Neandertals

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    IBANEZ

    his existence is proven but it does not
    fit together with what the bible tells us.
    his existence seems to prove the evolution-theory, this is the only way to interpret
    the existence of this life form.
    what do you think ?
    atheists can easily confuse any christian
    with this argument, me too.
    and i feel doubts....help me !
     
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    HELEN

    Hi Ibanez!
    Neandertals were as fully human as you or I are.

    However, in the interests of evolutionary interpretation, here is the
    following:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,2-115198,00.html
    MONDAY APRIL 16 2001 Redheads 'are Neanderthal' BY A CORRESPONDENT RED
    hair may be the genetic legacy of Neanderthals, scientists believe.
    Researchers at the John Radcliffe Institute of Molecular Medicine in
    Oxford say that the so-called "ginger gene" which gives people red hair,
    fair skin and freckles could be up to 100,000 years old. They claim that
    their discovery points to the gene having originated in Neanderthal man
    who lived in Europe for 200,000 years before Homo sapien settlers, the
    ancestors of modern man, arrived from Africa about 40,000 years ago.
    Rosalind Harding, the research team leader, said: "The gene is certainly
    older than 50,000 years and it could be as old as 100,000 years. "An
    explanation is that it comes from Neanderthals." It is estimated that at
    least 10 per cent of Scots have red hair and a further 40 per cent carry
    the gene responsible, which could account for their once fearsome
    reputation as fighters. Neanderthals have been characterised as migrant
    hunters and violent cannibals who probably ate most of their meat raw.
    They were taller and stockier than Homo sapiens, but with shorter limbs,
    bigger faces and noses, receding chins and low foreheads. The two
    species overlapped for a period of time and the Oxford research appears
    to suggests that they must have successfully interbred for the "ginger
    gene" to survive. Neanderthals became extinct about 28,000 years ago,
    the last dying out in southern Spain and southwest France.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    As a creationist, I do find myself laughing a bit at some of the above.
    In Israel we have Neandertals and modern humans buried quite close to
    each other. And I have no doubt there was interbreeding.

    Today, if you look around you, you will find that we tend to associate
    various characteristics with various peoples. Very tall and black?
    Zulu. Small boned, sallow skin, almond eyes? Chinese. No they are not
    all like that, but we associate that set of characteristics with each of
    them for a reason! And yet there is no genetic reason at all why a Zulu
    could not marry a Chinese, is there? What we class as Neandertal was a
    group of people who had a ‘typical’ bone structure and height. The idea
    that they were cannibals, or ate their meat raw, or any other ridiculous
    thing is pure fantasy. We don’t know if they were fierce or gentle!

    Here are some interesting references and discussions regarding
    Neandertals that might interest you:
    http://www.calvin.edu/archive/asa/200101/0153.html http://www.glenn.morton.btinternet.co.uk/mining.htm
    both of the above are from a man who is NOT a creationist!
    http://www.jezuici.krakow.pl/sj/lenart/pal01/


    An email, over a year ago, from Royal Truman, a chemist, had this to say
    about Neandertals:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> The "stu.pid, ape-like Neandertal" stereotype got started thanks
    to a bone-disease the first specimen found last century had. The newer
    view is that they had musical talents, built tools and sophisticated
    weapons, appreciated art and had an understanding of the Divine. This is
    based on remains found buried with them.

    The question which arises is where does the Christian community put them
    with respect to the biblical creation report. One view is that they were
    a non-human race without souls which preceded the Adamic. The other is
    that they are a post-Flood portion of the human race, living under
    ice-age conditions.

    A scientifically meaningful molecular study would involve as an absolute
    minimum multiple specimens of both Neandertal and homo sapiens sapiens
    from the same apparent time period, using the same, non "hot spot"
    portions of mtDNA. A key consideration is how one would build the
    typical, or reference sequence: with ALL members, or only using members
    of one of the sub-populations, as was done in the Nature report. (If I
    measure the height of 100 adult males, and DEFINE this probability
    distribution as that of HUMAN, then one or more female specimens are
    less likely to be defined as human also, than had the original
    distribution been defined using male AND female members).

