Neanderthal Genes: Evolutionists Surprised at How Wrong They Were
A substantial amount of Neanderthal genes in a modern human skeleton is not what they had predicted.
The headline reads: “Early modern humans interbred with Neanderthals: An early European had a close Neanderthal ancestor.” DNA from a jawbone discovered in a Romanian cave has been sequenced. Finding 8 to 11 percent of Neanderthal DNA in this individual’s genome means that it had a Neanderthal ancestor as near as its great-great-grandparent. This strengthens the case that Neanderthals and modern humans are members of the same species. They produced fertile offspring, not sterile hybrids. Evidence for interbreeding between the two human “species” (Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis) now comes from a wide area stretching from western Siberia to Romania.
Here are some reactions from evolutionary anthropologists, as reported in the secular media:
- “I could hardly believe it when we first saw the results” — Svante Pääbo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology who led the study. (Science Daily)
- “The data from the jawbone imply that humans mixed with Neanderthals not just in the Middle East but in Europe as well.” (Ibid.)
- “It’s an incredibly unexpected thing,” said Prof David Reich, a co-author of the paper from the Harvard Medical School. (BBC News)
- The large spans of Neanderthal-like segments in Oase 1’s genome indicate that one of his human ancestors interbred with a Neanderthal less than 200 years before he lived. (Live Science)
- In the past decade, the analysis of ancient DNA from fossil skeletons of anatomically modern humans has revealed a startling fact: some of our direct ancestors had sex with Neanderthals, producing fertile offspring. Prior to these genetic revelations, anthropological researchers were divided between those who firmly believed that such unions either did not occur, or that they could not have yielded sexually fertile offspring, because the differences between early modern humans and Neanderthal genomes would have been too great. (Scott Armstrong Elias in The Conversation)
These reactions show: (1) earlier evolutionary thinking about Neanderthals was wrong; (2) the data were not predicted; (3) the results were surprising and startling—even unbelievable. In science that usually amounts to falsification.
Reconstructing the Unseen Indirectly
This is not the only problem in paleoanthropology. PNAS just published a report stating that “Despite its importance for understanding genetic, cultural, and linguistic evolution, prehistoric human population history has remained difficult to reconstruct.” A new look at climate proxies for the assumed “last glacial maximum” (LGM) shows errors in previous models: “Although climate has been an important determinant of human population dynamics, the climatic conditions during the last glacial were not as harsh as is often presented, because even during the coldest phases, the climatically suitable area for humans covered 36% of Europe.” Creation scientists believe in a single Ice Age, when climate took a few centuries to stabilize after the Flood.
Embarrassing Confessions from an Insider
One of the leading evolutionary paleoanthropologists just wrote a shocking tell-all about his field. Ian Tattersall’s new book, The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack: And Other Cautionary Tales from Human Evolution (2015), was reviewed in Nature under the headline, “Human evolution: How we misread our own story.” Tattersall reveals some of the egregious missteps in the history of evolutionary anthropology, from Piltdown Man to the present. This gives little confidence in the current batch of experts. The book “is an interesting critical evaluation of how palaeoanthropology has developed,” William Davies writes in his review. “Rivalries between teams are delineated and used to explain how we know what we know.” If so much previous teaching has been demolished, can we trust what we are being told now? “Many new hominin species have been identified in recent years, but it is not yet clear how they are related to us.” As usual, “more work is needed,” he ends.
Science Magazine‘s review is similarly pessimistic. Erika Lorraine Milam begins with an interesting thought experiment:
What would happen if, tomorrow, scientists were to rediscover the entire hominid fossil record, without any preconceptions inherited from the last century? According to Ian Tattersall, curator emeritus of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), the resulting picture of human evolution would differ dramatically from that bequeathed to today’s paleontologists by their predecessors. In The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack, he traces the contingencies, false starts, and diversity of opinions that have characterized the intellectual history of paleoanthropology from Darwin to today.
She just said that the false starts and disagreements continue right to the present. It would be possible, given this confession, to start a completely different story if the data were considered objectively from scratch. “History, Tattersall reminds us, defines who we think we are,” she concludes. “In his retelling, this rings true both for the scientific debates and convergences that comprise his narrative and for the long, complex history of hominids that paleoanthropologists are still piecing together.” One can only imagine how the smattering of bones and skulls would be interpreted without the assumption of millions of years.
Now that the evolutionary anthropologists have been wrong about Neanderthals for over a century (5/08/10, 9/23/08), what should be done? Fire them. Repudiate them. Stop listening to them. Laugh at them. Then censure them for historical revisionism and racism (5/06/14). The DNA doesn’t fit their evolutionary story. It couldn’t, because it’s only a few thousand years old. The only way to say it’s older is to assume evolution. But if the evolutionists are already untrustworthy and wrong, their assumptions about DNA survivability should be tossed out with them. Their whole timeline and evolutionary saga is made up! We don’t need just “cautionary tales.” Fire the storytellers!
If they want to keep their jobs, we could offer them the option of using their training and skills to interpret their finds within the framework that fits the evidence: creation.