Neanderthals & Creationists — the Same Species?

Sometimes, a little bit of evidence can go a long way. A good example of this is presented to us today by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. His new post is titled Neanderthal Toothpick Discovery Reminds Us God’s Word is True. It’s at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), Hambo’s creationist ministry. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

And the discoveries continue! What do I mean? Well, it seems that every few weeks there’s another story in the news about a new discovery highlighting just how “like us” Neanderthals were. They wore jewelry and makeup, made musical instruments and tools, caught and ate fresh shellfish, could hear like us, and this newest discovery adds yet another thing to the list: they used toothpicks and practiced oral hygiene.

Ooooooooooooh! They used toothpicks! How unexpected! Hambo says:

The picture of who Neanderthals were has totally changed since I went to school and was taught they were primitive brutes!

What’s he saying, and why? Is he really telling us that there’s no difference between (a) him and his followers, and (b) Neanderthals? Let’s find out. He tells us:

Scientists studying two teeth found in a cave determined that the owner of the teeth fashioned and used a toothpick often enough to “leave a clear trace.” … It’s yet another reminder that Neanderthals were human, just like us. They weren’t unintelligent brutes — a popular perception that lingers in the minds of many and often in museums. All the evidence points to their humanity. And the evidence just keeps coming!

Ooook, oooook! Or should that be Ugh, ugh! Anyway, Hambo continues:

You see, when the bones of Neanderthals were first discovered, they were assumed to be our evolutionary relatives, but not fully human. [Gasp — evolution!] But those who started with God’s Word knew the truth — [Ooooooooooooh! The Truth™!] these were the remains of humans and therefore they were people made in the image of God, descended from Adam and Eve. And, eventually, the evidence confirmed exactly what we’d expect starting with God’s Word.

If Adam and Eve produced Neanderthal offspring, they must have been two extremely ugly people. Anyway, now we come to the end — and it’s really powerful:

It’s a good reminder that the evidence, when properly interpreted [Hee hee!], will always confirm God’s Word. So next time you see something that appears to contradict the history in God’s Word, remember Neanderthals and the avalanche of evidence that did not confirm evolutionary expectations but confirms the Bible’s history. Man’s fallible ideas change, but God’s Word never changes.

In all likelihood, the people standing in line every day to visit ol’ Hambo’s Ark probably look like Neanderthals. so it’s not difficult to see how he would come to believe as he does. Sorry, Hambo, it doesn’t work that way. It’s only your followers who have that primitive look. A lot of them probably have a load of Neanderthal ancestry, so actually, you’re not entirely wrong. Anyway, we’re outta here.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

12 responses to “Neanderthals & Creationists — the Same Species?

  1. SC, stop insulting Neanderthals. And I’ve got a Neanderthal braincase shape,while my wife’s got Neanderthal freckles,so watch it!

  2. Before Darwin, it was assumed that there was a hierarchy of life. One of the diffeeences which made “On the Origin of Species” work better than previous concepts of evolution was that there was no direction, no upward. It was difficult for people to discard that idea, and to assume that we are higher than our predecessors.

  3. siluriantrilobite

    AiG seems obsessed with pointing out Neanderthals are human. Anthropologists have already said so for decades. Yet AiG trots out any new discoveries about Neanderthals as evidence that “evolutionists” supposedly still believe the outdated ideas about them.


  4. Am I correct in saying that in informal taxonomy, “human” refers to the genus Homo; so Homo neanderthalemsis are human, as are also Homo erectus, Homo floresiensis, etc. but not Australopitheus spp.?

  5. Dave Luckett

    It’s one of the creationist’s debating tricks mentioned in the last thread. Ham is taking a line of argument that is, in truth, fatal to his position, and presenting it as if it favoured him.

    His position is that evolution does not take place. Here we have evidence that it does. For a long time there was a debate over the Neanderthals. Were they a different species to modern humans – H neanderthalis – or were they a population within the modern human population, isolated for long enough to develop a distinct morphology, but not a different species – H sapiens neanderthalis?

    The answer was provided – sort of – by DNA sequencing. The Neanderthal genome was different enough to call them a different species of human being. That they were cross-fertile with modern humans was proven by the same process – their genes are still extant in modern human populations.

    Evolution implies that species separate as populations within them become isolated for some reason. That’s what happened with the Neanderthals. That is predicted by evolution. It is not predicted by fiat creation. It is not predicted from reading the Bible.

    Ham is playing with dynamite, here. This should be enough to hoist him high as Haman. It probably won’t do that, because Ham can be certain of his audience. They can no more follow a logical train of thought than he can. Or cares to.

  6. … they were people made in the image of God, descended from Adam and Eve. And, eventually, the evidence confirmed exactly what we’d expect starting with God’s Word.
    So Adam and Eve, their kids, and everyone looked like Neanderthals as the fossil evidence tells us. Then all depictions of them, even in illustrated bibles, etc., are wrong and require revision!

  7. chris schilling

    All those you mention from the genus Homo differ in various morphological degrees to H. sapiens — as do Neanderthals. Creationists can hand-wave this away, of course, as merely “variations in kind.”

    But if Neanderthals and sapiens are closely related ‘varieties’ — in the way Darwin laid out such delineations in The Origin — and both are descended from a subspecies of H. erectus such as, say, H. heidelbergensis, then that must make H. sapiens a sub-subspecies which has — as of yet — not further speciated nor gone extinct.

    Put as baldly as that — it doesn’t sound like much of a reason to big-note ourselves as divinely special, let alone made “in the image of God”; but kudos to us anyway for surviving long enough to evolve technology and culture and science.

  8. insidephotos

    I guess they are unaware of the fact that chimpanzees brush their teeth with twigs too. 😯😃

  9. Hambone, it seems to me that if H. sapiens and H. neanderthalis were both descended from your mythological Adam and Eve they’d have pretty much the same genes. Full disclosure: 23 and Me indicates I have more Neanderthal genes that 99% of their customers, about 1.5% of my genome. This supports my hypothesis that the probability I’m descended from your favorite mythological ancestors is close to 0.

  10. abeastwood: Only 1.5%? Come on, you can tell us the truth.

  11. @abeastwood, if Neanderthals are human, they are descended not only from Adam and Eve, but, more recently, from Noah’s sons and their wives.

    No problem. Just another case of accelerated evolution within kinds after the Flood

  12. Ham dabbling in historical science, once again. Neanderthals using toothpick? From the shape of some fossil teeth? Were you there?