    A quick check to test our ideas would involve using some modern, living
    specimens of several small, human, isolated sub-populations, preferably
    which have undergone a genetic bottle-neck at some point in the past,
    and compare the mtDNA of many members with the over-all world
    population. "Stone-age" tribes in the Amazons or Papua New Guinea would
    be candidates. We just might find that some of these genetically
    isolated sub-populations of the same race are also very far from the
    world-wide average, saving us a lot of unnecessary and ambiguous work
    using ancient, chemically decomposed molecules.

    If one of the clearly human mothers with far from the reference mtDNA
    sequence today (and many are further removed from the average than that
    single Neandertal specimen) were to produce offspring which become
    genetically isolated (geographically, etc) then sub-groups which appear
    unusual can certainly be
    produced, and very quickly.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    This past summer I was able to attend a conference in Ohio where Dr.
    David DeWitt, a biologist from Liberty University gave a presentation on
    Neandertal –modern human comparisons. In checking the DNA comparisons,
    he found something interesting. He found that the vast majority of the
    differences which were used to claim Neandertals were not related to
    modern humans were differences which occurred in what are called ‘hot
    spots’ in the genetic material. Hot spots are those areas known to
    mutate more quickly, and they often mutate in a back and forth manner
    (called mutating and back-mutating). When Dave removed these hot spots
    from the analysis, there was no doubt at all that Neandertals were fully
    human as you and I know human.
     
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    RADIOCHEMIST

    Many christians accept both God and the evolution of man. These
    two things are not mutually exclusive. I went to college in the
    south, at a school supported by the Churches of Christ, which
    is a sect somewhat like the Baptists. 30 years ago, the
    biology department at that school did not accept evolution. But
    now the biology department of most colleges supported by that
    denomination teach evolution. They seem to have made the change
    without much pain and no controversy.

    Not only does the existence of Neanderthals support the evolution
    of man, but so also does the existence of several other varieties
    of human like creatures, such as homo erectus. Science has a
    reasonably good explanation for these creatures, and it involves
    evolution, naturally. Creationists though, do not have anywhere
    near a plausible explanation and not a single person in the
    creationist camp is doing research on these fossils.
     
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    MARC BATES

    his existence is proven but it does not
    fit together with what the bible tells us.
    his existence seems to prove the evolution-theory, this is the only way to interpret
    the existence of this life form.
    what do you think ?
    atheists can easily confuse any christian
    with this argument, me too.
    and i feel doubts....help me ! “


    Why does it not fit into what the Bible tells us? Neanderthal was a human being.

    The latest trend is to look for mtDNA, which is not the same as nuclear DNA. The first problem is that DNA (mtDNA) should not survive intact over the ages given for Neanderthal ages, yet they found mtDNA to test. What did they find? Neanderthal mtDNA sequences were different from modern Homo sapiens. But by how much? They ranged from 22 to 36 with the average being 27 ± 2.2 sequences. But modern humans show variation of 1 to 24 with the average being 8 ± 3.0 sequences. Thus Neanderthal DNA is at the outer limit of standard deviation of modern Homo sapiens found today (remember we only have a very small population of Neanderthals to test).

    When Neanderthal was first found, he was characterized as being a hunched back primitive. Now many postulate that Neanderthal was more intelligent, etc. etc. Interpretations change over time.

    If you were to place the bones of a Neanderthal and the bones of several modern humans together, just based on their physical appearance, they could not be told apart.

    We know that Neanderthal is a human, that man separated after the flood into small groups and that the ice age caused by the flood would have isolated selected groups. This easily explains all the findings of Neanderthal.

    Marc S. Bates

    Romans 1:16

    I am not ashamed of the gospel,

    because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:

    first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
    www.66-40.com
     
  5. Administrator2

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    RADIOCHEMIST

    It was suggested in a previous post that Neanderthals and modern
    humans are essentially identical and that it is not possible to tell
    the difference between bones of each type. In fact there are
    numerous differences between the skeletons of Neanderthals and
    humans. These differences are listed below, just for the
    skull. There are differences in other parts of the skeleton as
    well. Note that the Neanderthal has one feature on the skull
    that is entirely absent in modern humans, that is a feature
    called the "occiptal bun" at the back of the head. So the
    truth of the matter is that even a well informed amateur
    can distinguish between the skeletons of Neanderthals and
    modern humans.
    The following information about Neanderthals came from this
    web site:
    http://members.iinet.net.au/~chawkins/frames.htm


    "We look at the skull closely because it's here that
    we find the main distinguishing features.

