Neanderthals interbreed with “Humans” - the RTB side

October 29th, 2009

What does RTB have to say about Neanderthals breeding with humans?  The RTB website has a articles by Ross’s Rottweiler, Fuz Rana, on this very subject.

The first article we will look at makes uses the argument that, while some scientists believe humans and Neanderthals interbred, NOT ALL OF THEM DO!  So it must not be true!  This is a bit like the 50,000,000 Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong argument: we come to the Truth by a majority vote.  Let us hope that the Bible is voting on our side.

Fuz claims that:

“The case for Neanderthal-modern human interbreeding relies exclusively on morphological (structural, bodily) evidence.”

As we saw in my previous article, this is not at all true.  The case for the human Neanderthal is forced along by the presence of strictly human religious activities associated with Neanderthal bones.  That there are fossil bones exhibiting both human and Neanderthal characteristics is also important, but is not driving this.  Fuz fails to mention the religious activities anywhere in his article.

Quoting Fuz:

New research from the Max Plank Institute provides direct evidence that Neanderthals and modern humans did not interbreed.6 This work compared mitochondrial DNA recovered from four Neanderthals with mitochondrial DNA isolated from the remains of five modern human fossils. The Neanderthal and modern human specimens all date between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago and were recovered from the same geographical locations. Investigators readily recovered Neanderthal-type DNA from the Neanderthal specimens, but only human DNA in the modern human remains. Based on statistical analysis these workers concluded that it was unlikely that Neanderthals made any genetic contribution to the earliest modern humans. In other words, there is no conclusive evidence that Neanderthals and modern humans interbred nor any hint of a possible evolutionary connection.

Fuz concludes that since the Neanderthals contained Neanderthal DNA and the “human” fossils contained human DNA, that there was no interbreeding.  Well, the lion sperm contained lion DNA and the tiger egg contained tiger DNA and they interbred.  The horse sperm contained horse DNA and the donkey egg contained donkey DNA and they interbred, so what have we proved here? Nothing.  The degree of similarity of two fossils boils down to an opinion of two scientists.  If the two scientists were looking at a four foot skeleton of an oriental person next to a skeleton of a over six foot Norwegian or African, they would come to the same conclusion that these were two different species.  Darwin popularized the idea that the races are different species at different evolutionary levels and that brought us the Holocast.  Fuz’s comment that “…there is no… hint of a possible evolutionary connection” is disturbing.  Fuz is looking for an evolutionary connection?  Fuz is a progressive creationist that believes that God created Neanderthals at their time in the fossil record, and humans at their time.  There is no evolutionary connection necessary.  Perhaps this was just a slip.

Neanderthals interbreed with “Humans”

October 28th, 2009

The TimesOnline reports on a soon to be published paper that yet again breaks the news that Neanderthals were not the low brow, stupid race of human like creatures that they have been made out to be for the last sixty years. This article proposes that Homo Sapiens had sexual relations for the “10,000 years” that they coexisted with modern humans in Africa.  The author would not commit to there being any offspring, but he obviously believes there were some since he intends to spend a lot of time and effort to compare the Neanderthal genome with the human genome.  The author comments:

“What I’m really interested in is, did we have children back then and did those children contribute to our variation today?” he said. “I’m sure that they had sex, but did it give offspring that contributed to us? We will be able to answer quite rigorously with the new [Neanderthal genome] sequence.”

How does this link to progressive creationism?  Since progressive creationists insist on accepting without question all that “Science” decrees, they must accept all that is “known” about Neanderthals.  Neanderthals supposedly got their start as much as 100,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, putting them well before Adam and Eve.  But progressive creationists cannot allow any “thing” here tens of thousands of years before Adam and Eve to be fully human because the Bible tells us that Adam and Eve were the first fully humans.   To avoid Neanderthals being fully human, Ross teaches that they were soulless human-like creatures that only appear human.  This worked as long as “Science” taught the myth of the stupid Neanderthal.  But since that myth is crumbling in the atheist circles, progressive creationists are left with no ground to stand on.  The article reports on the humanlike behaviors of Neanderthals:

  “I used to believe Neanderthals were primitive,” said Stringer, “but in the last 10,000-15,000 years before they died out, around 30,000 years ago, Neanderthals were giving their dead complex burials and making tools and jewelery, such as pierced beads, like modern humans.”

