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Is there evolution in humans since the first homo sapiens sapiens

Is there evolution in humans since the first homo sapiens sapiens


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Has the human species changed since first defined as homo sapiens sapiens?

I'm asking this question partly because I'm wondering how we might evolve next.


We continue to evolve all the time: http://www.npr.org/2013/09/27/226837803/modern-humans-still-evolving-and-faster-than-ever

For those who think the forces of natural selection no longer apply to modern humans, paleoanthropologist John Hawks would urge you to reconsider. In recent times - that's 10 to 20 thousand years, for a paleoanthropologist - Hawks says we've picked up genetic variations in skin color, and other traits that allow us to break down starch and digest cheese.

Homo sapiens sapiens is over 100,000 years old and we have changed in many ways since then, as noted in the above NPR article!

I'm not sure we can say there is a "first" homo sapiens sapiens -- the change from one species to another is gradual. You may know that mixing red and blue gives purple, but at what points do we officially have red, purple, or blue when mixing different levels of red and blue?


There is certainly some evolution. Take, for example, lactose tolerance. It's a relatively new mutation that happened less than 8000 years ago. Yes, basically all humans in the stone age were lactose intolerant. The change started to be common after humans defeloped argriculture on a big scale and is still less common in some groups than in others even today.

As another example, our jaws have become smaller and now we get trouble with the amount of teeth that hasn't changed since the first modern humans developed. Some people don't have wisdom teeth, that is part of the evolutionary answer to that.

Also people have become bigger since the early days.

I can't assure how humans will develop in the future, but even smaller jaws, weaker limbs (due to more dependence on technology and less use of personal strength) and longer fingers (because presicion is more important nowadays than raw power) might be some factors. Also with the increase of modern globalization, humans might become less diverse in appearance.


An additional question is, are we evolving in a positive or negative way stronger vs weaker.

That would depend on what you consider week or strong. All evolution really cares about is how many babies do you successful raise to adulthood.

You may be the strongest, smartest and most handsome man in the world. But at the end of the day, if you do not have children you are a failure.

So are we evolving better… here is something to think about. The BRCA mutation that causes breast cancer in women… also causes increase fertility in women. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4457526/ So is that good or bad? Bad for the individual… but good for evolution. More children.

Or how about muscle strength… humans muscle strength per body weight is terrible compared to every other ape. The average chimp is half the weight of a man and 6 times stronger. So humans are weak… well we can pick up and sewing needle and tread that needle but a chimp can't. In human evolution we have sacrificed strength for dexterity. So is this good or bad. Strong or week?

Answering the first question. Yes we have. Human evolved in africa. The most ancient population are in africa. All those strange looking non-africans are the produces of evolution in the past 60,000 years. Those moving northwards became paler. And developed longer hair. Mutations resulted in lost of eye pigments 5000yr ago resulting in green then later blue eyes. (Terrible in the savannah of africa but meh in Europe)

Also some evolution occurred in receptors targeted by viruses. So better immunity. Think the black plague 60% death in Europe and Smallpox in Americas, 90-95% death rate.


From Sahelanthropus Tchadensis to Homo Sapiens — A Complete View of Human Evolution

The world is approximately 4.5 billion years old, and Homo sapiens have been around for about 200,000-300,000 years of that. Obviously, we have evolved quite a bit since the most primitive apes. Humans and chimpanzees shared a common lineage up until approximately 7-13 million years ago. After our last shared ancestor, one line branched off into beings that were bipedal, i.e., walked on 2 legs, rather than quadrupedal, i.e., walking on 4 limbs.

Before attempting to establish a timeline of the events and changes that led to the formation of &lsquous&rsquo, we must understand that establishing an exact date is impossible. It&rsquos not like we can just walk up to ancient people and ask them for their life history, and they didn&rsquot exactly maintain records either. So how do we do it? The simple answer &ndash fossils. Scientists use fossils and relics to date these different ancestors&rsquo history and create a timeline of our evolution. It is important to remember here that whenever new information comes to light, and with the further progression of science, timelines may change to better explain and accommodate all of our findings. This is why most estimates have a broad window, ranging from a couple thousand years to a few million years.

Keeping this in mind, let&rsquos try to understand the timeline of evolution for modern humans.

Modern humans are scientifically called Homo sapiens. Homo is the genus and sapiens is the species. Homo sapiens are the only members of the Homo genus that are currently alive, and we have obviously come a long way from our four-legged brothers. From the trees, they came down to the land, and gradually began walking on all four limbs. Further evolution resulted in features like grasping big toes, shorter arms, etc. and eventually resulted in the form that you see in the mirror every day.


550,000 to 750,000 Years Ago: The Beginning of the Homo sapiens Lineage

A facial reconstruction of Homo heidelbergensis, a popular candidate as a common ancestor for modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans (John Gurche)

Genes, rather than fossils, can help us chart the migrations, movements and evolution of our own species—and those we descended from or interbred with over the ages.

The oldest-recovered DNA of an early human relative comes from Sima de los Huesos, the “Pit of Bones.” At the bottom of a cave in Spain’s Atapuerca Mountains scientists found thousands of teeth and bones from 28 different individuals who somehow ended up collected en masse. In 2016, scientists painstakingly teased out the partial genome from these 430,000-year-old remains to reveal that the humans in the pit are the oldest known Neanderthals, our very successful and most familiar close relatives. Scientists used the molecular clock to estimate how long it took to accumulate the differences between this oldest Neanderthal genome and that of modern humans, and the researchers suggest that a common ancestor lived sometime between 550,000 and 750,000 years ago.

Pinpoint dating isn't the strength of genetic analyses, as the 200,000-year margin of error shows. “In general, estimating ages with genetics is imprecise,” says Joshua Akey, who studies evolution of the human genome at Princeton University. “Genetics is really good at telling us qualitative things about the order of events, and relative time frames.” Before genetics, these divergence dates were estimated by the oldest fossils of various lineages scientists found. In the case of H. sapiens, known remains only date back some 300,000 years, so gene studies have located the divergence far more accurately on our evolutionary timeline than bones alone ever could.

Though our genes clearly show that modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans—a mysterious hominin species that left behind substantial traces in our DNA but, so far, only a handful of tooth and bone remains—do share a common ancestor, it’s not apparent who it was. Homo heidelbergensis, a species that existed from 200,000 to 700,000 years ago, is a popular candidate. It appears that the African family tree of this species leads to Homo sapiens while a European branch leads to Homo neanderthalensis and the Denisovans.

