Were Neanderthals Religious?


#1

Were Neanderthals Religious?

This article by Barbara King, Chancellor Professor of Anthropology at the College of William and Mary, is from the National Public Radio blog.


(Phil) #2

Interesting article, and it seems to me they were. If you accept that, it brings up some interesting questions: Could Neanderthals sin? Or, perhaps stated differently, did Neanderthals have moral capacity? or perhaps: Did religion precede mankind being held morally responsible for his actions? It is interesting in that if you hold to a historical Adam, and Neanderthals were religious, perhaps Adam was a Neanderthal.


(Lynn Munter) #3

It strikes me that a relevant question is, how do you differentiate between superstition and religion?

I am skeptical of attempts to place Adam too far back into prehistory, I think the setting he is described in is too clearly agricultural, making it more reasonable to put him somewhere in or near the Fertile Crescent at the ‘dawn of civilization.’ I think it’s a reasonable reading to recognize that God required more of humans at that point and initiated a relationship with a specific man and woman, whose failure resonates down to the present day.


#4

Were Neanderthals Religious?

Not so much. They were the ones who started that whole “I’m spiritual but not religious” thing in their Tinder profiles.

(At the time, it seemed like a sophisticated thing to say. It would be many thousands of years before it could be considered a cliche.)


(system) #5

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