How should the Neanderthals be classified? For a long time these so-called “human cousins” have remained a distinct species in our classification system, bearing the name Homo neanderthalensis and, along with that name, the characterization of a dumb, brutish creature. That’s how they were pictured in secular museums I visited as a teenager. But is that picture changing?
As we’ve pointed out many times at Answers in Genesis, that common perception of Neanderthals does not match with either biblical truth or the scientific evidence. Consider this quote from a recent popular science article.
Stoop-backed, heavy-browed, communicating in ape-like grunts, impressions of the Neanderthal as a simple-minded brute a few steps below modern humans on the evolutionary ladder have endured since their discovery in the mid-19th century.
In spite of the myriad of findings detailing their genetic and cultural similarities, our long-extinct ‘cousins’ are still all too often exiled into their own species, Homo neanderthalensis.
Neanderthals just represent variation within the human kind . . . exactly what we’d expect starting with God’s Word!
As the article goes on to point out, the archaeological evidence for Neanderthals doesn’t support this view. Rather, it shows Neanderthals wore makeup and jewelry, made weapons and musical instruments, used fire, organized their cave homes, practiced dental hygiene, and maybe even had a knowledge of chemistry in making adhesives! The view of Neanderthals (even among evolutionists) is changing so much that one expert says, “More than different species, I would speak of different human forms.” In other words, Neanderthals just represent variation within the human kind . . . exactly what we’d expect starting with God’s Word!
As I’ve said for years, Neanderthals weren’t subhuman or even our “cousins.” They were people, made in God’s image, descended from Adam and Eve, just as we are. Living in the harsh world after the flood, they made use of caves for shelter, eking out a living in the cold world of the ice age (caused by the flood). Their slight anatomical and genetic variations simply highlight variety (diversity) within humans. So that article on Neanderthals I mentioned above is completely right when it ends with,
Still, as more sibling than cousin, it seems the poor old Neanderthal deserves to sit right by our side in the Homo sapien family portrait.
Neanderthals were indeed our “siblings”—relatives of ours with the same ancestors, Noah and his family and Adam and Eve.
This item was discussed today on Answers News with cohosts Roger Patterson, Dr. Georgia Purdom, and Rob Webb. Answers News is our weekly news program filmed live before a studio audience here at the Creation Museum, broadcast on our Answers in Genesis YouTube channel, and posted to Answers TV. We also covered the following topics:
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
Scientists working in Mongolia at the Barun Goyot Formation uncovered an unusual fossil—a nearly complete skeleton of a creature curled up like a bird.
The first line of a recent news article stated, “A new study argues that a real-life ‘Jurassic World’ could currently exist, just on another planet.”