More ancient DNA could help provide a clearer picture, but finding it is no sure bet. Unfortunately, the cold, dry and stable conditions best for long-term preservation aren’t common in Africa, and few ancient African human genomes have been sequenced that are older than 10,000 years.

“We currently have no ancient DNA from Africa that even comes near the timeframes of our evolution—a process that is likely to have largely taken place between 800,000 and 300,000 years ago,” says Eleanor Scerri, an archaeological scientist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany.


Human Evolution

The story of human evolution began in Africa about six million years ago and it describes the very long process that our ancestors went through to ultimately become modern humans. This process has been uncovered by studying fossils and understanding the underlying theory of evolution, and while new fossils are uncovered every decade revealing new chapters, scientists agree about the basic story.

What Is Evolution?

Evolution means the changes that occur in a population over time. In this definition, a ?population? means a group of the same species that share a specific location and habitat. Evolutionary changes always occur on the genetic level. In other words, evolution is a process that results in changes that are passed on or inherited from generation to generation. It does not, for example, describe how people can change their muscle mass by lifting weights.

When successful, these genetic changes or adaptations, which happen when genes mutate and/or combine in different ways during reproduction, help organisms survive, reproduce, and raise offspring. Some individuals inherit characteristics that make them more successful at surviving and having babies. These advantageous characteristics tend to appear more frequently in the population (because those individuals with less advantageous characteristics are more likely to die without reproducing), and over time these changes become common throughout that population, ultimately leading to new species.

The Tree of Life

Biological evolution explains the way all living things evolved over billions of years from a single common ancestor. This concept is often illustrated by the so-called tree of life. Every branch on the tree represents a species. The fork separating one species from another represents the common ancestor that each pair of species shared. So ultimately, all life is interconnected, but any two species may be separated by millions or even billions of years of evolution.

Only a Theory?

Some people dismiss evolution as ?just a theory.? Evolution is in fact a theory, a scientific theory. In everyday use, the word theory often means a guess or a rough idea: ?My theory is?? ?I have a theory about that.? But among scientists, the word has an entirely different meaning. In science, a theory is an overarching explanation used to describe some aspect of the natural world that is supported by overwhelming evidence.

Other scientific theories include cell theory, which says that all living things are made up of cells, and heliocentric theory, which says the earth revolves around the sun instead of the other way around.

The Relationship between Apes and Humans

Since scientists developed the ability to decode the genome and compare the genetic makeup of species, some people have been stunned to learn that about 98.5% of the genes in people and chimpanzees are identical. This finding means chimps are the closest living biological relatives to humans, but it does not mean that humans evolved from chimps. What it does indicate is that humans share a common ancestor with modern African apes (i.e., gorillas and chimpanzees), making us very, very distant cousins. We are therefore related to these other living primates, but we did not descend from them.

Modern humans differ from apes in many significant ways. Human brains are larger and more complex people have elaborate forms of communication and culture and people habitually walk upright, can manipulate very small objects, and can speak.

Our Common Ancestor

Most scientists believe our common ancestor existed 5 to 8 million years ago. Then two species broke off into separate lineages, one ultimately evolving into gorillas and chimps, the other evolving into early humans called hominids. In the millions of years that followed, at least a dozen different species of humanlike creatures have existed, reflected in the fossil discoveries of paleoanthropologists, although many of these species are close relatives but not actual ancestors of modern humans.

In fact, the fossil record does not represent a straight line of ancestry at all many of these early hominids left no descendents and simply died out. Still others are most likely direct ancestors of modern humans or Homo sapiens. While scientists still do not know the total number of hominid species that existed, because new fossils are discovered every decade, the story of human evolution becomes clearer all the time.

What about the Missing Link?

The idea of a missing link has persisted, but it is not actually a scientific term. In the popular imagination, this missing link would be the fossil of our common ancestor. While scientists agree on the concept of a common ancestor, deciding which fossil represents that actual species is challenging if not impossible, given that the fossil record will never be 100% complete. Also, the word implies that evolution is a straight chain of events, when in fact the sequence of evolution is much more complicated.

The Fossil Record

Fossils are the remains or impressions of living things hardened in rock. All living organisms have not been preserved in the fossil record in fact, most have not because very specific conditions must exist in order to create fossils. Even so, the fossil record provides a fairly good outline of human evolutionary history.

The earliest humans were found in Africa, which is where much of human evolution occurred. The fossils of these early hominids, which lived 2 to 6 million years ago, all come from that continent. Most scientists believe early humans migrated out of Africa into Asia between 2 million and 1.7 million years ago, entering Europe some time within the past 1 million years. What follows are some highlights of the early human species that have been identified by scientists to date.

Australopithecines

An African apelike species evolved probably around 6 million years ago with two skeletal characteristics that set it apart from apes: small canine teeth (the teeth on either side of the four front teeth) compared to the long canines found in almost all other primates, and, most importantly, bipedalism or walking on two legs as the primary mode of locomotion.

The name australopithecine means ?southern ape,? in reference to South Africa where the first known fossils were found. Many more australopith fossils have been found in the Great Rift Valley in eastern Africa, in countries including Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, and Chad.

The very early years of the transition from ape to human, from 6 million to 4 million years ago, is poorly documented in the fossil record, but those fossils that have been discovered document the most primitive combinations of ape and human features.

Fossils from different early australopith species that lived between 4 million and 2 million years ago show a variety of adaptations that mark this transition much more clearly. Among the genera that are included in early australopith species are Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, and Aripithecus a species of the genus Kenyanthropus and four species of the genus Australopithecus.

Probably the best-known australopith specimen is ?Lucy,? the partial skeleton of a female discovered in 1974 in Hadar, Ethiopia. Lucy belongs to a species, Australopithicus afarensis, which thrived in eastern Africa between 3.9 million and 3 million years ago. Scientists have found several hundred A. afarensis fossils in Hadar. Lucy lived 3.2 million years ago.

Another very exciting A. afarensis site was discovered in northern Tanzania at Laetoli. In addition to fossilized bones of A. afarensis, researchers in 1978 discovered trails of bipedal human footprints preserved in hardened volcanic ash over 3 million years ago. The footprints provided irrefutable evidence that australopiths regularly walked upright.

By about 2.7 million years ago, so-called robust australopiths (in contrast to the earlier, gracile forms) had evolved, with wide molars and premolars and a facial structure that indicate that these robust australopiths chewed their food, primarily tough, fibrous plants, powerfully and for long periods. Several robust species have been identified, and the last robust australopiths died out about 1.4 million years ago.

