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Early Man and Human Fossils
  • Neandertals and the Paleontologists
  • The Facts are not Always Allowed to Speak

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Early Man and Human Fossils

Ray Bohlin

  1. Neandertals and the Paleontologists

    1. Paleoanthropology is unique.

      1. In the field of paleoanthropology, the study of human fossils, one must approach the data and interpretations of the scientists involved with a careful and skeptical eye. There are a number of obvious reasons for this healthy skepticism, the most important being that they are looking for man's evolutionary ancestors. If that is what you are looking for, then that is likely what you will report to have found. That is just human nature.

      2. A second reason is there is a great deal of competitiveness among anthropologists. They are involved in a race to be the one to discover THE missing link which will mean immense notoriety and financial gain. The temptation to exaggerate the importance of your findings at the expense of others is very great. Richard Leakey and Donald Johanson have been at odds with each other for over a decade with no perceivable end in sight.

      3. Another reason for skepticism is that all anthropologists compare only plaster casts of the fossils or measurements available in the literature and not the fossils themselves. The actual fossils are understandably considered too delicate, fragile, and valuable to be handled directly all the time. However, plaster casts are sadly unable to accurately reproduce many of the details needed for proper study. In 1984, the largest collection of actual fossils was gathered from around the world at the American Museum of Natural History for the opening of the "Ancestors" exhibit. It took much persuasion to bring all the specimens together for this unique opportunity for side by side comparisons. The mounts for each skull or fragment were individually prepared using a cast of the original fossil. Unfortunately, when the real fossils showed up, most of them did not fit their mounts! It is a myth to think that those who teach and write on human origins have actually held in their hands even a fraction of the original material.

    2. This uniqueness leads to misinterpretations.

      Evolutionists have been embarrassed on more than one occasion when their evolutionary bias, competitiveness, and lack of familiarity with the original fossils were not considered.

      1. A good example is the misinterpretation of Neandertals.{6} Though there is still much dispute whether Neandertals are a sub-species of humans or a completely different species, in the early part of this century, there was unanimity in the belief that Neandertals were brutish, stooped creatures who were more closely related to apes than to humans.

      2. This impression stood for over forty years. One of the first complete Neandertal skeletons was found in a cave in France in 1908. It was given to the French paleontologist, Marcellin Boule to reconstruct.

      3. From other fragmentary fossils, Boule had already formed an evolutionary bias that Neandertals were not related to humans. Boule saw only the "primitive" traits of Neandertals and ignored clear evidence of arthritis and rickets in the skeleton. Boule reconstructed the skeleton without the curves in the spine that allow humans to walk upright. He also placed the skull far forward so that it would have been difficult to even look up as we humans do. Other miscues produced an individual who was little more than a shuffling hunchback.

      4. Because of his reputation, this reconstruction stood until 1957, when two scientists reexamined the reconstruction and found Boule's prejudicial mistakes. Their study concluded that Neandertals, when healthy, stood erect, and walked normally. Neandertals were simply stronger, stockier members of the human family.

  2. The facts are not always allowed to speak.

    It is interesting to observe that certain pieces of the fossil evidence for human evolution are either ignored or stretched in order to not upset the accepted picture of human evolution. Creationist,, in his recent book, Bones of Contention, gives numerous examples of this kind of manipulation.

    1. A human bone fragment that's too old.{7}

      The first example involves a small bone fragment that routinely gets left out of the accounts written for the general public. This fragment of the lower end of the upper arm, near the elbow was found in 1965 near Kanapoi, Kenya, and is given the designation KP 271.

      1. What is unusual about this discovery is the date of around 4.5 million years. Unusual, because it appears for all intents and purposes to be human.

      2. Humans are not supposed to be around 4.5 million years ago. Consequently, this small piece of humerus is usually designated as Australopithecus because that is the only hominid species assumed to be available at that time.

      3. Lubenow quotes Harvard anthropologist William Howells in a stunning admission,

        The humeral fragment from Kanapoi, with a date of about 4.4 million, could not be distinguished from Homo sapiens morphologically or by multivariate analysis by Patterson and myself in 1967. . . . We suggested that it might represent Australopithecus because at that time allocation to Homo seemed preposterous, although it would be the correct one without the time element.{8}

      4. The only reason KP 271 is not listed as human is because it can't be, according to evolutionary theory.

    2. Human footprints that don't belong.{9}

      The second example involves another essentially human discovery that is wildly out of place. You may have heard of a series of footprints found by Mary Leakey near Laetoli, Tanzania. Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin just gloss over them by calling them hominid footprints.{10}

      1. Lubenow documents that these footprints are identical to those made today by humans that always walk barefoot.

      2. Yet these footprints are routinely classified as Australopithecine.

      3. William Howells refers to the conclusions of Russell Tuttle from the University of Chicago and a leading expert on hominoid gaits and limbs as saying that the footprints are nearly identical to modern humans and that Australopithecine feet are significantly different. Tuttle suggests an "undiscovered species" made these prints. But he can't say that a human made these prints because humans aren't supposed to exist yet. In the words of evolutionist William Howells, "Here is something of an enigma."{11}

    3. The incredible saga of determining the date for Skull 1470.

      1. Skull 1470 was very modern in its appearance but was found in rock previously dated at 2.9 million years--much too old for a modern skull. So some scientists set out to determine a much younger date.

      2. Lubenow recounts the back and forth wrangling over the issue. Several radioactive methods and paleomagnetism mainly pointed to 2.9 million years but a few were found contradictory.

      3. Ultimately the radioactive dates were tossed aside in favor of a date of 1.9 million years, a date that fit the human evolution better, based on the certainty of the dates of pig evolution. Yes, pig evolution. To quote Lubenow, "The pigs won. . . . The pigs took it all. But in reality, it wasn't the pigs that won. It was evolution that won. In the dating game, evolution always wins."{12}

©1998 Probe Ministries
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