Author: Paul S. Taylor of Christian Answers
This chapter critically examines evidence supporting the theory that humans descended from animals. Each of the most famous missing links is discussed.
missing links: If there is a chain of descent linking man with the primates, it should be possible to find at least some of the chain's links in the fossil record. The fossils should reveal transitional creatures bridging the chasm between ape-like animals and man, as the creatures became progressively more human-like. Creationists do not agree these links are missing; they believe they simply never existed. Evolutionists assume they existed, although many admit that no unquestionable evidence of the animal ancestors of man have been found, to date. Evolutionists claim these links are now missing, some forever, with others waiting to be discovered in the fossils.
Ramapithecus has been widely represented as one of the creatures from which man evolved. This idea was promoted through illustrations showing Ramapithecus routinely walking almost as upright as man. Evolutionary experts now concede this is not correct, and that in fact Ramapithecus was merely an extinct ape similar to an orangutan, having no connection to man.
Australopithecus is another African ape and probably the best known supposed candidate for the missing link. However, evidence of misinterpretation due to over-eagerness on the part of evolutionists has become increasingly evident.
Evolutionists have frequently emphasized similarities between the jaws of these apes and the angulation of human jaws. Creationist Dr. John Cuozzo is an expert on human jaws and teeth, and has long studied the question of human origins. After collecting and analyzing casts of numerous australopithecine jaws and comparing them in detail with those of humans, he made an interesting discovery. Jaw angulation can be an unreliable indicator of relative humanness and should not be the determining factor in deciding whether a fossil jaw is human, ape, or missing link.
After years of study of the australopithecine evidence, researcher Malcolm Bowden, like many others, is certain these animals are not a missing link but simply another variety of extinct ape.
A number of precise measurements were made on the australopithecine bones. They were compared by computer with those of apes and with human beings (Homo sapiens). Each time, the measurements came out much closer to those of apes than they did to those of human beings. And, in fact, Dr. Oxnard [an Evolutionist] who did this experiment and made these measurements came to the conclusion that he doubted if there was any link with the australopithecines and Homo sapiens.This conclusion seems to be supported by the work of Sir Solly Zuckerman (an Evolutionist). He carried out a number of examinations, tests and measurements of these australopithecine bones. Lord Zuckerman concluded that the australopithecine link is based not on hard facts, but on speculation.
One individual australopithecine skeleton was named Lucy by Evolutionist Donald Johanson.
Lucy: a particular Australopithecus skeleton which Donald Johanson named after a girl mentioned in a Beatles song (Lucy in the sky with diamonds); Australopithecus afarensis.
Various Evolutionists, including Richard Leakey, have concluded there is no good evidence that Lucy was a missing link. Current evidence seems to indicate Australopithecus was an extinct variety of ape, and nothing more. Various Evolutionary publications have said the skeleton of Lucy is very similar to that of modern pygmy chimpanzees. Recent computer scans of the inner ears of australopithecines indicates these apes normally walked on all 4 legs.
Homo habilis was widely publicized as a link between Australopithecus and Homo erectus bridging the gap between apes and man. Claims that habilis was an ancestor of humans (homo) are now known to be in error. Worse, the habilis category seems tainted with a mixture of ape and human fossils (including the seemingly human Kenyan skull KNM-ER 1470). The real habilis was simply an ape, a little over 3 feet tall another australopithecine (similar to a small chimpanzee or an orangutan).
Homo erectus fossils have been found in various parts of the world. The term homo indicates that even Evolutionists now consider these to be human fossils, not ape. Desperate for a link between apes and man, the significance and circumstances of these fossils were generally distorted in the press exaggerating their ape-like characteristics.
Attempts to depict Homo erectus as an ape-man began with Java Man (then scientifically referred to as Pithecanthropus erectus erect ape-man and now renamed Homo erectus). Java Man consists of a skull cap, three teeth (1891), and a thigh bone (1892). The medical doctor, Eugene Dubois, made the finds when he went to the island of Java to discover the Holy Grail of Evolutionism, the missing link. The legbone is basically identical to that of typical present-day humans. The skull cap was found 46 feet away from the thigh bone and is unusual in shape by today's standards, but still within the range of variation possible for humans. Until his death, Dr. Dubois insisted that he was the discoverer of the real missing link.[209a]
What is not well-known is that Java Man lived at the same time as more modern humans and that the Java evidence (other skulls, bones and teeth) actually indicated that humans can vary considerably in brain size and shape of skull. It is now clear that Java Man was not man's ancestor.[209b]
The next find that attracted worldwide attention came from China in the 1920s and 30s. The fossils were called Peking Man designated Sinanthropus pekinensis (1927) and later Homo erectus (1940). Researchers excavated these remains about 25 miles from Peking. The evidence included skulls (mainly fragments) and teeth, but almost no limb bones. In only 5 instances were the skulls complete enough to determine even so much as the brain capacity. After their discovery and description, the original bones were mysteriously lost sometime between 1941 and 1945. They have never been recovered.[210a] Today, the evidence consists merely of casts (of unproven accuracy)[210b] and 2 teeth. Again these fossils were acclaimed as a link between ape and man.
