Were there pre-Adamic civilizations?
Isaac de la Peyrére [1596-1676] was a Dutch ecclesiastic and published his Systema Theologicum ex Prae-Adamitarum Hypothesi in 1655. In this book he claimed that the Bible is only concerned with the history of the Jews. Peyrére argued that God separated one man from His pre-Adamic stock, and he became Adam, the father of the Jewish nation. The gentiles of all colors today were said to be descended from that pre-Adamic race.
Even so, Peyrére argued that salvation was available to all men, but he had problems explaining the original sin. Recalling that there were only eight individuals on the ark – all of Noah's family and reasonably of the same color – Peyrére had to face the fact that a global flood would have drowned the gentile stock. Therefore, he concluded that the Genesis Flood had to be local – somewhere in Mesopotamia.
Isaac de la Peyrére was severely condemned by the church of his day, and his name is generally forgotten. However, the notion that the Genesis Flood was merely local lingers on in a great many churches today.
In the face of continuing difficulties to explain the spontaneous origin of life on early Earth by evolutionary processes, the scientific community today is pursuing a new theory. It is being argued that ancient Earth was "seeded" with life from outer space via comets. This effort is being aided by influential writers convincing their readers that sophisticated building complexes have been discovered. These are usually at the bottom of the sea or they are "observatories" such as that at Nazca, Peru. Most of this is merely speculation, grasping for evidence to support it. Unfortunately, in the absence of sound teaching, there are Christians who wish to believe all this.
As far as the Christian is concerned, a pre-Adamic world complements the theory of evolution and relegates to myth God's creation of planet Earth in six days; it thus denies the fourth commandment [Exodus 20:11]. The pre-Adamic theory also denies that Adam and Eve were the first humans made in the image of God; therefore, the consequences of their Fall and imputed sin would not apply to every human being. Worse, if the Genesis Flood was truly local, it has to be admitted that throughout history there have been many local floods with significant loss of life; therefore, our Creator God has broken His covenant promise with man [Genesis 9:8-17] many times over!