This information has been reported in the young earth creationist literature for a long time, and as long as it stayed out of the mainstream it could be ignored.  As long as “Science” didn’t talk about Neanderthal humanness there was no problem, but now Hugh’s story, concocted to patch up his compromise, is being attacked from both sides, young earth creationists and old earth evolutionists.  If Neanderthals looked human, acted human, bred with humans producing human offspring, how can we say they were not human?  And if they were human, then they needed a redeemer.  What is progressive creationist to do?  Perhaps interpret science with the Bible, instead of the Bible with “Science”.

So who were these people and when did they live?  Obviously we don’t buy in to the atheist time scale.  Let’s look at just the fact, and then interpret them in light of the Bible, instead of in light of Billions and Billions of Years.

Neanderthals lived before the modern European humans.  They lived a hunting lifestyle.  They were physiologically a little bit different from the modern occupants of Europe.

These facts can be explained quite simply by these being tribes forcibly dispersed by the confusion of languages after the Tower of Babel. This would have happened during the ice age in the first several hundred years after the flood.  Life would have been hard, they would not have been able to settle down and farm.  But there would have been plenty of game, and a temperate climate due to the warm oceans necessary to create the snow to have an ice age.  That they are different from modern Europeans is not surprising, given the diversity in human appearance throughout the world, and the fact that all races were being produced by the genetic pool of Shem, Ham, and Japeth.  They would have lived to the much older age of about 500 years if they were the first generations after Noah.  A 500 year life span could lead to a different physical appearance.

So it’s not so hard after all to just believe the Bible: no playing with the meanings of words, no heroic efforts to make the text say something else than it obviously says.  Just believe it the way it is written that it says what it means to say:  “…for in six days God created the heavens and the earth…” Exodus 19:11

California as an Island: a book review

September 10th, 2009

This is a book review I submitted to Amazon after reading the excellent historical account of California as an island:  The Island of California: A History of the Myth.   It will be interesting to see if Amazon keeps it posted.

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Polk has written a scholarly review of the history of California as an island, although, as one notices from the title, a completely biased one that assumes from the beginning that California never was, nor could ever have been, an island.

Polk devotes most of the book to a historical account of how the west coast of the new world was explored, from the early Spanish explorers on the heels of Columbus, to the English looking for a Northwest Passage, and finally to Father Kino, who, two hundred years after Columbus, walked to California from New Mexico, establishing California’s connectedness.  Polk is obviously the student of history, as she excels in the details of the story, which is full of interesting quotes from the original sources.  Polk spends an inordinate amount of time looking for evidence in history that it was a preconceived belief in California’s islandness that kept the explorers from the truth.  One wonders if, ironically, Polk’s preconceived belief that “all is as it has always been” keeps her from the truth, or at least from considering any view out of the main.

I was obviously disappointed in the one sided view of the possibility of Califonia’s  islandness.  Polk refers to the Peri Reiss map of North America, made famous by Charles Hapgood in “Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings”, but makes no mention of Hapgood or his book on the incredible accuracy of maps predating the Greeks.  One gets the feeling that to mention Hapgood would be violating the sacred teachings of the liberal world that the ancient world was full of knuckle dragging Neanderthals incapable of mapping the world.  Yet the ancient maps existed, showing California as an island, copied and passed down until they reached the map makers of Columbus’ day, who used them to document an unknown world.

Polk makes little mention of the geographical features on Island California maps, preferring to focus on the history of discovery in the 1500-1700s.  Of note is how pathetically little  was known of the geography of the west coast of America.  In spite of this the island California maps show remarkable and inexplicable detail of a supposedly mythical coastline, including a very accurate drawing of the shoreline of the ancient Lake Gosuit in Wyoming.  Yet at the same time, as Polk relates to us, the explorers after two hundred years were still not sure if it was the Colorado River at the north end of the Gulf of California, or an opening into the Northwest Passage.

