Author: Ian Taylor
Introduction. The study of early man is known as paleoanthropology and, although scientific techniques are used, this discipline deals with non-repeatable and non-observable events of the past and by definition cannot be considered as a science. The exercise begins by assuming that man evolved from the animal Kingdom then looking for evidence that would confirm it. This is not the scientific method or method of induction. The object is always to find the perfect hominid commonly referred to as ape-man or missing link. This would be marvelous confirmation of the theory of evolution worthy of much kudos. Although there are superficial similarities between the ape and man, the differences are actually much greater. The ape has a cranial capacity of about 500 cc whereas the man has about 1450cc; the ape has large canine incisors and a U-shaped dental arcade, man has small incisors with no diastema and a parabola-shaped dental arcade. The ape has 48 chromosomes, man has 46; the ape has a bacculun, man does not, etc. Fossil bones that appear human or near human are not common and are almost always found as small pieces which must be reassembled. The distribution in terms of parts found are: teeth 100, jaws 22, femurs 11, tibias 6 and any other bones have a smaller number. Complete skeletons are very seldom found.
Neandertal Man. This fossil was discovered in a cave in the Neander Valley near Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1857. Only the skullcap and a few limb bones survived but the skull showed a large superorbital torus (eyebrow ridge) and an occipital bun (lump at the back of the head). Over 60 similar skulls with some leg bones have been found since that time and reconstructions have always depicted these individuals as naked, hairy, brutish figures, stooped over and living in caves. The reproduction in each case tries to produce a creature mid-way between the ape and man but if this was true the cranial capacity should be about 900 cc, just mid-way. In fact, the complete skulls have a capacity of about 1600 cc, significantly larger than that of the average man today! In 1872 the great German anatomist, Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902), had the opportunity to study the bones of the 1857 Neandertal Man and stated that this middle-aged man had a pathological condition caused by rickets or arthritis. Virchow was not believed at the time but in 1957 was proven correct by modern anatomists in London. A new view of Neandertal Man began to emerge: today he is classified Homo sapiens neandertalensis and it is acknowledged that if given a bath and put in modern clothes he would appear perfectly human. Some investigators have claimed that Neandertal Man may have been an outcast of society, living in caves and suffering from rickets (caused by lack of sunlight, vitamin D deficiency). He was certainly true man, cared for the aged and infirm and buried his dead with religious ritual, a positive indication of being truly human. In September 1997, following the analysis of DNA extracted from ancient, non-mineralized bones, the claim was made that Neandertal DNA differed significantly from modern human DNA. This would effectively shift Neandertal Man back into the ape-man category. This work has, however, been vigorously contested. In February 1999 fossil evidence was reported which showed that Neandertal Man and Cro-Magnon Man had lived together and had produced off-spring thus showing them to be the same species.
Java Man. Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), professor of zoology at Jena University, Germany, taught his students that the most sought after prize would be the definitive evidence of the transition between ape and man and he suggested that such a discovery might be made in Java. Haeckel had a painting made of such an ape-man and named it Pithecanthropus alalus (speechless ape-man). A Dutch student, Eugene Dubois (1858-1940), graduated in anatomy and served as military surgeon in Java; during 1891 to 1892 his workers discovered a skullcap, a femur and two teeth in the bank of the Solo River. Over 10,000 cubic meters of soil were sifted. He claimed this to be the much sought-after missing link and called it Pithecanthropus erectus; it has since been reclassified as Homo erectus. In 1920 Dubois, now at 62, confessed that 30 years earlier he had found three perfect human skulls, the Wadjak skulls, in the same stratum but had hidden them because these were damaging counter evidence to his P. erectus. No one seemed to want to know about this. In 1935 he publicly confessed that the skullcap was actually that of a large gibbon but no one wanted to know about this either. To this day, Java Man can still be found in museum exhibits and textbooks.
