Football Fans Are Not Neanderthals
Each autumn the phrase “what a bunch of Neanderthals” makes its way into conversations or print. Fan behavior in the stands during football season evokes images of barbaric activity that hearkens back to early, uncivilized times in human history. And the prominence of evolutionary thinking in the public square leads some to the conclusion that shirtless, shameless fanatics awash in beer display behavior that evinces a connection to their evolutionary ancestors. Even though fan behavior on TV is sometimes more entertaining than the game itself, don’t be fooled, scientific advance sacks the idea that humans and Neanderthals share an evolutionary ancestry. Fuz Rana reported on a recent edition of Creation Update how four new discoveries drive a wedge further into the gap separating humans from Neanderthals. Fuz describes in detail how the latest research demonstrates distinctive anatomical features, tool use, symbolic thought, and cultural advancement between Neanderthals and modern humans. Plus, he shows that it’s unlikely Neanderthals interbred with humans. Be sure to read Who Was Adam? for a full explanation of who or what Neanderthals were and how they fit into RTB’s human origins model. Briefly, these hominids were nonhuman animals (primates) created by God that existed roughly 150,000 to 30,000 years ago, and confined primarily to Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East. Neanderthals possess anatomical similarities to humans that lead many people to postulate that humans evolved from these creatures. They show some intelligence and emotional capacity, but in a way consistent with animal behavior. There’s evidence that Neanderthals used stone and maybe wood “tools” but again, in an unsophisticated manner. (I wonder if they could toss a pigskin.) As human beings it is natural for us to wonder where we came from, and an abundance of Neanderthal studies, especially in recent years, has produced a fertile field for study. However, due to an assumed ”but not proven” evolutionary connection many of these discoveries get filtered down to the public as “just so” stories. Reasons To Believe posits a biblical creation model for human origins that tests philosophical presumptions with the facts of nature. All evidence to date indicates no evolutionary link between the two species. That may be true, but as a Steelers fan I still reserve the right to refer to Browns fans as Neanderthals.