The Genus Homo

The genus Homo first evolved at least 2.3 million to 2.5 million years ago. The most significant difference between members of this genus and australopiths, with which they overlapped, was their significantly larger brains (about 30 percent larger, though still small compared to modern humans).

Scientists divide the evolution of the modern human genus into three rough periods: early, middle, and late. Species of early Homo, among them Homo habilis, resembled australopiths in many distinct ways, but they had smaller teeth and jaws, more modern-looking feet, and hands capable of making tools. They probably lived from between 2.5 or 2.3 million and 1.6 million years ago.

The middle Homo species, including Homo erectus, evolved anatomically to be more similar to modern humans but their brains were relatively small (though bigger than australopiths). They probably overlapped with earlier Homo species, as they developed perhaps between 2 million and 1.8 million years ago. Homo erectus was a very successful species of the middle period fossils have been found throughout Africa, Europe, and much of Asia, and the species may have survived for more than 1.5 million years.

The final transition, from the middle to late periods, happened about 200,000 years ago. Late Homo species, including Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, evolved large and complex brains, leading eventually to language, and developed culture as an increasingly important aspect of human life.

Homo sapiens

Scientists have dated the oldest known fossils with skeletal features typical of modern humans from 195,000 years ago. Early anatomically modern Homo sapiens fossils have come from sites in Sudan, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Israel. Many scientists have therefore concluded that modern Homo sapiens evolved in Africa and began spreading to other parts of the world 90,000 years ago or a little earlier, although whether, how, why, and when this happened is still in dispute. And it was not until about 40,000 years ago that anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens, emerged. Since that time, human evolution has been primarily cultural as opposed to biological.

Putting Human Evolution in Perspective

Humans have existed for only a tiny fraction of Earth?s history. Scientists believe Earth itself is approximately 4.55 billion years old. The oldest known fossils are about 3.5 billion years old, although some scientists have discovered evidence that life may have begun nearly 4 billion years ago. Dinosaurs walked Earth between 230 and 65 million years ago. The oldest known humanlike fossil has been dated at 4.4 million years old, although another species, not yet confirmed as a hominid, has been dated at about 6 million years old. As mentioned earlier, scientists estimate that the earliest hominid species diverged from the ape lineage between 5 and 8 million years ago. And yet, the species to which we belong, Homo sapiens sapiens, is only about 40,000 years old.


History [ edit | edit source ]

Scientific study of human evolution is concerned, primarily, with the development of the genus Homo, but usually involves studying other hominids and hominines as well, such as Australopithecus. "Modern humans" are defined as the Homo sapiens species, of which the only extant subspecies is known as Homo sapiens sapiens. Homo sapiens idaltu (roughly translated as "elder wise human"), the other known subspecie

s, is now extinct. [17] Homo neanderthalensis, which became extinct 30,000 years ago, has sometimes been classified as a subspecies, "Homo sapiens neanderthalensis" genetic studies now suggest that the functional DNA of modern humans and Neanderthals diverged 500,000 years ago. [18] More recent genetics suggest that modern humans mated with "at least two groups" of ancient humans: Neanderthals and Denisovans. [19] Nonetheless, the discovered specimens of the Homo rhodesiensis species have been classified by some as a subspecies, but this classification is not widely accepted.

Anatomically modern humans first appear in the fossil record in Africa about 195,000 years ago, and studies of molecular biology give evidence that the approximate time of divergence from the common ancestor of all modern human populations was 200,000 years ago. [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] The broad study of African genetic diversity headed by Dr. Sarah Tishkoff found the San people to express the greatest genetic diversity among the 113 distinct populations sampled, making them one of 14 "ancestral population clusters". The research also located the origin of modern human migration in south-western Africa, near the coastal border of Namibia and Angola.

The evolutionary history of primates can be traced back 65 million years. Primates are one of the oldest of all surviving placental mammal groups. The oldest known primate-like mammal species (those of the genus Plesiadapis) come from North America, but inhabited Eurasia and Africa on a wide scale during the tropical conditions of the Paleocene and Eocene. Molecular evidence suggests that the last common ancestor between humans and the remaining great apes diverged 4–8 million years ago. [citation needed]

The orangutans were the first group to split from the line leading to the humans, then gorillas followed by chimpanzees (genus Pan). The functional portion of human DNA is approximately 98.4% identical to that of chimpanzees when comparing single-nucleotide polymorphisms (see human evolutionary genetics). Some studies put that as low as 94%. Therefore, the closest living relatives of humans are gorillas and chimpanzees, as they share a relatively recent common ancestor. [26]

Human evolution is characterized by a number of important changes—morphological, developmental, physiological, and behavioral—that have taken place since the split between the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. The first major morphological change was the evolution

Young Female Human with Body Modifications (Nipple Piercings)

of a bipedal locomotor adaptation from an arboreal or semi-arboreal one, [32] with all its attendant adaptations (a valgus knee, low intermembral index (long legs relative to the arms), reduced upper-body strength).

Other significant morphological changes included the evolution of a power and precision grip, [35] a reduced masticatory system, a reduction of the canine tooth, and the descent of the larynx and hyoid bone, making speech possible. An important physiological change in humans was the evolution of hidden estrus, or concealed ovulation, which may have coincided with the evolution of important behavioral changes, such as pair bonding. Another significant behavioral change was the development of material culture, with human-made objects becoming increasingly common and diversified over time. The relationship between all these changes is the subject of ongoing debate.

Self-modifications [ edit | edit source ]

In many cultures, humans modify their appearance by shaving or trimming head, facial, or body hair, by piercing their ears, nose or nipples, and by other forms of body modification.

Genetics [ edit | edit source ]

Humans are a eukaryotic species. Each diploid cell has two sets of 23 chromosomes, each set received from one parent. There are 22 pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes. By present estimates, humans have approximately 22,000 genes. [73] Like other mammals, humans have an XY sex-determination system, so that females have the sex chromosomes XX and males have XY. The X chromosome carries many genes not on the Y chromosome, which means that recessive diseases associated with X-linked genes, such as hemophilia, affect men more often than women.


Questions:

We don’t know everything about our own species—but we keep learning more! Through studies of fossils, genetics, behavior, and biology of modern humans, we continue to learn more about who we are.

Below are some of the still unanswered questions about Homo sapiens that may be answered with future discoveries:

  1. Who was our direct evolutionary ancestor? Was it Homo heidelbergensis, like many paleoanthropologists think, or another species?
  2. How much interbreeding occured between our species and Homo neanderthalensis?
  3. What does the future hold for our species in an evolutionary sense?

Is there evolution in humans since the first homo sapiens sapiens - Biology

Humans are too complex to be "understood" by any one field. Thus we will look at a few major steps in evolution and some of the things affecting human evolution.