What was not made clear to the public was evidence of fully human inhabitants found at this site evidence of miners who quarried limestone here, built large fires, and left thousands of quartz stones and various tools. Fossil remains of 10 typical humans were also found. The excavations reveal the grizzly possibility that cannibalism occured here possibly the larger people removing (and possibly eating) the brains of the smaller-brained Peking Man individuals.
Whatever goulish event took place here, researchers such as Marvin Lubenow are certain that Peking Man was not a distant ancestor of man; he was man contemporaneous with more typical-skulled humans.[210c] Fossil expert and Evolutionist Franz Weidenreich said, it would not be correct to call our fossil [Peking Man] `Homo pekinensis' or `Homo erectus pekinensis;' it would be best to call it `Homo sapiens erectus pekinensis.' Otherwise it would appear as a proper 'species' different from `Homo sapiens' [modern humans] which remains doubtful, to say the least.[210d]
Since these earlier finds, the skeletal remains of more than 200 individual Homo erectus people have been found throughout the world at almost 80 locations. According to Lubenow, more than 50% of the sites contained stone tools. Computerized scans of their inner ears (as well as other evidence), clearly indicates they walked on two feet exclusively.[212a] From the neck down, the differences between erectus and typical modern humans are minor.[212b] Erectus skeletons are usually smaller than moderns, but not always.
Above the neck there are differences, including thick skulls and small brains. However, we now know that some humans have very small brains, including some female Australian aboriginees. The actual range in humans is said to be a remarkable 700 to 2200 cubic centimeters. Peking Man's was as large as 1200cc. The human brain's organization is such that small size does not affect intelligence.
According to researcher Lubenow, various other characteristics of the Homo erectus skulls can be accounted for by poor diet and disease (especially rickets), inbreeding, and harsh living conditions. It is said that most, if not all, of these skull-shape characteristics can still be found somewhere within the current human population.
It is increasingly agreed among creationists and Evolutionists that Homo erectus was fully human and contemporary with modern-type man evidence of the wide variation possible within humans.
Neanderthal Man was based on remains first found in the Neanderthal Valley of western Germany. For many years scientists accepted Neanderthal Man as a subhuman missing link. Hundreds of museums and textbooks promoted it as such. The sad truth is that Neanderthals were 100% human all along, and (according to a leading Evolutionist) they were very similar to northwest Europeans.
Neanderthal brain capacity was actually somewhat larger than the norm today. These people appear robust and strongly built. Some Neanderthals suffered from various debilitating diseases which left disfigurement in their bones rickets, arthritis, syphilis, etc.
The sometimes heavy brow ridges are features that develop to some extent even today among native peoples that do a great deal of tough chewing as youngsters (e.g., Eskimos that chew blubber or leather). Unusually strong muscles develop which mold the soft growing bone at the brows.
Neanderthals were definitely not the ancestors of humankind. They were just a coexistent variety of people, perhaps a race, with certain skeletal characteristics.
Soon after its discovery, Nebraska Man was officially designated Hesperopithecus haroldcooki. Various leading Evolutionists, including the eminent Henry F. Osborn, initially publicized it as a genuine missing link.
A vivid reconstruction was commissioned, based on the only evidence a single tooth found in Nebraska and a few supposed tools. Later excavations uncovered the rest of the remains. The tooth was not that of an animal-like man or even of an ape. The creature was actually a type of wild pig, living now only in Paraguay.
Piltdown Man (Eoanthropus dawsoni) was once a very important evidence for the Evolution of man. Reconstructions were based on skull fragments found in a gravel pit at Piltdown, East Sussex, England. For almost 40 years, this discovery was used as a classic proof that man had evolved from ape-like animals. Not until the 1940s was it proven to be entirely a hoax.
In reality, Piltdown Man was a half-baked fraud consisting of the altered, combined bones of an orangutan ape and a modern human. People, including hundreds of scientists, believed in this fabrication, not because it was truly convincing evidence, but because they wanted to believe.
Did man evolve from animals? If he did, there appears to be no proof of it in the fossil record.
Because the search for valid fossil evidence that man evolved either from apes or from ape-like animals has been futile, Evolutionists have turned to other means to establish an animal ancestry for humans. Evolutionary anthropologists have used molecular taxonomy to compare the internal chemistry of humans and apes in an attempt to prove common descent.
molecular taxonomy: taxonomy = biological classification; molecular taxonomy is a study which seeks to build an Evolutionary tree based on similarities or differences in animal chemistry. Molecular taxonomists attempt to classify living things according to their presumed Evolutionary relationships based on similarities in molecules.
It is known that the chromosome banding and some of the blood proteins of humans and chimpanzees are quite similar. Evolutionists have claimed this as proof that people and chimps had common ancestors. Does this fact prove common ancestry? No, it is only circumstantial evidence.
Creationists believe there are better ways to interpret these similarities. Rather than being evidence of common descent, similarities in internal construction would be expected, they say, if both chimps and man were created by the same designer. Indeed, it would be logical for a designer to use similar construction in structures designed to serve like functions, rather than reinventing the wheel each time, so to speak.
What has the latest scientific research revealed? There is no convincing proof of an Evolutionary development. Creationists reject the claim that the blood, DNA, or other chemical factors indicate a definite Evolutionary relationship between man, chimp, or gorilla.
chromosome numbers: Each type of plant and animal has a particular number of chromosomes in each body cell. Humans have 46 chromosomes.
It is important to understand that although apes and people do resemble each other in some obvious ways, there are also substantial differences.
It is obvious that man is gifted with tremendous creativity, inventiveness, and technical genius. What animal can create symphonies, novels, inspiring motion pictures, or wondrous buildings? Plainly, these qualities form a great gap between all animals and man. Man is undeniably unique.
If anything is related to Evolution, it would seem natural for it to be the number of chromosomes in each creature the more the genetic material, the higher the Evolution. However, these numbers seem to show no Evolutionary pattern whatsoever.
Although Evolutionists once frequently claimed that research in molecular biology would yield devastating evidence against Creationism, the opposite has often been the case. The family tree that was expected to be found in the sequences of chemical units in proteins and in DNA just simply is not there.
Molecular biologist Michael Denton asserts:
There is little doubt that if this molecular evidence had been available one century ago, it would have been seized upon with devastating effect by the opponents of evolution theory like Agassiz [a biologist from Harvard who opposed Darwin], and the idea of organic evolution might never have been accepted.
Scientists acknowledge that the origin of man reconstructions commonly shown in books and museums are based upon very little evidence and a large amount of imagination. Despite millions of dollars in research, it is said that all the bones of the most important supposed ape links could be placed on a single table or in a single coffin.
Not only have heads and bodies often been reconstructed on the basis of just a few bone fragments or teeth, but human-like faces have been added to ape bodies (and vice versa) without sufficient scientific proof for such reconstructions. Much fantasy has been involved in these murals and busts.
It is impossible to tell how much hair a person had by looking at bones. Yet almost all illustrations of Neanderthals have shown them as covered in long thick body hair. Likewise, even a complete skull cannot tell the artist how much fat was under the skin or exactly where it was deposited. Nor can it provide evidence of the exact shape of the nose, the eyes, the lips, or the ears. Yet, these are the very features that make such major differences in appearance.
It is well known that when artists have been shown ape-like bones identified by experts as ancestors of man, the resulting reconstructions have had a rather human appearance making them seem to fit very nicely into the Evolutionary theory. [238 & 239]
Not only is there no evidence that man is evolving, but there is increasing fossil and archaeological evidence which suggests that human beings and all of the extinct apes could have lived at the same time side by side.
Professor emeritus Dr. Wilbert Rusch has studied this question for many years:
As we find more fossils, we find man consistently appearing PARALLEL with all of his supposed ancestors. The concept of man developing from these animals is simply very dubious and cannot be held. Instead, we have parallel development a record of man consistently existing as far back as we go in the fossil record.
There is no scientific proof that modern man is evolving.
There is no scientific proof that man evolved from ape-like ancestors, or from any other animal.
Creationists maintain that man has always been man, and apes have always been apes. There is no proof that this is wrong.
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