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Archaeology/Primitive religion and monotheism


most anthropologists and archeologists believe that the earliest humankind probably believe in animism. however,there is a christian apologetic article in many sites on internet. its title is genesis and the religion of primitive man, written by James L graham.this article argue that the earliest mankind actually believe in the one true God in the bible and Christianity is the oldest religion in the world and the book of genesis accurately describe what primitive people believed.this article can be found in this webpage:
also,it can be found in many other websites on the the writer of this article really sure this is true or just try to defend the christian faith? in your opinion, is this article scientifically correct?

This is one of those "nobody knows" questions.
Nobody knows what prehistoric humans believed.  We can speculate all we want, but it is impossible to scientifically test any arguments about these beliefs.  (I term them arguments because unlike hypotheses, they cannot be proven wrong with evidence.)
One of my favorite stories about "primitive religion" is one told by Frank Marlowe, an anthropologist studying the Hadza hunter-gatherers in Tanzania.  (No anthropologist in their right mind thinks of the Hadza or any other living human as "primitive", but there is a long tradition of anthropologists projecting hunter-gatherer beliefs back into prehistory -the reasoning being that prehistoric humans were largely hunter-gatherers.)
Marlow asked the Hadza whether there was just one god or many.
The Hadza went off debated for a while, and returned with their answer "You know, we're not really sure."
My own guess is that prehistoric humans were just as open-minded and skeptical about dogmatic assertions about supernatural matters.  If they were not, and if they were easily disposed to view counter-factual things, they probably would not have survived the Pleistocene.
As to the motives of the author of this piece, Mr. Graham, only they know their motives.
Many religions seek legitimacy by claiming a deep historical precedent for their beliefs.  I would interpret the article you cite along these lines.
Prof. Shea


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John J. Shea


Questions about Old World prehistoric archaeology (mainly Europe, Near East, and Africa during the Paleolithic period/Pleistocene Epoch). IMPORTANT: I do not give advice about colleges. I do not appraise the value of artifacts or fossils. IMPORTANT: Between February 14 and September 01, 2014, I will be on sabbatical leave. During this time I will have limited access to email. This means that there may be very long periods (i.e., weeks) between your posting a question and my having time to answer it.


University professor of anthropology/archaeology since 1991. Dozens of publications in peer-review anthropology journals. Director of archaeological-paleontological expeditions and excavations in Israel, Jordan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Kenya. See my main profile under Allexperts` "Anthropology" section. Professional website: Personal website:

>20 years as faculty at major research university

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