Although Ken Ham Insists He Ain’t a Ape, he somehow has no problem claiming a close kinship with Neanderthals. That’s what he does in his latest post: Putting out the Fires of Evolutionary Beliefs. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The evolutionary Neanderthal story changes again! Far from being the dumb brutes that they were depicted as for years, increasing evidence shows that Neanderthals were just as intelligent — and human — as we are. Of course, this comes as no surprise to those who start with the Bible and recognize that Neanderthals are descendants of Adam and Eve, and Noah, just like us.
He’s right — if: (1) the Flood actually occurred 4,000 years ago; (2) everyone was killed except for Noah, his wife, and their necessarily incestuous offspring, from whom we are all descended; and (3) among their offspring were Neanderthals. Then, yes, we’re very closely related to them. After that, Hambo says:
Well, scientists have long found black chunks of manganese oxides at Neanderthal sites. Since they were often found with other colored minerals, scientists assumed they were used for body paint. But a new team of scientists suggests that these chunks were used as fire starters. They discovered scratch marks on blocks “suggesting [the manganese oxide] may have been scraped or ground to produce a powder.” This powder, sprinkled on wood, would have made an excellent fire starter. This study adds further support to the idea that Neanderthals started their own fires rather than just harnessing the flames of naturally occurring wildfires.
Hambo links to this two-paragraph item in Scientific American: Fire! Neandertal Chemistry. The suggestion that Neanderthals actually started fires that way is, of course, speculative. We have no problem with speculation, provided it’s regarded as such, but we wonder why a creationist like Hambo places such confidence in this research. Hey, Hambo — Were you there?
There’s another reason we’re surprised that Hambo has accepted this research. It’s — gasp! — historical science. Hambo has based his career on claiming there’s a difference between what he calls “operational” science and “historical” (origins) science. We have a whole section on that in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. Ah well, let’s read on. Hambo declares:
Neanderthals were humans just like us, with intelligence and ingenuity. But because they lived in a harsh world after the Flood and during the Ice Age, they simply used what was available around them to survive, just like many cultures do today.
We’ve mentioned before that there’s no biblical reference to an ice age. Hey — there’s no mention of Neanderthals either! What’s going on here? Hambo continues:
There’s no reason to believe that Neanderthals, or any other people group, were less human or less intelligent than we are.
Actually, there are reasons. Although their DNA over 99% the same as ours, the bones of over 400 Neanderthals have been found, and they certainly don’t look like modern humans. They were larger, but with disproportionately short limbs, and their faces were noticeably different from ours. As for their intelligence — who knows? It’s tempting, but we’ll refrain from saying that it was similar to the average creationist.
This is the end of Hambo’s brief post:
All humans are made in God’s image, descended from Adam and Eve. And the more we learn about ancient man, the more we see God’s Word confirmed.
Hambo seems to have broken all of his own rules.
• He routinely rejects vast amounts of science because the researchers are “secularists” who start from non-biblical assumptions, yet here he readily accepts what are clearly tentative conclusions in a science paper.
• He’s ignoring what he claims is a big difference between what he calls operational science and historical science.
• He’s impressed by the similarity of human and Neanderthal DNA, yet he ignores the DNA similarity between humans and chimpanzees, estimated to be between 95% and 99%.
• He blithely mentions a non-scriptural ice age.
• And he accepts as fact that Neanderthals started their own fires, which perhaps they did, although that conclusion violates a key reason for his rejection of evolution — we have no eye witnesses testimony.
Why has Hambo done this? What could possibly motivate him to throw away his creationist principles, and make a mockery of his beloved creation science? The reason — which we find inexplicable — is so he can embrace the Neanderthal as his brother. Okay, Hambo, we won’t argue with you. There is no difference between you and a Neanderthal.
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