    As the skull was generally longer and wider, the
    average cranial capacity of the Neanderthals is
    found to be slightly larger than that of moden
    humans; 1500 c.c. compared to 1375 c.c. (c.c. is
    cubic centimetres). We can't necessarily say that
    the Neanderthals were smarter because they had bigger brains. In
    fact, there's some evidence to suggest that they may have been
    dumber than the modern humans who lived at the same time as they
    did. In any case, this difference isn't all that great.
    20% of us have a cranial capacity greater than the Neanderthal
    average.

    Looking closely at the skull differences, we can identify several
    areas of significance:

    cranial vault

    Neanderthal: flat top head basically!
    Modern: a more dome-shape to the cranium
    ("high cranial vault").

    forehead

    Neanderthal: sloping, or pushed back.
    Modern: vertical

    brow ridge

    Neanderthal: fairly prominent. Modern: less pronounced or
    absent.

    incisors

    Neanderthal: larger than modern humans

    chin

    Neanderthal: small, "receding" chin. Modern: more definite,
    prominent chin

    "occipital bun"

    Neanderthal: possesses a bulge at the back of the skull, in
    the occipital region. Modern: absent.
    "
     
  6. Administrator2

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    KEVIN KLEIN

    The question of whether or not Neandertals are really Homo Sapiens or
    another distinct species is still an open issue in the scientific
    community. The latest mtDNA evidence, while it does not provide an
    unequivocal answer, does strongly indicate that they were a separate
    species. See this article for a summary:
    http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/neanderthal000328.html


    Even if Neandertals are actually H. sapiens, there still remains a large
    number of ape-human intermediates that are difficult if not impossible
    to reconcile with a creationist worldview. This list includes:

    Ardipithecus ramidus
    Australopithecus anamensis
    Australopithecus afarensis
    Kenyanthropus platyops
    Australopithecus africanus
    Australopithecus garhi
    Australopithecus aethiopicus
    Australopithecus robustus
    Australopithecus boisei
    Homo habilis
    Homo erectus
    Homo ergaster
    Homo antecessor
    Homo heidelbergensis

    A side-by-side comparison of some of these skulls can be viewed here:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/compare.html
     
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    MARC BATES

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>“Radiochemist:
    It was suggested in a previous post that Neanderthals and modern
    humans are essentially identical and that it is not possible to tell
    the difference between bones of each type. In fact there are
    numerous differences between the skeletons of Neanderthals and
    humans.”<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The problem with your post is that your data is very much out of date. All of the mentioned items have been found in skulls of Homo sapiens, including the infamous occipital bun.

    Homo sapien remains have been found in close proximity to Neanderthal remains. In many cases, there are bones that show mixtures of classic Neanderthal and Homo sapien features. More importantly, there are numerous examples of Homo sapien bones that contain, what was once thought to be Neanderthal only features. Plus the evolutionists have to content with the Neanderthal skeleton found recently in Israel that radio dates to about 6,000 years old. Hmmmm, a modern Neanderthal.

    You can also view information specifically on this issue at this link.
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/tj/docs/v8n1_homo_erectus.asp

    Marc S. Bates

    Romans 1:16

    I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
    www.66-40.com
     
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    MARC BATES

    Kevin Kline stated:“The question of whether or not Neandertals are really Homo Sapiens or
    another distinct species is still an open issue in the scientific
    community.”


    This is a good point. As in any form of interpretation, whether you are dealing with language, anthropology, etc. The worldview and overriding theology of the interpreter will have great effect on how evidence is viewed. Since evolutionary scientists are looking for a pre-human, they will tend to find that. Creationists will look for human/ape distinctions, and frankly that is what we will find.

    For every evolutionist who claims that Neanderthals or any of your other hominid on your list are not human but in the human chain of evolution, I can come up with a scientist just as respected who claims that particular creature was ape only. There are wide views in secular science as well as creationist on how to classify all fossil remains. That must be a given in this case.

    As Michael Shermer, the vaunted bulldog of evolutionary debate claims, there are multiple threads of evidence, anthropology, astronomy, physics, etc. that prove evolution. By the same token, I say there are multiple threads of evidence that disprove evolution, almost the same list and I have the Word of God too! This leads to a discussion for another thread so I will leave it there. But the point is that the evidence will not be conclusive on just this one item (Neanderthals) for either of us.

