October 6, 2016 | David F. Coppedge

Human Evolution Surprises Continue

The observational environment causes evolutionary theory to adapt.

Neanderthal Smarts

It’s official: Neanderthals had creativity and culture. “Neandertals made jewelry, proteins confirm,” writes Lizzie Wade for Science Magazine. A “landmark study” of old artifacts in France upsets the old myth of stupid Neanderthals.

The “necklaces” are tiny: beads of animal teeth, shells, and ivory no more than a centimeter long. But they provoked an outsized debate that has raged for decades. Found in the Grotte du Renne cave at Arcy-sur-Cure in central France, they accompanied delicate bone tools and were reportedly found in the same layers as fossils from Neandertals. Some archaeologists credited the artifacts, described as part of the so-called Châtelperronian culture, to our archaic cousins. But others argued that Neandertals were incapable of the kind of symbolic expression reflected in jewelry and insisted that modern humans must have been the creators (Science, 20 November 1998, p. 1451).

The historical racism has evolved into a civil rights movement for Neanderthals. One of the critics is learning political correctness. “I think it is quite possible that Neandertals were capable of making and using personal ornaments.” But with all the evolving views on Neanderthals, one thing is constant: a vast space for storytelling.

You can invent all sorts of stories. But the simplest explanation is that this assemblage was made at least in part by Neandertals,” says co-author Jean-Jacques Hublin, a paleoanthropologist at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig. He believes that Neandertals made the artifacts themselves but likely picked up the idea from their new modern human neighbors. But João Zilhão at the University of Barcelona in Spain, who has long argued that Neandertals had sophisticated cognitive abilities, says there’s no evidence that they had any help from the new arrivals. He contends that Neandertals in the Iberian Peninsula made body ornaments from shells as early as 50,000 years ago—thousands of years before modern humans showed up in the region….

Hobbit Trysts

Ancient teeth have been found in the Hobbit cave. Dated by the evolutionists at 46,000 years old, they appear to be from modern humans. Nature claims that this “strengthens the case that humans were responsible for the species’ demise.” If so, it implies that modern humans shared the same general area with the diminutive Homo floresiensis individuals for about 4,000 years, since they were re-dated this year. The initial dates of 12,000 years ago were too incredible for evolutionists, so one of them got the date back to a more Darwin-friendly 50,000 years.

There’s ample room for storytelling in the Ling Bua cave, too. Did the modern humans outcompete the little guys? Why are some teeth modern looking and others considered “primitive”? Chris Stringer can’t even rule out romance.

What we don’t yet know is whether there was at least a short overlap in the populations, thus raising the question once again of the possible role of modern humans in the extinction of floresiensis,” says Chris Stringer, a palaeoanthropologist at the Natural History Museum in London who attended the meeting. If hobbits and humans overlapped, they might even have interbred, Stringer says.

The storytelling is bound to continue.

Think about how ridiculous some of these speculations are. Evolutionists toss around thousands of years as if they are days of the month. If modern humans outcompeted the hobbits, they sure took a long time to do it. Four thousand years? Come on. That’s like thinking that Americans outcompeted ancient Babylonians. And you don’t even want to picture a large modern human male penetrating a little hobbit girl (or vice versa). Look: if they interbred, they were not separate species. Stop the racism. They were all Homo sapiens, the Neanderthals and the hobbitses. All lives matter.


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