[The following is an excerpt from The Forbidden Archeologist: The Atlantic Rising Columns of Michael A. Cremo, reprinted with kind permission of the publisher, Torchlight Publishing.]
For a long time, Darwinists assumed that anyone who argued seriously against their theory of human evolution must be a Christian creationist. Perhaps that’s why my book Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race came as such a surprise.
In a review of Forbidden Archaeology published in Geoarchaeology (1994, 9:337-340), Kenneth Feder wrote: “The book … represents something perhaps not seen before; we can fairly call it ‘Krishna creationism’ with no disrespect intended. The basic premises of the authors are breathtaking…: The prevailing paradigm of human evolution … is wholly untenable. There is what amounts to a passive conspiracy (the authors call it a “knowledge filter”) to suppress a huge body of data that contradicts our prevailing paradigm … this purported evidence indicates that “beings quite like ourselves have been around as far back as we care to look—in the Pliocene, Miocene, Oligocene, Eocene and beyond.”
Feder concluded, “We all know what happens when we mix a literal interpretation of the Judeo-Christian creation myth with human paleontology; we get scientific creationism. It seems we now know what happens when we mix a literal interpretation of the Hindu myth of creation with human paleontology; we get the antievolutionary Krishna creationism of Forbidden Archaeology, where human beings do not evolve and where the fossil evidence for anatomically modern humans dates as far back as the begin ning of the current manvantara.” Of course, I did not invent that fossil evidence, which does show that humans existed hundreds of millions of years ago. In reply to Feder, I say: “We all know what happens when we mix a strong belief in Darwinism with Human paleontology. We get a fundamentalist evolutionary account of human origins, in which human beings evolve from apes and the fossil evidence for humans of our type only goes back about 100.000 years.”
Now let’s talk about my relationships with Christian researchers concerned with human evolution. Among them are three groups. The first is the Biblical creationists, who believe that God directly created the earth and human beings about 10,000 years ago. These young earth creationists are mostly from conservative Protestant denominations. The second group of Christian researchers is those who believe that God created human beings, but did it by the Darwinian process of evolution. These researchers tend to come from liberal Protestant and mainstream Catholic backgrounds. The third group, are the new Christian academics who belong to the intelligent design movement. They keep their Biblical commitments deliberately vague. To varying degrees, they are against the Darwinian theory.
I have fairly good relationships with young-earth Christian creationists, despite my Vedic spiritual commitments and my old- earth position. The abridged edition of Forbidden Archeology, titled The Hidden History of the Human Race, got a positive review in Creation Research Society Quarterly (June 1995), the main journal of the young-earth Christian creationists. The author, Peter Line, said, “This book is must reading for anyone interested in human origins.” I have also appeared on Christian creationist radio and television shows. Here’s what I say: “Whether we believe the earth has been here for a few thousand years or a few billion years, humans have been here since the beginning. We did not come from apes, as the Darwinists would like us to believe.”
Sometimes, I get into discussions with young-earth creationists about the geological dating methods. They have to reject all of them as totally useless. But I don’t find that to be a very viable position. The dating methods can be checked against the yearly series of tree rings, which go back thousands of years, and the record of yearly snowfalls found in the Arctic and Antarctic ice core drillings, which go back hundreds of thousands of years. On rare occasions, trees can show more than one growth ring per year, or there can sometimes be more than one layer per year in ice cores. But this doesn’t happen very much. The observed tree rings and ice cores this support the accuracy of various chemical and radiometric dating methods.
My own position is that the dating methods give approximately correct dates. By that I mean they could perhaps be off by as much as a factor of 2 obtained by these methods roughly correspond to the ages for the history of life given in the ancient Sanskrit writings of India. According to the Sanskrit writings, the current creation cycle began about 2 billion years. Still, there are many ways for the application of a particular dating method to a particular case to give an incorrect result. For example, the object being dated could contain contaminants that cause the dating method to give an age that is too young or too old. But in general, if the methods are applied properly, they should give roughly correct ages.
As for the Christians who have chosen to make a compromise with Darwinism (God created human beings but He did it by evolution), I see two problems with their position. First of all, they have to give up any literal understanding of their scripture, which says that God directly created humans in his image. Nowhere in the Bible can one find any statements that God made human beings by evolving them from apes. Second, they have tied their theology to an evolutionary picture of human origins that is contradicted by huge amounts of physical evidence, in the form of anatomically modern human bones, footprints, and artifacts millions of years old. Nevertheless, most Catholic and liberal Protestant scholars and scientists have adopted the current Darwinian evolutionary explanation of human origins.
But I’ve managed to change a few minds. A couple of years ago, Dr. Dennis Bonnette, head of the philosophy department at Niagara University, a Catholic institution in New York State, contacted me by email. He was writing a book on human evolution, from the usual Catholic perspective (God created the human beings, but He did it by evolution). But after he read Forbidden Archeology, he changed his mind and began reworking his book. In the new draft, he suggested that in light of the evidence for extreme human antiquity documented in Forbidden Archeology, Christian scholars might once more take seriously the Biblical accounts at the direct creation of human beings by God. Bonnette wrote: “Scholarly research such as that found in Forbidden Archeology, offers reasonable stratigraphic and other evidence that modern human beings predate proposed transitional hominids, such as Homo erectus. This presents probable cause to doubt current human evolutionary theory. … If human beings did not evolve, then Adam and Eve did not descend from transitional hominids … (and) Adam and Eve’s direct divine creation … becomes credible.” Bonnette’s book, The Origin of the Human Species, which came out last year in a philosophy series from a major European academic publisher, is well worth reading for anyone desiring to learn the ins and outs of various Christian positions on the human evolution question.
As for the intelligent design theorists, such as William Dembski and Michael Behe, I have fairly good relationships with them. Behe attended my lecture on forbidden archeology at his university in Pennsylvania, and before the lecture, we had dinner together. He appeared quite interested in the fossil evidence contradicting the Darwinian theory of human evolution. Phillip Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial, and one of the chief spokespersons of the modern intelligent design movement, wrote a foreword to my book The Hidden History of the Human Race encouraging scien tists to “examine evidence that was not included in the textbooks and review articles they were given n their college and graduate school classes.”
My relationships with various Christian scholars working on the evolution question are part of a larger strategy. In the world today, we are in the middle of a major renegotiation of our whole picture of reality, the type of renegotiation that takes place only every few centuries. We are moving away from a strictly material and mechanical view of reality and toward a view that incorporates the subtle energies of mind and consciousness. There are many parties to this renegotiation: mainstream scientists, alternative science researchers, religionists, new-agers, and more. As a party to this renegotiation, my policy is to stay in touch with all the other parties, and my relationships with Christian researchers are part of that policy.
Michael Cremo is on the cutting edge of science and culture issues. In the course of a few months time he might be found lecturing at a scientific conference, appearing on a national television show, touring sacred sites in India, or speaking to an alternative science gathering. As he crosses disciplinary and cultural boundaries, he presents to his various audiences a compelling case for negotiating a new consensus on the nature of reality.
He is a member of the History of Science Society, the World Archeological Congress, the Philosophy of Science Association, the European Association of Archaeologists and an associate member of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, specializing in history and philosophy of science.
Besides Forbidden Archeology, he has co-authored The Hidden History of the Human Race with Richard L. Thompson. Other books include Human Devolution, Divine Nature: A Spiritual Perspective on the Environmental Crisis (co-authored with Mukunda Gosvami), and Forbidden Archeology’s Impact: How A Controversial New Book Shocked the Scientific Community and Became an Underground Classic. He is currently writing Forbidden Archeology II.