Cro-Magnon Man. The word “Cro-Magnon” means “big hole” in the local dialect of Les Eyzies in the Dordogne area of SW France. First discovered in 1868, a number of complete skeletons of Cro-Magnon Man have been found but they have always been regarded as truly human and not ape-man. They were well over six feet tall and had a cranial volume slightly larger than man today. They were accomplished artists as indicated by their paintings on the walls of caves at Lascaux in southern France and Altamira, Spain. They were evidently contemporaneous with many of the extinct mammals such as the woolly mammoth and this is what prevented the public from visiting the caves for a very long time. The paleoanthropologists had to juggle with the figures in order to overlap the dates of intelligent man and the extinction of “prehistoric beast.” We can be sure that had it not been for the evidence of Cro-Magnon Man we would have been told that the woolly mammoth became extinct millions of years ago instead of 10,000. Even then there is evidence that the mammoths were still alive in North America at the beginning of the last century. One final item concerns the etchings found on the cave walls at La Marche, central France (1937) and at Minateda, Spain (1915). These have been authenticated and show Cro-Magnon men with clipped beards while the women have dresses and hair styles; quite possibly, the caves were not dwelling places but simply used for ritualistic purposes; the Cro-Magnons are acknowledged to be true Homo sapiens.
Piltdown Man. The discoveries of so-called ape-men during the 19th century in Europe may have left the British feeling that they had no ancestors of their own. Between 1908 and 1912 a series of discoveries were made at a gravel pit in Piltdown, a village just south of London and not far from Charles Darwin’s home. Parts of a human skull together with most of the jaw and teeth of an ape had been stained to look aged and placed in the Piltdown gravels known to be frequented by Charles Dawson, an avid fossil hunter. Sure enough, the precious parts found their way to a team of Britain’s most distinguished experts. In 1912 they declared this to be Eoanthropus dawsoni, later known popularly as Piltdown Man. It was a diabolically clever forgery, the condyles were missing so fitting the jaw to the skull had to be by guesswork. The skull had pieces missing so the capacity of the reconstruction was again by guesswork. The canine teeth were filed to make them closer to human teeth but the file marks were evident. a fact pointed out by a dental anatomist in 1916 but ignored by the experts who were later knighted and became Sir Arthur Keith, Sir Arthur Woodward and Sir Grafton Elliot Smith. In 1953 during some routine fluorine tests it became evident that the bones were quite recent and the hoax was exposed but by this time most of the principal characters were dead.
Peking Man. The Chinese drug stores in Peking (Now Beijing) and even in downtown Toronto, sell “dragon bones” (often fossil dinosaur bones) that are used in a decoction to cure insomnia. In the early 1920’s a human-like tooth was discovered in a draw full of these fossils and thus began a hunt for the elusive ape-man at Chou K’ou Tien, the source of all “dragon bones” in that area. The Canadian physician, Davidson Black, was the first to arrive and in 1927, just as the finances for the operation were running out, he unearthed a tooth. He claimed this as Sinanthropus pekinensis and effectively used it as leverage to pry loose more funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. Hundreds of workers were employed and after two years of digging an incomplete skull was freed from the surrounding rock. This was the prize and became the S. pekinensis shown in reconstruction in every museum and textbook. In 1934 Black died aged 49 and the work was taken over by Franz Weidenreich who renamed the precious tooth Gigantopithecus blacki in memory of Black. Weidenreich’s reconstruction of the skulls claimed it had a capacity of 1000 cc, just midway between ape and man, but almost every other expert has since considered it to be smaller and relegated it to that of an ape. Textbooks never reveal the actual size by scale or comparison but it was, in fact, about the size of a large orange. Unfortunately, this partial skull and a series of fourteen others represented by pieces together with some jaw bones and teeth all disappeared during World War II. Text books usually refer to “traces of fire” found at the site indicating man’s first use of fire but the facts are “traces” turn out to be a furnace seven meters deep together with stone tools indicating an extensive human “industry.” The honest conclusion drawn from all the facts in this tangled web is that Peking Man was nothing more than the remains of ape skulls from which the brains had been extracted by human activity. It has been reclassified as Homo erectus.
