by Bill Nugent
In 1856 in Germany’s Neander Valley (Neandertal in German) some ancient bones were discovered that differed slightly from modern humans. Since then the bones of more than 490 individual Neandertals have been recovered together with their artifacts. Evolutionists early on succumbed to the temptation to classify them as a missing link despite the fact that the skeletons are not much different from ours and their skulls have a larger brain case than modern humans.
Famous paleontologist Marcellin Boule (1861 – 1942) did the first Neandertal reconstruction. His evolutionist “missing link” bias was so pronounced that forty-four years later a major reanalysis of his work was carried out by leading scientists who were themselves evolutionists. Neandertal Man was reclassified as Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis which is essentially just a subset of modern humans. It made quite a splash when Neandertal’s status was uplifted and many in the field were proud to show that science could correct its errors.
Evolutionists had been looking all over the earth for missing links. Sadly, they did not restrict their search to old bones like those of Neandertal Man. Evolutionists went to Australia where the aborigines were regarded as subhuman. Many scientific researchers murdered aborigines and boiled down their skulls in the late 1800s. Museums sought pickled brains of aborigines and also their skins. (For documentation of the atrocities committed against aborigines see the article Darwin’s Bodysnatchersavailable at answersingenesis.org.) Sub-Saharan Africans were also regarded as missing links. New York’s Bronx zoo even had a living African Pygmy as an exhibit for a brief time in the early 1900s. All manner of racism was justified by Darwin’s theory. In his book, Mein Kampf, Hitler made many references to Darwinism in his attempts to prove the superiority of the Aryan race.
Though Neandertal’s status had been upgraded by the 1950s some scientists still clung to the claim that Neandertal Man was a missing link. The controversy continues to this day.
In the 1990s new advances in DNA analysis came along that flipped the table over. Not only did the new DNA analysis techniques roil the Neandertal debate but the whole evolutionary timeline based on mutation rates of the mitochondrial DNA has been called into serious question. The principle advance has to do with the development of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. This allowed the much more efficient replication of short strands of mitochondrial DNA from ancient bones. Mitochondrial DNA is the DNA located in the mitochondria of cells and is different from the DNA found in the nucleus of cells. Scientists had long thought that mitochondrial DNA was passed down from mother to offspring without any input from the father’s DNA. Scientists calculated the mutation rate of the mitochondrial DNA and put it on a time scale and used it to formulate all kinds of evolutionary family trees. The PCR technique is so sensitive it has discovered that there is input from the father’s DNA after all and this has upended many evolutionary assumptions and lent support to the creationist view. The scientist who proved by experimentation that mitochondrial DNA also comes from the father is the late biologist John Maynard Smith of Sussex University, England. All of the glossy illustrations of evolutionary family trees composed of the supposed relationships between fossils are now called into serious question by a notable scientific advance. It is a frequent pattern that scientific advances undermine the theory of evolution which I regard as an obsolete nineteenth century theory.
The creationist view is that ape to man evolution is a hoax. New advances in science from the PCR technique to CAT scans of fossil skulls to the discoveries of more complete fossil skeletons all prove fossil skulls to be either fully ape or fully human. Fossils like the famous “Lucy” skull found in Africa are fully ape. Neandertal is fully human. Evolutionists are slow to accept this view. Even the recent PBS series on evolution took the view that Neandertal is a missing link or an evolutionary dead end. I am confident that if we persist in showing evolutionists the latest findings in science they eventually will reject the theory of evolution and will acknowledge the Creator.