    Your list of skulls for example contains old data in it. Peking Man, Java Man for example have all been reclassified as Homo Erectus by the majority of anthropologists. So we can continue to throw out piece after piece of contradictory data at each other proving nothing. Kevin, your point was well made, I understand your position and I disagree with it. I personally don’t think any more evidence given by either of us will prove anything more. There is controversy in how you classify hominid remains; your worldview and theology will determine whom you believe in this case.

    Marc S. Bates
    Romans 1:16
    I am not ashamed of the gospel,
    because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
    first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
    www.66-40.com

    the following is from a second email posted the same day

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>“Some anthropologists have argued that people evolved at least partly from the Neanderthals. The opposing theory is that modern humans evolved in Africa, then spread outward, overwhelming earlier hominids including Neanderthals. The short, squat Neanderthals inhabited much of Europe from about 100,000 years ago until dying out about 28,000 years ago.
    “Neanderthal DNA is distinct from modern humans,” Goodwin says, “and there are no examples of humans having Neanderthal-type DNA.””<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Quoted from an article from ABCNEWS
    http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/neanderthal000328.html



    Kevin Kline in trying to refute that Neanderthals were human linked to this. What is interesting to me is to read the claim that Neanderthals died out 28,000 years ago and this is known by DNA comparison. How do you compare DNA from a supposed 28,000+ year old specimen when laboratory experiments seem to conclusively prove that DNA does not survive intact more than 10,000 years?

    Marc S. Bates

    Romans 1:16

    I am not ashamed of the gospel,
    because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
    first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
    www.66-40.com

    [ February 13, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  9. Administrator2

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    RADIOCHEMIST

    Reply to Marc Bates,
    The link that you provided fails to support your claim that
    Neanderthal skeletons and skeletons of modern humans look so much
    alike that they are indistinguishable. Your statement that some
    of the Neanderthal features are occasionally found in modern
    humans, does not support that either. You mention a 6,000
    year date for a Neanderthal find in Israel, but you omitted
    the fact that the date is controversial and you also omitted the
    important fact that one test produced an age of 28,000 years,
    rather than 6,000. I give below the text on that, from the link that
    you provided. In fairness, if you are going to debate, you
    should mention the weak points in your arguments too, when the
    information is doubtful, rather than selectively winnow the
    information.

    "Lubenow cites a number of authorities who finally have acknowledged
    the full humanity of Neanderthal people,74 and he also claims that a
    Neanderthal skull has been recovered in Israel (Amud 1), which
    appears to date at only about 6,000 years old, although this date
    is controversial, as a fission-tracks test
    has produced an age of 28kya.75"


    Incidentally, mainstream science also cannot quite agree on how
    human the Neanderthal was. Some have said that if you put a
    Neanderthal in a suit and let him wander around in the New York
    subway system, he would not look much different from the other
    denizens of the subway. But another scientist has said that if
    a Neanderthal sat down beside you in the subway, you would not only
    change seats but you would change trains!
     
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    DM

    MARC BATES wrote: The problem with your post is that your data is very much out of date. All
    of the mentioned items have been found in skulls of Homo sapiens, including
    the infamous occipital bun.

    Homo sapien remains have been found in close proximity to Neanderthal
    remains. In many cases, there are bones that show mixtures of classic
    Neanderthal and Homo sapien features. More importantly, there are numerous
    examples of Homo sapien bones that contain, what was once thought to be
    Neanderthal only features. Plus the evolutionists have to content with the
    Neanderthal skeleton found recently in Israel that radio dates to about
    6,000 years old. Hmmmm, a modern Neanderthal.

    You can also view information specifically on this issue at this link.
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/tj/docs/v8n1_homo_erectus.asp



    DM replies:

    Unfortunately, it appears as if your sources are not as familiar with the
    professional literature as one might have wished. It is true that
    Radiochemist's list of features was not actually definitive, but there are
    indeed traits that are unique to Neanderthals and allow one to distinguish
    Neanderthal skeletons from Homo sapiens skeletons. Even those professionals
    who believe that Neanderthals were a subspecies of Homo sapiens and not a
    separate species acknowledge the unique morphology of Neanderthals. The
    issue is not whether any one of the traits can be found in modern humans,
    but the fact that Neanderthals are diagnosed by a suite of traits--that is,
    specific traits found together. And there are indeed traits that are unique
    to Neanderthals (such as the suprainiac fossa, or the distinct morphology of
    the midface) and never found in modern humans.

