Neandertals Mixed with Humans in China | The Institute for Creation Research
Neandertals Mixed with Humans in China

Neandertal remains are mostly found in European caves. So when Neandertal-like characteristics were discovered among a fossilized jawbone and teeth in South China, it was cause for further investigation. Not only was the location a curiosity, but the jawbone shared both Neandertal and modern human features. Finds such as this create new kinks in the evolutionary chain of human and Neandertal history.

European burial sites clearly show that Neandertals and modern-looking humans intermarried. They both had elaborate burials―in a few cases, they were buried together―and modern human remains with Neandertal characteristics have been found.1 Recently, researchers found DNA sequence similarity between Europeans and Neandertals.2 But the discovery of the Neandertal-like jawbone (or mandible) was unexpected in China, especially at such an early evolutionary date of 100,000 B.C.

The Chinese remains were described in an article published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.3 Anthropologist Fred Smith, who was not involved in the research, told Discovery News, "The Zhirendong mandible tells us that modern people appear far earlier in East Asia than many, including me, would have thought."4

The evolutionary dates assigned to the discovery would mean that Neandertals and anatomically modern humans lived together for an inexplicably long time. The study's authors wrote that "it therefore indicates a prolonged (greater than 50,000 year) coexistence of late archaic [Neandertal] and early modern [anatomically modern] humans across portions of Eurasia, and not just between Africa and Eurasia."3

Because the jawbone appears to contain a mixture of features (called a "morphological mosaic" by the authors), it looks as though Neandertals intermarried with anatomically modern people. This rebuts the scenario—as similar evidence did in Europe—that modern humans swept across China, wiping out all Neandertals in their path.

Also, this evidence forces the evolutionary story line to take unrealistic turns. In the new narrative, Neandertals must have lived in Africa for thousands of years, migrated to China, intermarried with modern humans, stayed in one area for tens of thousands of years, and then migrated again. Why they would stay there for so long when they had already demonstrated their willingness and ability to travel long distances?

Study co-author Erik Trinkaus told Discovery News that these remains show that "modern humans had spread across southern Eurasia by 100,000 years ago, and yet archaic humans [who supposedly lived before modern humans] remained across the more northern areas, and even displaced the modern humans in Southwest Asia for an additional 50,000-70,000 years."4

Thus, "we don't know why those modern humans expanded then, after remaining in Africa and southern Asia for 50,000 plus years."4

This tale's most torturous turns would be averted by removing the evolutionary date assignments. If there simply were no long time spans to account for, there would be no need to explain why a migratory group of people failed to migrate for tens of thousands of years.

Remaining conflicts also vanish when one considers that these "archaic" humans (Neandertals) and anatomically modern humans were all people―descendants of the first man, Adam. Being diverse populations of people who were spreading out across the post-Flood earth, it makes sense that they would migrate, interact with one another, and live in varying places around the world, all within the last 4,500 or so years—just as the Bible indicates.

References

  1. Thomas, B. Neandertal Men Were Modern Men. ICR News. Posted on icr.org December 18, 2008, accessed October 29, 2010.
  2. See Thomas, B. Neandertal Genome Confirms Creation Science Predictions. ICR News. Posted on icr.org May 28, 2010, accessed October 26, 2010.
  3. Liu, W. et al. Human remains from Zhirendong, South China, and modern human emergence in East Asia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Published online before print October 25, 2010.
  4. Viegas, J. Asian Neanderthals, Humans Mated. Discovery News. Posted on news.discovery.com October 25, 2010, accessed October 26, 2010.

Image Credit: Copyright © 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. Liu et al, Human remains from Zhirendong, pnas.org, 10-25-2010. Adapted for use in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holders.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on November 3, 2010.

The Latest
NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update–Dinosaur Fossils
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Begins!
The Institute for Creation Research launched its 2021 multistate science expedition last week as a nine-member team left the ICR headquarters in Dallas,...

NEWS
Inside September 2021 Acts & Facts
Why does ICR focus on scientific research? How could paleontologists mistake a lizard fossil for a dinosaur? Is animal death before the Fall theologically...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Beauty by Design
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
Defend Your Faith with ICR
Have you ever heard a pastor question the historical nature of Genesis? “The days of creation weren’t really 24 hours long. The Bible is...

ACTS & FACTS
Animal Death Before the Fall?
Both the Old and New Testaments teach that death entered the world when Adam ate the forbidden fruit (e.g., Genesis 2:17 and Romans 5:12). Since fossils...

APOLOGETICS
Transmitting Truth in a Modern Pagan World
We share the world with modern pagans who worship the sun—or idolize an imagined primordial Big Bang—so we need to be truth witnesses unto...

ACTS & FACTS
Waco Mammoth National Monument
Hunters in the 1970s discovered mammoth bones exposed in sediments near the confluence of the Bosque and Brazos Rivers in north central Texas. They...

ACTS & FACTS
Three Hurdles for Evolution
Sure, finch beaks shift their shapes, but does that mean nature invented beaks and birds from stardust? Evolution’s proponents often speak as...