How Coherent Is the Human Evolution Story? | The Institute for Creation Research

How Coherent Is the Human Evolution Story?

Download PDFDownload How Coherent Is the Human Evolution Story? PDF

"Australopithocines evolved into Homo erectus around 1.5 million years ago and Homo erectus, in turn, evolved into Homo sapiens around 400,000 years ago." This is presented to school children as no less certain than Washington's crossing of the Delaware. The statement makes dual claims: (1) there are fundamental anatomical differences between these three categories, and (2) each occurs in the right time frame. Let us examine these claims.

The anatomical differences between these three groups must be very substantial for the statement to have any meaning. Any anthropologist should be able to spot a Homo erectus on a crowded subway train, even clean-shaven and in a business suit, as different from modern humans. Not so. In fact, leading anthropologists Milford H. Wolpoff (University of Michigan), William S. Laughlin (U. of Connecticut), Gabriel Ward Lasker (Wayne State U.), Kenneth A. R. Kennedy (Cornell), Jerome Cybulski (National Museum of Man, Ottawa), and Donald Johanson (Institute of Human Origins) find the differences between these fossil categories to be so small that they have wondered in print if H. sapiens and H. erectus are one and the same. Fossils classified as H. erectus all share a set of "primitive" traits including a sloping forehead and large brow ridges, yet these all fall comfortably within the range of what are called normal humans today. For example, the very same traits are found in some modern people groups, including Eskimos! Eskimos might not like being referred to as "primitive" humans, yet evolutionists must do so if they are to be consistent. There are a lot of problems with the continued use of this taxon, yet it is essential to the evolution story.

The second truth claim embedded within the statement given to school kids has to do with these fossils occurring in the right time frame. For example, fossils with a H. erectus anatomy should be found exclusively in rocks that are older than those with its youthful descendents, "anatomically-modern" humans. This is decidedly not the case. Putting aside the validity of age-dates for a moment, the range for H. erectus is usually given at between about 1.5 million years and 400,000 years. Studiously avoided in most museum depictions is the fact that fossils with a H. erectus anatomy that are younger than 400,000 years number well over 100, including some as young as 6000 years. Even more amazing is this: fossil humans that are easily interpreted as "anatomically modern" (i.e., non-H. erectus) have been found in rocks that are much older than 1.5 million years. From a dozen different sites have come cranial fragments, including one good skull, teeth, several arm and leg bones, a fossil trackway, and stone structure that each screams out "modern human." The trackways at Laetoli, Tanzania, dated at 3.6 million years, and tibia (leg bone) and humerus (arm bone) from Kanapoi, Kenya, dated at 3.5 million, are especially significant for these pre-date even "Lucy," the celebrated upright-walking ape. These embarrassments have been revised, reinterpreted, and re-dated, but will not go away.

Keep these things in mind the next time you hear of a "missing link" being reported, for example, between H. erectus and modern man (as has been in the recent popular press). God made His creatures to reproduce "after their own kind," and it appears from the fossils that they have done just that.

* William A. Hoesch, M.S. geology, is an ICR Research Assistant in Geology.

Cite this article: William A. Hoesch, M.S. 2006. How Coherent Is the Human Evolution Story?. Acts & Facts. 35 (6).

The Latest
NEWS
Destruction of Plants Fits Flood Narrative
A recent study has found that the destruction of plants preceded the destruction of many forms of animal life in the rock record.1 This is exactly...

NEWS
No Evidence T. rex Hatchlings Had Feathers
The recent discovery of a tiny tyrannosaur jaw bone fragment and a claw has some scientists again pushing dinosaurs as birds.1 But is there...

NEWS
Inside March 2021 Acts & Facts
Why does ICR uphold the clarity of Scripture? How do we know that canyons were formed by the Genesis Flood? How do fossilized fish confirm biblical...

DAYS OF PRAISE DEVOTIONALS
Spring 2021
...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Human Hands
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

ACTS & FACTS
Dross and Dilution
The first of seven great signs of Jesus’ deity recorded in John’s gospel is the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11). By the time Jesus...

APOLOGETICS
Do the Unpersuaded Have Enough Proof?
At a local Bible conference, a respected seminary professor unintentionally contradicted the apostle Paul. During the Q&A session, he opined that...

ACTS & FACTS
Gunnison's Black Canyon: The Flood Solves Mysterious Missing...
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. The Gunnison River winds westward from the Colorado Rocky Mountains through dry and dramatic landscapes....

ACTS & FACTS
Do We See Complex Design in Mosquito Eggs?
Mosquitoes hatch from tiny eggs and spend a few days filter-feeding on things like bacteria, pollen, and algae. They molt three times as they grow,...

ACTS & FACTS
A Texas-Size Spider Mystery
The delightfully creepy spider belongs to a class called Arachnida—which is distinct from the “bug” class Insecta. Not surprisingly,...