    In brief, it simply is not true that Neanderthal bones cannot be
    distinguished from modern human bones. Nor is it true that there are
    numerous bones that show an admixture of Neanderthal and modern
    morphologies. There is only one skeleton at the moment for which claims of
    admixture are made (the Lagar Velho child from Portugal), and the evidence
    for Neanderthal influence in that skeleton is equivocal.

    There is no controversy over the date of Amud I. It is unclear why anyone
    should think so (and yes, I have looked at the references supplied by
    Mehlert and Lubenow on this. They are not compelling).

    Regards,

    DM
     
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    MARC BATES

    I stand corrected. If my memory serves me correctly, forensic scientists can tell with a good deal of precision the race of a victim by skeletal traits. There are also many examples of isolated groups of humans that have telltale skeletal traits; African Pigmies come to mind immediately. So obviously, an isolated group like Neanderthals would certainly have skeletal traits that would help identify them. Obviously my statement was too broad and far-reaching.



    I would still think it is fair to say that if you took a Neanderthal skeleton and modern human skeletons mixed together, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between them easily, especially since there are several sources that document shared characteristics found on skeletons, some classified as Homo sapien that have some Neanderthal characteristics and vise-a-versa.



    This would only make sense, since as a creationist; I believe that Neanderthals are simply an isolated group of humans after the flood that formed distinctive characteristics in isolation. Even from an evolutionary standpoint, one of the predominant theories on Neanderthal is that there were wiped out by a combination of factors including interbreeding with Homo sapiens.





    Marc S. Bates

    Romans 1:16
    I am not ashamed of the gospel,
    because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
    first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
    www.66-40.com

    * * *

    second email

    Radiochemist stated:
    “You mention a 6,000 year date for a Neanderthal find in Israel, but you omitted the fact that the date is controversial and you also omitted the
    important fact that one test produced an age of 28,000 years, rather than 6,000. … In fairness, if you are going to debate, you
    should mention the weak points in your arguments too, when the information is doubtful, rather than selectively winnow the information.”




    OK, let me give a complete quote from Marvin Lubenow’s book Bones of Contention from pages 73 and 74

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    “However, there is evidence that the Neandertals persisted long after their alleged demise. The Neandertal skull known as Amud I from Upper Galilee, Israel, was found as a burial just below the top of layer I. If Amud I was buried into layer BI, it follows that he cannot be older than Layer BI but could be younger. The radiocarbon date for Upper BI is 5,710 y.a. Michael Day (British Museum – Natural History) states: “These dates are believed to be too ‘young’ as the result of contamination by younger carbon.” While it is certainly true that younger carbon compromises a radiocarbon date, this is also the standard excuse given whenever a radiocarbon date is too young to fit the system. Day gives no evidence that if a radiocarbon date is too young to fit the evolutionary scenario, that is proof enough that the sample was contaminated, since a “good” date would unquestionably fit the scheme. In dating Armund I, it is bad enough that uranium/ionium growth gives only 27,000 y.a., and uranium fission-track gives a date of only 28,000 y.a., with a margin of error of almost 10,000 years. Anything is better than a date of 5,710 y.a. for a Neandertaler.”<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Since no physical evidence has been presented to my knowledge that refutes the date of layer BI, and since I firmly believe that radiocarbon dates in excess of 10,000+ years are invalid (another thread covers this discussion). I had no controversy with the date given and provided a source for my information. Of course, if you expect me to give every possible counter argument to anything I post, then please lead by example [​IMG]


    Marc S. Bates
    Romans 1:16
    I am not ashamed of the gospel,
    because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
    first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
    www.66-40.com
     
  12. Administrator2

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    DM

    From DM:
    &gt;MARC BATES wrote […]
    For every evolutionist who claims that Neanderthals or any of your other
    hominid on your list are not human but in the human chain of evolution, I
    can come up with a scientist just as respected who claims that particular
    creature was ape only. There are wide views in secular science as well as
    creationist on how to classify all fossil remains.
    That must be a given in this case.


