Will the Real Neanderthal Man
In November 1998 a book was released with the title: Buried Alive, The Startling Truth About Neanderthal Man. It is the fascinating account of Jack Cuozzo, an orthodontist who gained access to the original Neanderthal fossil material housed at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The book revealed the truth of how textbook accounts of Neanderthal Man were fabricated to fit an evolutionary bias. This was my first encounter to what is now well known and has been told numerous ways. That is, how academia, in collaboration with the scientific community, willfully engages in the distortion of facts in order to promote evolutionary teaching. (A few of the many books on the same order: Piltdown, A Scientific Forgery / Darwin's Black Box / The Search for Peking Man / Vestigial Organs Are Fully Functional.)
Since that time, my library has swelled with books that tell of similar academia and scientific misrepresentations.
In order to tell a condensed story of Neanderthal Man, I have quoted directly from Appendix C from David Allen Deal's excellent work: "The Day Behemoth & Leviathan Died". The section is lengthy but it is important to tell the story of the discovery of "Neanderthal Man" and the extent of the misrepresentations that followed.
(Deal, David Allen, The Day Behemoth & Leviathan Died, Kherem LaYah Press, Vista, 1999, pp. 275-280)
Neanderthal Missing Link Found?
The singularly most important paleontological discovery, one that has advanced the idea of man's "evolution," has been that of Neanderthal Man. This ancient man has been shown in artistic renderings and in countless school books as having been a slumped-over near knuckle-walker, supposedly giving evidence that man has ascended or descended from the apes or a common ancestor. These sequence paintings, showing first monkeys, then larger apes, then Neanderthal Man, and finally "modern man" have graced the world's textbooks now for nearly a hundred years.
By demonstrating for students what they believe this evolutionary sequence to have been via their comparative anatomical imagery, the evolutionist textbook authors have indelibly engraved on the minds of millions of people, who have undergone public school indoctrination, a clear picture of the imaginary concept.
We shall examine the scientific validity of this supposed missing link and see what modern science has determined, based on facts. Then we must erase the "education" we received along with the misconceived picture of hairy, near-wild, bent-over caveman brutes of the Neanderthal family.
The following are two excerpts from scientific articles, the first by Paul W. Kroll and Gene R. Hughes, and the second from a 1981 cover article from Science 81, by Boyce Rensberger, beginning on p. 41, The Missing Link... Found!
What Puzzled Darwin
For practical purposes, there was no fossil evidence for human evolution in Darwin's day. Perhaps that is why Darwin mentioned the origin of human beings only once in his The Origin of Species.
And it was, as one book mentioned, a "single timid sentence." Said Darwin, "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history."
Darwin was extremely troubled by this lack of fossil proof for his theory. Yet, he believed that fossils alone could provide the only possible direct proof that evolution had in fact occurred.
Time after time, throughout his book The Origin of Species, Darwin almost apologetically made such admissions as, "As by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? ...I will here only state that I BELIEVE the answer mainly lies in the record being incomparably less perfect than is generally supposed.
Progressively since the 1856 discovery of a skeleton in the Neander Valley in Germany, bones and other evidences of ancient man have accumulated. If the evolution of man were true, the proof should be conclusive and irrefutable. But the question is, "What does the fossil evidence show? Has the origin of man been clarified?"
Let's go back, in time, to some of the original discoveries. In 1856, a faceless, heavy-browed skull cap was discovered in a small river valley near Dusseldorf. That was the fist discovery of the enigmatic Neanderthal Man - Neander Valley Man. In 1886, two similar skulls were dug out of a cave near Spy, Belgium. Since that time, remains presumed to represent multiple dozens of Neanderthal specimens have been found in about 50 sites ranging from Asia and Europe to North Africa.
Then, in 1908, an almost complete skeleton was found at La Chapelle-aux-Saints in southwestern France. The remains were sent for study to the director of the French Institute of Human Paleontology, anatomist-paleontologist Marcellin Boule.
It was Boule's interpretation of these particular skeletal remains that was to stereotype the descriptions of all the future Neanderthal remains yet to be found. The skeletal features of the new "ancestor" were in line with what peleoanthropologists expected to find and hence were very satisfying indeed.
The Birth of a False Image
Thus was born the world's first acceptable "missing link." The building up of the Neanderthal image to universal recognition was an accomplishment to be envied even by modern-day press agents and Madison Avenue advertisers. Australian-British brain anatomist Sir Elliot Smith was one who displayed eloquence in describing "uncouth and repellent" Neanderthal Man: "His short, thick-set, and coarsely built body was carried in a half-stooped slouch upon short, powerful, and half-flexed legs of peculiarly ungraceful form. His thick neck sloped foreward from broad shoulders to support the massive flattened head, which protruded, so as to form an unbroken curve of the neck and back."
In finality, Smith concluded that "heavy" eyebrow ridges, retreating forehead, chinlessness all "combined to complete the picture of unattractiveness, which is more probable than not was still further emphasized by a shaggy covering of hair over most of the body."
