January 16, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

Evolutionary Reversal: Is the Neanderthal Category Collapsing?

The Oase skulls found in Romania share modern and Neanderthal characteristics, reported Science Daily in a story reverberating on major media sites (see Reuters).  From a press release by the University of Bristol, Science Daily reported, “By comparing it with other skulls, Professor [Joao] Zilhao and colleagues found that Oase 2 had the same proportions as modern human crania and shared a number of modern human and/or non-Neandertal features.”  That’s the modern part.  But:

However, there were some important differences: apparently independent features that are, at best, unusual for a modern human.  These included frontal flattening, a fairly large juxtamastoid eminence and exceptionally large upper molars with unusual size progression which are found principally among the Neandertals.

What history does this imply?  Zilhao suggested an “evolutionary reversal” may have occurred – or maybe our sampling of human diversity in the period dated between 30,000 to 40,000 years is incomplete.  “Oase 2 is ‘modern’ in its abundance of derived modern human features, but it remains ‘nonmodern’ in its complex constellation of archaic and modern features.
    The original paper was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.1  See also the BBC News and Live Science.
    Meanwhile, other scientists working in South Africa are claiming that “A 36,000-year-old skull from South Africa provides the first fossil evidence that modern humans left Africa 70,000 to 50,000 years ago to colonize Eurasia,” according to National Geographic News (see also a press release from Max Planck Society).  How can that be?  Well, one researcher was “struck by its similarities to the skulls of the first modern humans found in Europe.”  But if Neanderthals had already been in Europe 130,000 years ago (maybe even more than 200,000 years), would they be expected to be interfertile with new arrivals 50,000 to 70,000 years ago?  A press release from Texas A&M University admits that “we still don’t have all of the evidence required to test these models – to disprove or prove them.”  No one seems to be asking if it is plausible that two divergent groups would be able to interbreed after a separation of 60,000 years or more – ten times as long as recorded history.  Another study of skulls in Russia puts the migration even later, at 45,000 years ago, reported EurekAlert.  At the extremes dates, Neanderthals and modern humans would have been evolving on separate courses for over 150,000 years.  Ted Goebel [Texas A&M] put it this way in Science:2

Current interpretations of the human fossil record indicate that fully modern humans emerged in sub-Saharan Africa by 195,000 years ago.  By 35,000 years ago, modern humans thrived at opposite ends of Eurasia, from France to island southeast Asia and even Australia.  How they colonized these and other drastically different environments during the intervening 160,000 years is one of the greatest untold stories in the history of humankind.


1Rougier, Trinkaus, Zilhao et al, “Pestera cu Oase 2 and the cranial morphology of early modern Europeans,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online before print January 16, 2007, 10.1073/pnas.0610538104.
2Ted Goebel, “The Missing Years for Modern Humans,” Science, 12 January 2007: Vol. 315. no. 5809, pp. 194 – 196, DOI: 10.1126/science.1137564

What does he mean “untold stories”?  The evolutionists have been telling this “story” and others in their molecules-to-man tale for a century and a half.  It’s like guns.  Fossils don’t tell stories; evolutionists do.  You notice that this story is told in the absence of facts.  Goebel gets all excited because someone interprets a data point in the middle of nowhere as being 60,000 to 50,000 years old, and he thinks they’re getting warmer.  It’s like they find a brick in Russia, one in South Africa and one in Tanzania and think they almost have their yellow brick road to Charlie’s emerald city.  There’s more gap than text in this fictional plot.
    Evolutionary reversal – how’s that for an evolutionary euphemism for non-evolution?  We need an evolutionary reversal, all right, back to a science that doesn’t tell fables.  If the Oase folks gained their peculiar mosaic of traits by interbreeding with Homo sapiens, then the Neanderthal fable is over.  These were people.  The myth of the brutish Neanderthal has outlived its usefulness to a discredited view of human history.  Adding new twists to the fable is not helping.
    Speaking of fables, we’re going to coin a new word: fability, the ability to tell fables.  Darwinists are very good at this ability.  It’s closely related to fibility, the ability to tell fibs.  Adding fable upon fable is similar to telling new lies to prop up earlier ones.  For a century and a half now, the Darwinists have been fibbling and fabling about Neanderthal Man, accentuating the differences and underplaying the similarities.  Using fabled dates, they have constructed elaborate imaginary histories of early man grunting and hunting for tens of millennia, never becoming smarter than a teen-age videogame player.  Then the wise guys showed up (Homo sapiens sapiens) and quickly outwitted them in the job market.  The whimpering dimwits retreated to their caves, leaving bones for evolutionary paleontologists to use as props for the story.
    TV producers have leapt onto the opportunity to visualize all this fability.  Especially in Darwin’s turf, they have found no shortage of actors willing to go nearly naked with lots of Neanderthal brow-ridge clay and body hair to portray the whole diorama.  It’s been a long-running series, but the fans are getting bored.  Can we switch now to the History Channel?
    Just because our Neanderthal brethren looked slightly different from us doesn’t justify categorizing them outside the human family and considering them less urbane.  Like the cave man in the Geico commercials, it makes them very frustrated.

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Categories: Early Man

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