Neanderthals Fed and Weaned Their Children Just Like Us

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So many people today think of Neanderthals in the classic evolutionary sense—primitive brutes, grunting to communicate with one another and wielding clumsy stone tools. But that evolutionary depiction—still haunting the general public—is far from the reality that further investigation has uncovered. Ongoing research actually reveals what creationists have predicted: starting with the Bible, we know Neanderthals were humans, like us, from the beginning.

In just the last decade or so, we’ve reported on findings that Neanderthal people made bone instruments, wore jewelry and makeup, heated and organized their homes, had children with modern man, dove for clams and other shellfish, and more. Well here’s a new one to add to the list—Neanderthals started feeding their babies solid food and weaned them at about the same time modern humans do.

A new study of the teeth of three young children revealed that “Neanderthals behaved not so differently from us in raising their children, whose pace of growth was similar to Homo sapiens.” Based on this tooth study, the researchers concluded that Neanderthal infants started eating solid food at about 5–6 months of age, the same age that most children today start snacking on purees and softened whole foods.

One researcher notes,

This work's results imply similar energy demands during early infancy and a close pace of growth between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals. Taken together, these factors possibly suggest that Neanderthal newborns were of similar weight to modern human neonates, pointing to a likely similar gestational history and early-life ontogeny and potentially shorter inter-birth interval.
In other words—they were just like us!

In other words—they were just like us!

The research, particularly on one isotope signature (strontium), indicated that this particular population “spent most of the time close to their home: this reflects a very modern mental template and a likely thoughtful use of local resources.” Again, they weren’t that different from us.

The early evolutionary interpretation of Neanderthals was utterly wrong—yet it was presented as fact in museums, school textbooks, and the media. And their interpretations are still wrong today. These people didn’t live tens of thousands of years ago and they aren’t our evolutionary cousins. They were humans, descended from Adam, and made in God’s image. Neanderthals were our relatives. They simply reflect some of the variation in mankind.

Get More Answers on Answers News

This item was discussed today on Answers News with cohosts Avery Foley, Dr. Gabriela Haynes, and Bryan Osborne. Answers News is our weekly news program filmed live before a studio audience here at the Creation Museum and broadcast on my Facebook page and the Answers in Genesis Facebook page. We also covered the following topics:

  • Scientists discover new salivary glands in the human body.
  • Earliest evidence of mammal social behavior uncovered?
  • Proposed Scottish bill would criminalize “hate speech” . . . even inside homes.
  • And more!

Watch the entire episode of Answers News for November 9, 2020.

Be sure to join us each Monday and Wednesday at 2 p.m. (ET) on my Facebook page or the Answers in Genesis Facebook page for Answers News. You won’t want to miss this unique news program that gives science and culture news from a distinctly biblical and Christian perspective.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

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

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