ICR Tells Us All About Neanderthals

You’ve always wondered about Neanderthals, haven’t you? Well, today we’re going to answer your questions. This information comes from the creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their post is titled Humans and Neanderthals More Similar Than Polar and Brown Bears.

It was written by Jeffrey P. Tomkins. At the end of his article we’re told: “Dr. Tomkins is Life Sciences Director at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his doctorate in genetics from Clemson University.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A study led by Oxford University researchers was recently published confirming that Neanderthals and humans were very genetically similar and interfertile. They were even closer than polar and brown bears are to each other, which are known to mate and produce viable offspring in the wild quite easily. Along with a plethora of previous DNA studies, this research further confirms [Brace yourself!] that Neanderthals were an ancient people group of the human family, descended from Noah’s three sons and their wives after the global Flood.

A footnote links to this paper in Proceedings of the Royal SocietyB: A mitochondrial genetic divergence proxy predicts the reproductive compatibility of mammalian hybrids. You can read it online without a subscription. The paper discusses many mammalian hybrids, but — prepare to be shocked — it doesn’t discuss the descent of Neanderthals from Noah’s sons. Anyway, Jeffrey says:

The analysis of matings between anatomically modern humans and their close archaic relatives, Neanderthals and Denisovans, has been increasingly demonstrated through the analysis of ancient DNA extracted from fossil bones and teeth over the past decade. However, many evolutionists have still claimed that modern humans and their archaic cousins were radically different and that their ability to breed and produce viable offspring was at the far edge of biological compatibility.

Then he tells us:

In this new study, the researchers developed a genetic distance metric to predict the fertility of the first generation of hybrid offspring between the mating of any two mammalian species. They did this by analyzing genetic sequence from different mammal species that were already known to produce viable hybrid offspring. By correlating genetic distance with offspring fertility, they showed that the greater the genetic distance, the less likely it would be that the offspring would be fertile. Then the researchers effectively used the genetic distance values to determine thresholds of fertility for various mammals.

When the genetic distance between humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans was calculated, the values were even closer than those found between various animals that are known to readily and easily hybridize in the wild. This includes polar bears mating with brown bears and coyotes mating with wolves.

Quite so, and it appears that there were such hybrids. Jeffrey then leaps to his own conclusions:

These findings confirm that Neanderthals were nothing less than human [Really?] Creationists believe that they likely lived shortly after the global Flood [Hee hee!] since their remains are typically found in ritually buried graves in cave systems — not the global Flood sediments that end at the Neogene-Quaternary (N-Q) boundary at the top of the Cenozoic rock layers.

Another possible explanation for the cave burial of Neanderthals is that there never was a global flood — but Jeffrey doesn’t consider that. He concludes his brilliant article with this:

And not only is the DNA of Neanderthals identical to modern humans [Identical?], but the so-called “archaic traits” of a pronounced brow ridge and a sloping forehead can still be found in modern humans living today. [Especially creationists!] Once again, the facts of science confirm the scriptures — not the mythical fact-free story of human evolution.

Yes, dear reader, creation science once again proves that Darwinism is for fools!

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23 responses to “ICR Tells Us All About Neanderthals

  1. Absolute garbage, but it will convince creationists, once again, that science is on their side.

  2. Doesn’t “human” mean “of the genus Homo”?
    The fact that we can meangfully talk about comparing distances, doesn’t that make sense only in an evolutionary framework?
    If we’re talking about the family of humans, isn’t that Hominidae, the great apes: including orangutans, gorillas and chimps, aa well as humans?
    There is nothing in the Bible about a family of humans. There are tribes, meaning descendants from a single named male. And there are some vague references to some Nephilim, whatever they are.

  3. So man kinda devolved to neanderthal after the walking, talking, tool using, civilised ark building Noah and his brood,went off to live in caves, then evolved again later?
    Or did I miss something?

  4. Tomkins writes,
    “…the global Flood sediments that end at the Neogene-Quaternary (N-Q) boundary at the top of the Cenozoic rock layers.”

    “Global Flood sediments”? Are any of SC’s readers aware of any homogeneous world-wide sediment layer near the top of the Cenozoic? Oh – it should also be loaded with the bones of land-dwelling animals as well as remains of trees and all sorts of other land plants.

    I’m familiar with glacial sediments, but they are definitely different from any sediments laid down by water.

    I guess this confirms that Young-Earth creationists are from another planet.

