Book review of The Genius of Ancient Man — general editor Don Landis

The Genius of Ancient Man  -             By: Don Landis

This is a much-needed topic with little published research. I not only read, but also reread this book several times. I wanted to give this book the highest praise possible. It is both well-written and well-documented and I can recommend it without reservations.

The ebook format has some problems, though I was able to get it to work. The download off the Answers-In-Genesis email did not work. There was a very helpful phone number which was answered by a very helpful woman. She gave us a workaround that worked. Since I have an Android-based Samsung, and have the ability to download multiple ebook readers, I was able keep downloading ebook readers until I found one that worked. But if I had only a Kindle Fire, a Nook, or any other proprietary format, it would not work. I have a regular Kindle, a Kindle Fire and a Kindle app on my Samsung Galaxy Tab and none of these can read the Genius of Ancient Man. Though I am certain that the helpful customer service people would get the ebook to work on any format, this is more work than any ebook purchase should be. By the way, for GalaxyTab owners, I found that the Moon+ Reader works for this book. Though I have hundreds of ebooks, this is the only book I use the Moon+ Reader for. We contacted the publisher and eventually they told us that it was designed for the iPad.

The New American Standard Version of the Bible is quoted throughout. For a technical work it is a good translation choice. It is also a series of monographs written by different individuals, so there are some points which are repeated throughout the book. The cover credits Jackson Hole Bible College, along with Don Landis, for writing and editing. Jackson Hole Bible College owns the copyright.

The documentation and the pictures are professional and use standard formatting. The links do not always work and there are line breaks which sometimes make sentences difficult to understand.

This book begins by assuming a Christian audience that accepts the authority of the Bible as the Word of God but is not familiar with scientific archeology. Anyone with more than a High School education should be able to absorb this material quickly and easily. It also assumes that the timeline presented in the Bible is accurate and this information is laid out in several charts, graphs and columns. Sadly, these are not formatted properly and are difficult to read. Sometimes the text ends in the middle of a sentence and skips several pages before picking up again.

“From the ancient Mayan civilizations to the aborigines in Australia, cultures all over the earth have similar stories about history. Why? Because they all came from a common source, the original itself! The distortions in legends do not deny the biblical account but rather confirm it with their similarities. Unfortunately, the secular world does not see the biblical account as the original.” Chapter 2

“Since the Bible is true, the rebellion and judgment at Babel did indeed occur and is the source of languages, the reason for the dispersion of ancient man, and explanation for all the similarities in the architecture, religion, and culture around the world.” Chapter 3

“At Babel, Satan began the effort of world domination. From the concept of the unifying city comes the idea of one-world government. This goal has been the underlying premise of countless world powers throughout history, but it began at Babel. Through this concept Satan implemented his next step in his attempt to overthrow the authority of God. The second goal at Babel was to build a tower. … It was to be the worship center, the crowning glory of the city.” Chapter 3

“It is interesting that the original world religion, starting at Babel, centered on the building of a tower. All over the world there are tall religious structures. From the pyramids of Egypt to the pagodas of Japan to temples of Mexico; man seems to have a fascination with building toward the sky.” Chapter 4

Every one of these chapters deals with principles found in the Bible, but the book is more than half way through before it begins with the topic listed in the title, the genius of early man in chapter 5.

“This library (Alexandria) was destroyed in the burning of Alexandria, by Julius Caesar. Here were doubtless many valuable originals utterly lost. Before the art of printing, and especially in ancient times, there were but few books in the world; no work of magnitude could be obtained, but at a great expense. The Alexandrian library might have comprised half the books in the world, and very many of them with scarcely a duplicate existing. The loss was reckoned at 400,000 volumes. The institution was, however, revived, and a still greater collection made, which was enriched by the noble productions of the Augustan age. This flourished till the seventh century of the Christian era, when it was burned by the Saracens, who used the books for common fuel. There perished 700,000 volumes.” (A Compend of History by Samuel Whelpley, A.M.; pages 28-29 (Boston: Richardson & Lord, 1822)) Chapter 5

“There is absolutely no historical record of any primitive culture whose children were so lacking in intelligence that they could not hold their own with the children of civilized parents, when provided with comparable opportunities.” Chapter 5

Interestingly, Andrew Toma, in his book We Are Not the First, makes one very significant note.  “History shows that the priests of India, Sumer, Babylon, and Egypt as well as their confreres on the other side of the Atlantic-in Mexico and Peru-were custodians of science.” Chapter 6

“The ancient chemists were able to manufacture artificial lead-based compounds and add them to the cosmetics! The ancient Greeks had working steam boilers, and in Egypt there were ‘slot-machines’ for holy water! The Chinese are well known for their ancient technology, credited with the invention of movable type (A.D. 1045), writing paper, the seismograph (A.D. 132), and the first mechanical clock (A.D. 725). Still another example of ancient intelligence is found in the statues of Ramses II. They are all perfectly symmetrical and under computer analysis it is evident that the builders used the Pythagorean triangle and the Golden triangle in the architecture.” Chapter 6

Chapter 6 is the first chapter to begin to examine the physical evidence in some detail. There are many more examples included in the text. Many pages are devoted to the large stone buildings and statues found by the thousands all over the world.

Chapter 7 is entitled “Worldwide Travel” and contends that ancient seafaring man circumnavigated the globe regularly.

Chapter 8 is entitled “Monuments, Mounds, Pyramids…” and takes a more detailed look at many stone objects mentioned in chapter 6. There is a map of Indian mounds found in the USA.

Chapter 9 is entitled “Religions and Legends” and examines the scientific evidences found in ancient writings such as the pyramid texts and the Epic of Gilgamesh. It also compares many different legends throughout the world and shows that common elements point to a common source.

Chapter 10 is entitled “Music and Art.” With the wealth of material available for this topic, this is a disappointing and brief chapter. It is even short for an overview.

Chapter 11 is entitled “Babel is not Gone.” This is a recap of the material covered from the Preface up to Chapter 5. Since this is done with greater brevity and more organization, it could easily replace much of the earlier material.

Chapter 12 is entitled “More pieces of the Ancient Man Puzzle.”

“Through this book we have sought to provide evidence that confirms the truth of God’s Word and confirmation to your Christian faith.”

This Chapter contains some detailed Axioms as well as evidence that does not seem to fit anywhere else.

Overall this book does what the final quote above claims is its major premise. However, based on the title, I expected a great deal more material evidence and I must say that overall I found this book to be shallow and disappointing. It is a useful introduction to the subject, but I do hope there is a follow-up with more information.

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