    I would be interested in seeing any evidence that any paleoanthropologist
    alive today claims that any given hominid is "only" an ape, assuming that
    what you mean by "ape" is a creature similar to living chimps and gorillas,
    and not the broader taxonomic group of Hominoidea, which includes humans and
    apes (i.e. it includes humans *as* apes). We can use the list of hominids
    in Kevin Klein's post as a reference, if you like. Please specify which
    professional has called any of those hominids an "ape", in a way that allows
    someone to follow up on the claim (i.e. proper referencing).

    Along same lines, I would like to voice a semantical quibble: in the
    profession of paleoanthropology, the term "human" is not restricted to
    modern Homo sapiens only, but at the very least to members of the genus
    Homo, a category which includes a large number of species. Therefore it is
    misleading to refer to Neanderthals as if the profession does not regard
    them as human, because they do. Neanderthals are not Homo sapiens, but they
    are indeed regarded as "human".

    Your list of skulls for example contains old data in it. Peking Man, Java
    Man for example have all been reclassified as Homo Erectus by the majority
    of anthropologists. So we can continue to throw out piece after piece of
    contradictory data at each other proving nothing. Kevin, your point was well
    made, I understand your position and
    I disagree with it. I personally don't think any more evidence given by
    either of us will prove anything more. There is controversy in how you
    classify hominid remains; your worldview and theology will determine whom
    you believe in this case.


    It is unclear to what list you refer. Kevin Klein did not list Peking Man
    and Java Man as individual taxa. The comparative pictures simply show
    individual fossils. Peking Man and Java Man certainly exist as individual
    fossils. Furthermore, they have been included as Homo erectus for so long
    now that your point about them being Homo erectus seems...well, pointless.

    I must also observe that there have been no attempts in the creationist
    literature to evaluate hominid fossils that has even come close to
    withstanding the kind of scrutiny that is brought to bear on the evidence on
    a daily basis in the profession itself. There is simply a decided lack of
    rigor and expertise in virtually all hominid analyses done by creationists.
    The flaws are all too easy to spot by anyone even moderately versed in the
    literature and practice of the discipline.



    Kevin Kline in trying to refute that Neanderthals were human linked to this.
    What is interesting to me is to read the claim that Neanderthals died out
    28,000 years ago and this is known by DNA comparison. How do you compare DNA
    from a supposed 28,000+ year old specimen when laboratory experiments seem
    to conclusively prove that DNA does not survive intact more than 10,000
    years?


    I am puzzled. I am aware of no claim that the extraction of ancient DNA is
    impossible. Difficult, yes, but not impossible. However, since Neanderthal
    mtDNA has been extracted not once, but three times (two separate times from
    the Feldhofer Neanderthal, and once from a Neanderthal from the Caucasus),
    along with multiple controls and replications to ensure that it was indeed
    Neanderthal mtDNA, it would appear that your argument is moot. Neanderthal
    DNA can be extracted, under the right preservational circumstances, with
    extreme care, and has been.

    It should be noted that there is no professional doubt that Neanderthal DNA
    has been found. The debates surround the interpretation of the sequences
    (that is, whether Neanderthals are part of the Homo sapiens lineage or
    distinct from it), and not about whether the sequences are from
    Neanderthals.

    Regards,

    DM

    References

    Krings M. et al. (1997). Neandertal DNA sequences and the origin of modern
    humans. Cell 90:19-30

    Krings M. et al. (1999). DNA sequence of the mitochondrial hypervariable
    region II from the Neandertal type specimen. PNAS 96:5581-5585

    Ovchinnikov I. et al. (2000). Molecular analysis of Neanderthal DNA from the
    northern Caucasus. Nature 404:490-493
     
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    KEVIN KLEIN

    Marc Bates wrote:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Kevin, your point was well made, I understand your position and I
    disagree with it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    OK. My point was that the fossil intermediates were difficult to
    reconcile with a creationist worldview. If you disagree, then please
    describe how they can be reconciled.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>laboratory experiments seem to conclusively prove that DNA does
    not survive intact more than 10,000 years<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Could you please provide references to such experiments?
    This"]http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/93/3/1190.pdf]This article[/URL]
    would seem to contradict your claim since it describes the sequencing of
    woolly mammoth DNA that was over 46,000 years old.
     