  5. Dave Luckett

    Ever since Neanderthal DNA was sequenced, ten years ago, this was apparent. Anybody who thought that Neanderthals and the current population were not interfertile was confounded. On that and on some other counts we are the same species. On the detail of morphology, actual degree of genetic isolation and a probable 90% degree of actual reproductive isolation, we are not. Like coyotes and wolves, dingoes and dogs, polar and brown bears, and many others, we and our Neanderthal cousins are evidence that the separation of species is a gradual process that sometimes reverses. That is an observed and inescapable piece of evidence for evolution, and a complete reversal of what could be expected from fiat creation.

    Tomkins is resorting to desperate bafflegab. He probably doesn’t even understand how desperate it is. If he did, he wouldn’t talk about it at all, for the implications are so obviously contrary to his conclusions that anybody not submerged in his fantasy cannot fail to see them.

    Think of it! He knows that Neanderthals were morphologically distinct, as a population, from current human beings, as a population. He knows that they later came into contact and to some extent interbred, and Neanderthals disappeared as a distinct population. He has no scriptural explanation for these facts. He has a natural explanation, one that requires no divine intervention, no flood, no unexplained events that gave rise to morphological differences, but he cannot even consider it. So impenetrable are his intellectual blinkers that he not only cannot perceive the evidence, he cannot even realise that by broaching it, he destroys his own case completely.

    He’d do far better to go full rogue, and assert that Neanderthals were the “sons of gods” referred to in Genesis 6:4. The trouble is, once you begin to use evidence to understand the world, there’s no end to it. The principle, once conceded, is ineluctable. Tompkins is the harbinger of his own downfall, and the longer he and his ilk remain ignorant of that fact, the better.

  6. chris schilling

    “…many evolutionists have still claimed that modern humans and their archaic cousins were radically different, and that their ability to breed and produce viable offspring was at the far end of biological compatibility.”

    I doubt it. Not in the last thirty or so years, at least. Tomkins is more confused — and attempting to sow confusion — than he lets on. Where does it say that closely related varieties are not capable of viable interbreeding? Hell, I’m pretty sure Darwin covered that in The Origin.

    All anyone — apart from creationists — is saying is that Neanderthals weren’t sapiens. Bonobos and chimps are also capable of interbreeding, at least in captivity. Would Tomkins maintain that they should now be considered as one single species?

  7. @Dave Luckett
    That is sometimes called “unintentional apophasis” – bringing up a subject which is defeating one’s point. The famous literary example being “the lady doth protest too much”.
    Apophasis is the mention of a subject
    by pretending not to mention it, as in “I will not bring up my opponent’s criminal record.”
    Some of the creationists have a habit of drawing attention to topics which they shouldn’t.

  8. “However, many evolutionists have still claimed that …”
    Notice how Jeffrey carefully avoids to mention any name – probably because he can’t think of any. Then remember: we must assume that creacrappers lie until proven otherwise.

    @TomS: “The fact that we can meangfully talk about comparing distances, doesn’t that make sense only in an evolutionary framework?”
    No, in the creationist mindset everything only makes sense in a creacrap framework. If we can meaningfully talk about this: it’s ‘cuz goddiddid. If we can’t: it’s also ‘cuz goddiddid. This is why creacrappers can’t avoid “unintentional apophasis” nor avoid discussing topics they should avoid.

  9. http://www.timetree.org/ gives the divergences time for Brown Bears and polar bears at around 1 Mybp. Estimates for anatomically modern humans (AMH)/Neanderthals seem to range from about 0.8 to 0.3 Mybp (does anyone here have good information on that?)

    Once again, I thank both SC and the creationists for leading me to interesting work. As I understand it, some Neanderthal genes are under negative selection in the surviving hybrid population (us), confirming that AMH and Neanderthals are close to the rather fuzzy variety-species boundary.

    The most remarkable thing here is that Tomkins places the flood deposits at the Neogene-Quaternary boundary. presumably he is identifying these with glacial till. But as I recall, AiG places it at the K/Pg boundary. Is this a systematic difference between AiG and CMI, or are they just all over the place on this one the way they are with classification of Australopithecus and pre-modern humans?

    Finally, though a little off topic, let me express a preference for AMH rather than Homo sapiens. My reasons – any news bulletin

  10. Karl Goldsmith

    Isn’t it weird how none of them are prepared to do research themselves, despite all these creationists claiming to do research, so much they even have their own pretend research journals.

  11. Michael Fugate

    Research is hard, making stuff up is easy. If you are a creationist/apologist, the pay is the same whether you do research or make stuff up. So why do research?

  12. And the creationists have yet to show any interest in an alternative to evolution in accounting for the variety of life.
    For example, Intelligent Design is said to be that there is an alternative, but never is there a description of what that alternative is.
    We are told that there are a large number of scientists and other clever people who have doubted evolution, but they have never shown progress in formulating an alternative, over all these years.

