Skull, rib, and leg fragments from two caves in southern China that date from 11,500–14,500 years add confusion and controversy to the hominid-to-human evolutionary connection. Popular news outlets claimed that this new species had developed a taste for venison—hence the name “Red Deer Cave people”—but according to RTB biochemist Fuz Rana, the scientific journal made no mention of dietary preferences (one reason to avail yourself of RTB’s podcasts, where you’ll get the straight scoop). Fuz reports on the fossil finds and what they mean on this podcast.
Things to know:
• The hominid fossil record has been underrepresented in Asia; thus, the discovery helps provide missing details of global hominid history.
• Nobody knows yet how to classify these creatures. They’re both like and unlike Homo sapiens.
• Fuz states that they are not modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens).
• It's been suggested they could be Denisovans—the group hailing from central Asia that is thought to have interbred with modern humans.
• According to RTB’s human origins creation model, humans originated approximately 100,000 years ago.
• Whether this group had contact (since the dates apparently overlap) with modern humans is unclear.
• Anytime a discovery such as the “Red Deer Cave people” is described as “another line in human evolution” that phrase indicates further complication for the human evolutionary picture.
From a supernatural creation perspective, it seems that God has been pleased (Genesis 1:25) to fill His creation with diverse species of hominids, all designed to exploit their ecological niches for a time before fulfilling their purposes. Human studies of these animals—far from breeding arrogance—cause us to look upward in humble admiration of yet another example of extraordinary creation.
• More on possible human-hominid interbreeding
• On whether interbreeding with Neanderthals helped humans “go global”
• Who were the Denisovans?
• For an explanation of RTB’s human origins model, read Who Was Adam?