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Biblical authority, Creation/Evolution, science

How do Neanderthals fit into a Biblical worldview?

neanderthal

Visit any major secular museum and you will see it:  a line-up in order of remains showing the progression from primates to humans.  There have obviously been some fossils found depicting human-like creatures that do not fit what we observe as human today.  Evolutionists have used these finds to back up their hypothesis that all creatures can be traced back through a series of common ancestors.  The lineup looks impressive.  Can Biblical creationists explain different looking hominids and stay consistent with their young-earth perspective?  Absolutely!  In fact, we would expect it.  Perhaps you may even go to the lengths of calling it a prediction of Biblical creation.  Let me explain…

Creationists would agree that there is a transition between different versions of humans.  In fact we see three very different periods in the world:  the pre-flood world, the post-flood/ice age world, and the modern era.  There is little we know about the way the world worked before the flood.  We can safely assume it operated much differently.  Humans lived upwards of 900 years.  There is also biblical evidence that the rain cycle worked differently as well.   We would also expect the environment to be much different since a massive deluge had not yet scarred the land and atmosphere.

Just as bears have diverged into different types based on their environment (polar bears vs. grizzly vs. brown, etc), we would expect humans to do the same.  If humans lived upwards of 900 years before the flood – what might that have done to their skeletal frame?  Could brow and jaw bones have grown much fuller?  How about after the flood?  After the flood, creationists believe that the land would not have been very habitable for a long time including the ice age which would have likely pushed people into caves.  What would this different environment do to the body?

Neanderthals obviously look much different than modern humans, but that no more proves an evolutionary line than it shows what we would expect the human body to go through under different worldly conditions.  This exposes the evolutionary assumption that the world has always operated the same way as we observe it today.  The Bible describes a much different history that we have to take into account when we study the evidence.  When we look at the evidence through that history, we can see that Neanderthals (and other human transitions) falls perfectly in line with what we would expect if the events of the Bible truly happened.

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About Tim

http://www.gracewithsalt.com

Discussion

11 thoughts on “How do Neanderthals fit into a Biblical worldview?

  1. Further confirmation that when you start with the Bible when trying to do ‘science’, all you come up with is baseless, far-fetched speculations that fail miserably to explain the past compared to the much more sophisticated hypotheses of genuine science.
    “This exposes the evolutionary assumption that the world has always operated the same way as we observe it today”. WHAT does?
    You also appear out of step with mainstream young earth creationists (and some ID proponents). http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=41674
    Do you believe that Neanderthals were misidentified Homo sapiens or do you accept that they were probably a different species? They of course almost certainly went extinct before Judaism or Christianity, and the Bible, ever existed.
    You appear to state that Neanderthals only lived before the ‘Flood’. Georgia Purdom by contrast speculates wildly that they radiated out from Babel after said Flood. It looks like you need to sort this out between yourselves – which version is the LEAST implausible?
    Just trying to insist (assuming it even happened and it did not in the biblical and ‘recent’ sense) that the pre-Flood world “operated much differently” is NOT science in the slightest. It is religious Special Pleading (which adds to what Genesis actually says too, other than the ‘900 year lifesspan’ stuff).
    Do you truly believe what you have written in your final sentence? Where does the Bible imply ‘human transitions’ (morphological or genetic) as you describe them. I suggest that all these transitions fall perfectly in line with is either and evolutionary history or YOUR baseless speculations because you try to do alternative ‘science’ starting with Genesis – and not what the vast majority of people would expect if they read the Bible and took Genesis as real history.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | December 19, 2013, 9:46 pm
    • I believe that neanderthals is a name we put on earlier incarnations of humans. Just as a polar bear is still a bear, neanderthals are still human. I never stated neanderthals lived only before the flood. I would probably assume that Noah was a neanderthal.

      You say I have “baseless speculations” with the way I look at things… yet I think the same thing about your side. Your statement is pointless.

      Posted by Tim | December 19, 2013, 9:51 pm
  2. Sorry – for “and evolutionary history” please read “an evolutionary history”.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | December 19, 2013, 9:51 pm
  3. The two species of bear are just that – two species.

    Just saying my statement is ‘pointless’ does not make it so. Whereas I have shown that you indulge in baseless speculations that do not explain anything.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | December 19, 2013, 9:55 pm
  4. The fossil record goes back 4.3 billion years. The last time the earth’s magnetic poles reversed was about 780,000 years ago. Magnetic pole reversals (which are recorded in the magnetic minerals of volcanic rocks) occur on average once every half million years or so. This is a chart showing the reversals over the past 170 million years:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c0/Geomagnetic_polarity_0-169_Ma.svg

    At the lowest point on the chart reptiles existed, but not mammals.

    This is the time scale we find in geology, physics and paleontology. You can try to cram it all into a few thousand years of history if you like, but imagining 4 and a half billion years of events happening in so short a time is dizzying and just plain silly to me. There are craters on earth over a hundred miles wide from devestating meteor impacts that couldn’t have possibly happened recently. The kinds of impacts that would end human civilization and be accompanied by devastation that would still be around today. And that the properties of the universe and things like erosion have been constant throughout known time is not an assumption, let alone an “evolutionary” one, it is extremely well testable. Millions of things must be true if that is the case, from the radiation emitted by distant stars to the contours of river valleys and the shapes of mountains etc.

    Posted by agnophilo | December 19, 2013, 11:28 pm
  5. The big problem with all of this is the difficulty with timing. It seems to me that the big first step in vindicating any of your explanations for how Neanderthals came to be would be to identify when they lived. Are they 900 year old people living before the flood; or post-flood survivors huddled in caves? Or something else entirely?

    So how could we identify when Neanderthals lived?

    Posted by Adam Benton | January 21, 2014, 3:06 pm
    • Why does it matter when they lived? The point of this blog post is that neanderthals (humans that look different than what we observe today) is 100% compatible with a biblical YEC worldview.

      Posted by Tim | January 23, 2014, 2:48 pm
      • Well I think curiosity is a good reason to try figure this out; but if you want a better one then perhaps the fact you said we might expect to find Neanderthals given the Biblical account. To identify if the Neanderthals are consistent with your expectations then surely we need to test to see if they match either one. Identifying long ago they lived seemed like a good way of doing that, but if you have a better test I am all ears.

        Posted by Adam Benton | January 30, 2014, 10:39 am

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  1. Pingback: Neanderthals were just really old people: disproven | EvoAnth - May 19, 2014

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