  13. “they have never shown progress”
    Of course not – how do you progress from “goddiddid”? Because that’s the alternative. Except that it isn’t an alternative.
    As for that large number of scientists, the interview Trouw demonstrates why IDiocy died so quickly in The Netherlands:


    “… bracht Dekker zijn sympathie voor de religieus geïnspireerde beweging onder de aandacht, ondanks felle kritiek van evolutiebiologen …”

    “Dekker asked attention for his sympathy for the religiously inspired movement, despite fierce criticism of evolutionary biologists”

    “Maar die tijd is voorbij.”
    “But that time belongs to the past.”

    At the other hand there is no single example of someone who first publicly defended evolution theory and then changed it for IDiocy.

  14. @FrankB, I thought Bechly was one such. Also, in a way, Behe, although Behe does continue to accept the historical fact of evolution, defined as change over time from common ancestry

  15. @PaulB: do you have sources for Bechly and/or Behe accepting naturalistic explanations for phenomenona in the past they now accept as evidence for a Grand Old Designer? If no I’ll remind you of that very useful principle: assume that creacrappers in general and IDiots specifically lie until proven otherwise.

  16. @FrankB, Re: Behe, Wikipedia gives us “Behe says he once fully accepted the scientific theory of evolution, but that after reading Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), by Michael Denton, he came to question evolution” Ref: —— (2002). Unlocking the Mystery of Life (Interview). Colorado Springs, CO: Focus on the Family; Illustra Media. OCLC 51949578.I would add that even now he accepts the standard historical account of the origin of species, but denies that this could have happened without the intervention of an Intelligence.

    For Bechly, ISTR DI triumphantly proclaiming him a convert, though I can’t be bothered to chase back and get more details

  17. Michael Fugate

    That they were once atheists and believed in evolution is in every creationist testimonial. They believe it makes the conversion more compelling.

  18. @PaulB: as we are dealing with IDiots ““Behe says ….” is not nearly good enough. I want a text, either on paper or on internet, written by Behe himself, explicitly stating that naturalism fully can explain everything. Mutatis mutandis the same for Bechly.

    “I can’t be bothered …..”
    Highly understandable and I won’t blame you, but I will maintain that the principle I gave in my previous comment applies. As MichaelF points out the claim is always a testimony after conversion. Given that IDiots bear false witness about evolution all the time we must assume their testimonies are false too.
    To put it bluntly: once [bleep!]ing liar, always a [bleep!] liar.
    In case of Cees Dekker I can produce direct, original sources that show he was enthusiastic about IDiocy before deconversion (if I may call it so) but rejected it afterwards. I hold Behe and Bechly to the same standard.

  19. @MichaelF: their conversion stories are directly modelled after Doubting Thomas from the Gospels. CS Lewis claim that he first deconvered and then reconverted is a quite famous non-creationist but still untrustworthy example. With a bit of luck we can also found elements taken from Augustinus of Hippo’s Confessiones, to mention a testimony that does have credibility.

  20. Michael Fugate

    My favorite one – there are so many – was a guy who worked for CMI and had been a high chemistry teacher. He styled himself as some sort of an amateur philosopher. He also had the exact same conversion narrative, scientist, atheist, accepted evolution, then through studying the evidence for the first time became a Christian young earth creationist. I questioned this story as it was exactly like so many others (most of which failed to mention their Christian upbringing, an atheism that meant they stopped going to church for a few months in their teens, and an understanding of evolution that corresponded to a small section of a secondary school biology class) and he had his wife testify that his story was indeed true. How could I ever doubt that?

    My understanding of Bechly’s story is that he fell in love with a Christian and that drove the change. Beforehand he was a pretty hard core cladist and had no truck with population genetics or DNA evidence or variation – I can see how the switch was made – the essentialism was already there.

  21. It’s not clear to me what Tomkins thinks he means by “the DNA of Neanderthals identical to modern humans”. Certainly modern human genomes can contain some variants identical to Neanderthal DNA segments (full confession: 23 and Me found that I have about 2% Neanderthal DNA, more than 99% of their customers). But full modern human genomes and Neanderthal genomes are not “identical”.

  22. @Abeastwood: to be fair Tomky doesn’t write “idenitical” but “very similar”. What interests me is this – is Homo Sapiens a devolved version of Homo Neanderthalensis or the other way round? One thing seems clear: the Homo Creationistensis is a devolved version of both.

  23. @FrankB: I was basing the “identical” on the quote from Tomky above, where the dear Curmudgeon questions the use of the word. I wasn’t interested enough to look up the original article to see whether Tomky was misquoted.

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