Are Neandertals Modern Humans Who Lived To Be Hundreds Of Years Old?
Paul Humber of CR Ministries claims that Neandertals were simply modern humans who lived to be hundreds of years old. This is one way creationists try to avoid the fact there were more than one species of Homo alive at the same time since that certainly doesn't fit with a literal interpretation of the Bible. He believes this because he thinks brow ridges continue to grow the older someone gets. There are just a few problems with Paul's "theory."
- Modern humans have a supraorbital foramen or notch that forms a groove through the ridge above each eye while Neandertals do not.
- Neandertals had an occipital bun which was a knot of rounded bone at the back of their skull. It is thought to be an adaptation for the attachment of massive neck and jaw muscles. While a similar feature was seen in very early modern European humans, it is very rare today.
- Neandertals had a more elongated skull and slightly larger cranial capacity than modern humans. This does not change as we get older.
- Neandertals had a different shaped jaw that left space behind their wisdom teeth. Modern humans do not. age doesn't change this.
- Neandertals had no chin. People do not lose their chin the older they get.
- Neandertals had more robust and wider hand bones than modern humans. Hand bones do not continue to grow thicker the older we get.
- Neandertals had larger eye sockets and therefore larger eyes than modern humans. Our eyes do not continue to grow the older we get.
- Neandertals were on average shorter and stockier than modern humans and had barrel chests. Although humans may shrink in stature as they age, that is not comparable to what we see with Neandertals and there is no evidence modern humans become more robust or barrel chested as we age.
We have completed the Neandertal genome and compared it to modern humans, and we now know they were a closely related but different species. They are our closest extinct relative yet discovered. Evidence shows the Neandertal male Y chromosome was incompatible with modern humans and only male Homo Sapiens and female Homo neanderthalensis could breed. The idea that Neandertals were simply modern humans that lived to be hundreds of years old is based on pure speculation and not a shed of evidence. Another creationist "theory" bites the dust. My guess is Paul Humber will ignore this and continue to make his claim based strictly on the assumption that "eyebrow ridges continue to grow."