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‘First the temple, then the city’

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History is always being rewritten. This is, I think, one of the things that always frustrates me when I listen to militant evolutionists or scientists talking about the big bang – they always talk as though the thing were set in stone, as though the timeline had all been sorted. Yet new discoveries keep punching holes in the chronologies.

Take the story reported here, for example, which claims that humans started engaging in sea travel over 100,000 years earlier than was previously believed. Tools found on Crete suggest that neolithic man sailed there very early As one man put it: ‘The idea of finding tools from this very early time period on Crete was about as believable as finding an iPod in King Tut’s tomb.”

Or this news report from Turkey, which claims to have discovered the oldest known temple in the world – predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years. Both of these finds, if true, will force a major rethink about the development of civilisation.

I’m particularly interested in the Temple find. If it’s true that it was built 11,500 years ago, that would mean it predates villages, pottery, and farming. It would mean that the first thing that man built was a place of worship, or, as the story puts it, ‘The temple begat the city.’ This reverses the standard explanation of the development of civilisation, which sees the temple and religious structures coming at the end of a process which begins with tool making, moves into animal husbandry and agriculture, then the building of primitive cities, then temples. If the site in Turkey is verified it means that humans began as worshipping creatures, that religious belief of some sort was not a result of civilisation, but a cause of it; ‘the temple came first, then the city.’