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    MARC BATES

    From
    Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal 12 http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/Magazines/Technical.asp

    (1):87–98, 1998
    article by Marvin Lubenow

    “It is uncertain how long retrievable DNA will last. It is thought that it might last a few thousand years. To last longer, DNA must be removed from degrading factors soon after biological death and preserved. Under the most favorable conditions, evolutionists estimate that DNA might last ‘tens of thousands of years’.30,31 However, even under ideal conditions, background radiation will eventually erase all genetic information. Sensational reports about the recovery of DNA millions of years old are now discounted because researchers have not been able to repeat the results. Even amber is not the fool-proof preservative it was once thought to be.32”

    30. Lindahl, T., 1993. Instability and decay of the primary structure of DNA. Nature, 362:713

    31. Pääbo, S., 1993. Ancient DNA, Scientific American, November 1993, p. 92

    32. Gibbons, A., 1998. Ancient history, Discover, January 1998, p. 47


    Laboratory evidence that DNA should not be there after only 10,000 years is so persuasive that some evolutionists are skeptical that any DNA has been extracted from fossils at all. (Creation magazine, Vol.15 No.2, p. 9).

    I would have liked to link you to Scientific American and Nature articles, but they don’t keep back issues of 1993 on their web sites.

    I don’t doubt that DNA is extracted from Neanderthal bones, wholly mammoth, even dinosaur bones. I doubt the ages associated with them.


    DM stated:“I would be interested in seeing any evidence that any paleoanthropologist
    alive today claims that any given hominid is "only" an ape, assuming that
    what you mean by "ape" is a creature similar to living chimps and gorillas,
    and not the broader taxonomic group of Hominoidea, which includes humans and
    apes (i.e. it includes humans *as* apes).”


    This is probably a matter of semantics and lack of technical knowledge of the specific terms on this issue on my part. As I understand current evolutionary theory (as discussed by Dawkins, Gould, etc.), they no longer talk about an evolutionary tree per se, with direct branches leading easily from one evolutionary form to another, but describe it now as more of a bush with many intertwining paths. But what I notice is that every hominid find reported seems to be linked to the evolution of man early on and then after study there seems to be a lack of consensus on this. For example the find reported in Time magazine recently (a couple years). Now, there appears to be dispute among paleontologists as to the exact nature of that find, is it in the human chain, etc. I don’t know how these interrelate with the issue of taxonomic grouping, etc. So, when I refer to ape, I mean a creature that is not human but closer to gorilla or chimpanzees.

    Marc S. Bates

    Romans 1:16I am not ashamed of the gospel,
    because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
    first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. www.66-40.com
     
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    DM

    Marc Bateswrote
    From
    Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal 12 http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/Magazines/Technical.asp

    (1):87-98, 1998
    article by Marvin Lubenow

    "It is uncertain how long retrievable DNA will last. It is thought that it
    might last a few thousand years. To last longer, DNA must be removed from
    degrading factors soon after biological death and preserved. Under the most
    favorable conditions, evolutionists estimate that DNA might last 'tens of
    thousands of years'.30,31 However, even
    under ideal conditions, background radiation will eventually erase all
    genetic information. Sensational reports about the recovery of DNA millions
    of years old are now discounted because researchers have not been able to
    repeat the results. Even amber is not the fool-proof preservative it was
    once thought to be.32"

    30. Lindahl, T., 1993. Instability and decay of the primary structure of
    DNA. Nature, 362:713

    31. Pääbo, S., 1993. Ancient DNA, Scientific American, November 1993, p. 92

    32. Gibbons, A., 1998. Ancient history, Discover, January 1998, p. 47

    Laboratory evidence that DNA should not be there after only 10,000 years is
    so persuasive that some evolutionists are skeptical that any DNA has been
    extracted from fossils at all. (Creation magazine, Vol.15 No.2, p. 9).

    I would have liked to link you to Scientific American and Nature articles,
    but they don't keep back issues of 1993 on their web sites.