Humans are members of the order Primates which consists of about 180 species (there are 17 different orders of mammals which diverged 80-65 million years ago). Primates are a relatively old order of mammals. Most of the synapomorphies of this order are associated with an arboreal way of life: flexible digits, forward facing eyes, vision as a primary sense. These traits may have played a role in the evolution of brain size in the lineage leading to humans. Humans are a member of the family Hominidae which is believed to have diverged about 5 million years before the present (mybp) from the other members of the Old world monkeys. At least 20 mybp the Hominoids split off from the other old world monkeys. The dates are rough and get changed now and then.

Relationship of humans to African apes (= chimps, gorillas) and orangutan DNA hybridization indicates that apes are our closest relatives . Human/chimp/gorilla relationships not proven but chimps are most likely our closest relatives. The molecular clock says

5 million years ago the human-chimp line split.

While Chimp and gorilla have knuckle walking , the humans posses many traits associated with bipedality : vertebral column, shape of pelvis, angle of femur, foramen magnum at base of skull . Bipedality seems to be a major "innovation" which allowed humans to enter a new "adaptive zone". The first human ( Australopithecus afarensis ) seems to have an angle between the femur and tibia (Upper and lower leg) that is intermediate to that of humans and gorillas.

The evolution of modern humans from our hominid ancestor is commonly considered as having involved four major steps: evolving terrestriality, bipedalism , a large brain ( encephalization ) and civilization . There are (and have been) several competing hypotheses that have acknowledged these four steps, but put them in a different sequence during human evolution.

Origin of Homo sapiens: Australopithecus afarensis = first bipedal hominid, found in east Africa about 3.0-3.2 MYBP. Later forms became more slender (= "gracile"). Homo habilis and H. erectus (

1.5mybp) came later. The evolution of bipedalism may have freed the hands for us in other functions: carrying, tool use. The trends in the evolution of tool use (more types, more specific tasks, different types of materials, more efficient use of materials) seems to follow (lead??) the evolution of increase cranial capacity . These both seem to increase noticeably about 2 mybp. One theme that involves each of the different sequences of evolution is that there was some feedback that lead to the increase in cranial capacity, e.g., becoming bipedal creates selection pressure for a more elaborate brain to control motor function and to process incoming sensory information. This in turn would allow for more successful bipedalism, etc. The same argument could be leveled about culture leading to an increase in brain size, and vice versa, so the sequence cannot be resolved just on the logic of feedback loops alone.

Origin of " modern humans": Two alternative scenarios for origins: 1) humans originated in more than one site ("Multiregional" model). Evidence supporting this are modern Homo sapiens samples found in Asia and Africa 2) a single origin ("Noah's Ark" model: one origin and dispersal out from site of origin). Homo sapiens are believed to have originated

Paleontological evidence suggests a single origin in Africa . Molecular data shows low genetic diversity worldwide with the highest diversity in Africa, aslo suggsting an African origin. Recent re-analyses shown that the cladograms of mtDNA cannot support an African origin on statistical grounds. Moreover, some recent fossil finds have put humans outside Africa about 2.4 MYBP, but these may be due to early migrations. However, three independent, recent articles in Nature (March 31, 1994 vol. 368, pgs. 449-457) all support an African origin for humans two are based on fossil analyses and one is based on DNA analyses of microsatellites (next lecture).

The analysis of the evolution of culture and civilization in humans clearly must be based in materials other than human bones alone. The evolution of tools is one reliable correlate (they are recognizable as being rocks reworked as tools and, being rocks, they preserve well). The patterns of tool form show some suggestive trends regarding civilization: through time more types of tools become apparent and there is less variation among specimens in the shape/form of a given tool (see figure). This has been interpreted as evidence for communication or "training", since 'word may have spread' on just how to improve that stone ax so that it can be used more effectively for certain tasks.

The spread of Homo out of Africa is presumed to have taken place about 1.5 MYBP by Homo erectus . This species seems to be on a trajectory of brain size and body size that looks anagenetic , whereas one lineage that lead to Australopithecus robustus seems to be on another line. In a broad sweep of time, the notion of the chimp leading to the Australopithecine, to Homo, to the Neanderthal to the modern American family standing in their driveway is a myth. There were lineages that diverged in a branching cladogram, some of which did not make it to the present. Evidence for this is provided by more than one distinct morphological type of early humans present at the same time (see below). As time gets closer to modern humans, however ( Homo erectus on up), a phyletic gradualist anagenesis is more easy to accept.

Once a big brain is achieved and this provides the intellect for an organism to anticipate its environment, the notion that an organism evolves in response to changes of the environment becomes too simplistic. Humans evolved the power to alter their environment so as to protect themselves from its abiotic pressures. This means that they are altering their own selective pressures and a dialectic emerges between the organism and the environment such that these cannot be separated. Other organisms do this (beaver dams, deciduous trees), but in humans this cycle is accelerating. The rest is history.


The Homo Species

Between 1 and 2.5 million years ago, the Homo species appeared in Africa and began spreading throughout the world. From northeast Africa, the species moved to China, then to Australia, Europe, the Americas, and finally to Polynesia. This is what is known as the Out-of-Africa theory, which states all humans evolved from the same ancestors. As archaeologists continue to discover new evidence, the understanding of the evolution process of humans becomes complex. New evidence has led scientists to suggest that the Homo species might have developed independently within and outside Africa, since Homo erectus, a precursor to Homo sapiens, is known to have left Africa and migrated to other continents.

Homo Habilis

Homo habilis was the first of the modern humans. Homo habilis had a slightly larger skull signifying a bigger brain, smaller teeth and a smaller face than the Australopithecus. The remains of the Homo habilis were first discovered in 1960 by archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

Homo Erectus

Installation of figures resembling Homo erectus, Museum of Natural History, Vienna, Austria. Image credit: frantic00/Shutterstock

Homo erectus is the earliest human species to possess the body proportions of the modern human. The species existed between 1.2 and 1.8 million years ago and was characterized by longer legs, shorter arms, and shorter teeth compared to the Homo habilis. The first complete fossil of the Homo erectus is "Turkana Boy" discovered in Turkana, Kenya. Four species are believed to have developed from Homo erectus: Homo floresiensis, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo sapiens.

Homo Sapiens

Homo sapiens began walking the African continent around 300,000 years ago and is the only species of the Homo genus that is not extinct. Homo sapiens is the most advanced of all living species on the planet. There are over 7.8 billion people on the planet and researchers anticipate that the evolution of the Homo sapiens can only be rendered extinct by a planetary-level catastrophe.


