Interestingly, even human bodies seem to indicates that the flood account of the Genesis is true.
One bone of contention amongst skeptics and believers alike often comes in the form of human ancestry. While the whole of that discussion is a worthy study in its own right, in this post I want to address specifically the Neanderthals.
A Typical Rendition of a Neanderthal
Neanderthals, named for their discovery in the Neander Valley of Germany in 1856, have been since their discovery the iconic caveman of pop culture. Brutish build, sloping brow, the earliest reconstructions left no choice but to accept them as the definitive ape-man, often envisioning them shambling through caves like animals, furry and nude. While this image persisted for many decades, eventually the authorities realized that such was not the case, reluctantly coming to the conclusion that Neanderthals were far more human than they had ever realized prior.
Neanderthals were like us culturally. They made complex tools from stone and bones, materials of necessity, and knew how to use fire. They spoke like man, with the biological and intellectual equipment to harness the intricacies of language, possessing an average cranial capacity of 1600cc. They produced musical instruments, as evidenced by a flute crafted of a bear’s femur.¹ They cared for their own, providing the injured and infirmed with food and shelter, and perhaps even medical attention, using medicinal herbs and even surgery (such as amputation and trepanation) to treat those in need. They even buried their dead. In fact, intentional burial of Neanderthals are known from over 36 sites, oftentimes with the bodies buried in ritualized postures and surrounded by possessions, jewelry, ornaments, tools, and flowers, all telling of the practice of belief.
While the mainstream fights its own battle in understanding the placement of these enigmatic humans in the chain of evolutionary events, creationist believers tend to view them in one of two ways:
The first camp contends that Neanderthals, with their suite of “primitive” features, may reflect an ancient tribe or race of man, no less human than any of the contemporary racial variations found across the planet, and that their characteristic features may be endemic to their race, while others yet believe them to be products of diet, deficiency, or disease. There is some issue with this notion however as the Neanderthals appear to not have been a singular people, but rather a widely-cast and geographically diverse form of man, exhibiting a range of characteristics in various locales. Regardless, while there may be some merit in this belief, the second position on the matter, for me personally, is far more intriguing, placing Neanderthals not among some other race or tribe, but instead suggesting something else quite unexpected…
Researcher Jack Cuozzo has noted (Jack Cuozzo, “Buried Alive: The Startling Untold Story About Neanderthal Man,” Master Books, November 1998, pp 183-189) that the human skull changes dramatically as it ages. Several others have published similar findings over the years, writing that, as age increases, various aspects of the skull’s shape morph, shifting the brow forward, enlarging the nose and ears, all in all producing a much different visage in the elderly than what were possessed in youth. In fact, one study noted by Cuozzo, conducted at the University of Michigan, observed the changes in over a hundred individuals spanning many decades in age, provided an amazing example of how much change is to be expected. One woman in the study, x-rayed at ages 34 and 83, dramatically illustrated the changes seen in just five decades. Most notably, the soft tissue and bone of her forehead grew outwards primarily along the lower margins, emphasizing the brow ridge and the region above the nose, with the soft tissue of the nose becoming longer, and the underlying bone moving forward and upward. The cheeks, teeth, and jaws also began to jut forward, and the bone underlying the chin flattened somewhat. The eyes, ears, and mouth shifted also.
The result of Cuozzo’s interpretation of the data is breathtaking. Neanderthals may have been as purely Homo sapiens as ourselves, albeit physically distinct due to advanced age, developing slowly in comparison, and further distinguished from us by the hardships they faced during those long lives. Bolstering this view is the recent evidence that Neanderthal children lacked the distinctive brow ridges and other features of the adult varieties, looking quite indistinguishable from traditional human children in appearance. The physical evidence and the computer models that support this notion are quite sound, however when we look to other, somewhat less conventional sources, we find additional reason to consider the prospects.
Of primary importance in this regard is the scriptural validation of such concepts. Anyone familiar with the Bible will recall that the Book of Genesis noted many polycentenarians, from Adam (who lived 930 years) to Methuselah (who lived 969 years). It is also worth noting that the Bible is not the only source claiming that mankind once enjoyed extreme longevity. Such accounts can be found amongst the recordings of the Babylonians, Persians, Sumerians, Romans, Chinese, Japanese, and others. Whatever the cause of this extreme longevity, it may be that the elderly of that time would be what we today consider Neanderthals.
Intriguingly, what we find in scripture is that the extreme longevity described early in Genesis slowly begins to degrade into more traditional lengths directly after the Great Flood. Could there be a connection?