For over forty years, bestial and stooped, with head thrust forward, Neanderthal Man posed for countless museum displays, history and anthropological textbooks and cartoonists the world over - all based on Boule's interpretation and reconstruction of the bones of La Chapelle-aux-Saints.
Yet, today, scientists now know that Boule was mistaken in many important aspects of Neanderthal Man.
Boule, however, was not entirely at fault. It was the press' interpretation of Boule's analysis that was the real culprit. Journalistic accounts often over-emphasized the more sensational aspects of Boule's reports.
As is so often the case, the general populace is fed hurried journalistic accounts. These often deeply impress the mind with false ideas. It was the press that created a sort of fossil Frankenstein monster. No doubt, the average person still thinks of Neanderthal Man as brutish, dull and primitive.
Neanderthal No "Beast"
In 1955 two professors of anatomy, William Straus of John Hopkins University and A. J. E. Cave of St. Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, London, re-examined the skeleton of La Chapelle-aus-Saints resting in the Museede l'Homme, Paris. According to their report, later published in the Quarterly Review of Biology XXXIII (1957):
"The skeleton, which had belonged to a male 40-50 years old, was rotten with arthritis. This disease had effected the hinges of La Chapelle's lower jaw, his neck and much of his body. The forward thrust of his head noted by Boule was due, in part at least, to a wry neck and the stunted stature and stooping posture were due to arthritic lesions in his vertebral column. In his youth, La Chapelle had been as tall as the average Frenchman living in the Dorgogne today."
Said anthropologist Carleton S. Coon: "According to the Neanderthal legend, he was a squat, stunted fellow about five feet one inch tall, or 155cm. As indicated by careful calculations from his long bones. La Chapelle-aux-Saints stood five feet four and a half inches tall, or 164cm., about half an inch taller than the Frenchmen who lived in the region of his cave at the time his remains were excavated, "With large heads, deep chest, heavy bones and large feet, the Western Neanderthals must have been heavy for their stature, probably a good 160 pounds or more."
"They were prime examples of what students of human constitutional types call mesomorphs... people built more or less like these Neanderthals may be seen today in the Abruzzi Mountains, in the Alps, and in Bavraria,"
Another conveniently ignored factor was the large brain size of Neanderthal Man. While the average brain of modern man has a volume of 1300 cc. the Neanderthal brain averaged 1450 cc. - an embarrassing endowment for a "primitive" missing link!
Neanderthal Man was more brainy than the average modern European! Cleanly shaven and properly dressed, he would not stand out as "odd" among "more civilized" moderns. Culturally speaking, Neanderthal Man today - in the space age... Some anthropologists see no really pertinent difference between the Cro-Magnon Man and the Neanderthal Man. One should remember that Neanderthal Man was MAN in the fullest sense of the word.
Facing the Past
For much of the 125 years that we have known about these enigmatic people, the Neandertals (variant spelling) have been depicted as dull-witted, stoop-shouldered lummoxes - obvious evolutionary failures. In recent years, however, the Alley Oop image has been radically transformed. Most paleo-anthropologists and the artists working under their direction have given the Neandertals a shower and a shave and straightened up their shoulders. Neandertal men and women no longer shuffle along on bent legs, staring vacantly. Now they stride erect and with purpose - not exactly like us in the face but clearly a race of our own kind.
What, we may now wonder, did the Neandertals and other extinct hominids really look like?
The grisly scenes of cannibalism that artists used to paint are now scientifically doubtful. The Neandertals, it is now clear, took care of the old and lame. One Neandertal skeleton, for example, had an arm amputated at the elbow, was crippled in one leg, and may have been blind in one eye. The skeleton shows his injuries occurred long before death, attesting that he was supported for many years by his people. The Neandertals were not the heartless beasts that older authorities suggested. When death came, they conducted funerals, burying their loved ones with food, tools, and, in some cases, flowers. Much of the evidence for this new appreciation has come from the work of Ralph S. Solecki of Columbia University. It was his discovery of Neandertal skeletons in Iraq's Shanidar Cave in the 1950's that eventually yielded evidence of burial with flowers and long-term care of the disabled. More recently, T. Dale Stewart of the Smithsonian Institution and Erik Trinkaus of Harvard have helped put the Neandertal image on a sounder scientific base. The transformation of popular views began gradually some 20 years ago, as part of a reaction to Robert Ardrey's African Genesis. The book drew wide attention to the killer ape hypothesis, which was based largely on the ideas or Raymond Dart, a South African anatomist. Dart has interpreted certain early hominid skulls and jaws as having been broken in assaults by fellow hominids. He argued that people evolved because of a growing reliance on weapons made for murder. A kind of prehistoric arms race, he held, spurred brain growth, creating a modern human being with genetic tendency toward killing. Ardrey drew vast popular following for Dart's unorthodox fossil interpretations. The brutish image of these Ice Age people may be traced back to their discovery in 1856 in Germany's Neander River Valley. This was three years before Darwin would publish, and no other fossil of an extinct hominid [man] had ever been recognized. Thus the skeleton - hardly more than a skullcap with massive brow ridges and some limb bones - immediately met with controversy. Debate raged off and on for the next 50 years.