More Big Problems with Human Evolution

Several new research studies have been recently adding to a growing number of problems with the evolutionary theory of human origins. This topic is important because the concern over evolution has been primarily with human evolution, not the evolution of reptiles or birds. It is human evolution that has been the main focus of the evolutionary debate from Darwin’s day to today. This is one reason why Darwin deliberately avoided the topic in his 1859 book titled On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.[1] However, much scuttlebutt existed among Darwin’s readers and critics about whether or not evolution explained the origin of humans.[2]

Then, in 1871, Darwin responded to the human evolution undercurrent and released his long-awaited book, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. This book was specifically about human evolution.[3] Even the 1925 Scopes Trial, often called America’s Most Famous Trial[4] was only about human evolution. The Butler Act, which was the focus of the trial, only prohibited teaching human evolution, not evolution in general. The act is as follows:

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the Universities, Normals and all other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.[5]

The interest in human evolution has also resulted in much research on this topic. Probably more books have been written on human evolution than on the evolution of any animal, vertebrate or invertebrate. Evolutionists claim that the interest in human evolution is one reason we have more fossil evidence for human evolution than for almost any other vertebrate except dinosaurs.[6] One scientist claimed there are so many human-evolution fossils that no one knows the exact number.[7] He added the pace of discovery of fossils related to human evolution “now is too fast to track. Each year for the last decade, anthropologists have unearthed hundreds of fossil specimens from extinct hominin species and populations.”[8] Hawks added that by the year

2012, the Sima de los Huesos hominin assemblage, near Burgos, Spain, numbered more than 6500 specimens from at least 28 individuals. Many more fossils are recovered in every field season. In South Africa, the Rising Star hominin sample today numbers more than 2000 specimens from at least 18 individuals. This deposit of hominin fossils was completely unknown until 2013. From just two caves, that is nearly 9000 fossil hominin specimens.[9]

The problem is, the more fossils that are unearthed, the more problems that arise against the consensus theory of human evolution. I will review just two recent examples. One is an “analysis of a 160,000-year-old archaic human molar fossil discovered in China [which] offers the first morphological evidence of interbreeding between archaic humans and Homo sapiens in Asia.”[10] Evidence of interbreeding between archaic humans and Homo sapiens indicates the so-called archaic humans are fully human, given the common definition of species: namely, if two creatures can interbreed, they are by definition the same species or ‘kind’ of creature. The best example is the once-assumed evolutionary link between our primate ancestors and modern humans, the so-called Neanderthals, are now regarded as fully modern humans – just a different ethnic group.[11]

The tri-rooted molar (Max Planck Institute)

The Three-rooted Lower Molar Finding

The three-rooted lower molar study centers on a three-rooted human lower molar, which is a rare trait found primarily in modern Asians. It was previously believed to have evolved after H. sapiens dispersed from Africa. Almost every human’s 3rd molars have two roots. The molars and premolars crush the food and are held in the gums by two roots. The three-rooted lower molar was located on a hominin lower mandible of what was considered an archaic human who lived in Asia more than 160,000 Darwin years ago, but it also exists among modern Asians. The tooth was part of a discovery made in 1980 on the Tibetan Plateau in Baishiya Karst Cave in Xiahe, China.[12] The researchers concluded “The trait’s presence in the fossil suggests both that it is older than previously understood and that some modern Asian groups obtained the trait through interbreeding with a sister group of Neanderthals, the Denisovans.”

In a previous study, published in Nature, Bailey and her colleagues concluded that the Denisovans occupied the Tibetan Plateau long before Homo sapiens arrived in the region. Denisovans, or Denisova hominins, are believed to be an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans in the genus Homo. Bailey described the implications of their fossil find as follows:

In Asia, there have long been claims for continuity between archaic and modern humans because of some shared traits … But many of those traits are primitive or are not unique to Asians. However, the three-rooted lower molar trait is unique to Asian groups. Its presence in a 160,000-year-old archaic human in Asia strongly suggests the trait was transferred to H. sapiens in the region through interbreeding with archaic humans in Asia.[13]

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science article summarized the research as follows:

It has long been thought that the prevalence of 3-rooted lower molars in Asia is a relatively late acquisition occurring well after the origin and dispersal of H. sapiens. However, the presence of a 3-rooted lower second molar in this 160,000-year-old fossil hominin suggests greater antiquity for the trait. Importantly, it also provides morphological evidence of a strong link between archaic and recent Asian H. sapiens populations.[14]

In other words, the archaic human thought to be 160,000-years old possesses a trait common only in modern Asians and no other ethnicity. The major question of why is answered by the possibility of interbreeding, indicating that the once assumed primitive evolutionary ancestors, the Denisovans, and modern Chinese are the same species as are the Neanderthals and modern man! Another possibility is that they were, or are, sub-ethnic Asians, or another Asian population that had ethnic features interpreted as primitive, just like the Neanderthal example.

Another Example

The second example illustrates once again how tentative evolutionary stories can be. A headline in The Independent exclaims, “300,000-year-old skulls that look shockingly like ours could rewrite the human origin story.”[15] The article admits the fact that when and where our species emerged is a question that “anthropologists have struggled with … for decades, and scattered clues had suggested the answer lay somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa about 200,000 [Darwin] years ago.”[16] New evidence published in the journal Nature challenges this dominant hypothesis. The study by paleoanthropologists described recently-discovered remains indicating the first Homo sapiens appeared 150,000 years earlier than once thought, and in a location on Earth that is very different than sub-Saharan Africa—namely, in a land that is known today as Morocco. Thus, modern humans appeared 350,000 years ago, meaning some of our supposed ancestors could not be our ancestors because they lived contemporaneously with modern humans!

In 1961, a mining crew was plowing into a hilly region when they noticed a nearly-complete skull. Thinking it was a recently deceased person, the miners turned it over to their field doctor. They later uncovered several pieces of jaw and an arm fragment. Scientists then estimated the fossils were roughly 40,000 years old.

About 40 years later, anthropologist Jean-Jacques Hublin and his associates excavated a half-dozen layers of soil beneath the land where the skull and arm bones were originally discovered. They found remains of at least five individuals, along with flint blades which gave evidence of being used to start cooking fires. By measuring the radiation built up in the flint since it was heated, Hublin estimated the bones belonged to people who lived roughly 300,000 to 350,000 years ago. Thus the age has progressed from 40,000 to as much as 350,000 years old, or almost 9 times older!