Nebraska Man. In 1922 Harold Cook discovered a single tooth in a river bed in Nebraska. Henry Fairfield Osborn, head of the American Museum of Natural History, declared it to be from a pithecanthropoid and named it Hesperopithecus harold cooki, thus America now had their own ape-man. England’s prestigious Illustrated London News having a worldwide distribution, published a full reconstruction of the ape-man and his wife based upon this tooth. The ACLU was prepared to use this tooth as prime evidence in the famous Scopes trial in July 1925. By 1928 it was discovered that the tooth actually belonged to an extinct peccary or pig. This embarrassment was compounded in 1972 when living herds of this same pig (Catagonus wagneri) were discovered in Paraguay and thus it was not even extinct!
Nutcracker Man. In 1959 Louis Leakey, the father of Richard Leakey, discovered the skull of an ape-like creature in the lowest level (Bed I) of the Olduvai Gorge, East Africa; he named it Zinjanthropus boisei. Charles Boise was the American who had funded the work. The news media dubbed it “Nutcracker Man” because of its large jaw. Some crude stone tools were found at the same site which led Leakey to believe this was the coveted ape-man who walked upright. He claimed a date of 600,000 years but in 1961 potassium-argon dating gave an age of 1.75 million years making it by far the oldest hominoid fossil to be discovered. This nicely served to extract further funding from the National Geographic Society. Not reported was the fact that Hans Reck, a German anthropologist, had found a perfectly normal and complete human skeleton in Bed II just above the Z. boisei in 1913. Louis Leakey had been to examine this skeleton in the Munich museum and was fully aware of it. Carbon 14 tests later showed that Reck’s skull dated at 16,920 years – a far cry from 1.74 million years! In his old age Leakey retracted his claim that Nutcracker Man resembled modern man and conceded that it was only an Australopithecine or extinct ape. This is the general opinion today.
Handy Man. Leakey’s retraction in 1964 was made easier by the fact that another skull had turned up in Bed I which was far more human-looking. Some nearby stone tools and hand bones, which later turned out to be vertebral fragments, caused him to name it Homo habilis meaning “handy man.” Of course, it was still dated at 1.75 million years. Since Louis Leakey’s death in 1972 the limb bones have been discovered that clearly have apelike proportions and it has been classified as an Australopithecine or extinct ape.
1470 Man. Discovered in 1972 at Lake Rudolf, East Africa, by Richard Leakey, this fossil skull was fractured in thousands of pieces but when reconstructed it looked very human. The associated rock dated at 2.6 million years making it the oldest human remains on record. Others contested this age but further dating gave ages from 290,000 years to 19.5 million years. Today, it is said to be 1.8 million years and classified by all as an Australopithecine. Richard Leakey is still convinced that both Handy Man and 1470 Man are the long sought for missing links.
Lucy. The American paleoanthropologist, Donald Johanson, discovered this prize near the Omo River in southern Ethiopia in 1974 but waited until a more propitious time for its announcement at the Nobel Symposium on Early Man in 1978. The time and place for announcement is most important for funding. The hominid skeleton is 120 centimeters tall (4 feet) and 40% complete with the jaw but no cranium, hands or feet. Dating of the associated rock by the potassium-argon method gave 3.1 to 5.3 million years. On the basis of the knee joint, Johanson maintained that the creature walked upright and thus claims it as missing link status. However, his admission in 1986 that “the knee-joint was found 60 or 70 meters lower in the strata and two to three kilometers away [from the other parts of the skeleton]” leaves one wondering how he can be so sure they are all from the same creature? Others have pointed out that the skeleton is virtually the same as the pygmy chimpanzee. It has been classified as Australopithecus afarensis.
