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.