Modern Tibetans have Denisovan DNA (Discover Magazine)

Instead of the robust features on the faces of ancient human ancestors like Homo erectus or Homo heidelbergensis, this face bore a striking resemblance to our own. Homo erectus skulls have a single protruding brow ridge, but these newly discovered individuals possessed the modern smaller, separated brow ridges. Rather than a large face and a flattened skull typical of putative ancient pre-humans, these people had the modern small faces and rounder skulls. Their brain case size were between an ancient human ancestor and a modern human, albeit slightly more similar to those of our archaic ancestors.

These advanced and archaic features in one person suggest to the evolutionists that the individual was either an evolutionary intermediate between modern and ancient humans, or may have been a small-statured human who had a proportionally small head. Nonetheless, the find openly contradicts the prevailing anthropological view that humans evolved somewhere deep in sub-Saharan Africa, then gradually moved to other parts of the world. Instead, Hublin and his team argued that their fossils indicated Homo sapiens living in Morocco. And according to Sonia Zakrzewski, associate professor of archaeology at the University of Southampton, “Hublin’s discovery could encourage other archaeologists to change the way they think about human origins. ‘It really sets the world alight in terms of the possibilities for understanding the evolution of Homo sapiens…. we need to rethink our models.’”[17]

As more fossil finds are located and analyzed, the evolutionary story of human origins grows more complex and is more difficult to interpret in an evolutionary framework. One should note that, in both of the accounts briefly noted above, the evidence which the authors imply will revolutionize the story of human evolution consists of a minor tooth variation and two minor facial features: a brow ridge and small faces on rounder skulls. That minor details such as these can overturn previous evolutionary conclusions says reams about the evidence, or lack of evidence, that the original evolutionary stories by paleoanthropologists were based on.

[1] Charles Darwin. 1859. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. London, UK: John Murray.

[2] John Dupré. 2003. Darwin’s Legacy: What Evolution Means Today. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, p. 63.

[3] Charles Darwin. 1871. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. London, UK: John Murray.

[4] Charles River Editors. 2015. The Scopes Monkey Trial: The History of 20th Century America’s Most Famous Court Case. CreateSpace (published by the author: Charles River Editors).

[5] Ginger, Ray. 1958. Six Days or Forever? Tennessee versus John Thomas Scopes. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, p. 3.

[6] Niles Eldredge. 1982. The Monkey Business: A Scientist Looks at Creationism. New York, NY: Washington Square Press, Chapter 3, pp. 41-50.

[7] John Hawks. 2017. How much evidence have scientists found for human evolution? https://medium.com/@johnhawks/how-much-evidence-have-scientists-found-for-human-evolution-355801dfd35c

[10] “Ancient Molar Points to Interbreeding Between Archaic Humans and Homo Sapiens in Asia.”

Analysis Gives New Continental Bite to Evolution. July 8, 2019. New York University.

[11] New York University. 2019. “Ancient molar points to interbreeding between archaic humans and Homo sapiens in Asia: Analysis gives new continental bite to evolution.” Science Daily, July 8. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190708154036.htm>.

[12] Shara E. Bailey, Jean-Jacques Hublin, and Susan C. Antón. Rare dental trait provides morphological evidence of archaic introgression in Asian fossil record. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019 201907557 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1907557116.

[14] Shara E. Bailey, et al., 2019,p. 1.

[15] Erin Brodwin. 2017. 300,000-year-old skulls that look shockingly like ours could rewrite the human origin story http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/skulls-found-morocco-human-origins-discover-archaeology-a8047906.html.

[17] Quoted in Erin Brodwin, 2017, p. 1.

Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.


What We Really Know about the Origin of Humans

The origin of humans is most certainly one of the most contentious points of evolutionary theory. Many people who believe in the God of the Bible accept that evolution created the animals but they still believe that humans (or at least their souls) were created by God . Such compromise positions have ultimately undermined the authority of God ’s Word Scripture is accepted for its moral value but not for its absolute truth in every area. It would seem that almost every culture on the planet has some story to explain how humans came to be. Many of these involve supernatural acts by gods. Naturalistic science, by its own definition, does not accept these supernatural events and regards them as myth. Religion and mythology are often viewed as some evolved coping mechanism to explain things that our brains have not been able to understand or directly experience. The scientific community must reject a supernatural origin based on its naturalistic/materialistic definition of science.

One of the reasons that human evolution is such a hot issue in Western culture stems from the direct conflict it has with biblical Christianity. In the creation account of Genesis 1 and 2, man is created in a position above the animals—in the very “image of God .” In evolutionary philosophy, man is a mere accident in the experiment run by time, chance, and natural laws. Man occupies no more important a position in the universe than does an asteroid floating through space. This notion runs contrary to the emotions of most people, but that may simply be arrogance due to our highly evolved brains.

Many may believe that there is a wide array of fossil evidence that clearly shows how apes have become humans. The iconic depiction of a hunched monkey gradually developing into an uprightwalking human has been viewed by most people. The problem is that much of the visuals are made up. The absence of a consistent story of evolution is obvious in the way that human ancestry is presented in the textbooks. Instead of showing a phylogenetic tree, two of the textbooks (Holt and Prentice Hall) simply show timelines representing the fossils. The Glencoe text shows a “possible” phylogenetic tree with many dashed lines (which are assumed to be questionable, even though they are not indicated as such), and one line appearing out of thin air. The cautious treatment of this topic shows the lack of consensus within the scientific community regarding the alleged ancestry of humans.

When the phrase “human evolution ” is used, this is probably one of the first images to pop into people’s minds. Despite its iconic status and widespread use, it is not based on factual evidence, but on imagination.

The proposed evolutionary ancestors to humans have changed many times over the decades as new fossil evidence has been gathered. While it is not expected that theories should remain constant, the picture seems to become less and less common with the addition of new information. Many nearly identical terms are used to describe alleged human and ape ancestors. Care must be taken to distinguish between hominoids, humanoids, hominins, hominans, and hominids. The most commonly discussed term is “hominid”:

Hominid: extinct and living members of the family Hominidae, including modern humans and their ancestors.

The term hominid has a somewhat contradictory definition within and between the textbooks reviewed. Different classification schemes place the orangutans, gorillas, and chimps (these three are commonly called the “great apes”) in the family Pongidae, while other schemes place these three in the family Hominidae with humans. Depending on which scheme is used for classification, the meaning of the word changes. Whether the term includes the great apes is somewhat irrelevant in that all groups still share a supposed common ancestor. In the broader scope, all four of these groups would be referred to as hominoids. The textbooks seem to indicate that only bipedal (walking upright on two legs) primates are classified as hominids, and the figures discussing hominids include “ancestors” that are assumed to be bipedal (Homo, Australopithecus, Ardipithecus, etc.). A review of current literature seems to indicate a trend toward including all four groups in the family Hominidae, which would mean the definition would need to be modified. The term has no value in the creationist model because there are no human ancestors—apes are apes, humans are humans. This does not mean that all creationists agree on the classification of all of the fossil primates. Classification is a subjective issue, especially when dealing in the historical realm of fossils and fragments of fossils. It is important to recognize the limits of accuracy when dealing with such a topic.

