Humans are descendants of other living beings hence possess an inborn inquisitiveness for the lives their predecessors lead and how they might match up with the lives of current day humans. Past history in the timeline of human survival descend into appearances which progressively closely bear a resemblance to the present human (Lavenda, 2008). Ever since they were unearthed over a century ago, the Neanderthals have lingered in the minds in addition to bewildering the best-laid paleoanthropologist hypothesis. They give the impression of corresponding to the common scheme of human evolution, and yet they are misfits (Jurmain, Kilgore, Trevathan and Ciochon. p.367). In a way they are similar to us the modern Homo sapiens but yet are an extremely distinct species. The bona fide question that ought to be responded to is “why the Neanderthals were deemed a distinct species from the Homo sapiens and what made them go extinct?”
Neanderthal Man was the term given to bones discovered in 1856 in Germany. This finding of a skullcap and an incomplete skeleton in a cave in the Neander Valley (in close proximity to Dusseldorf) was the earliest documented human form fossil (Smithsonian 2007b). This was the first time Neanderthal fossils were unearthed, as skulls were unearthed in Engis, Belgium in 1829 and Forbes’ Quarry, Gibraltar in 1848. Nevertheless, these previous findings were not acknowledged as belonging to archaic types. The kind of specimen, labeled Neanderthal, comprised of a skull cap, three bones from the right limb, two from the left limb, two femora, part of the left ilium, remains of a scapula, and ribs. The Neanderthals were hominids (erect primates) who existed throughout the Middle Paleolithic Age (also called the Mesolithic Period), about 125,000 to 33,000 B.C. A number of scientists presently regard Neanderthals as the ancestors of humans. A skull and skeletal remnants that seemed to be human were discovered. Yet the skull clearly differed from that of modern humans: It had a bigger, intensely ridged brow and a receding chin. Afterwards, the findings of other Neanderthal skeletons demonstrated that a collection of Neanderthals resided in Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa.
Workers who discovered the Neanderthal fossils then handed over the material to an amateur naturalist named Johann Karl Fuhlrott, who then in turn handed the fossils to anatomist Hermann Schaffhausen. The discovery was introduced to the world of science at a meeting of the Lower Rhine Medical and Natural History Society convened in Bonn in February 1857 and termed a species, Homo neanderthalensis, by William King in 1864. A leading PBS-TV series on evolution 1 portrayed Neanderthal Man as being partially human and not very bright, one who lived a very substandard life when weighed against the Cro-Magnon people, alleged to be the first human. A number of scientists in the present day suppose that he was “missing the language ability, forethought, ingenuity, and other cognitive capabilities of modern man”.2 Neanderthal man is thought to be a linkage leading to modern man or a dead end in human evolution from the hypothetical ape-like ancestor.
In contrast, biblical creationists accept as true that there were no “subhumans” at any point in time. Neanderthal bones are thought to signify just one more collection of people which separated from other groups after the Tower of Babel dispersion.
In the beginning of this century, the evolutionary theories regarding Neanderthal Man began. A renowned paleontologist Marcellin Boule (1861-1942).3 rebuilt the first Neanderthal as a “missing link”. He was named Homo neanderthalensis, meaning an archaic evolutionary connection to the present man, Homo sapiens. Forty-four years later, Boule’s tremendous favoritism in the reconstruction of Neanderthal Man was proved by a reanalysis of his work. Following the reexamination, a number of scientists affirmed that if you dressed him up, gave him a shave and shower, and threw him into society, he would draw no more interest than some of the subway’s other denizens. Homo sapiens neanderthalensis was the new title given to Neanderthal Man after the reanalysis, simply a particular type of modern man.
It is worth noting that, just as with Piltdown Man, Neanderthal’s uplifted standing was acclaimed as a “significant moment in science” wherein faults are ultimately rectified. However the hints to Neanderthal Man’s human resemblance were apparent at the time of Boule’s reconstruction, just as it should have been clear that Piltdown Man was a sham.
