The kind of criticism you NEVER wish for a project…

A big Hello to the BioLogos community,

My name is Viktoria and I’m a freelance writer (among other things.) I have recently written a study that might be interesting to some people here. It’s not exactly about science and the Bible, but I am a believer interested in science (especially archeology.) Anyway, I was earlier involved in missionary projects serving indigenous nations in Siberia, and during my work with them I heard and collected some amazing folk stories and myths. These talk about a tribe of small, stocky people that inhabited the northern landscape before the ancestors of present day nations settled there, and used to live in caves or in the depths of the forest. Complete myths have formed around this people, their contacts with later settlers and their disappearence; and some of the details show surprising similarities to the latest scientific discoveries about Neanderthals and Denisovans. My study ponders the possibility whether memories of encounters between Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals/Denisovans could have gotten preserved in oral tradition, explores the parallells between myths and scientific findings, and presents various pros and cons for this theory. I’m planning to enter this in an upcoming science writing competition, but it’s available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B9NYXGYF/ref=sr_1_1?crid=VUJTE5ZPWD30&keywords=Viktoria+Schlachta&qid=1660641885&s=books&sprefix=viktoria+schlachta%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C195&sr=1-1

Anyway, I thought I’d write you because lately I’ve gotten some, uhm, pretty bad reviews of my project. Some people suggested that Neanderthals and Denisovans were non other than the evil giants, the Nephilim of the Flood account; or that the stories I collected are not about meetings between two branches of humanity but about meetings between the fallen angels and humans, also in the Flood story. Now I have heard the Neanderthals = Nephilim equation before, as well as the similar theory that Neanderthals (and Denisovans) were the line of Cain, but I think (I HOPE) there isn’t really a Scriptural basis to equate Neanderthals and Denisovans with the more vile characters of Genesis. They seemed to have been ordinary people, one of the many early kinds of humanity, who later mixed with the Cro-Magnons and assimilated into them. The Nephilim did NOT mix with Noah’s lineage, and there’s nothing about Cain that would make him a Neanderthal (some say the mark on him was the characteristic eyebrow ridge of early hominids, but that’s nowhere in the Bible.))) I think if we must track down NT’s and D’s in Genesis, we can see them in briefly mentioned prehistoric characters like Jubal, the inventor of music, or possibly in the extended family of Noah (his sons’ wives, his daughters’ husbands – by default, they had to be from a different people group than Noah.) So yes, at the very beginning when I started writing this study of mine, I prayed for guidance that God would show me if pondering about contacts between prehistoric hominids and our direct ancestors, and the possible traces of these contacts in folklore, is a good thing or it would lead me to propagate something bad without knowing. On two occasions, it seemed like God actually used this interest of mine as a blessing (it would be long to write the details here, but it happened,) so I think there’s nothing wrong with this study (except sometimes I spent an excessive amount of time typing on the computer, and the electric bill held a little surprise, LOL.) But these recent charges from other believers are frightening. I’m praying for further guidance as the competition begins next month, and it would be nice to hear your thoughts and encouragement (fellow Christian biologists, anthropologists and archeologists, have you ever been charged with the same criticism as I have?)

Blessings,

Viktoria

I would certainly consider it plausible, given that there are memories of Procoptodon (8-foot-tall kangaroo) and Varanus priscus (23-foot Komodo Dragon) in Australia, and those went extinct about 40,000 years ago.

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I have not, but I think that working on fossil mollusks, being less well-known/controversial, would contribute a lot.

That’s cool. Towards the end of my book I give examples of similar folk memories that date back thousands of years ago, like an Australian folk legend about a volcano that erupted in 37,000 BC.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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