But in the intervening decades, as more research and discoveries have been made, Neanderthals are believed to be fully human, able to interbreed with Homo sapiens. DNA analysis confirms this.2
A recent news article stated,
A Swedish scientist [Svante Paabo] has been awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for his groundbreaking research that proved modern humans once procreated with ancient Neanderthals…. [Paabo’s] work is considered revolutionary because it introduced a new branch of paleontology called ‘paleogenomics,’ which looks to ancient DNA to unlock the mystery of how present-day humans came to be.3
We could say humans once procreated with humans, since the scientific evidence has shown repeatedly that Neanderthals (and a human group called the Denisovans discovered from bones and a tooth found in Altai Mountains, Siberia4) were 100% human.
In fact, an evolutionary paleoanthropologist stated, “The irony is that the scientific community is going to have to come round to the acceptance that the Denisovans and the Neandertals also belonged to the species which we all call Homo sapiens.”5 Finlayson was correct.
If one wants to see what Homo neaderthalensis looks like, he simply looks at Nikolai Valuev, a member of the Russian parliament, who has enlarged brow ridges and a sloping forehead. Indeed, Homo sapien skulls come in all shapes and sizes, but they are all people.
Ancient DNA shows that Neandertals and Denisovans have always been people.
Researchers interested in unraveling humanity's past recently sequenced a female Neandertal's ancient DNA and published their results in Nature. The research included sequences that closely matched: Neandertal, Denisovan, modern man, plus an unidentified variation of man. The study authors suspected that these different groups interbred. Just as prior studies showed, this one confirmed that similarities between Neandertal and other human DNA sequences place "Miss Neandertal" inside human kind.6
Then what happened to the Neanderthals? An evolutionary article states,
Modern humans are usually seen as superior in a wide range of domains, including weaponry and subsistence strategies, which would have led to the demise of Neandertals. This systematic review of the archaeological records of Neandertals and their modern human contemporaries finds no support for such interpretations, as the Neandertal archaeological record is not different enough to explain the demise in terms of inferiority in archaeologically visible domains. Instead, current genetic data suggest that complex processes of interbreeding and assimilation may have been responsible for the disappearance of the specific Neandertal morphology from the fossil record.7
What does humans procreating with Neanderthals have to do with the theory of human evolution? Nothing. Man and woman were created by God8 in the beginning—no sub-human ancestry.
1. As seen in a drawing by Czech artist Frantizek Kupka in the Illustrated London News of 1909.
2. Paabo, S. 2014. Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes. New York: Basic Books, 237.
3. Lee, A. Swedish geneticist Svante Paabo wins Nobel Prize for medicine for discovery that humans procreated with Neanderthals. Posted on msn.com October 3, 2022, accessed October 4, 2022.
4. Allaby, M. 2020. Dictionary of Zoology. Oxford University Press. 181.
5. Finlayson, C. All change: theories of human ancestry get an overhaul. BBC News. December 31, 2010.
6. Thomas, B. New Finds Reveal Fully-Human Neandertal. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org August 25, 2014, accessed October 3, 2022
7. Villa, P. and W. Roebroeks. Neandertal Demise: An Archaeological Analysis of the Modern Human Superiority Complex. PLOS ONE. Posted on plos.org April 30, 2014, accessed October 3, 2022.
8. Genesis 2.
* Dr. Sherwin is a news writer at the Institute for Creation Research. He earned an M.A. in zoology from the University of Northern Colorado and received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Pensacola Christian College.