23. Why doesn’t the Bible mention Neanderthals?

Neanderthals are interesting because of their distinct features and fairly recent extinction. But if they lived with our ancestors, why doesn’t the Bible mention them?

Neanderthal History According to Science

The relatively new science of Paleogenomics is uncovering an interesting story about the relationship between modern man and our Neanderthal relatives.

The story starts with Neanderthal showing up in Europe about 400,000 years ago, long before modern man. About 350,000 years later, our great, great, great, great grandparents finally found the exit to Africa and were reunited with their long lost Neanderthal cousins. We know this because you and I (reportedly) have about 1-4% of Neanderthal DNA pumping through our veins, whereas subsaharan African tribes do not (guess they weren’t invited to the party).

Fast forward 12,000 years and Neanderthals are extinct. No one knows exactly why, but modern man was there to watch, and perhaps even lent a helping hand.

So… according to genetics and the fossil record, modern man met up with Neanderthals as we emerged from Africa, engaged in copious coitus, and then watched them all die off (well… they probably didn’t die because we had sex with them, but who knows?).

So the question is, why doesn’t the Bible mention this encounter and the subsequent extinction?

Neanderthal History According to the Bible

Answers in Genesis, as their name implies, finds the answers in Genesis:

“Neandertal fossils are all post-Flood, so these bones are believed to represent just one more group of people which split off from other groups following the Babel dispersion.”

So, according to Answers in Genesis, the Neanderthal are nothing more than another race, like Africans, or Chinese, or Democrats. Problem solved? Well… maybe, but before I mail off my check to the Creation Museum to help rebuild the ark, I’d like to take a closer look at some of those differences.

Homo Sapien, Neanderthal, what’s the difference?

Some of the differences are obvious by just comparing skeletal structure. Recent genome research tells us these differences add up to a .5% difference in DNA. These differences were significant enough to drive Neanderthals to extinction, while apparently leaving us unharmed.

Reportedly, all modern humans share about 99.9% of the same DNA; we have 99.5% in common with Neanderthal, and 95% in common with with chimpanzees. So while Neanderthals are closely related to humans, their differences are pretty significant.

These differences suggest that Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens must’ve spent a fair amount of time apart. (If they were always together, these millions of genetic differences would’ve never emerged.)

This isn’t much of a problem for science, which says Neanderthals changed during their 300,000 year European vacation, but it can be a problem for the conservative Biblical timeline of history.

How did Neanderthal evolve so quickly? 

These Neanderthal would’ve had to accumulate a .5% difference in DNA very rapidly.  If Neanderthal split off from Babel around 2242BC, and presumably wern’t around when the Bible was being written (about 1500BC), they would’ve only had about 700 years to evolve their unique traits, spread them across Europe and Asia, and go belly up. That’s some pretty rapid evolution, especially for a Creationist.

Compare that to the evolution of the Aborigines in Australia or the first Americans.  These groups spent much more time in isolation, yet never amassed the .5% difference in DNA that the Neanderthals managed, and the Neanderthal did it without even leaving home!

What’s more, both Aborigines and early Americans reportedly have traces of Neanderthal DNA.  So not only did the Neanderthals have to develop their unique DNA quickly, but they had to do it in time to share it with other races before they set out on their long journeys.

So, barring any undocumented miracles or high doses of radiation, I don’t see how Neanderthal would’ve managed to develop such unique DNA in time to share it with the rest of the world, at least within a conservative Biblical timeline.

Neanderthals’ Disease?

There have been many other explanations offered, including the suggestion that these differences were caused by disease (such as rickets) or other environmental factors. But to date, there’s no known disease or environmental factor that can turn widespread populations of men, women and children into Neanderthals. Recent DNA evidence should put such rumors to rest.

The Nephilim?

The only other species of humans hinted at in the Bible are the infamous Nephilim (Gen. 6:4, Num 13:32-33), a race of giants “as tall as cedar trees” (Amos 2:9) who were the offspring of the ever-mysterious “sons of God.” The Bible says that, to the Nephilim, the early Jews looked as small as grasshoppers (and were just as tasty).

One of many giant skeleton hoax photos.  You won’t see this guy in a museum any time soon.

Some people try to link the Nephilim to the Neanderthals, but the Neanderthals were no giants, averaging just over 5′ tall. So unless the early Jews were elves, this doesn’t compute.

And for the record, we’ve found over 400 individual Neanderthal fossils (some even in Israel) and zero Nephilim giants.

More Proof for Evolution?

The fact that the Neanderthal were able to develop such unique DNA makes another strong argument for evolution. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that if they continued in isolation, these differences would’ve continued to accumulate. Eventually, they may have even accumulated a 5% difference in DNA, making these once-humans as genetically different from us as the chimpanzee! So if a modern human can become 5% different, why can’t chimps and humans have evolved a 5% difference from a common ancestor?

The Problem with Old DNA

Modern science has only recently decoded the entire Neanderthal genome from bones “between 38,000 and 70,000 years” old. Scientists also think it might be possible to sequence genes from Homo erectus, dating back to about 100,000 years old. But like a Twinkie, DNA seems to go bad after about 100,000 years.

But this raises yet another question, if all other hominids (Homo habilis, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo ergaster, etc.) were also nothing more than different races from Babel, why can’t we reconstruct their DNA? If they’re no older than Neanderthal, this shouldn’t be a problem. (Ditto for dinosaurs and other extinct creatures).

To me, it seems far more likely that we can’t recover this DNA because it’s older, and not because God has purposefully erased it from select races.

Conclusion

If the Bible is true, it would be nice if it mentioned:

  • How Neanderthals fit into the genealogy of Adam,
  • Which son of Adam hiked to Europe and degraded into short, stocky men with protruding brows and jaws,
  • How Adam’s offspring finally rediscovered their long-lost Neanderthal cousins and began to interbreed.
  • Why God chose to exterminate this line of men but not us.

And while this would be nice, I really can’t fault the Bible too much for not mentioning it, it’s just another suspicious omission. If I find fault anywhere, it’s with the Biblical timeline, and with the fact that we’re digging up Neanderthals and not Nephilim giants.

I think the honest-to-Darwin truth here is that the Bible was written after 1500BC when Neanderthals were long gone. The oldest elements in the Bible, such as the Nephilim and the Biblical timeline, were most likely made up, which is why they don’t match the fossils and history that we’re digging up today.

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77 Responses to 23. Why doesn’t the Bible mention Neanderthals?

  1. mooselicker says:

    Imagine if people really did live 600 years, like the Bible says they used to. Some of them guys would be standing around years later choking their collars out of fear of being exposed. There are so many rational explanations as to why the rich and powerful would write certain messages into that doctrine.

    I look forward to more posts by you. You’re doing the research that I’m too lazy to do.

    • Greg says:

      Then read what scientists who have a Creationist bias have to say about this. That is part of thinking and it is irrational to only hear one side of a debate, because only hearing one side of the debate is “blind faith”, and “following the crowd”.

      • I agree with Greg, we should always be willing to step out of our comfort zone and hear both sides of a debate. Here, I’ve covered a few of the most common Christian views of Neanderthal, but if anyone else has another worthy explanation, I’d be happy to consider it.

  2. Thanks mooselicker!

    Speaking of 600 year old men, I neglected to mention that such old age was one of the arguments for the Neanderthal — that they had developed their unique features after living hundreds of years. But that explanation doesn’t jive with the DNA evidence, or the fact that we find Neanderthal babies!

  3. I think that if you make a timeline of all the people and events in the bible, that some of the folks that god liked and lived a long time were still alive during the flood, but didn’t make the arc

    one more fail for the bible on consistency

    • Apparently Methuselah did.

      • Nifty says:

        Methuselah died the year of the flood. Read it again.

        • Nifty is right, extra-biblical tradition holds that he died 1656 years after Creation, seven days before the beginning of the Great Flood. (Assuming Methuselah was a real person, who lived 969 years, and the flood actually occurred.)

          Thanks Nifty!

        • jewelsinthesnow says:

          There is no evidence that Methuselah really existed. The bible is only evidence that people wrote stories long ago, just like people write stories today. There are many superhero stories today. I laugh when people often use characters out the bible to say they were witness to these stories, and claims. That would be like saying Clark Kent is real, because Lois Lane saw him, one character out of a fiction, isn’t a witness to the other character. There is no evidence that the bible is non-fiction, let alone the word of some ethereal being, that there is zero evidence for. People have always enjoyed being entertained by stories. Why do you think so many people watch T.V., go to the movies, and read books. People made up stories, told them to their friends and family. Then when writing developed, people wrote the stories down, as a way to preserve them, they eventually combined them with other stories, and that is the bible. Ancient fiction told around the campfire, to entertain, to scare them, and even control them. It is sad in this day and age people can’t see that.

          • In reply to:”There is no evidence that the bible is non-fiction, let alone the word of some ethereal being, that there is zero evidence for.”