Many evolutionists try to dispel the popular idea that humans evolved from monkeys. While that statement is a simplification of human evolution , evolutionists claim that there is a common ancestor for monkeys, apes, and humans. If this common ancestor didn’t look something like a monkey, what did it look like? It would be more accurate to say that humans, monkeys, and apes have a common ancestor, but the distinction is relatively minor when considering that the ancestor of all apes and monkeys must have looked something like an ape or monkey.

(Holt 732) Many evolutionists complain when people say that humans descended from monkeys. If the common ancestor for chimpanzees and humans shown in this phylogenetic tree did not look like a monkey, what did it look like?

The moral implications of the evolutionary philosophy that man is simply an advanced ape are increasingly manifested in our culture. If man is an ape, then the apelike or “primal” urges that we have for violence and sexuality can be excused as coming from our evolutionary history. Exercising those urges is contrary to the Christian doctrine of self-control. Many evolutionists try to separate biological evolution from evolutionary-based social philosophies on the grounds that those philosophies are not scientific. While this is true, evolutionists still try to deal with questions of behavior and their origins.

Bioethics is the area that deals with the moral and ethical implications of scientific knowledge and the technology it produces. If society espouses evolutionary/materialistic beliefs, those beliefs have consequences. There is no absolute basis for morality in a materialistic belief system right and wrong are determined by the individual and society. As society changes, the laws that govern a society also change. Accepting the view that humans are simply highly evolved apes and that man determines truth is directly contrary to the absolute authority of the Creator God of the Bible .

The social concept of relative morality is based on evolutionary doctrine. If man is a product of random, cosmic accidents, then man should be able to decide what is right and wrong (if right and wrong even exist in humanistic philosophy). The problem is that there is no basis for deciding what point of view is right or wrong if each person comes to a different conclusion. The Bible provides absolute truth and authority for making moral decisions.

Starting from the evolutionary bias that apes and humans are similar, some evolutionists have proposed that chimps should actually be reclassified in the genus Homo alongside humans. Taking this a step further, several groups are pushing for “human rights” for the apes. If they are truly that similar to us, why not grant them these rights? One reason is that the Bible makes a clear distinction between human life and the life of animals. We are to be stewards of the earth and have dominion over the animals, but we are created in the image of God , which makes us distinct from the apes.

An examination of the fossils that are proposed as human ancestors, or at least along the branch that led to humans, shows many specimens that overlap in evolutionary time, as well as gaps of millions of years. There is no consensus on the path to humans, and any representation of the lineage is highly subjective. In the biblical creationist model, these specimens either represent some type of extinct ape, or groups of humans.

One of the unfortunate elements of the acceptance of the evolutionary origins of man was a marked increase in racial prejudice. Although racism certainly existed before the 1850s, evolution gave white Europeans a “scientific” justification to dominate the “less evolved” Africans and Australian Aborigines. Australian Aborigines were actually killed and taken to London as museum specimens of the “missing link” between apemen and modern humans. A pygmy by the name of Ota Benga was placed on exhibit in the monkey house at the Bronx Zoo. What could justify such treatment of humans? Evolution was used to justify the display because the Africans, Aborigines, and Mongols (Asians) were arbitrarily considered inferior races to the Caucasians of Europe. In contrast, the Bible explains that all men are created in the image of God ( Genesis 1:26–27 ) and are of one blood ( Acts 17:26 )—there are no inferior races. In fact, there is only one race, the human race.

Humans are humans and have been so since the beginning no prehistoric hominids ever evolved into humans. Though the fossil record is incomplete, it can only be interpreted accurately if the presuppositions are true—that truth comes from God , who is the only eyewitness to all of the events of history.

(Holt 734) Many textbooks have avoided including a tree of human evolution because the interpretation of fossil hominids changes constantly. This set of overlapping bars is actually a more accurate picture of the existence of distinct groups that have existed in the past. The time scale used directly contradicts the Bible , and many of the distinct groups are likely members of a single genus that has been artificially split based on evolutionary assumptions.

Many popular magazines and television programs show evidence purportedly proving that humans evolved from an apelike ancestor. Is the evidence real, or are they making apes out of men and men out of apes? Starting from biblical assumptions, we see clearly that God made man in His image and did not use evolution. Some Christians who accept evolution say that man’s soul was created by God, but evolution made the physical form. The evolutionary assumptions demand that man evolved from an apelike ancestor and discount biblical authority. Paleoanthropologists don’t ask if man evolved from apes, but which apes he evolved from.

The fossil evidence of hominids (alleged human ancestors) is extremely limited, and very few people actually get the fossils or pictures. And because jaws and teeth are the most commonly preserved primate fossils, these become a key part of the interpretations. The fraudulent Nebraska Man, including his family and livestock, was identified and drawn based on a single tooth, which was later found to be from an extinct pig.

Skull anatomy is also important, since brain capacity and facial features are used to demonstrate the supposed human-like features in some ape fossils. Leg and hip bones are important in demonstrating how the hominids walked. Those that walked upright are more human than those that didn’t.

To make an apelike human ancestor appear out of the fossil record, paleoanthropologists do one of three things. First, they combine pieces from an ape fossil and a human fossil and call it a hominid ancestor. This happened in the case of Piltdown man, which was identified as a hoax after being promoted as man’s ancestor for 50 years. The second way is to emphasize the ape features of a human fossil, such as oversized jaws, sloping foreheads, and other features that are found within the range of human variation. Finally, they emphasize the human features on an ape fossil. This is evident in the fossil “Lucy,” an Australopithecus afarensis specimen. Even though A. afarensis hips don’t support the idea that they walked upright and the foot bones are curved like an ape’s, it is usually shown standing with human feet—a blatant misrepresentation of the fossil evidence.