Ramapithecus punjabicus. Discovered in Northern India in 1932 by student Edward Lewis, this consisted merely of a single fragment of upper jaw. Since that time almost fifty other jaw fragments have been found from Hungary and Greece, Turkey and Pakistan. The parabolic curvature of this jaw gave it human status but the dentition gave it ape status thus it was a good candidate for a missing link. However, it has since been found that not only were the fragments pieced together incorrectly but the small galada baboon (Theropithecus) has a parabolic dental arcade the same as man. Gigantopithecus blacki was undoubtedly an ape with a similar dental arcade to the galada baboon.
Other Claimants. There are a number of other claimants for the missing link such as Rhodesian Man, sometimes called Broken Hill Man (Homo rhodensiensis), the Taung Child sometimes called “Dart’s child” (Australopithecus africanus) and the Galley Hill Man. However, these are seldom mentioned today. There is also the Guadeloupe Woman and the Calaveras Skull. These were formally reported, solidly supported the creation position but naturally were never appeared in the popular press. In 1996 the bones of Kennewick Man alleged to be 9,300 years old were discovered in the banks of the Columbia River in the State of Washington. The situation is wreathed in controversy as the Northwest Pacific Native Americans claim it is a relatively recent ancestor!
Modern names. The proliferation of names with each discovery brought about a revision in classification and today there are simply three categories:
Australopithecines. This category is reserved for those with a cranial capacity of 750 cc or less and are claimed to have been extant about 3 million years ago. The A. Robustus and A. gracile are simply the male and female versions. Members of this entire category are true but extinct apes.
Pithecanthropines also called Homo erectus are reserved for cranial capacities between 900 and 1225 cc and are said to have been extant 500,000 years ago. Evolutionists claim this category to be missing links although every case is wreathed in controversy.
Homo sapiens. This category is for cranial capacities of 1450 cc or more and is for true man for the last 20,000 years.
Promotion of man’s ape ancestry. Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling painted in 1502 depicts the creation of man by the finger of God infusing a soul into a living anthropoid. The chimp’s tea party on Sunday afternoon at the zoo was very successful in the last century. The ranked row of ape to man skeletons promoted from the time of T.H. Huxley has always been popular and examples will be found in every museum today. Exhibitions of very hairy people (Hypertrichosis) or photographs of those with a human “tail” (caudal appendage) are quite convincing. The August 1972 National Geographic promotion of the “Stone-Age swindle.” It was claimed that twenty-four naked, cave-dwelling, stone-age men, women and children were discovered in a remote cave in the forests of the Philippine Island of Mindanao apparently living proof that Darwin was right. In April of 1986 the entire story was exposed as a hoax that had fooled several major newspapers and the National Geographic. Certain members of the Tasaday tribe living in a nearby village had been forced to act as cavemen by Elizalde, a Marcos government official, who wanted to make sure that the forest would be protected from all commercial interests except his own! Elizalde fled at the collapse of the Marcos government but that did not stop the so-called “cave-men” from taking him to court. It seems they had evolved into the twentieth century man rather quickly!
Conclusion: Scripture makes it clear that Adam was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and it must surely be nothing less than blasphemy to depict early man as a brutish figure. Scripture also points out that Adam was created from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7) not from the animal Kingdom. Moreover, Eve was made from the side of Adam (Genesis 2:21-22). Both of these scriptures must be completely denied by those who subscribe to theistic evolution. 1 Corinthians 15:39 tell us that that there is one kind of flesh for men and another kind of flesh for animals. Finally, if “formed from the dust” (Genesis 2:7) is interpreted to mean “evolved from the animal Kingdom” then by that same argument, “return to the dust” in Genesis 3:19 must mean that we should return to the animal Kingdom! Clearly nonsense.
Photo: Neandertal skull. Courtesy of Luna04. Licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.
Ian Taylor, Creation Moments, PO Box 839, Foley, MN 56329 800-422-4253 www.creationmoments.com