Herman Schaafhausen, the first scientist to publish on the bones, concluded that they belonged to some unknown "barbarous and savage race." Rudolf Virchow, a leading anatomist of his day, pronounced the bones to be the remains of a recently deceased "pathological idiot." Thomas Henry Huxley said the bones were apelike but recent and, therefore, represented a reversion to an ancestral form. Others said the specimens were from a Cossack who died in 1814 chasing Napoleon back to France. The debate did not die down until 1913 when Marcellin Boule, the leading French anthropologist of his day, reviewed all subsequent Neandertal finds. Boule's monograph cast a mold that was to shape thinking about the Neandertals almost to the present day. It was he who created the image of Neandertals as bull-necked, slouching brutes. Boule's analysis was based mainly on an unusually complete skeleton's neck was deformed by age and arthritis. This, and a faulty understanding of the relationship between bone and muscle, led to the picture of a man with his head thrust forward, shoulders hunched, knees bent, and legs so bowed, he walked on the outer edges of his feet. Boule even suggested that the big toe was divergent, like that of an ape, and "may have played the part of a prehensile organ." Boule had confused a cultural effect with an inherited trait. He had compared the Neandertal foot, which had never known confining shoes, with that of a tightly shoed European. Neandertal feet, we now know, were quite normal. Boule concluded that the Neandertals vanished without heir.
Over the next 50 to 60 years still more Neandertals were found and it gradually became clear that "the old man of La Chapelle" was an extreme example. Most Neandertals were fairly modern in skeletal anatomy although considerably heavier of bone, with correspondingly more powerful muscles.
Despite accumulating evidence that the Neandertals were very much like us, the visual image that Boule created remained strong until quite recently. Popular books on human evolution acknowledged the evidence of a more modern Neandertal but persisted with brutish visual interpretations. For example, the Time-Life book Early Man, first published in 1965, combined a clear statement that the Neandertals "were not the dim-witted brutes they have been pictured to be," with many paintings, done by Czeck artist Zdenek Burian, continue to be reproduced in books and magazines as if they had scientific validity.
The killer ape hypothesis faded from popular conciousness and the way opened for a more benigh view. The accumulated scientific evidence attesting to a kinder view of the Neandertals finally began to show up in artists' conceptions in popular books. A few museums refurbished their Neandertal dioramas, putting in manikins that were slimmer, straighter, lighter, and less hairy. The old image can still be found, but the new one is gaining. One fact suggests that the trend in illustration has not necessarily been the result of respect for evidence. Artists have been rehabilitating Homo erectus, a hominid that lived between Australopithecus and Neandertal, even without much change in the scientific opinion of the older species' appearance. Again Burian is a case in point. His 1952 version shows black, apelike creatures barely distinguishable from chimpanzees. In a 1965 painting his Homo erectus and, although still hairy, is more modern in aspect. Burian's 1975 Homo erectus is hairless and almost indistinguishable from people living today... - skin color, hairiness, the shape of the nostrils, the form of the lips and ears, or the appearance of the eyelids. All these the artist must supply from conjecture. All too often, conventional stereotypes supply the image.
The image of he Neanderthal Man has been contrived from bad science. The following adaption drawings represent the present, scientific view of Neanderthal, and are based on factual evidence. Neanderthal was more like "modern" man, than the evolutionists wanted, so we got an image of a bent-over, caveman brute, such as was envisioned by the ancient Greeks. This image was necessary to create the sequential charts, seen in textbooks, of the supposed evolution of man from ape. Now, however, we see that there was no scientific basis for these textbook paintings. We are left with the impression that the evolutionary imagery was so much wishful thinking. It is, of course, a tenet of their faith, but must they continually refer to this religion of theirs as science?
This illustration has been redrawn with reference to Science 81 magazine, October 1981. It demonstrates the most recent scientific findings of the analyses of Neanderthal skeletons, found at various locations around the world, by many experts. These reconstructions are based on known facts and not wishful thinking and represent a truer picture of Neanderthal Man. The lack of body hair is based on the fact that we have no evidence that would indicate Neanderthal Man had body hair to any greater degree than modern man. The lack of the stooped-over posture - the result of Boule's misinterpretation of the original Neanderthal find, is quite noticeable. It clearly makes Neanderthal out to be no different than modern man. He was a true man in every sense. He was most definitely not a missing link.
This most recent information militates against the great damage done by the perennial false image of Neanderthal, which has been presented to generations of school children. It severely damages the sequence, now known to be false, of the evolutionary progression, from ape to man, found in most textbooks for the last hundred years. This false picture will be difficult to completely erase from the minds of millions of people. But to those interested in fact, it virtually single-handedly destroys Boule's evolutionary comparative anatomy, fairytale imagery.
Neanderthal did not walk hunched over like a great ape. The comparison is false. There is no connection between Neanderthal and supposed ape ancestors, or supposed common man/ape ancestors. This evidence must be incorporated into the religion of evolution. This will, most certainly, further compound the problems with their false argument. They most go back to their false progression charts and diagrams and rethink this broken link in their missing chain. How will they handle this problem? They will, most likely, ignore it.