Early Man Was Like Us
Human evolution theory has been dealt more body blows this month, raising questions whether it can sustain any more injuries after a decade of repeated punches and concussions. How many times can a theory take the “everything you know is wrong” body slam? (E.g., 2/19/2004, 10/2/2009, 4/8/2010, 10/28/2010.) We’ve already seen Neanderthals promoted to fully human status (8/12/2011). Now, some evolutionists are claiming that the “missing links” on the way to modern humans were all interfertile with us.
More Neanderthal revision: The BBC News reported on work in the Jersey Cave that indicates “Neanderthals have been widely under-estimated.” The individuals portrayed since Darwin as brutish pre-humans are now being seen (once again) as intelligent, resourceful, well-adapted, tool-making, successful members of Homo sapiens that would probably put moderns to shame in many ways. That’s all academic, though, since genetic studies recently indicated significant interbreeding between Neanderthals and “modern” humans (8/12/2011). Svante Pääbo, the “man rewriting human evolution,” was interviewed by New Scientist. To the question “Does the discovery of the Denisovans raise the possibility that we once shared the planet with other types of extinct human?” he answered, “Yes.” He also agrees that Homo floresiensis, the “Hobbits” of Indonesia, are probably “an early divergence from modern humans.”
Homo erectus tool shop: Another find repeats the “earlier than thought” meme frequently found in evolutionary reporting. Science Daily said, “A new study suggests that Homo erectus, a precursor to modern humans, was using advanced toolmaking methods in East Africa 1.8 million years ago, at least 300,000 years earlier than previously thought.” The article absorbed the damage to evolutionary theory with the following understatement: “The study… raises new questions about where these tall and slender early humans originated and how they developed sophisticated tool-making technology.”
In addition, the article stated that the discovery of so-called Acheulian tools, “a great technological leap” for this group, does not resolve other debates about where Homo erectus originated – Africa or Asia. One of the researchers was “taken aback” by the discovery of advanced tools at “the oldest Acheulian site in the world” just six miles from where Richard Leakey found “Turkana Boy” in 1984 that was announced at the time as a missing link (see Penn State article). The BBC News described Acheulian stone tools as the “Swiss army knives” of the Stone Age, useful for both cutting up heavy animals and chopping wood.
The source paper in Nature adds another complication.1 Finding Acheulian tools at such an ancient Homo erectus site in Africa, but not in Asia, requires another modification to the Out-of-Africa theory: the individuals who migrated out of Africa had to lose this technology en route, or else there were two groups. Lepre et al. wrote, “One of these groups could have developed the Acheulian technology but remained in Africa. The other could have lacked the cognitive ability and/or technological knowledge to manufacture the Acheulian technology and did not carry it into Eurasia.” It remains to be seen who will find that story convincing.
Gene flow: Stop the presses! Everything you read up to this point doesn’t matter anymore. A new study by Michael Hammer published in PNAS now asserts that Homo erectus and modern humans interbred. This makes them members of the same species. “We found evidence for hybridization between modern humans and archaic forms in Africa,” Hammer said in PhysOrg. “It looks like our lineage has always exchanged genes with their more morphologically diverged neighbors.” Acknowledging that Neanderthal genes “are not that different from modern humans,” he has now expanded the Homo sapiens gene pool to encompass Homo erectus. And since Homo erectus is nearly indistinguishable from Homo ergaster, according to pro-evolution Wikipedia, those distinctions also collapse. Gene flow between H. sapiens, H. neanderthalensis, H. erectus, H. floresiensis, H. ergaster and possibly others makes the classification arbitrary – distinctions without a real difference.
Searching for genetic tags in a population genetics model, Hammer estimated about two or three percent of archaic DNA remains in the modern human genome. But “that doesn’t mean the interbreeding wasn’t more extensive,” the article said. Hammer remarked, “We think there were probably thousands of interbreeding events. It happened relatively extensively and regularly.” Charles Q. Choi titled his report on Live Science, “Humans Had Sex Regularly With Mysterious Extinct Relatives in Africa.” Since earlier reports found remnants of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA in the human genome, it means all these groups, including Homo erectus, were capable of interbreeding, and thus were members of the same species.