            Really? Have you heard of a place called Palestine? How about Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, or Persia? Have you ever heard of this little place called the Roman Empire? All of the ancient empires took records. Guess what, people written about in the Bible are recorded in other historical documents as well.
            I’ll bet you believe in Alexander the Great. The only documents we have of him were from about 200 years after his death. How much of that do you think is accurate? Probably all of it, as do I. Don’t be so arrogant as to think that the people who penned down the words that make up the Bible were so stupid as to believe and pass down anything and everything they were told. I suggest actually studying the Bible with an open mind. It isn’t necessarily in chronological order because it wasn’t penned down as a solid work from a single penman. It was written over the course of more than 1,000 years by many hands. I welcome your honest questions but, if your mind is closed, out of anger against God, there is no need for debate. You will not hear truth or logic. I was in the same ship years ago. I will pray for you as I pray for all who need to come to God. Remember, a lack of proof for existence does not mean a proof of nonexistence. Too many men of “science” have made themselves look like fools by uttering universal statements against an idea just to have themselves proven wrong in later years. Don’t be like them. And don’t believe that faith in God shows a lack of intelligence. The truth is more often to the contrary.

            • DanD says:

              If the bible mentions something, that is evidence that the people who wrote it knew that thing existed, but for it to mean anything with regards to the truth of the bible, it only matters if other sources mention that specific event. I can read a book about a wizard based in Chicago. Just because Chicago exists doesn’t mean the wizard does.

              Yes, some of the old testament people definitely existed. They had an impact on history and left records outside of the bible. That doesn’t mean that the supernatural events from the bible exist (some of which should have left massive records, but didn’t). You’re right that Egypt kept pretty decent records. Yet there is no record of the plagues, in those records. And you’d think at least the slaughter of the first born would show up as a fairly major event. In fact, the simple fact that there is no record of tens of thousands of slaves/residents leaving en masse (and no archaeological records to show a sudden drop in population) strongly suggests it never happened.

              As far as the new testament, there is essentially one historian that refers to Jesus, Josepehus, and that mostly as a teacher (depending on how much of the extant text was a later Christian addition, which is uncertain, some definitely was). No other source mentions Jesus except in context as the founder of Christianity, with no direct knowledge of him. While an argument from silence is always suspect, the complete lack of such information is suggestive. This is especially true in context of Mr. Questions’ early post on the difficulties in the timeline and actions of the Roman rulers in the nativity sequence. No census under Herod, no need to travel for said census.

  4. Miss Audrey says:

    Very interesting! :)

  5. rautakyy says:

    To explain everything through the Bible is impossible. But there are very funny explanations to scietific dilemmas by those who thought the Bible is exact truth.

    My people the Finns were thought to have arrived on Finnish soil from the Ural mountains. This scientific result of the time, some 150 years ago, was achieved by philosophical deduction. As the Bible was thought to have the absolute truth, in those days, somebody reconned that the Finns had to weather it out during the biblical flood on some mountains. The Keel mounts were of course occupied by the Scandinavians, so Finns simply had to come from the Urals. Even then they realized that it was a mathematical impossibility that the ancestors of the Finns or Scandinavians were the decendants of Noah, but they still wanted to hold on to the “fundamental” truths in the Bible. They had noted that the Urals has high enough peaks to compete with Ararat, hence there the ancestors of Finns recided for the duration of the flood. Together with the ancestors of other ugric-speaking people.

    There is no evidence what so ever that when it started to rain a lot, the Finns decided to migrate to the Ural mountains. No, by modern research our ancestors lived here all the time, some 10 000 years, after the ice age, but ice age is not mentioned in the Bible either, none of them is, though it is basic school education that there has been several. There used to be some mammoth bones on show in Austria that were presented as the bones of the giants. But it has been over a 100 years since they realized what they actually were and consequently changed the signs. Should it not be high time that all the western civilization would recognize what is scientifically proven and what is religious fancy. Even the pope has accepted the theory of evolution.

    Both examples of the Neanderthal people and my ancestry are showing how silly it has gotten with those who want to belive the absolute biblical truth. It is good that you take these issues one by one and put them into the light they deserve. People who want to believe the Bible to be absolutely true, are somehow unable to see the cumulative evidence against it. They seek individual answers from individual chapters of the Bible. If you engage these sort of fanatics, they resolve to explain the Bible in “context”, when that is exactly what they do not see. Maybe it is just because they need the Bible to be true, to hold on to something. Because that is how they defend it. Not as if a god is an obvious entity, but as if it was necessary to have a god. As, if you do not believe, you can not explain everything. As if we could ever really explain everything. As if we needed to explain everything. And yet, the Bible does not explain everything, like the Neanderthals. In fact it gives very limited and unreliable information about anything before any of those who actually scribbled it together and even that is full of silly supernatural stuff typical to almost all the other written sources from that era.

    If the theory of evolution were to be rejected based on the fundamental truth in the Bible, then also all the understanding of geology in the modern science, would need to thrown away also. So, it is not just one particular theory that stands against the ID claim, but allmost all of our natural sciences and all of our understanding of the human mind in the fields of sociology and psychology.

    If the world is only some thousands of years old where did all the oil come from? To the bottom of the sea? It is not mathematically possible. Or did god make it so we could use it to cause fog?

    • As one of those people who wanted to (and did) believe the Bible to be absolutely true, I can attest to the fact that I never bothered to check my facts, and I really didn’t care. I just let other Christians do the fact checking, and I accepted their arguments. I was very biased, and found it uncomfortable to read anything in opposition to what I already believed (which is why so few Christians will ever read a blog like this one!).

      For most Christians, only the Bible that matters. It’s like the old Christian bumper sticker: “The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it!”

      A few months ago, my brother-in-law sat on my couch and said “I wouldn’t care if I saw definitive proof of evolution, I’d STILL believe the Bible!” I didn’t argue with him (because I’m still a closet skeptic and I don’t think it would’ve mattered) but that’s the way we think, the Bible is the word of God and it’s correct. These “scientists” are just misinterpreting the evidence because of their atheist perspective. “If they had a Biblical perspective,” we tell ourselves, “THEN they’d interpret the evidence correctly!”

      In fact, many Christian lectures will start out with “We have a different perspective, we see the world through the lens of the Bible,” and most Christians won’t question this logic because they don’t doubt the Bible. The miracles, fulfilled prophecies, and personal revelations are enough evidence to convince them the Bible is true, and all other evidence is subject to scripture. (Of course, any skeptic would insist on questioning the underlying assumption that the Bible is all true.)

      Growing up in any religion, I think the majority of one’s “mind-space” becomes occupied by religious knowledge and how to defend it, and it takes a lot of time and determination to examine each of those reasons for believing. That puts us outside of our comfort zone into a world of uncertainty, so few ever try. (I went through a lot of mental anguish trying to sort out fact from religion.)

      Interestingly, when I first began my search, I thought I would be doing a lot of fact checking (e.g. comparing evidence for and against a flood, etc.), and while that’s part of it, I was surprised how much religion is more about psychology than facts (at least that’s my take).

      By the way, thanks for the Finnish flood story. For myself and a lot of fundamentalist Christians, doubt often starts with the flood story. I think it’s a very important story because it’s one of the few miracles that would’ve left behind massive amounts of evidence, so I’ll be getting into a few more specific flood questions later on.

      • Joe says:

        even if you believe in the atheist worldview that we all came from random mutations etc., how would man or any organism for that matter, ever become a breeding pair? So one group of cells pulls off a mutation into a fish, and doesn’t die, then what? It needs another ‘fish’ to breed. Then they need to actually survive long enough to keep doing it….

        • Hi Joe, that’s a good question.

          I don’t believe that there was ever a time when, to use your example, one fish existed and another did not, evolution is a team effort that involves very minor genetic changes over time. So there would be many “proto-fish” breeding and evolving together, very slowly. Occasionally, one organism would be born with a small genetic change that helped it to survive in some way. Maybe it made it a little faster, or harder for predators to see, or allowed it to find more food, or survive colder temperatures. Because that fish survives, it’s offspring will be born with the same genetic advantage, and it will get passed to everyone in the group.

          Contrary, when a fish is born with a non-advantageous mutation, maybe one that makes it slower, or easier for predators to spot, or makes it harder to find food, or survive in cold temperatures — it dies, and does not pass on this disadvantage to the group. So everyone in the group accrues genetic advantages while dispensing of disadvantages.

          Now, how evolution created sex in the first place is still a bit of a mystery, but this “discovery” is credited with greatly speeding up the evolutionary process. If an organism just makes copies of itself, any genetic advantage cannot be shared with anyone but its own offspring. This works, but it’s very slow. With sex, ALL fish in a group will eventually benefit from the advantage. For example, if one fish stumbles upon greater speed, and another upon the right color to hide, and another on better eyesight, ALL future offspring eventually benefit from all these advantages. If sex didn’t exist, these fish would have to discover all these advantages by themselves, which would take much longer.

          Sex, because it works, led to a revolution in evolution. Organisms that could have sex went on to evolve faster, while those that could not, changed much more slowly. Ergo, advanced creatures like us have sex (unless we’re genetically disadvantaged!).

        • Athena says:

          The first major hurdle for the first primordial cell is not sexual reproduction, and not even just reproduction at all. How does the first living cell do more than simply survive – which, in itself is quite a feat. How many attempts did it take to go from a living cell to self-replication, much less sexual reproduction?

          Anyway, to actually give some direction to your query, I would point toward microbiology. There is a phenomenon bacteria do that I think is beyond self-replication but not quite like sexual reproduction. Bacteria in general self-replicate (clone) themselves, with natural replication mutation rates around 1/million. However, they also do this amazing thing where they pick up bits of DNA from their environments and then INCORPORATE it into their own genomes. I imagine it started as eating organic molecules which happened to slip their way into the machinery. This is how the toxic E. coli strain was born; harmless E. coli picked up the toxin gene from a completely different bacterium. This phenomenon also makes tracing genetic bacterial lineages impossible for all practical purposes, as one cannot distinguish evolution via natural mutation rates from this co-mingling of genetic material between species. I imagine sexual reproduction probably started something like this, as our chromosomes do something similar when sperm meets egg and recombination of DNA takes place to create entirely unique chromosomes.

          • Fascinating! Rather like how viruses find their way into our DNA.

            “How many attempts did it take to go from a living cell to self-replication…”

            I tend to look at this the other way around; non-living things that naturally replicate and eventually result in a cell.

            • Athena says:

              Exactly. Viruses also do this with each other, and with bacteria as well. Some of the coolest research in several fields is merging on using bacteriophages’ propensity for this phenomenon in order to perform sophisticated and controlled tasks like delivering chemo drugs directly and only to cancerous cells, or even to “reprogram” haywire cells.

              What non-living things that naturally replicate are you thinking of? The only things I can think of are plasmids, but that is kind of a chicken/egg dilemma, as they pop in and out of bacterial genomes, but wouldn’t they’ve had to start in something’s genome in order to originally escape and replicate themselves? Maybe not!

              • Possibly RNA, which can act as its own catalyst, but there are other molecules that can also combine in repeating patterns. But I’m not claiming to know the answer to the origin of life — it may very well be an extremely rare and unlikely event. But I would reason that the self-organization of these molecules is probably more likely than the non-origin of an invisible, eternal, super-intelligent being who calls molecules forth from nothing and then assembles them into the first life (see questions 5, 6 and 36).

                • Athena says:

                  Well, RNA crossed my mind as well, but in order for it to function like DNA it needs a companion molecular machine called reverse transcriptase. It is the functional mirror to DNA polymerase, which normally transcribes DNA into RNA.

                  “Other molecules” Are you thinking of polymer or polypeptide chains? Those occur naturally out of chemical reactions but I don’t know of any that replicate themselves so much as just grow and break and keep growing, kind of like crystals except chemical, not physical. I don’t know much about this though and would like to know more!

      • devon says:

        I am a Christian and I find your blog extremely interesting. I am constantly trying to fit my beliefs and what is known and being learned scientifically together in a comprehensible way. I love learning about astronomy, human history, including what is found of early humans and their ancestors. I am ok not knowing exactly. I figure I will find out someday how it all fits together, here or in Heaven.

  6. Interesting site!

    When Christians say they believe in evolution but that it was something kick-started by God, it contradicts the notion that humans are special. If humans are more important than all the other animals why would he use such an around-a-bout and long-winded method of bringing us into the world?

    • Thanks.

      Ya, it does seem like a strange way to make humans. I’ve heard some Catholics say that, at some point, God dropped a spirit into an ape and that’s when we became “special.” But if that’s what God did, He certainly could’ve said so Himself.

      What really bugs me is that we weren’t special enough to have the nose of a dog, or an extra set of gills like a fish, or echo location like a bat, or the speed of a cheetah, or camel humps to store water, or night vision like a cat, or extra teeth like a shark… hell, we can’t even make our own Vitamin C like most animals! If we’re so special, why aren’t we… more special? :-/

      • Athena says:

        I like to think that the real magic happens at the point when the universe developed to to the extent it created a way to contemplate itself (ie the self-conscious mind). Personally, I believe this is where science meets religion in a profoundly meaningful way.

    • Athena says:

      I think it is all relative. Consider physics; anything travelling at the speed of light since the big bang will have experienced no passage of time since then till now, because mathematically, as you approach light speed, time slows and approaches zero. To anything operating at or near light-speed ( as we understand it ), 13.5 billion years will literally be no more than an instant. Might seem like forever to us who live 100 of them if we’re really lucky, but wouldn’t even register as long as a spark from a stoked fire to that photon that’s been travelling at the leading edge of the universe.

  7. rautakyy says:

    It is really common that people believe in what ever, as long as it is the version they learned first. This is not so just with religions, but with everything.

    About mammoths (as they relate both to biblical giants and the Neanderthal people) on my doorstep some years ago was a pair of missionaries from some fundamental christian sect. I can not remember which, but I was youg and had a bit of a hangover and I listened to them as they wanted to convert me. The younger tried to appeal to “common sense” and represented an interresting idea that the mammoths found frozen in Siberia, would serve as proof of the flood. He attested that since they still had hay in their mouths it showed they died suddenly as a result of the flood and froze because it was so cold in Siberia. So I asked him how could this be, as only few meters deep water allways has the bottom temperature of +4 celcius (since water in that temperature is the heaviest form of water), and therfore the mammoth could not have frozen, if it indeed was under water. It was “miraculous” how he decided not to pay any attention to my point of view. As if he could have not even have heard what I said. At this point the older guy decided they had wasted enough time on me and took his buddy away.

    Actually as there is evidence that the “dinosaurs” were warm blooded animals, it is quite possible that there was an intelligent (on the human scale) species among them that spread throughout the Pangaia in just few hundred thousand years, and caused an ecocatastrophy and as a result all these giant species of lizards disappeared from the face of the earth. Maybe these intelligent “dinosaurs” had a growing need for energy in their economy and they drilled holes in the to produce heat energy that erupted into volcanoes, or maybe they built great many nuclear powerstations that were destroyed in a war between these creatures. What ever the cause of their demise and the ecocatastrophy, since it has been some 65 million years of the disappearance of the dinosaurs we would have no signs of such a culture from that time. The continents have shifted, oceans have been born and moved, even mountain ranges have fallen and risen since and even the axis of earth itself has moved and the ice caps have grown and diminished several times since.

    In 65 million years nothing would be left of us humans, if we caused a total ecocatastrophy, that would destroy our envarioment and us now. Not even the pyramids or radiation we have caused would survive the span on few dozen million years.

    It is quite natural that we humans like to think ourselves as special, but all our achievements like culture, technology, art, literature and philosphy have only the value we give to them. Same goes for our moral, cultural or religious values. Why is that not enough? Why do we seek to be special in the eyes of the force (what ever it may be) that has caused the universe?

    • Dinosaurs building nuclear reactors? That would be pushing it for me, but I think I get your point.

      If we destroyed ourselves today, I think many traces of our existence would still be around a few million years from now, just as we’re now able to find some fossilized remains of soft bodied animals from 500 million years ago. There are many Christians who reason that life must’ve began 6000 years ago precisely because we find so little signs of human history before that time. I happen to think we humans were alive and well, but as nomads in smaller numbers. As nomads, we didn’t bother to build much of anything, and we probably possessed very little that wouldn’t turn to dust after 10,000 years. It wasn’t until we discovered how to farm plants and animals that we began to build. The fact that we find oddly shaped skulls and lots of sharpened rocks suggests to me that we have a long history.

      Why do we seek to be special in the eyes of the creator? Dunno… Freud might say it has something to do with wanting to please our parents. An evolutionary psychologist might say that humans that worked together and appeased others had a better chance at survival, which later left us open to accepting that a creator would provide for us if we appeased him.

      • Joe says:

        time is relative. It would be wise to realize that, when throwing around numbers like ’500 million years’. Are you measuring years by a rotation around the sun? By the speed of light? (which is slowing down). It’s like a class of young children counting pennies and concluding they are rich since they have thousands of dollars! (not realizing a cent is not a dollar).

    • Athena says:

      Yes! I’ve put that one out there before too about pre-history civilization and technology. How could we possibly know about any civilization that existed more than a million years ago? Think about every thing our civilizations have made that could stand the test of time – of everything man-made that exists today, how long would it last if humans were to suddenly disappear? I keep a running tally and so far I think the longest-lasting evidence would probably be plastics in landfills (unless they spawned a plastic-eating bacteria or something, which is not impossible), stainless steel implements, and maybe some types of glass and epoxies, and maybe major terra-forming operations like open-pit mines in Arizona. These would take you up until a glacial period and then get scraped and ground into dust. At most, there might be items around 100,000 years from now. MAYBE a million if the climate stayed stable and was conducive to preservation, like in the Outback. And that’s with our post-industrial revolution technology. Anything previous to the steel-age would stick around less than 10k years easy. For comparison, I look at something like the Anglo-Saxons which were hugely successful and yet we know almost nothing about them because everything they created was of materials which decayed. The only architectural remnant from them is a 900yo wooden door in a church that was scavenged from their settlements. It wouldn’t have survived otherwise.

      Anyway, to your last point, the alternative is highly unsatisfying on an emotional level. We are only human, after all. We can only understand our world and our universe in human context. Look at the ancient Greeks, who explained it all with an entire soap opera of gods and drama.

      • rautakyy says:

        Yes, stone implements survive better than the steel gadgets we today mainly produce. Actually, stainless steel is not that very durable (I have worked with it, so I happen to know it’s woulnarebility) It rusts too, especially, if it is in contact with iron oxide wich is not that rare.

        I suppose, that there would be a bit more of us left in a fossil record after even few million years, but not much, than there is of our ancestors after a similar period of time. After 65 million years, propably nothing, or not enough to bear wittness to our civilization. Even if there would be the similar exeptional conditions that fossilized our bones, like it happened to do for some of the “dinosaur” species those remains alone would not mark as anything exeptional. Brain cavity alone does not tell us much about the relative level of social organization, or even technology. The Neanderthals had bigger braincavities than us, but according to what we know of them, their stonecraft was quite primitive in comparrison to their contemporary humans.

        Here in Finland we have a record of about 10 000 years of our own ancestors who came here after the latest ice age. The Neanderthals were long gone, or perhaps never even lived as high in the north as this The amount of ice would have erased any indication of them. However, the cultural evolution of people who came here, is actually quite easy to follow.

        I am quite human, but I have no trouble accepting my biological niche without any craving to be special in the eyes of a god, creator entity, spirit, or what ever people want to call such an obviously imaginary concept. I would suggest it is just human cultural tradition, that artificially plants such needs within a person who lives in such a culture where these explanation models for the unexplained have been employed. I doubt if it is actually anything hard wired to us, though it might very well use our hard wired mechanics of the mind. Such as suggested by the 500Q.

        I am human and the

        • Athena says:

          I suppose I meant it is only human to ask why we are here, or even merely how it came to be so. I agree with you though, that the answers mankind’s come up with are very closely tied to cultural constructs. Of course anthropocentric cultures are going to be directly abrasive to the idea of a universe indifferent to them. But, like you point out, not everyone thinks like that anymore. It will be interesting to see where these answers foray as they come from increasingly non-anthropocentric, secular societies, especially since a cultural secularism is probably pretty rare in human history. For all I know, this could be the first time in human existence that we don’t all *need* to use spiritualism to answer how we got here, for lack of any other way.

          The fossil record for our civilization is something to consider. There are church cemeteries in the UK that appear to have about 200 graves, which have actually processed closer to 20000 corpses since they started being used around 1000ya. That is a huge amount of mass that gets processed. And that is just one little average country church. There would have to be something left behind from all that. There are also more conducive places to preservation like Mt. Everest where people could stay there like Otzi the ice man until those mountains come down, or like the US border where there may be up to 60,000 bodies of people who tried to cross and ended up dying in the Sonoran desert. Even if that ended up becoming an inland sea again, it would be hard to believe none would end up in the fossil record. But besides bones and maybe a gold wedding ring, what would there be left behind at that point? Maybe a new KT-type boundary from a nuclear event – that’s all I got. I am curious on your take regarding implements. Thanks for the info re. stainless steel – I figured that stuff would last forever.

          • rautakyy says:

            I am very much in agreement with you on the whole. Any long term fossilisation is a complex thing that requires very specific conditions. Human population on the planet has grown into very big in a blink of an evolutionary eye. Many forms of the saurian beasts lived and evolved for millions and millions of years, and alltough there were propably billions of these creatures alive from generation to generation, today we only have few scarce specimen of any single species or even a long line of evolution within a certain branch of species. Those we have because few particular specimen were caught in exeptional conditions that allowed them to become actual fossiles. It is a hard comparrison.

            The Ötzi is only few thousand years old and if he had not been found when he was, there might not be anything left of him today, because the ice field has melted. He might not have been found, if the ice field that had preserved him had not started to melt.

            In a million years there propably would be something left of us, even if our civilization ended now for some reason, but it would also require, that who ever researched us would know where to look for our remains, for that person to be able to find such remains.

      • Los says:

        While your “apparent” vast knowledge of the history of our galaxy and so forth to those who watch the”Big Bang Theory” program on TV must be quite impressive, it’s not so to those of us students of The Bible. Not in any way, shape or form to imply a sueperiority complex over the former, just simply to demonstrate our tendancy to seek wisdom, which in the totality of the circumstances will always supercede that of seeking intelligence. Intelligence being the accumulation of knowledge, while wisdom being the search For God and His Son, Jesus Christ, from which EVERYTHING originates. I’m perplexed by the arbitrary and capricious comments of some who are so quick to dismiss The Bible and it’s teachings. I really struggle to comprehend their origins from which they base these outrageous claims and opinions that there “must” be a flaw or error in The Bible. I will leave you with this query…from where do we “originate” our morality? Who was first to put into our core beings ‘that this is right and this is wrong’ from the beginning of time? Not from our parents, from the inception of man…And after pondering this issue for an hour or the rest of your life, I”l leave you with this more nurturing question…When your 6 month old son or daughter smiles at you and gives you a hug, and makes you momentarily forget that there is a world other than that child that exists…that is the Lord that is smiling at you through theirs eyes…Please reconsider your beliefs…If The Bible is wrong the worst that can happen is that you’ll live a good, moral, loving, wonderful life! But what if IT’S right, and you don’t follow IT’S teachings…Food for thought, God bless you and I’ll pray for you! (And I do not mean that in any condescending way, sincerely.)

        • rautakyy says:

          This is quite off topic, but perhaps it deserved a reply.

          Superstition does not equal wisdom, yes? As long as the existance of any particular god is not evidently presented, they remain superstitions, yes? How do you know that EVERYTHING originates from your particular god and his son? Be honest, there is no way you could know this, is there? And the evidence is flimsy even at best. That is why you have faith, that this is so and your faith on this issue is based on what? Your cultural heritage. Other people have cultural heritage to have faith in other gods. That is why faith is a different form of belief, than to believe something because it has firm set of evidence to back it up. As for example what the scientists have evidently found out about the origin of EVERYTHING. We do not know is a completely valid answer to questions we do not have enough evidence to have a proper answer to. Like the origin of everything. We simply do not know what originated everything. But the lack of information does not warrant us to insert an imaginary answer. To claim that the answer we invented could be the explanation to everything does not infer that this explanation is true. We may consider it as an actual answer only after we can actually demonstrate, that it could have even existed. Before that it is only one hypothesis among many others and in scientific lingo, to even reach the level of hypothesis it would require some level of evidence, which is obviously lacking in the faith to any particular gods.

          However, it is easy to answer your question about “where do we originate our morality”. Morality is a cultural product of social species. It is a survival mechanism of many socially aware animals. Humans are very highly dependant on their social skills and hence our morality evolves all the time far more rapidly than we as physical beings do. No supernatural ie. superstitious explanation needed. It is perfectly natural, nothing unnatural about it.

          Can you not appriciate the smile of your son, or daughter as much, whithout any supernatural entity behind it?

          I do not consider the teachings of the Bible to be very moral at all. So, even if it is right about the existance of a god, I would not choose to live by it. I do not take slavery to be moral, do you? I do not take the stoning of homosexuals, or unruly kids to death to be moral at all, do you? I do not find any special morals in not eating shellfish, or pig, do you? Nor do I find it moral at all, that a faith based belief, allways informed and most often highly decided and affected by our cultural heritage, is to determine wether we end up in eternal joy, or not, do you? And I find it especially immoral to even think it might be true, that an alledgedly benevolent entity would send anyone to ETERNAL suffering for any imaginable crimes, do you? Why would you consider the teachings of the Bible moral at all? The one moral advice in the book being the golden rule of do to others as you would like to be done to yourself is not that original at all. Many philosophers have concluded as much long before the Bible makes any comments about the subject like for example Buddha, Laozi and Zaraoster. Everyone, whith a normal emotional development should come to that conclusion at about age 3.

  8. Lily says:

    I believe in creationism and evolutionism. I feel like the 7 days the God created the Earth in weren’t a literal 7 days. Could have been representative of 700 years or 7000 etc. There is obvious evidence of evolutionism, but I also believe in the bible.

    • Hi Lily, thanks for the comment.

      Just curious, how does one reconcile such a belief against verses such as Genesis 1:5 —

      “God called the light ‘day’ and the darkness ‘night.’ And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.”

      Unless the sun was down for 700 or 7000 years, God seems to be indicating a literal day.

      • Joe says:

        you have no capacity to measure the ‘day’ described in the Creation week. The sun wasn’t even made yet, and it is talking about the Universe, not just the Earth. If we are so into science here, wouldn’t it be worth remembering that time is relative? Remember Einstein?

        • Hi Joe,

          How much capacity does one need to understand what a day is? It’s pretty clear what God speaks of is a literal day, as most readers would understand it. The evening passes, the morning comes, and another day begins. Are these relative evenings and mornings?

          God continues from there to describe His actions upon the Earth during other days. For example, verse 11 says…

          “Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so… And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.”

          Here, He’s clearly speaking of the earth and not the Universe. If He has not yet created the sun, as you suggest, and is speaking about relative time lasting eons, then how is it that these plants bear fruit and reproduce without our sun?

          I think the most reasonable explanation is that this story is a myth. I believe this because:
          1) It is quite common for men to make up creation stories.
          2) The creator in Genesis exhibits no knowledge of our Universe. He doesn’t state that the Universe is extremely old, or extremely large, or that it consists of billions of galaxies, or that the earth spins on its axis as it revolves around the sun in an oval pattern. He doesn’t even realize our sun IS a star, or that the moon does not give off it’s own light. All of these things would be quite obvious to the real creator.
          3) The story contains logical errors, such the possible creation of two suns, vegetation without a sun, or the vegetation being created before man in chapter 1, and then man before vegetation in chapter 2.

          Take care!

          • Athena says:

            I like your point #2, and I didn’t know about #3!

            But I wonder, what if Genesis simply wasn’t the whole truth (not false, but just additional truth omitted)? I was not brought up Christian, so forgive me if I am not using the right language here, but is the bible considered “the whole truth”? If not, I could see an easy out in that point #2 by positing that what was written was only some of what is true, perhaps only knowledge that people of that period were relatively ready for.

            I’ve never thought about this before, so I apologize this is not well developed. But along the former position, say God was going to pen a bible today and Genesis might look like what we think we know at the leading edges of genetics, quantum physics, cosmology, maybe some statistics… As children of our periods, could we reconcile an explanation for what happens before the big bang, where our physics break down as we understand them? Equally, could the end-of-earth descendants cut us and our piddly string-theory version of Genesis some slack because it didn’t worry about how to jump dimensions, what happens when our star explodes and how to survive off infrared energy in a dying universe that has expanded too far apart to keep generating pockets of fission, or whether absolute zero exists?

            I dunno, but I seem to be leaning toward the lines of it being forgivable that “that which is unknown” and beyond comprehension being omitted, even if it is true. If the purpose of the bible was to “tell the truth” it must also be to be accepted as truth, and not be dismissed as what that schizophrenic guy was rambling about after eating the wrong mushrooms in the woods (even if he did end up predicting the future!)

            • Hi Athena,

              Those are certainly valid points, and ones I’ve entertained a little here and there under other questions. Here are a couple things I’ve concluded…

              First, it wouldn’t be very difficult to describe some of these things without getting too technical. For example, instead of Jesus saying, “If you get sick, you should pray for healing and cast out demons,” he could’ve said, “To avoid getting sick, you should cover your mouth when you cough, and wash your hands before you eat, because there are tiny living things you cannot see that can harm you if they get inside your body.” It’s easy enough to understand, and does a much better job of conveying God’s intimate knowledge of His own creation.

              Second, there’s a saying that goes: “Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.” In other words, just because the Bible doesn’t say it, doesn’t mean God doesn’t know it. This is true, and some believers would add that God only reveals things that are necessary for our salvation. But this forces us to strange conclusions, we’re forced to accept that things like the colors and decorations on priestly garments are more important to God then our pain and suffering. Instead of God taking the time to say, “Fleas and mosquitoes can carry deadly diseases,” He says, “You should TOTALLY put pomegranates on the trim, that would look SOOO awesome!” Jesus clearly showed an interest in healing our earthly suffering, not just in our salvation. So I don’t believe it’s just a matter of God not sharing details, I think it’s either a matter of Him not knowing, Him not caring, or Him not existing.

              • Athena says:

                Hmm yea a little something along the lines of “boil your water before you drink it to cast out the demons” would have even gone a long way.

              • Jonathan says:

                For example, instead of Jesus saying, “If you get sick, you should pray for healing and cast out demons,” he could’ve said, “To avoid getting sick, you should cover your mouth when you cough, and wash your hands before you eat, because there are tiny living things you cannot see that can harm you if they get inside your body.” It’s easy enough to understand, and does a much better job of conveying God’s intimate knowledge of His own creation.

                1. Soap was not yet invented.
                2. Water was dirty. Back then they didn’t have filtration and sanitation systems we take for granted today. That’s why wine was so important to them, it was cleaner to drink than water. It could have been possible that washing hands could have made them sicker.
                3. Indoor plumbing. I was going to say it wasn’t invented, but I guess maybe it did exist in some crude forms in the roman empire. However, obtaining water for the Jews of that time was a chore, and what little they had was probably used for cooking and drinking, not washing.
                4. Prayer and casting out demons are activities which involve dependance on God. Washing hands and covering your mouth to sneeze (technically you should use the inside of your elbow or sneeze on the ground) are activities that are self reliant. [I provided more details to this topic in a reply to your question #18]
                5. Spiritual well-being supersedes physical well-being [Again, see my reply to #18]
                6. Maybe their immune systems needed the boost? :)
                7. If God revealed advanced information beyond the normal scope of discovery and innovation, it could have biased history to a point very different than it actually played out. [Like Marty McFly being erased in the future because his mom didn't fall in love with his dad in the past... very disruptive.]
                8. MAYBE Jesus didn’t know. (…wait what?!?.. you heard me correctly.) Jesus voluntarily set aside his God powers to live life as a man (human) totally submissive to God the Father and dependent on Holy Spirit. We know that he was still God and was capable of using God’s power. Satan tempted Jesus to turn rocks into bread when he was hungry. So he could have, but chose not to use his powers at that point. Also, Jesus made it clear that only God the Father knew when he would return to Earth again. Jesus proved this by incorrectly predicting his return. So Jesus chose to only know the things that God the Father revealed to him. It’s plausible that the knowledge of microorganisms was irrelevant to Jesus’ mission.

  9. You really make it seem so easy along with your presentation however I find this topic to be really one thing that I believe I would never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very wide for me. I’m looking forward for your subsequent submit, I will try to get the dangle of it!

  10. manof4 says:

    Before the world was, there was a great war in heaven. It began when God the Father announced his intention to create a world where his children to could receive a physical body and be tried and tested in order to grow and progress. Two plans were presented. One by Jesus Christ, whose plan allowed men and women their free agency to choose for themselves whether to be obedient to the commandments of God, or whether to follow after their own lustful and selfish pursuits. Christ knew that we would make mistakes and therefore offered himself as a sacrifice for sin so that the laws of justice could be satisfied, while still providing a path where mercy could be applied to the repentant sinner.

    The second plan was offered by Lucifer, a son of God and spiritual brother to Jesus Christ. Under his plan, all men and women would be compelled to heed the commandments. He guaranteed that not one soul would be lost, and wanted all glory for himself. This plan robbed the children of God of that precious ability to choose and act for themselves, and therefore blocked their ability to truly progress.

    A great battle ensued in heaven. Two thirds of the inhabitants of heaven followed Christ, and the other third sided with Lucifer. Like every great cause, there were many valiant and faithful people who truly believed in the cause of freedom and agency, and who worked hard to further this cause. There were also others who were less committed. And there were some who simply chose to follow the majority, not because of any internal commitment or passion for the cause of righteousness, but simply because they were following the momentum of the crowd. We see these same varied levels of commitment in every worthy cause today. Some are passionate leaders, truly dedicated to their cause, while others are simply along for the ride.

    Christ and his followers were ultimately victorious. Those who supported Christ’s plan were given the opportunity to come to earth and receive physical bodies, a vehicle necessary for further progression. The third of heaven who followed Lucifer also came to earth, but will not receive bodies. Instead, they are here to tempt and torment man. They are extremely jealous of those who received physical bodies and thus are doing all they can to destroy us. By resisting temptation and gaining control over our own appetites and passions, we become stronger and take control of our own destiny, allowing us to progress without limits.

    As mentioned above, the two third of the host of heaven who followed Christ in the great war in heaven were of varied commitment and valor. Some, like Michael the Archangel, fought most valiantly for the cause of righteousness. He later came to earth as Adam, the earthly father of the human race. Many of those who have become great leaders and motivators for good on this earth, were most likely among the very faithful in heaven. We all brought much of our heavenly characteristics with us from Pre-earth life, to this mortal existence, just as we will take the character traits and qualities we develop during life on earth, to the next stage of our existence in life after death.

    With all that in mind, on possible theory to explain the Giants of the Bible and the Neanderthal man could be that this race of people were actually among the least valiant in the war in heaven. Perhaps because they were not openly fighting against Christ and the cause of righteousness, they had met the minimum qualifications to come to earth and receive a physical body. However, because they were not eagerly fighting to defend the cause of righteousness, or lacked the commitment one would expect from a loyal follower, they were not given full human bodies and all its properties.

    The word “Nephalim” in the Bible has many interpretations, one of which is “those who came down” or “those who have fallen”. Perhaps the author was intending to describe a group of souls who had been evaluated as less than righteous, though not quite evil. Perhaps just lazy and unmotivated. Archaeological discoveries have shown that Neanderthals and humans did coexist for a period of time, and likely intermingled genetically. There are burial sites that include both neanderthal remains and human remains indicating that there was some interaction between the two groups until the disappearance of the Neanderthals.

    Perhaps God did not approve of these groups interbreeding, and even expressly forbid it, and perhaps this is exactly what is being described in the Bible. It’s certainly a theory worth consideration.

    • Thanks manof4,

      I take it you’re Mormon? Because (please understand) most Christian Sunday schools don’t teach that Jesus and Lucifer were spirit brothers, or that they offered competing plans to God, or that Michael the Archangel is Adam, or that pre-existent souls are given physical bodies, or that those invisible souls who did not receive bodies are jealous and trying to tempt us.

      You probably grew up with these ideas, but to me (and I mean absolutely no disrespect by this) they sound pretty outrageous. But Christianity is no different. I’m sure to someone who wasn’t raised with it, ideas like the talking snake, the virgin birth, or three gods in one would seem pretty bizarre. But I grew up with these ideas, and so they seemed pretty normal.

      It’s fascinating to me to see how different people, like you and I, can grow up in different cultures and believe such strange ideas completely on faith. We hear these stories over and over again, usually from childhood, and we accept them as fact with little question. But every culture believes its stories and myths for various reasons, and I think our cultures were no different.

      As for the Neanderthals, I would still have to say the theory most consistent with the evidence is that Neanderthals once shared a common ancestor with us, and their DNA changed over time as they spent time apart from other humans. This kind of genetic drift is something we’ve observed with many animal species. We have evidence for things like natural selection, genetic drift, and changes in features over time (such as gray wolves changing into many different breeds of dogs). But we have no evidence to show that a great war in heaven once resulted in God giving Neanderthals crappy bodies. Neanderthals were most likely short and stocky because it helped keep them warm, not because they didn’t fight valiantly enough with Jesus in the great war. It’s a great story, but to me seems like little more than an exaggeration and extrapolation of the Christian story. (Again, no offense, it’s just how things look from where I sit.)

      Thanks again!

      • rautakyy says:

        What Manof4 mentioned about souls pre-existing before they are put to bodies, actually reminds me of the common christian quote from Immanuel Kant, that nothing can come from nothing. Without taking any sides as to what Kant meant by that, it is often enough offered as an excuse for the necessity of a god to exist as a creator, because if it is taken as truth the universe has to come from somwhere. Of course it leaves totally open the question where did this god appear from in the first place, if nothing can come from nothing, but it also leaves open the idea of where do all the souls come from. If one truly thinks nothing can come from nothing, are the souls then actually nothing? Well, I admit I think they are nothing, because there is no evidence, none what so ever, to prove they exist anywhere else than our in our imaginations. However, the idea presented by Manof4 would explain as much.

        On the other hand maybe the Neanderthal people were trolls, that were born from the maggots in the corpse of the giant Ymir like the Edda explains. How can we verify wich is it? Or should we just randomly choose one explanation, try to believe it as hard as we can and hope for the best? Then, if we happened not to choose the Edda explanation, boy will we be frustrated to spend an eternity with Hela? I was born to an atheist family, so to me all these stories bear as much value as cultural history, but not as something I really could find any “faith” in.

        Actually the Neanderthal were quite adept in their own enveronment. The bone analysis has told us that they were much stronger than we are and that their lungs were larger, wich enabled much greater intake of oxygen for a prolonged strain. Their big noses were more suited to the dry air of the ice age. In addition their skulls actually had more room for a brain than the modern man. Their culture never developed onto a very high technological level, but we can not say it was because they were more stupid than we are, because the harsh condtions they lived in, forced them to exist as very small communities. Under those conditions it was not very likely for even very intelligent species to develope many new ideas, since new ideas often are a result of interaction between people, such as we are having here. I hope.

        • Joe says:

          how do we know anything about their culture for certain? If our society became disrupted by an EMP, and we all became hunter/gatherers because we couldn’t look up info on Google anymore, how long would it take for nature to erase most of the evidence of our technological prowess? All that would remain longterm would be stonework. Just sayin…

          • rautakyy says:

            Well, there is an abundance of research data about the Neanderthal culture by archeologists who have specialized in that field. They do not agree about everything, but they do have a consensus about a great many things. Science is like that. We never have the absolute final knowledge, because there allways might be some new information, that might change the big picture or at least a part of it, but as the amount of information grows, the marginal of total errors gets smaller and smaller. Therefore the educated guesses scientists make become less and less prone to be false.

            There are several sites that have been excavated, wich have been positively recognized as the places where the Neanderthal people lived often for generations and left the debris wich is recognizable as their culture. It is clearly different and one might say also obviously more primitive than, that of their contemporary modern men. Also from their skeletons it has been deducted that a lot of new inventions at the time made by the modern man were in fact impossible to use for the Neanderthal people because of their physiology. For example thrown spear was never used by the Neanderthals simply because their shoulder joint does not allow using such a device.

            • rautakyy says:

              I should emphasize that the term “primitive” is loaded with misconceptions, so the culture of the Neanderthal humans should be described more as ultra conservative. They presented very few new inventions, and they did not emulate those from other cultures they were in contact with. This is not because they were stupid, but because their culture was isolated in small pockets around Europe and Near-East (as a result of the ice-age) in mountain reaches and it seems the spreading modern man (as the ice-age ended) wiped them out on contact, either by violence, or absrobing these small groups to the bigger population. They were like the mammoth, doomed to disappear by a climate change.

              • Athena says:

                Neanderthals figured out how to process and preserve food for the winter, they had fire and clothing and travel gear, and figured out how to live in permanent shelters, AND all that fancy tool making and early medicine. Perhaps they were out-competed by the more innovative technology the CroMagnons were developing, like atlatles that allowed them to kill at a much greater range. Or, heck, maybe CroMagnons figured out how to garden and farm, and that’s what allowed them to survive the loss of all the big hunting game populations.

                • rautakyy says:

                  Well according to modern science, farming was not invented until thousands of years after the Neanderthal people had totally wanished. Atlatles are a good guess, but it is possible that they were not in use yet when the ancestors of modern man came from Africa to the stomping grounds of the Neanderthals. Did the “CroMagnons”, as you put it, have bows and arrows. Propably not. But even the thrown spear, or javelin, if you please is a magnificently advanced weapon in comparrison to mere thrusting spear the Neanderthals utilized.

                  However, we have reason to believe the contact between the two types of humans was not just an outright war of extinction. That these two types actually had common offspring. The blond hair, blue eyes, and big noses of the western people might be the result of this interbreeding. Most likely the Neanderthals simply were so much fewer in small pockets that got both killed and joined the bigger human communities of the “CroMagnon”. The rowing tribes of the ancestors of modern man may have prevented interaction between the scarce Neanderthal communities and caused their demise that way. By locking them up in “reservations” where they had no chance to get new blood and enough food for to feed upon. In any case their very conservative lifestyle and form of living could not stand the climate change and disappearance of much of the megafauna wich happened simultaneously to the introduction of the modern man to Eurasia. What ever the connection between those two events in addition to the end of the ice-age was…

                  • Athena says:

                    Nah I don’t think bows were around then; they are likely fairly recent, at least up in Eurasia. But I think we are in agreement regarding weapons, lack of technological innovation put Neanderthals at a competitive disadvantage when neighboring with CroMagnon. I hadn’t considered the reservation idea; I think it is a good one. I also do not believe it was a war to extinction. Interbreeding has been supported.

                    I would edit your farming statement from “not invented” to “not widely relied upon”. Because, (and also according to modern science,) while the interdisciplinary accepted date of the neolithic revolution (dawn of agriculture) is 10kya, there is evidence that the knowledge of how to grow food is very much older, likely 30kya and possibly as old as 40kya. These latter dates include CroMagnon and the former, Neanderthals, (though I do not know of any evidence that suggests Neanderthals grew food, just saying the dates are inclusive). If the knowledge of how to farm was only invented ten thousand years ago, then how did isolated cultures all over the world come up with it and put it into practice at the same time? The simpler solution is that they had this knowledge BEFORE their populations dispersed around the globe and then the climate changed rapidly 10kya, requiring them to rely more on food they already knew how to produce themselves.

                    Book Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthals,_Bandits_and_Farmers

                    • rautakyy says:

                      Oh, I totally accept your re-editing my statement about the intial phases of farming, or should we say cultivation. I just meant farming as in a sedentarist type of living. Many of the American Indian nations had cultivated land even though they lived more, or less nomadic hunter gatherer economy.

                      We are in agreement about the bows also. However, the reason we do not think there were bows back then, is because we have distinctive stone arrowheads only from much later period of time, but if stoneheads were not used, like how many ancient cultures used only organic material, such as bone, for the arrowheads, it could be, that the bow was an early invention. Wich was possibly not utilized, for example, because the primitive form of the early bow was not an effective weapon against the megafauna. Yet, we are not justified in making guesses of very early invention of the bow. It is the lack of concrete evidence, that does not totally exclude the possibility, but narrows it down to quite minimal. A bit like with any gods. ;)

                      As for the “simultaneous” invention of farming, it does not necessarily need be interconnected. The wheel was invented in several parts of the world with no possible, or at very least rather unlikely communication between them like the Incas, the Chinese and the Sumerians. When we are speaking in time frames of thousands, or even tens of thousands of years as “simultaneuous” we have usually both options open. In a sense, that in such a time span it is quite possible for people to have travelled and transferred some idea, or that it was independently invented without any knowledge of the innovations of a nother group of people. These are very hard to establish either way. But I would see we are in agreement about this stuff in general. If you are interrested, I have written a post concerning rather similar problem and, if our gracious host the 500Questions does not mind, and I’ll link it here:

                      http://rautakyy.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/solutrian-clovis/

          • Athena says:

            We do know that they had healers that used medicinal plants. We do know that they spiritual lives. We do know that they buried their dead.

            http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/oldest-herbal-healers
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_religion

            • rautakyy says:

              Thanks for the interresting article about medicinal plants used by the early men. What can we actually conclude by the evidence of their use of healing herbs or their possibly religious lives? The article suggests, that the fact that the taste of certain plants was bitter, was why the researchers interpreted that the ancient people did not eat it for reasons of taste, but rather for some medicinal purposes. The same logic could be applied to a number of food and even candy in different cultures. Taste is often an aquired cultural concept. Here in Finland we eat candy (salmiakki), that most foreigners consider to taste like cat pee. But as we learn as kids it is good (and it is bitter), we like it.

              Even though it is quite possible that the Neanderthals and other early men had experts who knew the herbs better, it is not necessary that they had any such professions as “healers”. Such knowledge of the medicinal properties of certain herbs might have been universal knowledge in an area where such herbs could be aquired.

              We do not know if ancient people had “spiritual lives”. Only from the onset of written word can we exclusively conclude that a concept of supernatural was in definate use. We may make educated guesses on what the purpose of ancient statues, statuettes, standing stones or what have you, might have been and one quite possible is that these had something to do with concepts of supernatural. But we should also be aware of our own cultural heritage as baggage here, for possibly being wrong in thinking that we recognize in what might have been intended only as art for its aestethic value, or as symbols of something mundane like power, or even pornographic material, as attempts to describe the supernatural or even religious ritual.

              How could a person with no cultural connection to our own age, make the distinction between a temple of religious worship and a mausoleum made for a political leader? Or a military parade, from a religious festival? When I studied archaeology in the university of Helsinki, I learned that there is this problem in archaeology, that if an archaeologist does not recognize the practical use of an artefact, or a location with high human influence, he/she “runs home to mama” and names the object as religious. In effect, all that humans do, that does not seem to have any practical sense to it from the first glance gets to be labelled as religious. Rather funny since, that is in fact, what religious practices actually are. Stuff without any practical sense to them. However, humans do a lot of stuff that has no practical sense to it, even other stuff than religious behaviour, and it is very difficult to understand what was seen as practical by a completely different culture.

              As I mentioned before burying the dead does by no means indicate any sort of belief in an afterlife, or anything else supernatural. Burying the dead is a logical solution to the disposal of a body of the dead family members. It is in fact a very good survival mechanism, if humans do not want any nearby predators to aquire a taste for human flesh. Putting flowers in the grave does not indicate religious practices, it only tells that the living had emotions towards the deceased.

  11. john emmons says:

    The common denominator in all forms of life our selfs included is the feel of life we as humans are conciouse of the feeling. we think of it as our self but its common .concience come s from this awarness.eternal life would be the permaments of this common so therefor all life is permament including neanderthal

  12. john emmons says:

    Further to my last comment neanderthils must have had a developed ego ie a knowlege of good and evil to some extent burial of dead p rove s this so they had to have a concience this is the pre reqiurment for belief in spirt or soul

    • rautakyy says:

      Actually it does not prove that they had any concept of soul at all. I am an atheist in the third generation and we in our family do bury our dead relatives with grace and in mourning dispite the fact we do not think they have souls. It is our way of saying goodbay.

      Burial is not a neccessity, but it is a practical custom, for any stone age culture, since it prevents the local predators from developing a taste for human flesh. If you love the person being buried, you might even throw in a few flowers to the grave, as a token of that emotion regardless of your ideology for a concept of soul.

  13. john emmons says:

    The genisis adam and eve story is a story togive the spirit status of man to an enqiurer its obviously not atrue factual account of mans beginings.the conciousness of good an evil came about by evolution of life in a local enviroment relative to the rest of the universe this doesent mean theres no god.because the observer man knows good an evil in the field of events accuratly described in genisus

  14. cinna says:

    ok i think all the views here are interesting . you have to take into consideration the nephilim were not the only crossbred beings . satan also manipulated the animals and the plants . thats where alot of mythology comes from like the centaur for example , half man half horse . i have no doubt that satan did the same thing with apes , mixed the dna . or another theory is the neanderthals are descendants of the giant nephilim . as for the dna of neanderthals matching our own , this is probably why satan did dna manipulation in the first place , so we would think we evolved from apes and were’nt created . that stunt fits exactly to his behaviour , just like the whole alien scam he is trying to pull . those ships and beings with the big black eyes are nothing more than desperate attemps of satan trying to decieve people away from believing in god/jesus, they are demons/fallen angels. it says in bible he is the prince of the power of the air . god sent the flood to destroy what satan had done . he was trying to make human pure human dna extinct so birth of christ could not happen . that is why he tempted eve as well , and there is a theory on that . cain and able were twins , some say satan is the father of cain . maybe this leads to the neanderthals . then there is the mark of cain given to him by god . some say it may be the brow ridge . i am sticking with the idea of satan having a hand in it . not some way of naturally evolving .

    • So… you’re willing to believe in: 1) the possible existence of centaurs, 2) global floods for the purification of DNA, and 3) that Satan possibly fathered Cain… but evolution, regardless of the monumental evidence, is what seems crazy and unbelievable to you. And you see no problem with this way of thinking?

  15. chuckjones says:

    cains mark, i completely agree, been thinkin bout tht for a while

  16. rautakyy says:

    @ Cinna. Do you then think that all the Scientists who have diverted from the Biblical account are in league with the Satan, or just that they are fooled by Satan? If Satan is such a good lier, that all the experts today, when we know so much more than in the days when the Bible was written, are fooled by these lies, then how do you know you are not? How do we know if the entire Bible and the message alledgedly given by it is not just some trick by Satan? Perhaps Jesus was the Anti-Christ himself, but we just do not know it yet. How did the ancient people who wrote the scriptures, knew if they were inspired by the creator of the entire universe and not just the “Prince of Lies”? Is there a method to evaluate this? I am sorry if you find this offensive, or even blasphemous, but it is a valid question. Is it not? How do we know wich religion was inspired by benevolent divine force, or by a malevolent divine force, or was just inspired by the very well known human condition of making stuff up?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I just finished reading a book called “Know Thine Enemy” by C. A. Huft. It made alot of sense to me. Maybe it will make sense to some of yall. Have a good day everyone.

  18. Evolutionist gone Christian says:

    I am curious as to why people put all of this time and effort into research that can only be used to try and support a theory that has come this far due to over a century of fraudulent evidence. Yes, it is a fact that a vast majority of the archeological evidence used to “prove” the evolution theory was falsified in a desperate attempt to push the idea of evolution… which literally built the case for evolution, and was not proven false until years later. These people who falsified evidence either wanted to launch their careers, or needed more grant money – thus the convenient unearthing of groundbreaking evolution evidence right before their current grants ran out. The links below are some examples… not all of them… but the internet is full of more examples of all the fraudulent evidence that the evolution theory has been built on… and yet, people still try to prove it.

    Evolution Fraud Links:

    http://www.uark.edu/~cdm/creation/shame.htm

    http://www.nwcreation.net/evolutionfraud.html

    At least the bible has a book written on eyewitness accounts instead of guesswork, and has evidence that can be matched to specific archeological digs. I know, I know… there are so many religions, how can you be sure which one is the real one? Maybe you should be researching religions instead of evolution… perhaps in researching religion you might find something a little more spiritual and truthful than a bunch of bones with a fantastical tale laced with delusions of millions of years in the making. That’s another thing I don’t get… where is everyone getting these numbers from? 30,000 years old and 5.7 million years ago… do we know someone from that far back? Did he write all this down in some obscure evolution book? Or is there some grand evolution dartboard that some exalted scientist throws a dart at to discover a date when a date is needed to explain something?

    However, I must admit… all of this new evidence looks pretty convincing – I should know – I spent 10 years of my life marveling over how interesting and exciting it was to have uncovered our past, and how we evolved… of course, until my eyes were opened to the deceit and lies that tainted the theory. After all, even if evolutionists are right, what’s the point? If evolution is in fact true, then when you die, then you’ll just die and that’ll be that. You won’t even have the satisfaction of knowing you were right! So you should stop all of this evolution nonsense and go out and have some fun with your life! Stop wasting your time trying to prove something that is undoubtedly unable to be proven, which will probably end up destroying many people’s faith… because on the flip side… if you are wrong and God does exist, you will most definitely find out that you were wrong… in which it is once again a good idea to start researching religions.

    • Hi there,

      I do remember hearing about these frauds as a young Christian. However, I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss the theory because of the shameful acts of a few scientists. We could likewise try to discredit Christianity by pointing out that many early extra-Biblical books about Jesus were clearly the work of fraudsters, and suggest that since this was a common practice of the time, all of Christianity is a fraud. I think what these “scientists” did was wrong, just as what these extra-Biblical authors did was wrong, but I don’t think they speak for the whole.

      Evidence for evolution comes from multiple lines of evidence, whereas the Biblical account of creation stems from a single source: one ancient dude who said, “God spoke to me and told me He first created life in a garden!” There’s no archaeological evidence for this garden-creation nor any eye-witnesses. One must accept the story on faith, despite the fact that not one other disparate culture on earth shares this same creation account.

      Evolutionary theory predicts things like genetics, which show how we’re all related and how we all share a certain amount of the same DNA. “Biblical theory” predicts that man and animals are not related in any way, with God making man “in His image.” Had we found that man’s DNA was nothing like that of the animals, I’d say the Bible accurately predicted reality.

      And there are other evidences, from extinct fossils to the similarity in features across animals. Whales are a good example. The whale wasn’t designed with a fin as it should have been, but with an arm, wrist, and five fingers! And the unique ear of the whale also matches up with the unique ear of an extinct land-dwelling mammal. Whales also breathe air… even though they spend their entire lives under water. All these features make sense if whales evolved from land animals, but no wise designer would make such choices if building a whale from scratch.

      If evolution is true, it’s important to know precisely because it may be true. People once said the Bible was truth and we should use prayer to heal people (according to Jesus). If we just turned a blind eye to science, we’d still be casting demons out of people with polio, instead of eradicating it. Jesus knew nothing of bacteria and viruses, or how to prevent them from spreading. Again, if he did, I’d say the Bible accurately predicted reality.

      The problem with researching religion is… well… imagine that one religion IS absolutely true in every respect. What does that say for all the thousands of others? It says that people really like to make up religions. That being the case, isn’t it possible that ALL of them are made up? They mostly just say, “Believe us, join us, give us your time and money, and you’ll find out it’s true when you’re dead.” So what we need is to let the evidence speak to what is true, not decide what is true, and then go in search of any evidence that supports our view.

      Have a good evening! :-)

  19. Evolutionist gone Christian says:

    Well it must be nice to be an evolutionist who gets all their research done for free! Especially because you won’t ever know if you’re right or not!

  20. Investigative Christian says:

    I’ve been reading articles about the sequencing of DNA from Neanderthals and being a Christian I am having a hard time understanding where all this fits in. And dont get me started on trying to understand the Nephilim.
    I’ve read several articles, however being a computer science degree and not anthropology or biology, it causes me to always have more questions. I did find a few interesting articles from another point of view. They are from the same web site though.
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/contents/379/arj/v3/enigmatic-Neanderthals.pdf

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v7/n2/cavemen-different
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2006/11/22/trouble-with-sequencing
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2003/04/04/thumbs-up-neandertals
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/10/27/news-to-note-10272007
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2003/02/17/neandertal-man
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2003/06/18/neandertal-genetic-differences

    This isnt an easy topic as there are scientists in both camps that are quite remarkable. It isnt as if only the educated believe evolution and Bible thumping crazies believe creation. There are educated and credentialed , in both camps. I enjoy reading information even if it goes against my belief, thanks for the article.

    • Agreed, there ARE intelligent people in both camps, which is what often makes getting to the bottom of these questions so very difficult (on top of them being complex topics to begin with). If these men weren’t so qualified and intelligent, it would be easier to simply dismiss them. And you’re wise to read from both camps (I try to do likewise) since only hearing from one side of the debate would surely lock you into that view.

      However, I find that most Christians (including my past self) will examine any evidence with a pre-existing Biblical bias — an assumption that the Bible is true (which is what we’ve all been taught to believe). There’s nothing wrong with that, so long as the Bible is true and it can prove itself, which is highly debatable.

      For example, few (if any) non-Christian geologists believe that the world once suffered a year-long global flood that killed off all living things (except for those living aboard a boat). But you CAN find intelligent and well educated Christians (like some of those at answersingenesis.org) who believe just that, not because the evidence proves it (in fact, there is evidence against it), but because they’ve already predetermined the Bible is true. Other Christians are willing to admit that this story doesn’t match the evidence, and they settle for a local flood or an allegory as a bit of a compromise. But IF the story was meant to be taken literally, and I believe it was, and it’s simply NOT true, then we can’t assume the Bible is always correct. In fact, we need to assume it’s sometimes just plain wrong. And this, needless to say, is a slippery slope for many Christians.

  21. Brad says:

    I have to admit I don’t really have a good explanation for neanderthal man – but I have seen in the past where an “individual” consisted of a jawbone fragment and a tooth, so I am frustrated by the vague evidence, ie, 400 individuals, I click the link and there are no photos of these individuals or tables showing how much % of the entire skeleton exists for each individual. Are there 400 intact full skeletons, all indicating clear neanderthal ancestry? I doubt it. Considering that much anthropological research is funded by taxes, I’d like to have better access to the evidence; it all seems a little hard to access and shrouded in mystery.

    While it certainly could be that neanderthal man is distinct, genetically and otherwise, from homo sapiens, I am not convinced by the evidence I have personally seen; to my layman’s eyes, neanderthal man looks like a short, strongly built man. I know that makes me sound ignorant, but let each of us ask ourselves what quality and quantity of evidence we have actually observed, and how much we are taking this on faith in the words of the researchers, who after all have a materialist philosophy, and have a lot to gain personally by classifying their find as “neanderthal”.

    I’d vote for more access to the actual evidence, and I freely admit there are mysteries that the bible cannot explain; but then again, the bible was not written as a book to explain the mysteries of the world, but as a history of Israel, and an owner’s manual for the human soul.

  22. Jonathan says:

    This article is from earlier this year (2013): http://www.reasons.org/articles/the-latest-on-neanderthal-extinctions
    Latest research indicates that modern man never met up nor mated with neanderthal.

    Also, I cannot find the article, but all the “human-like traits” we attribute to neanderthal are similar traits to those of apes. (e.g. limited tool use, simple symbolic thought, etc.) So, just as we are not shocked to find apes in the zoo among other animals, it’s not shocking that we find no special mention of neanderthal in the Bible. They were nothing more than animals.

    Oh, I forgot that you have a picture of them at the top of your post. Did neanderthal tools include digital camera? I think it’s a myth! :) [Just kidding, of course!]

    • rautakyy says:

      Perhaps, now it is unnecessary to answer the previous comment by Brad, as this article posted by Jonathan tells us that enough remains of the Neanderthals have been found to be carbon dated.

      @Jonathan, you try to make the stone tools the Neanderthals used and then tell me how very special and clever you are in comparrison to them. Yes, they were nothing more than animals, just like you and I are nothing more than animals. Their stonework was primitive in comparrison to what of our own ancestors produced, but higly more sophisticated than any of the hominids before them. Hominids are actually the only group of species that molds their stone implements. The techniques used by Neanderthals fall into a group of handicraft, that is commonly undestood to be one of the most difficult craftmanship any man can master. I know people who actually can reproduce such implements and believe me it took years and years of dedicated practice to learn the trait.

      However, if the article you posted was reliable, and the Neanderthal were extinct before the arrival of the modern man from Africa, then the level of their cultural sophistication is not even an issue for why they are not mentioned in the Bible. They could then be dismissed as a failed attempt to create humanity by your Middle-Eastern god, who even in the Bible makes a few failed attempts on humanity, destroys everything, but then starts again from the scratch. But they can not be dismissed as “nothing more than animals”, because we know and even the article does not dissmis the fact we know they had human like traits, like building fire, burying their dead, and making complex stone implements for hunting and preparing animal skins for clothes.

      But it seems, the writer of that article is seeking “reasons to believe”, rather than seeking for the truth, and therefore I do not take his/her word for it. In the books I have read, by actual researchers of this subject, it is often referred to skeletal remains, that have been evaluated to be the remains of people born as a result of interbreeding between these two distinct types of hominids – the Neanderthals and modern men. One of those – an adolescent boy – was found in Israel. Interresting location, eh?

      The only reasonable conclusion on why they are not mentioned in the Bible is, that the Bible was written several thousand years after the extinction of the Neanderthals, just like the article you posted actually bears wittness to. The Bible is at best only some 3000 years old and we know, that the Neanderthals had been extinct tens of thousands of years before that. So, even if the Bible was 6000 to 10000 years old, as the wildest claims about it make it, it could not have any comments in it about the Neanderthal people. This also means that the origin of human beings, life and everything else as old, or older than the Neanderthals in the Bible, is a mere myth. Does it not?

  23. MOEHOWEIRD THE PROFIT says:

    Hi there,
    im a Neanderthal and let me tell you, im glad im extinct today.i just cant imagine what it would have been like having to time from my hunter/gatherer chores to have to answer the tapping at my cave opening only to find a bunch of Jehovah’s witness trying to give their message and damn Watchtowers to read.more troubling is my cave has no door to slam in their faces.hell i can’t read anyway and im limited to grunts and groans to converse with them.i can’t take time from my busy day of flint knapping,trying to control fire and and avoid being eaten by large megafauna,being killed.by the tribe in the next valley over.I’m really to busy trying to keep my short statured ass alive so i can at least reproduce and live to the ripe old age of 17……. thank you

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