10:2 Australia’s Aborigines … did they see dinosaurs? Driver, www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v21/i1/aborigines.asp

Stories of large creatures have been present in modern cultures around the world. Some of the most popular include Mokele-Mbembe and the Loch Ness Monster. While evolutionists must dismiss all of these claims as absurd because dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years, there is no reason to doubt that some species of dinosaurs could have survived the 4,500 years since the Flood. Credible accounts of the “bunyip,” “burrunjor,” and “kulta” among Aborigines seem to fit descriptions of “prehistoric” dinosaur-like creatures that could have survived in remote regions. The evidence of human and dinosaur coexistence includes cave paintings that apparently depict dinosaurs, the mention of dragons and behemoth in the Bible , and the presence of many dinosaur and dragon descriptions and pictures in Europe and Asia.

(Glencoe 433) In this activity, the features that are more apelike are emphasized to distinguish modern human skulls from Neanderthals. Despite the larger brain capacity and the features that can be found in the modern-day human population, Neanderthals are demoted to a subhuman category. Many scientists are beginning to reexamine the Neanderthal evidence and are using disease and diet to explain some of the skeletal differences seen.

Humans are the result of either a cosmic accident orchestrated by time and chance or the special creative act of God . Evolutionists once viewed Neanderthals as dumb, cave-dwelling brutes that were less than human, but creationists have always argued that they were fully human. Neanderthals lived in very harsh conditions where disease and nutrition may have produced some of the skeletal features seen, and many evolutionists are beginning to accept the creationist view of Neanderthals as an extinct human people group—not a missing link.

Tragically, other human people groups have been considered missing links and treated in barbaric ways. African Negroes and Australian Aborigines were sometimes considered less evolved humans. A century ago, Darwin’s idea encouraged the slaughter of Aborigines, and some were even prepared as museum specimens. It also gave credence to Hitler’s plan to exterminate the “inferior” Jewish race.

(Holt 733) “Despite the claim that australopithecines like Lucy walked upright, the data does not support the claim. Other apes living today have similar leg structures and do not walk upright.”

Piltdown man was thought to be a missing link for over 50 years before it was discovered to be a fraudulent combination of a human skull and an orangutan jaw. But because people wanted to believe evolution, they initially accepted the evidence without scientific scrutiny. The many different and dubious interpretations of Java man and Peking man (well documented in Bones of Contention by Martin Lubenow) are further evidence that people see what they believe in the fossils. Nebraska man was a hallmark in the Scopes Trial, but the tooth that inspired this image was later determined to be from an extinct pig.

There is no need to look for missing links if man is classified as a monkey, as a 1993 display at the Australian National Museum depicted: the common behaviors in humans and various apes were set forward as evidence for the claim. Australopithecus, the genus of the infamous “Lucy” specimen, is one of the most cited examples of a missing link in human evolution . The problem is that australopithecine features are all apelike, despite the claim that they walked upright. Many depictions actually show human hands and feet when the evidence clearly indicates curved, apelike features.

The fact that tools are found with some australopithecine fossils and that human fossils are found in strata directly underneath suggests that the tools may have been used on the apes, not by them. The extinct ape fossils may share characteristics with modern humans, but so do living apes. No evidence from the fossil record directly supports a transitional series from ape to human. Virtually every major discovery is later reinterpreted to fit a new version of evolution . People have always been people and apes have always been apes. Each was created according to the purpose and plan of God .

10:4 Chimp-human hybridization: two of a kind or two different kinds? DeWitt, www.answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0531chimp.asp

In a complicated twisting of the evolutionary history of humans and chimps, a group of scientists studying hominoid DNA sequences has proposed a radical chain of events. Nick Patterson and his colleagues make the suggestion that chimps and humans began to diverge about 10 million years ago. Then, about 6 million years ago, they believe the two distinct populations merged to form a group of hybrids. They believe that fertile hybrid females then crossed back to one of the ancestral species, subsequently giving rise to distinct human and chimpanzee species. This extreme view is based on the fact that different regions of DNA sequence give different dates for divergence. There are also regions of the DNA where humans are closer to gorillas than humans and chimps. Instead of questioning the validity of the dating techniques, a contorted explanation is developed. The explanation of the data demonstrates the plastic nature of the evolutionary models. The differences are not expected in the Darwinian interpretation, but they fit the idea that each kind was created to be unique. Man and apes should not be considered to be closely related—as the data clearly suggests.

10:5 Chimp genome sequence very different from man, DeWitt, www.answersingenesis.org/go/dna-chimp

Evolutionists have claimed that chimp and human DNA is up to 99% similar. These studies only looked at gene coding regions, which are a tiny fraction of the 3 billion base pairs in the human genome. When the chimp genome was sequenced, the number was reduced to 96%, twice as much difference as was previously thought. No matter what the difference, evolution would predict it, and evolutionists would claim it as proof. It is estimated that 40 million mutation events would be required to produce 125 million differences in the DNA sequences. There’s not enough time in the evolutionary explanation for this to happen (Haldane’s Dilemma), and no new information is generated in these types of mutations anyway.

Some scientists are surprised at the anatomical, physical, and behavioral differences between man and chimpanzee when they see so much apparent genetic similarity. With a philosophy that excludes a Creator God , they are forced to accept similarity as evidence of common ancestry. However, similarity can also be the result of a common Designer. The differences make the difference, and the most important difference is that man is created in the image of God .

(Glencoe 430) The idea that skeletal features of australopithecines are intermediate to humans and chimpanzees is an interpretation that comes from the assumption that chimps and humans have a common ancestor. Starting from a different assumption, that humans and chimps have a common Designer, the evidence points to a Creator using similar structures to perform similar functions.

Neanderthals are often portrayed as unintelligent cavemen in animal-skin clothing. Neanderthals were first thought to be subhuman, but that thought is beginning to change. In the creationist view, Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons were post-Flood people groups that resulted after the dispersion from Babel. Neanderthals were originally given the name Homo neanderthalensis and considered an ancestor to modern humans. Fortyfour years after this biased classification, Neanderthals were reclassified as a human subspecies Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and described as nearly human. It has been claimed that they were unintelligent even though their brain capacity was larger than modern humans, and interpretations of their social habits vary from hunter to vegetarian.

Neanderthals present a challenge to Christians who believe that soulless humans came before Adam. There is conclusive evidence that Neanderthals and humans lived at the same time. Recent discoveries of a humanlike hyoid bone, burial practices, musical instruments, weapons, and other signs of culture have started to shift the picture in even the evolutionists’ minds. Evidence of hybridization between humans and Neanderthals, DNA comparisons, and the indications that they lived together for 100,000 years of evolutionary time point to the fact that they were fully human. This evidence contradicts evolutionary assumptions and supports the biblical position that Neanderthals simply represent some of the variety that was programmed into the human genome by our Creator.


Watch the video: HOMO SAPIENS Trailer engl. (May 2022).