    I am amused at the citation of Svante Pääbo in an article questioning the
    extraction of ancient DNA, considering that he was a co-author on the two
    Krings et al. papers, and it was in his lab in Germany that some of the work
    was done. Obviously the lesson to learn is that as knowledge and technology
    advances, what was thought improbable or impossible a decade ago becomes
    reality. Since research in the last 5 years has demonstrated beyond a doubt
    that ancient DNA has been extracted several times, it seems somewhat strange
    to try to refute this fact using articles that are clearly out of date.
    Furthermore, it is not clear that Lubenow is conveying accurate information
    about the ideas of researchers around the extraction of ancient DNA. In the
    Krings et al. article from Cell, the authors note:

    "Therefore, the retrieval of DNA sequences older than about 100,000 years is
    expected to be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve (Pääbo and Wilson,
    1991). Fortunately, Neandertal remains fall within the age range that in
    principle allows DNA sequences to survive."
    (p. 19). (They then go on to
    describe some of the precautions that must be undertaken).

    I suppose 100,000 years can be interpreted as "tens of thousands of years",
    but somehow I do not believe that was the impression Lubenow was aiming for.

    Marc Bates wrote:
    I don't doubt that DNA is extracted from Neanderthal bones, wholly mammoth,
    even dinosaur bones. I doubt the ages associated with them.


    Ah, well, that's probably a different thread...("wholly" mammoths? Yeah,
    they probably were entirely mammoths... :)


    Marc Bates wrote:
    DM stated:"I would be interested in seeing any evidence that any
    paleoanthropologist
    alive today claims that any given hominid is "only" an ape, assuming that
    what you mean by "ape" is a creature similar to living chimps and gorillas,
    and not the broader taxonomic group of Hominoidea, which includes humans and
    apes (i.e. it includes humans *as* apes)."

    This is probably a matter of semantics and lack of technical knowledge of
    the specific terms on this issue on my part. As I understand current
    evolutionary theory (as discussed by Dawkins, Gould, etc.), they no longer
    talk about an evolutionary tree per se, with direct branches leading easily
    from one evolutionary form to another, but describe it now as more of a bush
    with many intertwining paths. But what I notice is that every hominid find
    reported seems to be linked to the evolution of man early on and then after
    study there seems to be a lack of consensus on this. For example the find
    reported in Time magazine recently (a couple years). Now, there appears to
    be dispute among paleontologists as to the exact nature of that find, is it
    in the human chain, etc. I don't know how these interrelate with the issue
    of taxonomic grouping, etc. So, when I refer to ape, I mean a creature that
    is not human but closer to gorilla or chimpanzees.



    Yes, it is true that human evolution looks rather more complex these days
    than it did 20 years ago, but this should hardly come as a surprise, given
    all the new hominids that have been uncovered. When the fossil record
    consisted of only a handful of species, obviously ideas of phylogeny would
    be simple. But "simple" does not necessarily mean "true". We know so much
    more about morphology, locomotion, body proportions, paleoecology, and
    variation than we knew a few decades ago, and naturally current hypotheses
    of relationships among the hominids must reflect this increased knowledge
    and the increased (and increasing) fossil record.

    If I were you, I would take every press release with a grain of salt. They
    tend to sensationalize things. What is important is not how the press
    reports things, but how the scientists themselves deal with it in the
    professional literature. But be clear on one thing: anything called a
    hominid (or, more accurately a hominiN-this includes all australopithecines,
    Ardipithecus, Paranthropus, and Kenyanthropus) is -by definition-more
    closely related to modern humans than it is to chimps. Not every one is
    going to be directly ancestral, of course, and it is unclear just which
    hominids are (but, despite the efforts of many creationists to imply
    otherwise, this is NOT an indication of "problems", but rather a
    demonstration of probably a more accurate view of human evolution), but we
    have a pretty clear idea of which are more closely related to the genus Homo
    and which are somewhat more distant cousins (and it's turning out that we
    have a lot of cousins!). Every hominid found has a role to play in
    clarifying family relationships (it is actually more important to work out
    the pattern of relationships-who is more closely related to whom-than it is
    to speculate on actual ancestry. In order for any hominid species to
    qualify as an ancestor, it *has* to fall into a pattern of relationships in
    a specific way. There are objective and quantitative methods of deriving
    testable hypotheses of relationship).

    This leads to a question. I've asked this question of a number of
    creationists, but have never once received an answer. Maybe you will be the
    first: IF humans evolved from non-human ancestors (just play along here&#8230 ;),
    what would you expect this "prehuman" to look like? So many times,
    creationists claim that hominid fossils cannot be ancestral because they
    look a certain way, but none of them has EVER proposed an alternative-if the
    present fossil collection does not qualify, what should an ancestral form
    look like, and why?

    Regards,

    DM
     

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