More than five hundred years ago, when the Spaniards first set foot on what they called “New Spain”, they came with the sole priority to conquer the land in the name of the king under the authority of the pope. Their mission, whether by peace or by sword, was to take into possession the newly discovered lands, to bring into subjection its people, and deliver what wealth they could find back to Spain.
Since that time, many millions more have come, not to conquer the land, nor to plunder its wealth, but to see for themselves its mysteries and wonders and beauty as reported by those who first ventured into this newly found land. This exotic land has left many enamored with its indigenous peoples, its ancient cultures, its majestic mountains, its active volcanoes, its array of wildlife, its blue oceans, its vast deserts, and lush jungles, that visits are often repeated.
Despite all these wonders, what has fascinated most visitors are its ancient civilizations that were abandon, forgotten, and buried under the ever encroaching jungle. Nevertheless, through spade and sweat they are being unearthed to reveal grand metropolises with pyramids exceeding the splendor of Egypt, with impressive stele that even Stonehenge cannot compare, and superb architecture that many would argue is on the same level as ancient Greece and Rome.
After visiting and studying many of the ancient ruins, most historians, archeologists, anthropologists, ethnologists and common people alike have concluded that the origins of this civilization are to remain one of the great mysteries, locked up in the annals of time.
One author comments, “There is some mystery about them [the Maya] because so little is known about their existence before the early centuries of the Christian era, when they first began to erect stone buildings.” (Encyclopedia of World Mythology, New York: Galahad, 1975, p. 72)
The diligent researcher, professor Gualberto Zapata Alonzo has summarized what many historians have concluded after analyzing the ruins of Mesoamerica, stating, “The origin of the Maya, as well as that of the other groups of people that inhabited the American continent, is unknown to us”, “nor the time of their arrival”, and “can not be explained” (An Overview of the Maya World, 1993, p. 13, 27, 7).
William H. Prescott, in his detailed record of the Conquest of Mexico, asked himself, who were the builders of these great pyramids who inhabited the land before the Aztecs? He declared, “It is all a mystery, --over which Time has thrown an impenetrable veil, that no mortal hand may raise. A nation has passed away, tested by their monuments, --but it has perished without a name. It has died and made no sign!” (Prescott's Mexico, Volume II, 1898, p. 105-106)
Alexander von Humboldt, considered one of the greatest traveling scientists of his time, and considered to be the “father of geography” stated, “the general question of the first origin of the inhabitants of a continent is beyond the limits prescribed to history, and is not perhaps even a philosophical question” (Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, Chapter IV, pp. 46-47, 1811).
Concerning one of the many ruined cities of the Maya, Stephens wrote, “It lay before us like a shattered bark in the midst of the ocean, her masts gone, her name effaced, her crew perished, and none to tell whence she came … All was mystery, dark impenetrable mystery, and every circumstance increased it …” (Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatán, by John Lloyd Stephens, 1839).
These views and others like it however, have been influenced to some degree by a naturalistic worldview that has a tendency to analyze everything from an evolutionary or humanistic perspective rather than a Biblical view of world history. Nevertheless, if we believe that every Word of God is true and take the Bible as literal history, especially the first eleven chapters of Genesis, our eyes will be opened to startling revelations that would otherwise never be realized, and the indelible marks that history has etched upon this earth, we will find accurately scribed in the pages of the Bible.
Our worldview then, whether it is an evolutionary or creationist worldview, will greatly affect our interpretation of the data. For example, when we observe the present day mountains and valleys, and see many layers of sedimentary rock with billions of fossilized creatures cemented therein, what are we to think? If our worldview is a naturalistic one based on evolution, we will have a tendency to believe that these layers were laid down slowly and uniformly over millions of years and the fossils contained therein were those creatures that died, eventually got buried, and are now extinct.
Furthermore, we will have been taught that these creatures were the ancestors of man, for the theory of evolution literally teaches that lifeless elements from a primordial pond developed into man over billions of years through slow transitional changes. New and improved models kept replacing the old models until evolution finally produced the first man.
Many do not have a hard time accepting the fact that some minor adaptations may have taken place within an individual species producing variety within that kind, but the full scope of evolution takes great faith and many have had a difficult time accepting that humans can spring forth from non-living chemicals with the magic wand of time, especially when there is no evidence to support such a view.
Now, another person observes these same mountains and valleys, containing billions of fossilized creatures and sees things quite differently. In opposition to the evolutionary world view, we have the teaching that all life was created by the Living God in six days, about 6,000 years ago, and all the fossilized creatures contained in the strata around the globe are the result of the catastrophic, worldwide, mountain covering Flood that overturned the earth in the days of Noah (Genesis 6-9).
Reasons to believe the Biblical view are countless. One of the strong refutations of evolution is the fact that there are no transitional fossils between any of the kinds of creatures that evolution demands. Even Darwin stated, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” (The Origin of Species, p. 158, 1859)
The truth of the matter is that all fossils appear in the strata fully formed and fully functional. Also, fossilized creatures demand rapid burial to prevent decomposition and scavenging. The great Flood in Noah's day can answer perfectly to this with billions of perfectly formed fossils that testify to the reality of this great global catastrophic event that buried these creatures in the aftermath of the Flood.
The evidence that we find in the rocks can basically be summed up as follows. The stratum around the globe contains billions of fossils of every basic creature that exists; some of these fossilized creatures are now extinct, but what most evolutionists fail to tell you is that most of them are not. The fossils of the creatures that are not extinct look just like their progeny that are alive today with no hint whatsoever that evolution ever took place.
Now, those creatures in the fossil record that have no counterparts living today we call extinct. We should not have a problem with extinction, for every couple of years another species vanishes from off the face of the earth due to over hunting, destruction of habitat, or introduction of new predators, etc.
Because extinction is a present reality, we should not be surprised to find many creatures in the fossil record that no longer have a living counterpart. However, evolutionists would have us to believe that many of the creatures that are now extinct evolved into a totally different species, such as dinosaurs into chickens. In addition to this, they expect us to believe this myth with no transitional fossils to support their view. It is totally absurd and absolutely unscientific! If we have not seen these creatures alive in our lifetime, it certainly does not mean they evolved into another creature, it only proves they became extinct.
If evolution were true, why is it that every fossil whose counterpart is still alive today has not changed one iota? Bats are still bats, lizards are still lizards, birds are still birds, fish are still fish, monkeys are still monkeys, and man is still man. The facts support the evidence, that, creatures do not evolve into different kinds of creatures they only become extinct.
(For more information on this subject see
Does the Fossil Record Prove Evolution?)
Hundreds of other examples could be given to show how our worldview will greatly affect our conclusions, especially if we do not research the issue to see if the evidence supports the latest theory. However this is not the thesis of this article, but only serves as an example to show how our worldview will greatly affect our interpretation of the data before us.
An evolutionist will look at the Grand Canyon and believe that the Colorado River carved it out with a little bit of water over millions of years. The Creationist, however, believes just the opposite. They see evidence that the Grand Canyon was gouged out with a lot of water over a brief period of time.
Both of these theories could be true, but which one is it? If we refuse to acknowledge the possibility of the other, then we have become biased and will never be able to come to the knowledge of the truth. What we must do then is examine all the observable evidence and see how it fits the available theories. Only then we will be better prepared to come to the right conclusion.
So now, with Bible in hand, the true and infallible record of the history of mankind, we will examine the great nations known throughout the world as the Mayan and Aztec people, looking for any clues that might help us to unlock the mysteries surrounding their origin, and for that matter, all the cultures of the Americas since their recent discovery only a few centuries ago.