What Does It Mean to Classify a Fossil as Homo?

by Ken Ham

Do you realize that Homo means different things to different scientists? When an evolutionist classifies a fossil as Homo, he does not mean the same thing a Bible-believing scientist does.

There has already been a lot of buzz on evolutionists’ websites and blogs mocking our assessment that the published evidence does not support a Homo designation for Homo naledi. Ignoring how much evolutionary scientists disagree among themselves, some make much of disagreement among creationists about Homo naledi’s identity. One in particular, in “Bones of Contention: How Will Creationists Respond To A Huge New Hominid Fossil Find?,”predicted responses based on our stated worldview and those of some others.

What the author does not mention, however, is that—knowing the Bible-rejecting worldview of evolutionary scientists—we could as easily have predicted evolutionists’ responses to the discovery. You see, the evidence cannot speak for itself. It must be interpreted. And the worldview of the scientists looking at the evidence limits and determines how they will see it. Evolutionists are trying to figure out if these fossils are human enough for them to jump on the Homo bandwagon because their worldview demands the existence of intermediate forms.

The evolutionists’ presupposition that human evolution occurred as a continuum through various intermediate forms means that they believe intermediate forms must have existed and need to find them. What those fossils are named depends on whether they have a preponderance of more human-like or more ape-like characteristics.

What some people don't get is that it's very easy for an evolutionist to slip something into the Homo category! That's what they all want to do, and their qualifications for that designation are much easier than ours must be necessarily.

They are naming these things according to their place on an evolutionary continuum they sincerely believe gave rise to us. Their worldview demands they superimpose their evolutionary beliefs on the fossils they see, for they must have a way to explain human origins through naturalistic processes.

We on the other hand know from God’s authoritative Word that humans and animals (like apes) were specially created by God at the same time without evolution. And biological science affirms God’s Word by failing to reveal any mechanism by which one kind of creature can evolve into a different and more complex one.

Therefore creation scientists, studying descriptions that typically say how each bone differs from the corresponding bone in an extinct ape and a modern or archaic human, try to see past author biases to the actual data. We have to determine, as much as we can, whether the data is more consistent with fully human or fully non-human individuals.

Bible-believers know there can be no in-betweens. Given the fragmentary nature of the evidence and the fact that the only data we have to go on are the published descriptions written by those who believe there must be in-betweens, some creationists, as the article mentions, will have different opinions about this.

We need to remember, however, that when a Bible-believer classifies something as Homo, he must necessarily mean a fully human individual. And when an evolutionist—whether an atheist or a Christian who has tried to twist God’s Word to accommodate man’s fallible evolutionary ideas—classifies a fossil as Homo, he only means something far enough on the road to becoming human to make the cut.

Unlike the evolutionists, we don’t have the luxury of picking a point on an evolutionary continuum because from God’s Word we know one never existed.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

*This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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