The distinguished pathologist Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) alleged that the Neanderthal sample he analyzed was suffering from arthritis and rickets, which might have triggered some of the skeletal attributes leading to the incorrect reconstruction, but his view was disregarded 4. It took 44 years for the extremely deceptive nature of the reconstruction to be made known, demonstrating the collective bias of the evolutionary community.
Still after the Neanderthal reconstruction at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago was revealed to be untrue and highly deceptive, it took an additional 20 years for this famous establishment to rectify its display.
There still exists significant controversy inside evolutionary surroundings over Neanderthal Man’s position5, with many still favoring the “missing link” theory even irrespective of his image having enhanced by the 1950s and 1960s. Neanderthal’s brain is believed to be of “lesser superiority” even though his brain is of a larger volume than modern man’s. Some think that he had unbelievable bodily strength and would challenge animals bigger than him, whereas others maintain that he was a forager or even a vegetarian. Evolutionists are not aware of Neanderthal Man’s origin or where he went. A section of evolutionists deem that the Neanderthal were killed by modern men, Cro-Magnons, while others suppose that Neanderthal interbred with Cro-Magnon Man, ultimately turning into the modern man. Neanderthal Man left the face of earth about 30,000 years ago in the evolutionary timescale
An additional complexity for evolutionists is proof that Neanderthal Man existed at the same time as modern man and “archaic Homo sapiens”, at times in a similar area. This generates huge predicament for those recognizing Christianity who in general agree to secular dating techniques. Given that they cannot date Adam back too far-off without extending the lineage further than recognition, any human-type bones “dated” at an earlier time than a few tens of thousands of years before have to be noted down as pre-Adamic “soulless” semi-humans.
Throughout the past 10 years, there has been some advancement in the status of Neanderthal Man amongst evolutionists notwithstanding the PBS series on evolution. Failure by the series to cite any of the latest findings seems to be a characteristic of its entire propagandistic drive. Several evolutionists were impelled to affirm that Neanderthal Man had speech and language capability comparable to modern man after the discovery of a human hyoid bone (associated with the larynx or voice box). 7 Trinkaus and Shipman state that “Although no one had explicitly predicted what a Neandertal hyoid would look like, few were really surprised when it turned out to be a slightly enlarged version of a human hyoid and nothing like an ape hyoid. Many anthropologists came to believe that Neanderthals could have spoken any modern human language, whatever their accent may have been.” 8
Some still downplay the impact of the hyoid bone to speech capability even though it was impossible to differentiate from those of modern humans. In spite of this, a later report, established on additional anatomical evidence, deduces that language has been in existence for 400,000 years of evolutionary time, as well as the whole Neanderthal period. 9
Neanderthal burials left insignificant evidence of ritual as measured up to those by later humans. In addition to leaving me skeptical that their case was fictitious, any disparity might not imply a great deal, given that there are other means to justify the shortage of tools or other symbols of ritual with Neanderthal bone frame. Recently, additional proof of ritual has been noticed. A Neanderthal baby was discovered buried in Israel with a red deer jaw adjacent to its hip, representative of symbolic deeds on the part of the Neanderthal Man. 10 A Neanderthal child was uncovered in Syria at the foot of a 5 ft deep pit, with a flint implement placed in the region where the toddlers heart had once beaten. This finding is judged as “the finest proof of Neanderthal burial exercise” 11. In addition, perforated animal teeth, most likely worn as jewelry, plus ivory rings were found with a Neanderthal fossil in a French cave in 1966. 2. Furthermore, it is now acknowledged that Neanderthals crafted their own fairly complex ornaments and apparatus signifying a “high level of being cultured.” 2
Archeologists did not accept as true that Neanderthals made use of spears, but this thought has been refuted by the discovery of aerodynamic wooden spears made use by the alleged Neanderthal ancestors 2. In addition, it has been revealed that Neanderthals made a variety of stone tools and fatal, stone-pointed spears, demonstrating ability regularly credited only to modern humans. 2 A number of scientists had alleged that Neanderthal Man was only able to forage carcasses, however a new examination of break and cut marks on animal bone in caves point to him slaughtering the animals, which is consistent with hunting 2. John Shea, who appeared in the PBS series, asserts that this new information goes against the idea that Neanderthals were noticeably second rate. 2
A recent report now finds that Neanderthals made use of stone tools in more alterable manner than formerly considered, which granted them access to a more diverse diet of animal protein and plants. On the basis of minute proof of use-wear and remains left on the stone equipments in the Crimea, 16 the report proposes that individuals who made use of the tools, possibly Neanderthals, made the most of an assortment of woody and starchy plants and still hunted birds. Remains of bird feathers were located on a few of the tools.
