica like Paro. After these remarkable achievements, however, the population over-exploited the island's ecosystem, logged the huge native palm tree to extinction, turned to war and cannibalism, and ultimately collapsed.
Creationists often point to the Biblical genealogy for support of the decline, which states that ancient people lived to approximately 10 times our current life span, and that lifespans declined radically after The Flood. Also it is frequently mentioned that Adam and Eve would likely possess higher than normal intelligence since they were created as adults, with knowledge that subsequent humans obtain from their parents. Another theory states that the antediluvian race called the Nephilim was superior to other humans in this respect.
Other historical accounts
- Falsification of the simplistic claim that "older = more primitive." In fact, in many cases, civilizations become "more primitive" over time;
- Lack of evidence for slow development of civilization prior to 4,000 years ago, coupled with abundant evidence of decay from that point on is consistent with the creationist timeframe of highly advanced and intelligent culture endowed with antediluvian knowledge which slowly lost its knowledge over time;
- The Puzzle of Ancient Man - a 47 minute seminar by Donald Chittick based on his book of the same title. Accompanying study guide available for download.