[Isa 44:18-20 NLT] (18) Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think. (19) The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, "Why, it's just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?" (20) The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can't help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, "Is this idol that I'm holding in my hand a lie?"
In other words, did/do idolaters really worship the block of wood or did they use the statuette as a locus of focus on a deity that they believed lived in the high places or in the sky? What evidence do we have either way?
Protestants tend to regard Catholics as idolaters because they pray to Mary and the saints by addressing their carved or cast proxies. The Orthodox use icons in a similar way (I hear).
Now, I know that carved images are forbidden in Torah. However, isn't that because the image is of a man, bird, cow or what have you, that does not represent the True God who is without form?
All this seems to bump into the issue of Jesus being the image of God (presumably in a truer sense than Adam being the image of God) to some degree, though probably not very much.