A Question I Was Asked:

Did 'Neandertal Man' Ever Actually Exist?

Did 'neandertal man' ever actually exist? Is there really any solid evidence of these creatures? I suspect not. What is your opinion? Does the Bible ever refer to what we might call "cavemen"?

UK Apologetics Reply:

The Detail on Neandertals

(We are grateful to Answers in Genesis for supplying this. Source and full bibliography: https://answersingenesis.org/human-evolution/neanderthal/those-enigmatic-neanderthals/)

Homo neanderthalensis was the scientific name given to an unusual ancient fossil (later to be called Neanderthal Man) found in the Neander Valley near Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1856. It was later realized that fossils of H. neanderthalensis had been discovered earlier in Engis, Belgium, in 1830, and in Forbes Quarry, Gibraltar, in 1848. (For an extensive history of Neanderthal finds, see, for example, Trinkaus and Shipman 1993).

At that early time, these fossils were considered to be ancient, primitive humans by some (who called them ape-man), or diseased modern humans by others, but nonetheless human (Regal 2004, pp. 38-43). Reconstructions of what Neanderthals might have looked like when alive gave them a very satisfactory ape-like appearance (for example, fig. 1). In 1908, Neanderthal as a primitive, brutish, caveman was literally invented by Marcellin Boule of France (Regal 2004, pp. 51-52). That image of the Neanderthals was to persist for the next 50 years (Drell 2000; Schrenk and Muller 2008).

It has been generally conceded by evolutionists, however reluctantly, that they would have to accept that Neanderthals were as human as we were (Lewin 1999, pp. 156-163). But evolutionists haven't given up entirely without a struggle, and they remain ambivalent about the Neanderthals. Hints of the evolutionist difficulty with considering Neanderthals entirely human keep surfacing, as in questions of whether they could really talk like us, for instance (Hoffecker 2005; Krause et al. 2007a; Swaminathan 2007). Speth (2004) found it necessary to chide his fellow scientists for convicting the Neanderthals of gross mental incompetence without adequate proof (By most recent accounts, Neanderthals would have had considerable difficulty chewing gum and walking at the same time).

Young-earth creationists, meanwhile, were not at all reluctant to recognize Neanderthals as human (Oard 2003a; Phillips 2000; Robertson and Sarfati 2003); after all, they had known from the beginning that there was no such thing as an ape-man. Lubenow pointed out that at several sites Neanderthals and modern humans were buried together, which he considered to be strong evidence that Neanderthals were of our species, because, in all of life, few desires are stronger than the desire to be buried with one's own people (Lubenow 2004, p. 254).

For full details of the quoted books, it is necessary to visit this page.

Without question the whole concept of 'neandertal man' is a most amazing nonsense. The famed "researcher's effect" (that is: people tend to 'find' whatever they are looking for), has been strongly involved in this. Some human skeletal remains which have occasionally been found (actually, very very few) have appeared smaller, or more stunted than one might expect, Darwinist scientists quckly jumped on these plainly human remains as evidence of 'neandertal man,' or, a previous form of man closer to apes. In fact, many of these remains were found in graves with things buried with them; this is plainly a human practice. As regards size, To this day there remain some human beings that are smaller, or more stunted than others. Ever heard of the African pygmies? Others have been stunted due to physical abnormalities running in families. Many such "neandertal man found" claims were later attacked by other scientists as inconsistent with the evidence yet, despite this, it is the fanciful and sensationalist form of these stories which got accepted, even though the evidence was very weak. Why? Because researchers wanted to find solid evidence of Darwinism. Today numerous school books describe 'neandertal man' as though his existence is an established and undeniable fact but it has never been that, it is just how one interprets various human remains of earlier times. It is as though scientists decided they would never find any genuine (so-called) "missing link," so they decided the next best thing would be to locate early remains which were human-like but shorter than average.

The Bible, of course, does not use such terms as 'caveman' or 'neandertals,' and according to the Bible there never was any "prehistoric" man. The term 'prehistoric' means belonging to the era before recorded history. The Darwinist idea is that the biblical account of creation is merely an invention of pious but misguided people with no basis in 'science.' So the concept of Adam and Eve as the first human couple made in God's image is, of course, ridiculed and scoffed at by these people. Evolution teaches that there were millions of human/ape-type ceatures prior to any 'Adam and Eve,' and that evolutionary forces took many millions of years to produce modern humans.

But the Bible does describe a period of traumatic upheaval upon the earth - the Great Flood (Genesis 6-9), during which time civilization was utterly destroyed except for eight people. Humanity was effectively forced to start all over. It is in this historical context that some believe men lived in caves and made use of stone tools. Yet these men were not primitive; they were simply impoverished, and much earlier knowledge may well have been lost and taken a little time to be re-discovered. But these post-flood cave-dwellers soon learned to build huts and homes because - unlike the silly Darwinist concepts - we know that these people were made in the image of God!

In short, there are, of course, some fossilized ape or human remains which Darwinian paleo-anthropologists interpret as being some sort of transition between ape and men. Most people seem to think of these interpretations when they imagine 'cavemen.' Certainly, as far as Darwinian paleo-anthropology goes, we should always remember that these interpretations reflect a peculiar worldview and are not the result of the careful interpretation of evidence. The 'evidence' is sometimes interpreted with great Darwinian imagination. We should also keep in mind that there is major opposition to these interpretations even from within the academic community, so the Darwinists themselves frequently do not entirely agree with each other on the details.

Today there is a popular mainstream, atheist, liberal, "educated" and "enlightened" view that continually promotes this idea that men are descended from apes; this is due to the blind acceptance of Darwinist theory, even though it is hardly the most plausible interpretation of the available evidence. It is always inferred - or plainly stated - that those who don't agree with this unsubstantiated theory are ignorant and backward people, yet the 'human origin in apes' proposition remains a theory and nothing more. In fact, the evidence in favour of this particular interpretation is very seriously lacking as even many scientists will acknowledge (especially in private). Sometimes a theory just seems to be the right theory at the right time and macro-evolution is just that. A godless age wanted a new theory of human life which acknowledged no God and Darwinism came along just in time to facilitate that. Evolutionary scientists simply have a theory, and they force the evidence to fit the theory. Science-type books may freely describe 'neandertals' as though their one-time existence is undeniable, but when one sweeps away the hype and simply looks at the evidence in detail there is nothing to seriously trouble the Christian Creationist.

Robin A. Brace. November 2nd, 2014.