Choi’s article included a quote by Hammer with an ironic Biblical reference: “We need to modify the standard model of human origins in which a single population transitioned to the anatomically modern state in isolation – a garden of Eden somewhere in Africa – and replaced all other archaic forms both within Africa and outside Africa without interbreeding,” he told Live Science. “We now need to consider models in which gene flow occurred over time,” he Babel-ed.
Sleep on it: Incidentally, one anthropologist has taken to the trees to live with the chimpanzees. Trying to figure out what caused our supposed ancestors to come down from the jungle canopy and sleep on the ground, Fiona Stewart climbed up to chimp nests and slept six nights like they do. Live Science told the results; she found it afforded some distance from howling hyenas and some reduction in insect bites, but otherwise was not any more comfortable than sleeping on the ground. But does her adventure “help explain why early humans broke from the chimp tradition of sleeping in trees,” as promised by reporter Stephanie Pappas? Only if one is willing to speculate. Quoting Wiliam McGrew [Cambridge University], she wrote “it has been speculated that our ancestors were able to stay on the ground overnight when they had fire, both because fire is a deterrent for predators and because it also offers heat.” One might wonder why today’s chimps haven’t caught onto that grand idea for six million years.
1. Lepre et al., “An earlier origin for the Acheulian,” Nature 477 (01 September 2011), pages 82–85, doi:10.1038/nature10372.
This is so pathetic it’s funny. What part of the evidence (discounting the evolutionary timeline as “evidence”) fails to fit with Genesis? Put the data into the written account of an original Garden of Eden creation of a single human pair, diversifying till the Flood, then dispersing after Babel, the disparate groups accentuating traits by inbreeding, yet still capable of gene flow as true people, and it fits.
If you carefully subtract all the incestuous evolutionary memes from the Darwinian tale and just look at the evidence, it becomes apparent that people have always been people and animals animals. Only the ideology of Darwin tries to force-fit the data into a progressive upward sequence. It doesn’t work. Over and over it has left the evolutionists mystified. Ann Coulter has aptly dubbed Darwinism a “mystery religion from the Victorian age.” Come out of the cult and be born again.
Reading this makes me think of those cheesy skeletal displays where they place chimpanzee remains next to what appears to be increasingly erect skeletons of apes until we get to man. As a child, a visual depiction like that can be very impacting, but thanks to this wonderful website and the efforts of many other Christians, I look at this now and laugh. Thank you for these wonderful articles that showcase the Truth of Scripture, I look forward to reading each one!
Evolutionary Man- Diverged from Early Man only to become a dead-end.
Perhaps all the evidence, in the fairly complicated, and important, field of inquiry, would be a lot easier to make sense of if Darwinists would stop trying to force fit the evidence into their imagined scenarios. It is hard enough to put a complex jigsaw puzzle together without someone coming along continually trying to rearrange the puzzle pieces.
‘Trying to figure out what caused our supposed ancestors to come down from the jungle canopy and sleep on the ground, Fiona Stewart climbed up to chimp nests and slept six nights like they do.’
– Did she forget she wasn’t a chimp? This is little more than theatrics.
‘Reading this makes me think of those cheesy skeletal displays where they place chimpanzee remains next to what appears to be increasingly erect skeletons of apes until we get to man. As a child, a visual depiction like that can be very impacting…’
– Daniel Wegner in his book ‘White Bears’ talks about how hard it can be to get rid of unwanted thoughts and images. No matter how wrong you know they are, they can seem almost ineradicable. (e.g. claims that a person has done criminal wrong can taint their lives for a lifetime, even when proved false.) He points out that the less a person knows about a subject, the more likely they are to accept any idea about it, even a false one. The opposition to any critique of Darwinism in the schools thus works to keep students ignorant and vulnerable.
– It’s staggering to compare the view of Darwinists today with the view they presented to the public decades and generations ago. We see how very little they knew then, and surely how little they know now. The past will always be mostly hidden by the fog of time. We peer long and hard, but our eyes mist over before we see more than a glimmer or a movement. Paleoanthropology is more philosophical speculation than it is empirical science.