Title: The Puzzle of Ancient Man
Author: Donald E. Chittick
Major Themes: Creation, Evolution, Ancient Times
Synopsis: Was there really advanced technology in past civilizations? and how is that possible?
I don’t remember when I bought The Puzzle of Ancient Man. I know it was a long time ago, and I found it totally fascinating back then—and I still do! I just read it to my children as part of our study of ancient times, and the older ones really got a lot out of it, too. In fact, one of my sons would like to offer it to a friend of his who does not believe in God, but also questions evolution.
The first chapter discusses out of place artifacts—things that are found that look much too modern for the strata in which they are found! Our only gripe with this chapter is that the mentions of them didn’t have enough detail. My sons were totally fascinated with the mention of an ancient spark plug, and wanted to know a lot more about it.
Chapters 2-4 lay the stage for understanding the beginnings of the world. Creation and the Fall are discussed, and then there is a chapter about what the world would have been like before the Flood. The world right after the Flood is then described, and the division of the earth. Then, we get into the really interesting part of the book! How did early people learn how to make and use bronze? How were the incredibly accurate ancient maps made? Chapter 7 is really interesting; it describes high levels of civilization in various parts of the world, and giant building construction—how were the ancient people able to built these things? Why aren’t there any precursors to them? They just kind of suddenly appear—why? And why in such far-flung parts of the globe? Several more chapters describe more examples of the incredible abilities of ancient people.
Part II, the last two chapters of the book, is more of a philosophical discussion about why people believe in evolution and why it doesn’t work. In these chapters, the author clearly shows that the debate isn’t between science and religion, but between two belief systems.
Though The Puzzle of Ancient Man isn’t a very long book, it is powerful. It gives enough examples of amazing achievements of people in the past to grab attention, and then clearly lays out the underlying conflict between the Bible and naturalism and what the evidence found points to. This is a good book for upper teens to read to shore up their faith in God.
WARNING: In Chapter 12, the Mayan’s human sacrifice is described.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults