Secular paleontologists assert that hominids began evolving from other primates starting around 8 million to 6 million years ago. Evidence of hominid activity between 8 and 2.5 million years ago usually only consists of bone remains available for study. Because of this very incomplete picture of the time period from the fossil record, various aspects of physical anthropology (osteometry, functional anatomy, evolutionary framework) are essential to explain evolution during these first millions of years. Evolution during this time is considered as the result of natural forces only.
Creation paleontologists look to the Bible for insight into human history. The creation account in the book of Genesis tells us that humans and all land animals were created on the same day. This is in stark contrast to the assertions of evolutionary paleontology, which holds that hominids were evolving over millions of years and Homo sapiens only appearing a few hundred thousand years ago.. The creation account also reveals that human beings are distinct from the animals and uniquely formed in the image of God.
Biblical paleoanthropology is concerned with two separate periods of human civilization: the humans living before the global flood and those that lived following. The book of Genesis begins with an account of the original world and its civilization that no longer exist. Details regarding this first civilization are minimal, except for a terse genealogy, accounts of men like Enoch, and reference to a mysterious race known as the Nephilim. Genesis reports that this original antediluvian civilization became intensely wicked and for this was destroyed by a global flood sent by God about 4500 years ago. No verified fossil evidence of this preflood human civilization has been found and it doubtful that any trace survived the devastation.
One very important distinction between the pre and post flood human beings was their longevity. Prior to the flood, Genesis 5 records that people lived extraordinarily long lives: routinely over 900 years. Methuselah is known for living longer than any other human in history, dying at the age of 969. This longevity is believed to be so extraordinarily long in part because environmental conditions were optimal for longevity before the Earth was destroyed, perhaps maintained by a dense atmosphere which collapsed during the flood. After the flood, the lengthy human lifespans gradually declined to over several generations. This Biblical insight offers an explanation for the robust human morphology seen in some post flood groups such as the Neanderthals and Homo erectus.
Origin of Races
Subsequent to the flood, Genesis 10 records the Table of Nations; a genealogical record that names and describe a number of individuals that established early civilizations. The account is by no means exhaustive, but does name people who are reputed to have established Egypt, Greece, Canaan, and Sheba, as well as cities such as Tyre.
The key post-flood Biblical event that factors into the development of human races and language is the Tower of Babel. According to Genesis 11 , all humans spoke the same language immediately following the global flood. Those who migrated to the east and settled in the land of Shinar decided to build a city and a great tower out of baked bricks to make a name for themselves. It may be argued that because there is no archaeological evidence of buildings from antediluvian civilizations, the Tower of Babel was the first major monument ever built of which any evidence might remain.
God intentionally scattered mankind to retard their technological advancement by confusing their speech. The origin of the various root languages is presumably linked to this event. God apparently created several unique languages to scatter humans throughout the world. This action almost speciated humans into several groups allowing physical differences to develop. All human ancestry traces back to Noah and his family only 4500 years ago, and then even further back to Adam and Eve. We are all close relatives, and the differences that distinguish the human races should be considered superficial at best.
Jonathan Sarfati comments on the relation of these post Babel humans to so called "cave men".
|“||Also, some people groups would be isolated from civilization. Consider even the typical small extended family group today, if suddenly isolated from civilization, e.g., on a desert island. Many such groups would not have the ability to smelt metals or build houses. Therefore, they would have to use the hardest material available (stone) and make use of already-existing structures (caves). Different family groups would also have different levels of artistic ability. So it shouldn’t be too difficult to accept that humans such as Homo erectus and Neandertals were probably post-Babel humans who became isolated from major cities, and developed certain physical characteristics because certain genes became fixed due to the small population and selective factors. The notion of a ‘stone age’ is fallacious—rather, it’s a cave/stone technology stage of different people groups. Some people even today have this level of technology, but they live at the same time as us, and are just as human.||”|
- Main Article: Human evolution
Evolutionists believe that humans evolved from an ape-like ancestors that descended from chimpanzees, and assign both humans and apes to the same taxonomic Family - Hominidae. However, creationists regard all supposed ape-man intermediate fossils to be either fully ape (i.e. Australopithecines) or fully human. Peter Line summarizes in the Journal of Creation:
|“||The differences in morphological features of the fossil species included in Homo, excluding the invalid taxon Homo habilis, are believed to represent, among other factors, genetic variation within the one human kind...If fossils such as those categorized as Homo erectus and Neandertals were all fully human, then the case for human evolution essentially collapses, as there is an unbridgeable morphological gap between the australopithecine apes and these humans.||”|
Malcolm Bowden recommends using the following general characteristics to help determine whether fossil skulls are human or ape. For a fossil skull to be identified as human it should have a fairly large brain capacity - over 1,000 cc's, and a mouth positioned almost vertically under the nose. Apes, by contrast, have a smaller brain capacity and a protruding muzzle. However, he warns that fossils and reconstructions are often interpreted and distorted to meet evolutionary expectations. It can be frequently found that ape skulls are 'adjusted' to look more human, and human skulls often rebuilt to emphasize 'ape-like' features.Bowden adds:
|“||It must be emphasised that where there is sufficient evidence, ALL skulls can be identified as being either ape or human. There are NO other classes, for they are all the imaginings of the evolutionary paleaoanthropologists who insist on concocting a string of links between man and apes. In order to fill this enormous gap, any ape skull is greatly enlarged and the fossil's 'human' features exaggerated (e.g. Pekin man and 'Lucy'), whilst human skulls are decreased and their 'ape' features are similary emphasised (e.g. 1470 Man).||”|
Evolutionary paleoanthropologists seek desperately to identify a true transitional form between man and apes, as well as the fame that can be obtained from finding a new species of hominid. Any fossil found with a minor variation is claimed to be a new species - a widespread occurrence known as taxonomic splitting. Tim White, co-director of the Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, notes these concerns. There’s been a recent tendency to give a different name to each of the fossils that comes out of the ground, and that has led to what we think is a very misleading portrayal of the biology of human evolution. The following is a summary of some of the species of humans declared from fossil evidence alone.
Genus Homo - Fully Human
Humans - The genus homo is
distinguished by their human like skull,
large brain size, and upright walking
Homo sapiens = (Wise Man).
species. Specimens dated as
older tend to have smaller brain
sizes, while still overlapping with
the normal range of human brain
- Cro-Magnon man (homo sapiens). A set of 4 home sapiens fossils found in a cave in France in 1868. The oldest fossils of homo sapiens known in Europe.
- Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal Man).
- Homo habilis = (Man with ability or handy man). The name "handy man" is given because of the evidence of the use of constructed stone tools with this species. Average brain size of 500-800cc. This taxon is regarded as invalid; Being comprised of larger than average Australopithicines and smaller than average H. erectus fossils.
- Homo erectus = (Erect Man). Brain size 750-1225. Specimens dated as older have a smaller average brain size than ones dated more recently, and some scientists advocate placing the more recent larger brained specimens in to a separate species, homo ergaster.
- Homo ergaster (Working Man)
- Homo antecessor (Explorer Man)
- Homo heidelbergensis (Heidelberg Man)
- Homo floresiensis (Flores Man — discovered 2003)
- Homo rudolfensis (Rudolf Man)
- Homo rhodesiensis (Rhodesia Man)
- Homo cepranensis (Ceprano Man)
- Homo georgicus (Georgia Man)
- Homo sapiens = (Wise Man). Our species. Specimens dated as older tend to have smaller brain sizes, while still overlapping with the normal range of human brain sizes.
Genus Australopithecus - Fully Ape
Australopithecines - The genus
Australopithecus is distinguished by
their very ape-like skull (thought the
teeth are more human-like than
chimpanzee-like), small brain size
(between 375 and 550cc), and
Australopithecus afarensis =
southern ape from Ethiopia. After
years of controversy A. afarensis is
now known to be aligned with
gorillas by comparison of the
ramus element in the jaw and the
Australopithecus africanus =
southern ape from Africa. Gracile
form with smaller jaws and teeth.
- Taung Child
- Mrs. Ples
- Paranthropus robustus = southern ape, robust. More massive teeth and bony ridges (sagittal and supramastoid crests). (Formerly Australopithecus)
- Paranthropus boisei = southern ape named after Charles Boise, Louis and Mary Leakey's financier. Formerly Zinjananthropus bosei (Zinj is ancient Arabic word for East Africa. (Formerly Australopithecus)
- Australopithecus afarensis = southern ape from Ethiopia. After years of controversy A. afarensis is now known to be aligned with gorillas by comparison of the ramus element in the jaw and the shoulder blades.
- Ramapithecus - an Ancient ape fossil, considered most closely related to the orangutan.
Within evolutionary circles, there is much controvery regarding human origins. The multiregional theory and the Out-of-Africa theory are two separate views debating the long-standing assertion that modern humans descended from H. neanderthalis and H. erectus. The prevailing theory that humans share a common ancestor with chimpanzees, is also in question by recent research which revealed that the majority of Australopithicines and Habilines are more closely aligned with orangutans. This leaves humans without a plausible ancestor.
|“||Marvin Lubenow shows that the various alleged ‘apemen’ do not form a smooth sequence in evolutionary ‘ages,’ but overlap considerably. For example, the timespan of Homo sapiens fossils contains the timespan of the fossils of Homo erectus, supposedly our ancestor. Also, when the various fossils are analyzed in depth, they turn out not to be transitional or even mosaic. The morphology overlaps too—the analysis of a number of characteristics indicates that Homo ergaster, H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis as well as H. heidelbergensis, were most likely ‘racial’ variants of modern man, while H. habilis and another specimen called H. rudolfensis were just types of australopithecines. In fact, H. habilis is now regarded as an invalid name, probably caused by assigning fragments of australopithecines and H. erectus fossils into this ‘taxonomic waste bin.’||”|
Lubenow summarizes the facts of the human fossil record:
that are indistinguishable from
modern humans can be traced all the
way back to 4.5 m.y.a., according to
the evolution time scale. That
suggests that true humans were on
the scene before the
australopithecines appear in the
Second, Homo erectus demonstrates a morphological consistency throughout its two-million-year history. The fossil record does not show erectus evolving from something else or evolving into something else.