Lately, it has been deduced that Neanderthals existed alongside modern humans in the Middle East for 100,000 years of evolutionary time and made almost indistinguishable stone tools.17 Crossbreeds of Neanderthals and humans are acknowledged from a number of locations,8 including a latest find of a child in Portugal.18 It is not hard to deduce that Neanderthal Man was completely human, and that modern humans and Neanderthals probably merged in Europe.
One report alleged that Neanderthal Man’s DNA was rather different from modern humans, purportedly giving reasons for the categorization of them into a dissimilar species than modern man. However its author, the renowned Svante Pääbo, asserts that his paper has been misunderstood. Furthermore, DNA from mitochondria salvaged from an Australian Homo sapiens, alleged to be 62,000 years old, also differs to a great extent from that of modern humans. The group that made the DNA finding considers that this new outcome will steer Neanderthal Man back into the human fold. This outcome also indicates that studies of DNA are not reliable for establishing alleged evolutionary nearness.
Those scientists that disagree with Neanderthal’s human resemblance appear not to recall that he existed throughout the Ice Age and was capable of staying alive in the cold and unforgiving weather.23 Neanderthal Man had to possess a human degree of complexity in order to live on.24
Regardless of all the discrimination in opposition to embracing the Neanderthals into Homo sapiens, even many evolutionists have turned out to be awed with the proof for Neanderthal’s humanity, as investigations shed a “more approving light on the older cousins.” This up-and-coming outlook portrays Neanderthals as possessing a capability for creative, flexible behavior somewhat like that of modern people’.
No internet sites. Books, Chapters, journals only.
Explain WHY rather than just describe.
What scientific evidence supports conclusions?
Be critical. References within the text. EX: (author, year)
Convince with evidence.
Keep it NARROW.
Compare and contrast different arguments given by authors.
Comprehensively refuted, AiG’s response to evolution, and on our Creation multimedia CD-ROM. Return to text.
Brainard, J., Giving Neandertals their due-similarities with modern humans shift the image of the caveman brute, Science News 154(5):72-74, 1998. Return to text.
3, 5 Lubenow, M.L., Bones of contention-creationist assessment of human fossils, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, pp. 36-39, 1992. Return to text.
4. It is not claimed here that all of the Neandertal bony features are the consequence of disease, the major cause of the variation is almost certainly genetic, as is the variation in external features among different groups of people today. In any case, not all Neandertals had these pathologies. Return to text.
7. Bower, B., Neandertals to investigators: can we talk? Science News 141(15):230, 1992
8. Trinkus, E. and Shipman, P., The Neandertals-changing the image of mankind, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, p. 391, 1993.
9. Bower, B., Language origins may reside in skull canals, Science News 153(18):276, 1998.Return to text.
10. Bower, B., Neandertal tot enters human-origins debate, Science News 145(1):5, 1994.Return to text.
11. Bower, B., Child’s bones found in Neandertal burial, Science News 148(17):261, 1995. Return to text.
16. Hardy, B.L., Kay, M., Marks, A.E. and Monigal, K., Stone tool function at the paleolithic sites of Starosele and Buran Kaya III, Crimea: behavioral implications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 98(19):10972-10977, 2001
17. Bower, B., Neandertals and humans each get a grip, Science News 159(6):84, 2001. Return to text.
23. Constable, G., The Neanderthals, Time-Life Books, New York, pp. 38-58, 1973
24. Oard, M. and Oard, B., Life in the Great Ice Age, Master Books, Arkansas, USA, 1993. Retu