Our earlier essay, Why Are the Neanderthals Extinct?, has been getting a lot of hits, so your Curmudgeon was naturally drawn to an article about Neanderthals at the highly esteemed creationist website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR).
All the now-extinct species similar to us that have been discovered, such as those shown here: early human species, including Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and Homo neanderthalensis, present a problem for creationists. First, they’re not scriptural. And second, they shouldn’t exist at all if we were specially created instead of evolved. So it’s always interesting to see how they deal with such matters.
Although creationist don’t do any research involving their “creation science,” they do look at the research done by real scientists. Then they try to spin it. That’s what they’ve done in the case of a new discovery reported by the University of Bristol: Late Neanderthals and modern human contact in southeastern Iberia. No, ICR didn’t link to it, we had to find it ourselves, but it’s the same matter ICR is talking about. Here’s an excerpt from the University of Bristol’s press release:
New research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is now shedding some light on what were probably the last Neanderthals.
The research is based on a study of human fossils found during the past decade at the Sima de la Palomas, Murcia, Spain …
By the way, don’t be confused by their use of the term “human.” Yes, the Neanderthals were human. But Homo neanderthalensis were a different human species from Homo sapiens. There was a time when two human species lived on earth. It can sometimes be confusing for non-professional articles to use the term “human” in connection with Neanderthals, because in common usage the word “human” refers to us.
Here’s a bit more from University of Bristol:
The human fossils from the upper levels of the Sima de las Palomas are anatomically clearly Neanderthals, and they are now securely dated to 40,000 years ago.
That’s important to bear in mind, because now we bring you the creationist view of the role of Neanderthal in the great scheme of things: Neanderthal Men Were Modern Men. The bold font was supplied by us.
Though evolution models once held that Neanderthal man was one of the “missing links” between an ape-like ancestor and modern man, the repeated discoveries of Neanderthal remains right next to those of modern humans — instead of in separate, lower, older strata — have forced him out of the pool of “pre-human” evolutionary ancestor candidates. In contrast to ever-evolving naturalistic interpretations, the biblical creation model has consistently maintained that Neanderthal man was just that — man.
Hey, no one says that two distinct but related species can’t co-exist in the same areas. Neanderthal and Sapiens did, for thousands of years. Let’s read on:
Neanderthal did have distinct characteristics that are apparently now either extinct or diffused, but his family line was fully human for several hundred years after Noah’s Flood, when humans repopulated the earth about 4,300 years ago.
We’ll ignore the Flood business. Just focus on ICR’s intentional confusion caused by their term “fully human.” Our dogs are fully canine, but they’re not wolves.
The mounting evidence for Neanderthal and modern man’s coexistence calls into question whether the Neanderthal and other human varieties even lived in separate times, as the evolutionary story still maintains. Both the Bible and science indicate that this was not the case. Biblical history has no place for such a separate, distant time of evolutionary development, but it does allow for variations within the human kind in its 6,000-year history.
Yes, and presumably, during that 6,000 year history, they all got along with their house-pets, the dinosaurs. Creationism is such great stuff! Here’s ICR’s conclusion:
As seen in the fossil remains from Iberia, the more that is discovered about Neanderthal, the more evolutionary models morph to accommodate the data. In contrast to this ambiguity, both the Bible and science confirm that man and apes—though many small differences can be discerned within each kind—nevertheless remain totally separate, untransitioned created kinds.
So now you know. ICR explains that there never were any Neanderthals. There was only us. Going all the way back — the whole 6,000 years.
We are left with only one question — what’s wrong with those people? Hint: Creationists: Ignorant, Stupid, Insane, or Wicked.
Copyright © 2008. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.