This is a good book for a student of history, especially California history, but it’s not the whole story.

The Hugh Ross Worldview

September 6th, 2009

A Reasons to Believe speaker presented a lecture in our area a few months ago on why we can believe the Bible based on “Science”.  I went up afterward just to say hello and introduce myself, since the emcee had made it a point to mention that a few young earthers had shown up.  After a little discussion on the topic, the speaker asked me what my response would be if “Science” found an evidence of the earth being billions of years old that could not be refuted.  I said something about having to think hard about my interpretation of the Bible, thinking all the while that I need not worry about such a thing happening, since the earth is young, after all, the Bible says so.

Unfortunately, that was the wrong answer, as I realized later.  That I responded that way is evidence of my conditioning to analyse the Bible in light of “Science”, a conditioning that we are all subjected to as we go through public school, and of which we are mostly unaware.

The correct response would have been that since we interpret all things in light of the Bible, rather than interpret the Bible in light of all things,  we would interpret whatever evidence we would ever find in light of the Genesis account of the six day creation.  The difference between my first response and the correct response highlights the error in Reasons to Believe’s approach to the Bible.  That they could even ask their question reveals that their approach is to put the Bible in subjection to the scrutiny of “Science” as a baseline or measure against which religion must align.

There are of course, many evidences that have already  been discovered that have been interpreted to “prove” that the earth is billions of years old.  For example, the quantity of radioactive decay products in granite could only be there after billions of years of years of time.  The old earth interpretation is of course that the earth is old.  This conclusion is based on the principle of “Science” that the present is the key to the past: whatever is happening today is whatever happened in the past, and we know the rate of decay today, so we know the rate of decay since the beginning. Having assumed an old earth, the old earth interpretation of radioactive dating of rocks proves the earth is old.  One gets dizzy from the circular logic.

There are, and this may surprise some people, other interpretations of radioactive decay products in rock.  ICR took a hard look at this problem and discovered that there is more to the story:  billions of years of radioactive decay in granite would produce a calculable amount of Helium, which , since Helium is a very small and mobile atom, would have diffused away from the granite in a short time, geologically.  ICR found the Helium to still be in the granite.  The Helium would not still be there if the earth were billions of years old, so the only conclusion we can reach, from an honest perspective, is that the rock is young, and the rate of radioactive decay has not been constant.  It either varies by some mechanism we don’t know about, or it started out very fast and slowed, or God caused it to speed up for a time.

There are other examples, but this illustrates my point.  We err when we fall into the trap of using any man made interpretations of what we see around us to interpret the Bible.  The Bible stands alone as the inspired word of God, against which all things are measured.  It reveals truth to us that we cannot know by any other means, because while science can study the world we see, it cannot tell us what happened in the past.  It can only speculate.  God was there and has revealed the history of the world to us in the Bible, and the Bible is the authority against which we will measure all that “Science” attempts to tell us.

Pterosaurs everywhere you look

August 28th, 2009

We have been following the saga of Garth Guessman’s adventures in Papua New Guinea tracking down the very elusive Ropen, which is, of course, a pterosaur.  So I am always interested to come across other accounts of large flying beasts able to carry away a man or even larger prey.  In the process of reading through “The Island of California: A History of the Myth” by Dora Beale Polk (more on that in a later post) we find that Columbus and other explorers made mention of large flying beasts they called griffins, that terrified the natives due to their reported ability to carry away items as large as horses.  Polk quotes various sources of the legend in Chapter 10:

“Griffins were related to the fabulous birds of Arabia, as in Sindbad the Sailor.  Prestor John’s “Letter” tells of “birds called griffins who can easily carry away an ox or a horse into their nest to feed their young.”  He himself claims to have been carried across the uncrossable Sandy Sea by them, just as Alexander had been carried to the enchanted castle.  Griffins are found in Polo’s and Mandeville’s accounts on neighboring islands to the Amazons, and are described on neighboring pages.  But stories of griffins were also coming back from the New World.  According to Ferdinand Columbus’s account of the fourth voyage of Columbus, there were people living in trees between Varagua and Puerto Bello.  They did so “out of fear of the griffins that are in that country.”  During Cortes’ campaign in Mexico, claims were made of griffins in high sierras four or five leagues from the village of Tehuacan.  The population of the neighboring valley was said to flee in terror of being eaten by these creatures.”