Third, anatomically modern Homo sapiens, Neandertal, archaic Homo sapiens, and Homo erectus all lived as contemporaries at one time or another. None of them evolved from a more robust to a more gracile condition. In fact, in some cases (Neandertal and archaic Homo sapiens) the more robust fossils are the more recent fossils in their respective categories.
Fourth, all of the fossils ascribed to the Homo habilis category are contemporary with Homo erectus. Thus, Homo habilis not only did not evolve into Homo erectus, it could not have evolved into Homo erectus.
Fifth, there are no fossils of Australopithecus or of any other primate stock in the proper time period to serve as evolutionary ancestors to humans. As far as we can tell from the fossil record, when humans first appear in the fossil record they are already human. It is this abrupt appearance of our ancestors in morphologically human form that makes the human fossil record compatible with the concept of special creation. 
|HUMAN BONES — (Homo sapiens)||APE FOSSILS|
|Java man's leg bones.||Homo habilis|
|Vertesszollos skull fragment.||Peking man skulls.|
|Swanscombe skull pieces.||Piltdown jaw (modern fossil)|
|Fontechevade skull pieces.||All Australopithecenes|
|1470 Man||Australopithecus afarensis ('Lucy')|
Koenigswald's Pithecanthropus II,
III and IV
|Peking man upper cave skulls.|
|Peking ten skeletons|
|Dubois' Wadjak skulls|
|Chellean man's skull?|
|R. Leakey's KNMER 3733 skull|
|Kow Swamp Homo erectus skeletons|
|All Neanderthal skeletons|
Fraudulant or Erroneous Fossils
- Piltdown Man (Eoanthropus dawsoni) Fraudulent fossil that was filed-down to look human-like and chemically treated to give it the appearance of age. It was hailed as proof of Darwin's theory for forty years.
- Nebraska Man (Hesperopithecus haroldcookii). Refers to a poorly-preserved fossilized tooth incorrectly identified as belonging to a primate in the 1920s. A consensus was later reached that it belonged to a peccary (wild pig).
- Java Man (Pithecanthropus erectus) Controversial fossil claimed in 1891 by Eugene Dubois who was the first person to deliberately search for human ancestors. Dubois was a former student of Ernst Haeckel who became intent on discovering the missing link his mentor believed had evolved somewhere in Africa or East Asia.
- New Hominid Species Not A Missing Link, Scientists Say Doubt over claims that we descended from new species and disagreement about how close a cousin it was. Inside Science News Service Apr 8, 2010.
- "Key" Human Ancestor Found: Fossils Link Apes, First Humans? Australopithecus sediba had human-like face and could walk well upright but was apelike in other ways. National Geographic News, April 8, 2010.
- Fossil Skeletons May Be Human Ancestor Newly discovered australopithecine discovered in a cave in Africa. LiveScience, April 8 2010.
- Man's earliest direct ancestors looked more apelike than previously believed "Dr. Leakey produced a biased reconstruction based on erroneous preconceived expectations of early human appearance that violated principles of craniofacial development." EurekAlert, March 24, 2007
- Earliest hominid: Not a hominid at all? The earliest known hominid fossil, which dates to about 7 million years ago, is actually some kind of ape, according to an international team of researchers led by the University of Michigan. The finding, they say, suggests scientists should rethink whether we actually descended from apes resembling chimpanzees, which are considered our closest relatives. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. June 19, 2006
- Evidence that human brain evolution was a special event Howard Hughes Medical Institute, December 28, 2004.
- The evolution and development of cranial form in Homo sapiens - "Despite much data, there is no unanimity over how to define Homo sapiens in the fossil record." PNAS, January 22, 2002 (Bold emphasis added)
- ↑ Introduction to Paleoanthropology/Definition Wikibooks, Accessed September 26, 2011.
- ↑ Homo erectus 'to' modern man: evolution or human variability? by A. W. (Bill) Mehlert, Journal of Creation 8(1):105–116, April 1994.
- ↑ Genesis 1:1-31
- ↑ Sarfati, Jonathan. Refuting Evolution 2 Chapter 12 - Argument: Evolution of mankind. Greenforest AR: Master Books, 2002. p192
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Fossil evidence for alleged apemen—Part 1: the genus Homo by Peter Line, Journal of Creation 19(1):22–32, April 2005.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Homo Erectus — A Fabricated Class of 'Ape-Men' by Malcolm Bowden, Journal of Creation, Vol.3, 1988, pp. 152-153.
- ↑ Skull wars: new ‘Homo erectus’ skull in Ethiopia by Carl Wieland, Creation Ministries International. March 22, 2002.
- ↑ Humans related to orangutans, not chimps PhysOrg.com, June 18, 2009.
- ↑ Sarfati, 188-189
- ↑ Lubenow, p. 332.
- Paleoanthropology by Conservapedia
- Early Man by Creation Science
- The Ape-Men
- Early Man by Sean D. Pitman, M.D.
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