– With the exception of Enoch, who was “taken” by God (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5), all of the individuals noted in Genesis as living prior to the flood enjoyed lives of over 800 years! Following the flood however, things began to change, with a gradual decrease in human longevity taking place –
Interestingly, when we observe the locales and the time-frames in which Neanderthal remains are preserved, we see a tantalizing clue to the bigger picture. Neither evolutionists nor creationists dispute the fact that Neanderthals appear to have disappeared as more modern man began to show up. While secular theories for explaining the disappearance of Neanderthals have included an inability to adapt to new climates, competition with modern man, interbreeding until extinction, disease, and even extreme cannibalism, if Cuozzo is correct in his assertion that Neanderthals were actually just extremely old humans, then wouldn’t it make sense that, as the conditions that allowed for such age disappeared, so too would their characteristic features, replaced generationally by ever younger populations of adults?
This notion seems to be supported in reality, as there is evidence that modern humans and Neanderthals intermingled, even intermarried, producing hybrid offspring. That of course in the secular interpretation of the material, but viewed another way, sites preserving human and Neanderthal remains could be nothing more than generationally diverse clans, and the hybridized offspring nothing more than a mosaic of features found in an individual of intermediate age.
-An illustration of mine depicting a very old antediluvian man (i.e. a Neanderthal) telling a young boy of the God of creation –
Could it have been that Noah, along with the other patriarchs of Genesis, would have been recognizable to us as Neanderthalic in appearance? I believe so.
Looking to another feature of biology, we find that even our genetic makeup appears to support the Noahic flood.
Human DNA comes packaged in the form of 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of each pair being provided by one’s mother, the other by the father. That said, it is the 23rd chromosome which determines gender in humans. Females carry a pair represented as XX, while the male 23rd chromosome is designated as XY. As children are conceived, they receive one X chromosome from their mother, yet that contributed by the father can be either his X or Y chromosome. If the father provides an X chromosome, the child will be female, yet if the Y chromosome is provided instead, then the child will be male. Given this direct transfer of the male-specific Y chromosome, all of the sons of that man will share his Y-chromosome, just as the father possessed the Y-chromosome of his father, and so on.
The nature of Y-chromosomes considered, it should come as no surprise that there appears to be only a single line of Y-chromosomes across the whole of the human race. A study conducted in 1995, published in the journal Science, surprisingly revealed that, based on tests of Y-chromosomes obtained from several dozen men across a range of ethnic backgrounds, there was apparently no variation at all amongst the 729 base pair Y-chromosomal sequence studied. In response to the implications, they concluded that the only valid explanation for this was that there was, at some point in the recent past, a genetic bottle-necking event, in which a great deal of our species was killed off, with all humans alive today being descended from a small group of survivors.² Further research over the years has come to recognize that, incredibly, all men today are the descendants of a single father at some point in the past; a man whom the Mainstream refers to as “Y-chromosomal Adam.”
Could that original progenitor of the human Y-chromosome be the Bible’s original man, Adam, with his genes passed directly down through the generations, preserved aboard the ark, and reestablished worldwide in the aftermath?
What’s more is that we find equally compelling evidence amongst female genes. Aside from the typical nuclear DNA of a cell, there is also a small amount of different DNA packed within the mitochondria of a cell. This mitochondrial DNA is passed maternally to the offspring, thus you have the same mitochondrial DNA as your mother, as she her mother’s and so forth. That said, it’s quite telling that, across the billions of humans alive today, there appears to be three primary strains of mitochondrial DNA, and these each are quite similar in structure indicating that all three originated from an earlier shared source not long before their dispersion across the planet.³
As with Y-chromosomal Adam, secular researchers have designated that source as “Mitochondrial Eve.” Interestingly, this supports the Biblical account of a mother of the human race who passed her mitochondrial genes down generationally, each acquiring subtle differences over time, until some cataclysmic event exterminated all but three carriers of those genetic strains. To emphasize the point further, the Genesis account of the flood tells of how the three sons of Noah brought along their three wives…
Our own bodies, time and again, layer upon layer, appear to testify to the validity of scripture!
- Folger, T. and Menon, S., “… Or Much Like Us?,” Discover 18(1):33, January 1997), and possibly even constructed seaworthy boats (Choi, Charles Q., “Ancient Mariners: Did Neanderthals Sail to Mediterranean?,” LiveScience.com, November 15, 2012
- Dorit, R.L., Akashi, H. and Gilbert, W. “Absence of polymorphism at the ZFY locus on the human Y chromosome,” 1995, Science 268:1183–1185
- Dr. Carter, Robert W., “Adam, Eve and Noah vs. Modern Genetics,” May 11th, 2010
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