Polk’s liberal worldview prevents her from looking at the eyewitness accounts of the natives as anything but myth and superstition, since pterosaurs are “known” to be extinct millions of years ago.  She writes griffins off as a much smaller creature incapable of carrying away anything larger than a Big Mac:

“The great condors must have flourished in substantial numbers in the Andes and mountains of central America when the explorers first came to the New World.  They were understandably identified as griffins.”

These pathetically stupid natives were living in trees because of bird that weighed thirty pounds and had a ten foot wingspan.  Our denigration of the griffin to just a condor insults these native people.  We regard them as knuckle dragging Neanderthals, barely having evolved out of the trees, and now fleeing back to them in fear of a bird.  From this racist view of aboriginal people came the justification for the English scientists of the 1800s to encourage Australian settlers to shoot aboriginals and send the bones back to England for scientific study.  They were regarded as less evolved creatures, lower on the development scale than the more advanced races of Europe.

Evidence for a young earth is all around us, but we have been trained to dismiss it as myth and fable.

The Ink Is Still Wet

August 27th, 2009

I got quite a surprise reading about the squid ink found in a fossil in Wiltshire, England.  Not so much surprised that ink was found in a fossil, but more that the scientists knew about the site, and that it had been known about since the 1840s as a site that had yielded “thousands of fossils with soft parts preserved”:

“Dr Wilby said: “We were trying to find the site of a dig which took place in the 1840s, where we knew fossils were found with their soft parts preserved. We had the name of the village and knew it was next to the Victorian Great Western Railway.”

It is shocking that knowledge of the site had been kept quiet for so long.  But then, after all, why would scientists want to make public a source of evidence that so mocks the idea of billions of years?  Mary Schweitzer’s discovery of soft tissue in the center of a large dinosaur bone pales in comparison to thousands of fossils where the ink is still ink, and the tissues are so fresh that:

“I can dissect them as if they are living animals. You can even tell whether it was a fast or slow swimmer, by looking at all the muscle fibres.”

Dr. Wilby was amazed that such a site existed, given that the ink was preserved for 150,000,000 imaginary years:

“The odds of this find are easily a billion to one and probably much greater.”

Apparently the odds would be far greater than that, for in a comment to a blog in 2007 the Wilshire Geology Group reports that:

“The teuthids occur in the Athleta Zone of the Peterborough Member and were first discovered in the
famous ‘borrow-pits’ exposures by the railway at Christian Malford, then subsequently at Trowbridge and elsewhere.”

Trowbridge and elsewhere?!!!   So there are at least two more of these sites whose odds of existing are a billion to one.  One wonders how many others there are.

Hello world!

August 13th, 2009

Do you have faith to believe the Bible?  We have faith to believe the message at the end of the New Testament, that Jesus is coming soon, but somehow, the further back in Biblical history we go, the harder it is to believe what is written.  Do you believe in the miracles of Jesus?  Water into wine, raising of the dead?  How about the Old Testament prophets: floating axe heads, fire from heaven consuming an offering?  Is it getting harder?  The Sun standing still?  Can that really be?  How about the first five books of the Bible:  the ten plagues that befell Egypt?  Did those really happen, or were they just natural phenomenon?  And now for the real test:  Did God REALLY create the heavens and the earth in only six days?

By this point we have lost virtually every professor at even Christian colleges.   We have lost most pastors.  Fortunately, we have lost only half of Christians.  However, Christians are bombarded constantly with propaganda designed to erode their faith in what the Bible says.  I will hopefully be able to help you understand that the Bible is trustworthy, that it is reasonable to believe.

Ultimately, faith comes as a gift from God, not from what you read here.  But, as Paul admonished the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 18):

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, … therefore comfort one another with these words.”